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    Bucknell wraps up home schedule with win over VMI

    LEWISBURG, Pa. -- The Bucknell wrestling team closed out its home schedule in dominating fashion Saturday afternoon, defeating VMI 36-9 in Davis Gym. The Bison won eight of the nine contested bouts and five of those eight wins were for bonus points.

    Tyler Lyster and Joe Stolfi ended the match with back-to-back pins, while Paul Petrov, Victor Lopez and Robert Schlitt each posted a tech fall to propel Bucknell to its ninth win of the season.

    “It was good to bounce back today after last night’s loss to Franklin & Marshall,” said Bison head coach Dan Wirnsberger. “We were watching for how the guys would respond after a performance like that. We put it on them to show their competitive side and they did that.”

    Saturday’s matchup was the first-ever meeting between Bucknell (9-11) and VMI (3-15). Bison seniors Bob Hauser and Stephen McPeek were honored prior to the match during a Senior Day ceremony, which was followed by a Military Appreciation Day recognition by the Bucknell wrestling program.

    Petrov, who improved to 27-7 on the year, wasted no time staking the Bison to an early lead as he won by a commanding 23-7 margin at 125 pounds. It was his sixth consecutive win and his team-high third tech fall of the year.

    On Senior Day, Hauser followed with his fourth win of the year, a 4-1 decision at 133. He scored the first points with an early takedown, posted a second-period escape and earned the riding time point.

    “Wrestling is a tough sport and Bob and Stephen both stuck it out all four years,” said Wirnsberger. “To have Bob in the right spot this week to fill in after some injuries cropped up, and get the win, it means a lot to him and to our program.”

    After a forfeit at 141 due to an injury to Connor Lapresi, Bucknell’s lead was trimmed to 8-6. However, Victor Lopez (149) posted a 17-1 tech fall and Ray Schlitt (157) followed with a 9-4 decision to make it 16-6 on the scoreboard.

    Rustin Barrick then went to overtime for the second consecutive day and after ending with a pin Friday at Franklin & Marshall, came out on the wrong side of a 6-4 decision against Tedd Gottwald.

    The Bison then won the final four bouts with three for bonus points, including Robert Schlitt’s 15-0 shutout of Jake Koch.

    Lyster and Stolfi sent the Bison home schedule out on a high note with back-to-back first-period pins. It was Lyster’s fifth fall of the season, while Stolfi recorded his 20th pin of the year to tie Brian Pitzer’s 15-year-old school record.

    “It’s always nice to have guys like Lyster and Stolfi at the end of your lineup,” remarked Wirnsberger. “We are comfortable and confident with them back there. I am proud of how Tyler bounced back after his loss last night.”

    Bucknell will wrap up the regular season on the road next Friday, Feb. 21, at Binghamton. Start time for that EIWA match is 7 p.m. in Vestal, N.Y.

    125: Paul Petrov (B) tech. fall Dalton Henderson (VMI), 23-7 (7:00)
    133: Bob Hauser (B) dec. Mike Flora (VMI), 4-1.
    141: Caleb Yost (VMI) wins by forfeit
    149: Victor Lopez (B) tech. fall Emmitt Kelly (VMI), 17-1 (7:00)
    157: Ray Schlitt (B) dec. Ted Gottwald (VMI), 9-4.
    165: Mark Darr (VMI) dec. Rustin Barrick (B), 6-4 (sv1)
    174: Robert Schlitt (B) tech. fall Jake Koch (VMI), 15-0 (4:18)
    184: Rory Bonner (B) dec. Hardy Hendren (VMI), 4-3.
    197: Tyler Lyster (B) pinned Andrew Embree (VMI), 2:35.
    285: No. 20 Joe Stolfi (B) pinned Mike LaPrade (VMI), 1:56.

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