The Mercyhurst wrestling team earned the PSAC Division II regular season dual championship for the second consecutive year. This made conference history as the first Division II dual titles to be won back-to-back.
The eight-ranked Lakers won with a 23-15 victory over 15th-ranked Pittsburgh at Johnstown on Feb 19. Mercyhurst furthered its winning streak to 13 consecutive matches and completed the PSAC conference with a 7-0 record.
“It’s awesome to beat a team that we only beat one time before that, and to clinch the PSAC title with the win made it that much better. We were able to get bonus points in the matches where we needed them and that was the key to winning,” red shirt freshman Francis Mizia said.
Although the Laker’s started off the match behind with a score of 3-0 Pitt Johnstown, they bounced right back with four wins in a row starting with Kody Young at 133 (11-3), Dylan D’Urso at 141 (7-3), Jeremy Landowski at 149 (5-3), and Mizia at 157 (10-1).
After already leading the match 5-0, red shirt sophomore August Mizia had a great pin 90 seconds into the match.
The last match of the tournament with the Lakers’ only five points ahead of Pitt-Johnstown was completed by heavy weight freshman Andrew Welton. Welton won the match, 3-0.
“Coach Wehler and I had talked and he told me that the match was most likely going to come down to my match. Knowing that made me a little nervous but I had already wrestled my opponent before in the PSAC tournament so I had confidence in myself,” Welton said.
This match was also Head Coach Mike Wehler’s first time beating Pitt-Johnstown since becoming coach at Mercyhurst in 2007.
“This season was a fantastic journey, I’m not surprised by the success of this team but I’m certainly very proud of it,” Coach Mike Wehler said.
“This is such a great group of young men with high standards for themselves both athletically and academically. It’s one thing to have goals, but it takes a commitment, internal drive, and a work ethic to make them come to fruition and this team has those intangibles to make them successful” Wehler said.
The Lakers finished their regular season with an 18-1 overall record. They headed back to Pitt-Johnstown this weekend for the NCAA Division II Super Region I Championship. Here, they finished third in the overall team standings.
Six wrestlers will go to the NCAA Tournament the weekend of March 14 and 15 including Young (133), Jeremy Landowski (141), D’Urso (145), Mizia (157), August Mizia (174) and Welton (285). This tournament will be in Cleveland Ohio.