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    Bucknell upsets Virginia in first home match of season

    LEWISBURG, Pa. -- The Bucknell wrestling team won its final four bouts to come back from a 16-7 deficit to upset No. 10 Virginia by a 20-16 margin Saturday afternoon at Davis Gym. It was the first home match of the year for the Bison, who defeated a ranked opponent for the second straight year.

    The win marked Bucknell’s first victory over a top-10 opponent since the program was reinstated prior to the 2006-07 season and it was its third win against a ranked foe over that time span, joining a 2007 win over No. 24 Columbia and last November’s upset of No. 22 Lehigh.

    It was an impressive showing for the Bison as Virginia entered the day with a 5-1 record and had four ranked grapplers in its lineup. Bucknell, which had two ranked wrestlers, evened its record at 1-1 as it was competing in its first dual since early November at Pittsburgh.

    “174, 184 and 197 won us the dual,” commented Bison head coach Dan Wirnsberger following the win. “We found a way to win the tough points that we weren’t winning a few weeks ago. It is good to see the development and progress.”

    Bucknell entered the 174-pound bout trailing 16-7, but an impressive 7-2 decision by Rory Bonner over Greg Bacci started the comeback. Bonner led 4-2 late in the third period and proceeded to score a three-point near fall at the buzzer.

    Freshman Tom Sleigh scored all three of his points in a 3-1 decision in the final period against Tyler Askey at 184 pounds. The score was tied 1-1 entering the final 20 seconds when Sleigh scored a controversial takedown by barely keeping Askey in bounds. Sleigh improved to 13-8 on the season with the tight victory.

    “We like the effort we get from Tom,” said Wirnsberger. “He always gives max effort. This year hasn’t yet gone the way he wants it to, but his consistency and perseverance paid off today and he won the tough points.”

    Senior co-captain Tyler Lyster then tied the score at 16-16 with a thrilling overtime victory at 197 pounds. The score was tied 1-1 after a relatively uneventful regulation against 16th-ranked Zach Nye. After a scoreless sudden-victory period, Lyster scored a reversal and two-point near fall that brought the crowd to its feet in the first tiebreaker. Nye followed with a reversal of his own in the next tiebreaker, but Lyster held him off for the 5-3 victory as he posted his second career win over a ranked opponent.

    Two-time NCAA qualifier Joe Stolfi clinched the victory for the Bison with an 11-1 major decision over Collin Campbell at 285 pounds.

    “It is such a good feeling to go into the last match and not have the anxiety I feel earlier,” noted Wirnsberger about his confidence in Stolfi, who is now 14-5 this year and 76-34 in his career.

    Bucknell’s other victories came from Paul Petrov by major decision at 125 pounds and Rustin Barrick by decision at 157 pounds.

    Saturday’s match began a busy weekend for the Bison, who will compete at the Grapple at the Garden on Sunday. They will face Davidson (10 a.m.) and Hofstra (12 p.m.) at Madison Square Garden.

    “Every match matters and it is really important we keep focused heading into tomorrow,” said Wirnsberger.

    Results:
    125: No. 16 Paul Petrov (B) maj. dec. Will Mason (V), 12-4.
    133: No. 10 George DiCamillo (V) dec. Grim Gonzalez (B), 13-7.
    141: No. 14 Joe Spisak (V) dec. Collin Boylan (B), 8-2.
    149: Gus Sako (V) pinned Victor Lopez (B), 1:23.
    157: Rustin Barrick (B) dec. Andrew Atkinson (V), 7-3.
    165: No. 2 Nick Sulzer (V) maj. dec. Robert Schlitt (B), 18-6.
    174: Rory Bonner (B) dec. Greg Bacci (V), 7-2.
    184: Tom Sleigh (B) dec. Tyler Askey (V), 3-1.
    197: Tyler Lyster (B) dec. No. 16 Zach Nye (V), 5-3 (tb1)
    285: No. 19 Joe Stolfi (B) dec. Collin Campbell (V), 11-1.

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