In a cross-town rivalry upset, the Mercyhurst Lakers wrestling team fell to the Gannon University Golden Knights 16-22 on Feb. 8.
The Lakers started strong with a win by all-time win record holder Willie Bohince in the 125 lb. category with a 14-7 decision over Abraham Guarriello of the Golden Knights.
The Golden Knights would take the next two matches with wins in the 133 and 141 lb. categories over Lakers Jeff Sisk and Braden Finn (6-1 and 5-1 decisions).
Logan Grass won his 149 lb. match with a 9-2 decision, but this was followed by a Golden Knight win in the 157 lb. category over Laker Cole Gavin with a technical fall (17-0) by Eric Lewandowski.
Francis Mizia won the next match-up against his opponent in the 165 lb with a fall at the 2:06 mark.
The Golden Knights would go on to win the next three matchups in the 174, 184 and the 197 against Kevin Holman (major decision 14-5), Nick Konyk (major decision 13-5), and Wes Phipps (decision 8-6).
Andy Welton won in the 285 lb. in a 11-2 major decision to round out the the day’s matches. Six matches went to the Golden Knights; four were Laker victories.
Head Coach Mike Wehler and graduate assistant August Mizia commented on the match: “We have three of the winningest seniors that ever have been on a Mercyhurst team in our line-up… They’ve been carrying the torch since they’ve got here.”
The nationally ranked Lakers are now 10-4 for the season and 5-1 in conference. The Golden Knights walked away with their fourth victory against a nationally ranked team this season. “It’s tough,” said Mizia. “You don’t want to lose to a cross-town rival like that.”
On Feb. 10, the Lakers took on University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, which Coach Wehler stated is “a very solid team.” This is the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championship match, and is the capstone on the regular season for the Lakers.
Beyond the Pitt-Johnstown match, the lakers will play host to the NCAA DII Super Regionals on Feb. 24-25.
“I’m definitely looking forward to it,” said Wehler. “That’s the next big thing; we’ll see then how many we can get through to Nationals.” Nationals will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, on March 10-11.