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Pitt Bitten, LU Fans Smitten In a dual meet much closer than the final score indicated, Lehigh U. raised its season mark to 5-0, utilizing a sporty new 42’ wrestling mat and the warm confines of Grace Hall to deck 19th-ranked Pitt by a 26-10 margin. The initial spark came from junior Sahmir Mahmoud, filling in for Glauco Lolli-Ghetti against Dan Stine, who won 35 bouts last year and was heavily favored. The non-plussed Mahmoud managed to be tied 1-1 with 21 seconds to go, with a stall warning against Stine before conceding two takedowns at the end. At Hwt, Shawn Laughlin overcame the initial takedown, tying the score at 4-4 before going into o.t, where he countered a shot by Matt Muellar at the edge, with his own spinaround to win, 6-4. With the new mat 4’ larger in diameter, it’s noteworthy that both of Shawn’s Tds came just before going out of bounds, one of Greg Strobel’s goals in ordering the new mat--the max. size allowably by NCAA regulations. With a forfeit at 125 by Pitt, the Panthers needed 3 wins in toss-up bouts at 141, 165 and 174, but came up empty, after gritty efforts by the Brown & White. Matt Goldstein overcame two reversals with a TD and nearfall in the 3rd period, adding an escape and riding time to edge tough Blaise Mucci.At 165, Travis Doto gave up a penalty pt. for locked hands, needing a TD and two escapes, to offset standout freshman (12th-ranked) Carl Fronhofer’s 3rd period takedown. In the most emotional matchup, Mark Dufresne eased the frustration of two prior close losses to All-American Nick Mengerink with a taut 2-1 win, scoring the winning takedown in the middle period against one of America’s top counterwrestlers. The loss dropped the Panther’s dual record to a still remarkable 32-4. In another matchup that got the LU crowd into the action, Strobel was forced to use his 3rd-string 157 lb. man in place of the injured Chris Vitale (who had replaced the injured Ryan Bernholz). In his varsity dual debut, the 3-time Washington state champion scored the 1st TD and didn’t give up the lead until taken down with 0:52 left in the 2nd period, in a close 5-3 loss to senior Top 20 wrestler, Mike Ziska. The only easy bouts for the Engineers came from their two undefeated wrestlers: Dave Esposito walloped highly regarded freshman, Justin Giovinco, 18-6 (8 Tds, E and 3:21 ride time); and Rob Rohn, 20-7, on 7 Tds, reversal and 2-pt nearfall. It’s a remarkable tribute to this year’s team, when you looked behind the team bench and saw last yr’s 3 All-Americans (John Van Doren, Chris Ayres and Bernholz) cheering their team on. Only a resilient, well coached and well conditioned team can start this year with these three off the mat, then lose new starters at 157 and 197--and still whip a 19th-ranked Pitt team that challenged Penn State for 2nd place at the Mat Town just two weeks ago. Next up: an underdog Rider U. team tomorrow night at 7 pm, as the LU Matmen hope to steam into the Hampton, VA Bay Area for the Jan. 7-8 Va. Duals with a top 3 seed and likely 6-0 dual record (Michigan and Edinboro among the Top 12 teams vying for the title).Pitt drops to 1-1 on the year, after beating Slippery Rock, 40-0 #11 LEHIGH 26 #19 PITTSBURGH 10 125: Bruce Kelly, so, (7-4) WBForfeit 133: Tristan Boyd, fr. (7-4) LBMaj. Dec. 3-14 to Rob Loper, sr.(13-3) 141: Matt Goldstein, jr.,(5-3) Dec. 6-4 over Blaise Mucci, jr., (9-2) 149: Dave Esposito, jr.(8-0) WBMaj.Dec. 18-6 over Justin Giovinco, fr. (13-6) 157: Garrett Knutson, so (1-2) LBDec. 3-5 to Mike Ziska, sr., (11-3) 165: Travis Doto, sr,. (7-1) Dec. 4-3 over Carl Fronhofer, fr., (11-4) 174: Mark Dufresne, sr., 12-1 Dec. 2-1 over Nick Mengerink, jr. (9-1) 184: Rob Rohn , so.(9-0) WBMaj.Dec. 20-7 over Fabian Sciullo, so (0-5) 197* Sahmir Mahmoud, jr (0-2) LBDec. 2-6 to Dan Stine, so. (10-3) 285: Shawn Laughlin, so.( 6-3) Dec. 6-4, s.v. over Matt Mueller, sr., (8-3) * match began at 197 (updated indiv. records in parens) Dec. 10 at Lehigh’s Grace Hall. Tot. att: approx. 1300 Lehigh Rides Herd on Broncs The steamrolling Engineers of Lehigh remained on track with a dominant 33-6 win over 25-ranked Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ, raising our dual record to 6-0 and garnering our 8th straight dual win since last February. In one of the feature matchups in the night’s 2nd bout, Rob Rohn defended his #7 ranking with a convincing 7-2 win over Shawn Scannell on 3 takedowns and an escape, to just 2 escapes for Scannell. The win brought Rohnnie’s record to a rock solid 10-0, as he continues to enjoy being down at his natural weight, vs. 197 last year. In an intriguing matchup at 197, Sahmir Mahmoud neutralized and nearly beat #18 Todd Palmisano, initiating almost all of the shots but held off by the master counterwrestler who’s known to run up “football type scores” against unsuspecting grapplers. Having wrestled two yrs at Lehigh, there are no unsuspecting Engineers, however. Rider had the misfortune of having its top wrestler, 7th-ranked Hwt. Marc DeFrancesco, miss the meet due to a death in his family. Another bit of tough luck came with its 2nd best man--Derek Jenkins--meeting Dave Esposito. Espo has been feeding on numerous Top 20s, showing little respect and tonight was no exception. Three 1st period Tds gave him a 6-2 lead, enroute to a 10-3 win. It was a tough night all around for the Broncs, who are still tied 4-4 in the dual series with Lehigh, after winning 4 of the first 5. They faced the same kind of Brown & White toughness seen the night before, when we enjoyed a 20-9 edge in takedowns (5 men with an edge in Tds, to only Loper for Pitt). In tonight’s dual, the visitors had a remarkable 23-1 edge in takedowns. #11 LEHIGH 33 #25 RIDER 6 125: Bruce Kelly (8-4) maj. dec. 11-3 Jerald Limongelli (5-8) 133: Tristan Boyd (8-5) maj. dec. 17-5 Joe Pollard (1-5) 141: Matt Goldstein (6-3) dec. 3-1 over Cam Plocus (2-3) 149: #4 Dave Esposito (9-0) dec. 10-3 over #18 Derek Jenkins (11-3) 157: Garrett Knutson (1-4) LBDec. 0-3 to Nick Harrington (8-5) 165: #7 Travis Doto (8-1) WBFall 4:09 R. J. Haynes (7-7) 174* Mark Dufresne (13-1) maj. dec. 15-4 over Bob Pizzuto (3-6) 184: #7 Rob Rohn (10-0) dec. 7-2 over #16 Shawn Scannell (5-5) 197: Sahmir Mahmoud (0-3) LBDec. 0-1 to #18 Todd Palmisano (10-3) 285: #14 Shawn Laughlin (7-3) WBForfeit * match started at 174; (records updated through end of dual) LU MAT MUSINGS: ** When it comes to wrestling, Tri-capt. Travis Doto prefers current events to history lessons, but this truth is inescapable: both wrestlers and fans like unbeaten streaks and his team has an interesting current event--it’s fast approaching the longest school win streak of the past 24 yrs--10 straight by the 1980 LU team. ** The 6-0 start should be extended in the early rounds at the Virginia Duals, and should help bring increased interest at home--our first return date at home will be against N. C. State on Sat. Jan. 15 at 1:00 pm in Grace Hall. ** Bruce Kelly’s father, George, has seen all of his son’s matches, which isn’t necessarily a paternal record ... but his “frequent driver’s miles” accumulated might be. He’s made every trip by car--including Michigan, Midlands and Arizona State! During an ice cream stop in Tempe, AZ, Bruce quipped, “Yeah, my Dad’s on his way ...he called me yesterday from Oklahoma.” ** Pollsters, coaches and fans all care how good an opponent is, whether we win or lose. How good was Blaise Mucci of Pitt, whom Matt Goldstein beat Fri. night? Good enough to own a 10-1 mark Thurs. eve., after beating #10 Brett Tullo of Bloomsburg. Nick Mengerink also beat a Top 20 Bloomsburg wrestler, Cassidy Shults, by a 5-2 score, which should help Mark Dufresne climb into the ratings in a very deep 174 lb. class (his 13-1 record shouldn’t hurt, either). ** For those wanting a new NCAA team champion, you may have to wait one more year--after “#2” Iowa crushed “#1” Iowa State in Ames, 24-12 last night, winning 7 of 10 bouts before over 12,000 fans. ** Upcoming LU Wrestling Dates (email news, to follow each): Dec. 29-30: Midlands Tournament at Northwestern Jan. 7-8: Va. Duals (#8 Michigan; #11 LU; #13 Edinboro; #17 UNI; #19 Pitt; #21 Boise St; #25 Rider; #26 Hofstra; #32 UNC; #34 Indiana Jan. 13: at #14 Cornell Jan. 15: N.C. State 1:00 pm, Grace Hall Jan. 21: F&M 7:30 pm (Pete Schuyler’s return, as Head Coach) Jan. 22: at Navy 7:00 pm Jan. 29: at #27 Harvard 1:00 pm at Brown 6:00 pm Feb. 11: #26 HOFSTRA 7:30 pm

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