Thrilling Win for No. 19 WLU Mat Squad

January 6, 2018

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. A fast start and a strong finish lifted the No. 19-ranked West Liberty University wrestling team to a thrilling 20-19 victory against East Stroudsburg Saturday afternoon at Koehler Fieldhouse.

Coach Mitch Smith's Hilltoppers (4-3) got a 4-2 win from 285-pounder Ronnie D'Amico in the final match of the day to complete the comeback against the upset-minded Warriors (1-5).

Corey Secrist got West Liberty off to a flying start when the freshman standout ranked No. 2 in the region at 125 pounds pinned Jair Hatch just 82 seconds into their 125-pound match to put WLU on the board.

Steven Slack followed with an 8-6 decision against ESU's Francesco Palagruto at 133 pounds and Josh Ridgeway gave the Hilltoppers a 13-0 lead with an 11-2 major decision against Peter Nace in their 141-pound bout.

Momentum swung to the Warriors' side of the mat after that as the hosts reeled off five straight wins, highlighted by a first-period fall from Mike Raccioppi the top-ranked 165-pounder in the region to turn the tables and take a 19-13 lead into the last two matches of the day.

Logan Kemp came up big for West Liberty in his 197-pound match, dominating East Stroudsburg's Daniel Makagon throughout in posting an 11-2 major decision.

Kemp's win trimmed the deficit to 19-17, setting the stage for D'Amico to close out the victory for the Black and Gold.

The Hilltoppers return home to host WVU Tech on Friday. The first match is set for 6 p.m. on Alumni Night at the ASRC.

No. 19 West Liberty 20, East Stroudsburg 19
125: Corey Secrist (WLU) p. Jair Hatch, 1:22
133: Steven Slack (WLU) d. Francesco Palagruto, 8-6
141: Josh Ridgeway (WLU) md. Peter Nace, 11-2
149: Blake Cohen (ESU) md. Tanner Sutton, 9-1
157: Marquan Payne (ESU) d. Josh Cornell, 9-6
165: Mike Raccioppi (ESU) p. Jacob Ramsey, 1:39
174: Dillon Warner (ESU) d. Chase Morgan, 6-1
184: Paul Rallis (ESU) d. Chris Cook, 5-2
197: Logan Kemp (WLU) md. Daniel Makagon, 11-2
285: Ronnie D'Amico (WLU) d. Hunter Marhan, 4-2

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