West Liberty AT Mercyhurst Open
November 8, 2014
ERIE, Pa. – The West Liberty University wrestling team got its season off to a strong start with a solid showing in Saturday's Mercyhurst Open.
Two Hilltoppers placed in the non-scoring event with five WLU grapplers advancing to the championship quarterfinals and one going through to the championship semis in the event, which featured many of the top wrestlers from the region's NCAA Division I, II and III programs.
Joel Paolo was the top finisher for West Liberty in his Hilltopper debut. The 149-pound transfer from Pitt-Johnstown lost to top-seeded Jeremy Landowski of Mercyhurst but worked his way through the wrestle-backs to finish third at 149.
Paolo eked out a 3-2 win against the University of Buffalo's Trevor Hoffmeier in the semifinal match before collecting a forfeit win against Ashland's Brent Fickel in the Third-Place Match.
Nate Dawson, also making his West Liberty debut, was WLU's other placer. The redshirt freshman from Brooke High School defeated Gannon's Trevor Beiter, 7-5, in the consolation semifinal and settled for fourth place with a forfeit to Ohio State's Matt O'Hara in the Third-Place Match. O'Hara had knocked Dawson into the consolation rounds with a 9-1 win in the championship quarterfinals.
Aaron Silverio, a junior captain from Shadyside, Ohio, made the Hilltoppers' deepest run in the championship bracket. The veteran heavyweight shut out Wheeling Jesuit's Logan Bowman, 4-0, in the championship quarterfinals before dropping a tough 5-3 verdict to eventual champion Billy Miller of Edinboro in the championship semifinals.
The West Liberty wrestlers will compete in their first dual meet of the season on Wednesday when they travel to Waynesburg (Pa.) University for a 7 p.m. match.
Mercyhurst Open --
Top West Liberty Finishers
149: Joel Paolo (WLU) wbf. Brent Fickel (Ashland), forfeit
197: Matt O'Hara (Ohio State) wbf. Nate Dawson (WLU), forfeit
149: Joel Paolo (WLU) d. Trevor Hoffmeier (Buffalo), 3-2
157: Francis Mizia (Mercyhurst) tf. Art Hobley (WLU), 19-3
197: Nate Dawson (WLU) d. Trevor Beiter (Gannon), 7-5
285: Tracey Green (Mercyhurst NE) d. Aaron Silverio (WLU), 3-2
285: Billy Miller (Edinboro) d. Aaron Silverio (WLU), 5-3
125: Anthony Rivera (Edinboro) d. Zach Brown (WLU), 9-5
149: Jeremy Landowski (Mercyhurst) d. Joel Paolo (WLU), 2-0
165: Angelo Bortoluzzi (Mercyhurst) p. David Schlieper (WLU), :17
197: Matt O'Hara (Ohio State) md. Nate Dawson (WLU), 9-1
285: Aaron Silverio (WLU) d. Logan Bowman (Wheeling Jesuit), 4-0
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