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No. 15 UPJ wrestlers lose PSAC Championship to No. 8 Mercyhurst
By Chris Caputo, UPJ Athletics
In a battle for the PSAC Dual Meet Championship, eighth-ranked Mercyhurst University built a 20-6 lead after seven bouts and held off a Mountain Cat comeback in a 23-15 victory over 15th-ranked Pitt-Johnstown on Wednesdays Senior Night in the Sports Center. Pitt-Johnstown had its 11-match winning streak snapped and slipped to 13-2 overall and ended its first season with a 5-2 mark in the conference.
Prior to the match, Pitt-Johnstown recognized this years seniors: Dave Cawley (141 lbs.), Dave Fogle (125 lbs.), Gary Lantz (165 lbs.), and Zak Newton (197 lbs.).
An 8-5 win by eighth-ranked Dave Fogle over 2012 National Qualifier Ryan Bohince at 125 gave the Mountain Cats an early 3-0 advantage.
However, Mercyhurst answered with four straight victories to open-up a 14-3 lead at the midway point of the match.
The Lakers quickly went in front with National Qualifier Kody Youngs 11-3 major decision over Luke Palamides at 133 lbs. Seventh-ranked Dylan DUrso defeated Sam Hanau 7-3 at 141 lbs., and eighth-ranked Jeremy Landowski dealt his cousin a 5-3 loss. The Lakers then got another major decision. This time, it was a 10-1 victory by Francis Mizia over Heath Coles at 157 lbs. to increase it 14-3.
Gary Lantz ended the Mercyhurst run with a 7-1 decision over Clint Schaefer at 165 lbs., but the Lakers bounced right back in a big way with Clint Schaefers fall over John Blankenship at 1:30 to increase it to 20-6 with three bouts remaining.
An 8-0 major decision by second-ranked Travis McKillop over Dakota DesLauriers at 184 lbs. and Zac Bennetts 17-2 technical fall over Brian Beattie at 197 lbs. cut the Pitt-Johnstown deficit to 20-15 to set up the battle at heavyweight.
The Mountain Cats need a pin from Josh Duplin to get a victory and a share of the PSAC tile, but Andrew Welton held off Duplin, 3-0, to give the Lakers a 23-15 victory and the outright conference championship.
Mercyhust extended its winning streak to 13 consecutive matches and improved to 18-1 overall and completed the PSAC schedule with a perfect 7-0 mark.
Pitt-Johnstown will host the 2014 NCAA Division II Super Region I Tournament in the Sports Center on March 1-2, before traveling to the 2014 NCAA Division II Championships on March 14-15.
125 lbs. #8 Dave Fogle (UPJ) Decision Ryan Bohince (MU) 8-5 3-0 UPJ
133 lbs. Kody Young (MU) Major Decision Luke Palamides (UPJ) 11-3 4-3 MU
141 lbs. #7 Dylan DUrso (MU) Decision Sam Hanau (UPJ) 7-3 7-3 MU
149 lbs. #8 Jeremy Landowski (MU) Decision Cole Landowski (UPJ) 5-3 10-3 MU
157 lbs. Francis Mizia (MU) Major Decision Heath Coles (MU) 10-1 14-3 MU
165 lbs. Gary Lantz (UPJ) Decision Clint Schaefer (MU) 7-1 14-6 MU
174 lbs. August Mizia (MU) Fall John Blankenship (UPJ) 1:30 20-6 MU
184 lbs. #2 Travis McKillop (UPJ) Major Decision Dakota DesLauriers (MU) 8-0 20-10 MU
197 lbs. Zac Bennett (UPJ) Technical Fall Brian Beattie (MU) 17-2 20-15 MU
285 lbs. Andrew Welton (MU) Decision Josh Duplin (UPJ) 3-0 23-15 MU
Courtesy UPJ Athletics