WHEELING, W.Va. -- In the final home dual match, the No. 19 Wheeling Jesuit grapplers won seven bouts and defeated Gannon University, 25-14, Wednesday night.
Dustin Warner started the Cardinals' night off in a big way with a fall in 2:03 in the 125-pound matchup over the Golden Knights' Korey Caudill. At 133, Nolan Whitely put the only other home match bonus points on the scoreboard in a 12-3 major decision for a 10-0 lead. WJU added five decision wins in the final eight matches for the 11-point victory.
For the second year in a row, the young third-year WJU wrestling program set its dual win standard with its 11th win and improved to 11-6 on the year. All six Cardinals' losses were to nationally-ranked opponents. Gannon fell to 4-6.
"It was good to get our 11th win. We needed to keep increasing that number and setting a new standard,"said WJU head coach Sean Doyle. "Gannon is always a good program. It is always nice to be that kind of a regional opponent in a dual match."
Along with the two bounus-point WJU wins, Dominick Nania (149), Dean Meyer (174), Sawyer Leppla (184), Terrance Fanning (197) and Corey Siegfried (285) each won by decision.
After a scoreless opening minute, Warner (22-5) took a shot on Caudill following a pause in the action. Less than a minute later, the 125-pound sophomore put his opponent in a cradle and recorded the pin in 2:03.
"Warner has been off-and-on in dual matches and it was good to see him have a good night," noted Doyle.
Fanning caught his coach's attention as well. The 197-pound Cardinals redshirt freshman shot in for the takedown and added a pair of back points to open a 4-0 lead on the Golden Knights' Lorenzo Maddox. Fanning (19-6) reversed the momentum on Maddox and scored a second-period takedown, before he went on for an 8-1 decision.
"Terrance had a good win against a kid who had beaten him earlier in the season. He is progressing well as the season has gone along," Doyle pointed out.
Whitely recorded his 24th victory of the year in his bout. The sophomore put the first two points on a lift takedown 24 seconds into the match and led 4-1 after a period. Whitely extended the margin to 7-2 in the second, before he scored a late third-period takedown and back points for the 12-3 major decision over Aaron Smith.
Nania (24-6) kept his team-win race going with Whitely. The junior took down Ryan Kaminski 22 seconds into the match and built a 6-1 edge after three minutes. Kaminiski avoided the major decision, though, with an escape with eight seconds left for a 10-3 final.
The two most exciting matches took place at 174 and 285. Dean Meyer was awarded a penalty point on a one-point stalling call of Gannon's Chris Matthews. The two 174-pounders went to one-minute overtime period where Meyer shot in on Matthews for the winning takedown only 10 seconds into the match for a 5-3 victory.
At 285, the Golden Knights' Nigel Toussaint took down Siegfried with 22 seconds left in the third period to go ahead, 6-4. Siegfried never gave up and reversed Toussaint with two seconds left and added the match-winning two back points for the 8-6 decision.
Sawyer Leppla scored a big 184-pound victory over 23-win Jake Stratton. Leppla escaped to start the second period and added a takedown with 1:09 left in the stanza for a 3-0 lead. Stratton posted his own escape to end the second period and had a second escape, but Leppla kept the advantage for the 4-2 upset decision.
WJU will have 12 days off, before it travels up to Erie, Pa. for the Super Region I Regional Tournament. The tournament is set for next Friday and Saturday, Feb. 26-27, at Mercyhurst University.
125 - Dustin Warner (WJU) fall Korey Caudill (GU), 2:03 -- WJU 6-0
133 - Nolan Whitely (WJU) maj. dec. Aaron Smith, 12-3 -- WJU 10-0
141 - Zach Reges (GU) fall Damon Outward (WJU), 5:55 -- WJU 10-6
149 - Dominick Nania (WJU) dec. Ryan Kaminski (GU), 10-3 -- WJU 13-6
157 - Garret Smith (GU) tech fall Peyton Geary (WJU), 17-0 (4:54) -- WJU 13-11
165 - Nate Ross (GU) dec. Keegan Driscoll (WJU), 3-2 -- GU 14-13
174 - Dean Meyer (WJU) dec. Chris Matthews (GU), 5-3 OT -- WJU 16-14
184 - Sawyer Leppla (WJU) dec. Jake Stratton (GU), 4-2 -- WJU 19-14
197 - Terrance Fanning (WJU) dec. Lorenzo Maddox (GU), 8-1 -- WJU 22-14
285 - Corey Siegfried (WJU) dec. Nigel Toussaint (GU), 8-6 -- WJU 25-14