ASHLAND, OHIO -- Down three starters and trailing by five points with three matches to go, the Lake Erie College wrestling team got a late spark to get two pins and a decision to upset 18th-ranked Ashland University Tuesday night (Jan. 15) at Kates Gymnasium, 27-17.
Trailing 17-12, junior Tom McVicker (South Fork, Pa./Forest Hills/Penn Highlands), wrestling in just his third dual match at 141 pounds this season, pinned Daniel McNulty just 43 seconds into their match. That moved to be the match the swung the team scoring, as Lake Erie (8-3, 1-1 GLIAC) took an 18-12 lead it would not relinquish.
Sophomore Nate Ball (Wadsworth, Ohio/Wadsworth) followed with a 7-1 decision victory over Jacob Garringer at 149 pounds and junior Zak Vargo (Stow, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy) ended the night by overwhelming Michael Hummer for a pin at 2:25 of the first round, putting an exclamation point on the Storm's second win over a ranked team this season.
The Storm jumped out to a 9-0 lead after two matches. Sophomore 165-pound All-American Matt Vandermeer (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) pinned Randall Perkins midway through the second period to record his 12th consecutive win. Classmate Dylan Zivcic (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) followed with a 6-1 decision over Jake Piatt at 174 pounds.
Ashland (6-3, 0-1 GLIAC) closed in as Bryson Hall edged junior Zev Green (Marysville, Ohio/Marysville), 3-2, at 184 pounds and Brandon O'Neill followed with a major decision against Devin Smith (Salem, Va./Salem) at 197 to make it a 9-7 score.
Almonte Patrick (Maple Heights, Ohio/Maple Heights) got the Storm back into the win column, just missing out on a major decision but earning a 7-0 victory at heavyweight over Kurt Schaefer.
The lead would be short-lived, however, as Max Byrd broke a 3-3 tie with sophomore Mike November (Chesterland, Ohio/West Geauga) with a quick takedown and pin to put the Eagles up 13-12. Fourth-ranked Michael Labry remained perfect on the season with a 12-4 major decision over sophomore Austin Gillihan (Corry, Pa./Corry Area) that made the score 17-12.
The eight dual victories for Lake Erie already match the Storm's school record total set last season.
The Storm has a week off until hosting Gannon University on Wednesday night, Jan. 23, for the annual Youth Wresting Night at the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic & Wellness Center in Painesville.
125: Max Byrd (AU) pinned Mike November (LEC),
133: Michael Labry (AU) maj. dec. Austin Gillihan (LEC), 12-4
141: Tom McVicker (LEC) pinned Daniel McNulty (AU), 0:43
149: Nate Ball (LEC) dec. Jacob Garringer (AU), 7-1
157: Zak Vargo (LEC) pinned Michael Hummer (AU), 2:25
165: Matt Vandermeer (LEC) pinned Randall Perkins (AU), 4:20
174: Dylan Zivcic (LEC) dec. Jake Piatt (AU), 6-1
184: Bryson Hall (AU) dec. Zev Green (LEC), 3-2
197: Brandon O'Neill (AU) maj. dec. Devin Smith, 14-6
285: Almonte Patrick (LEC) dec. Kurt Schaefer (AU), 7-0