Lehigh opens season with annual Brown and White Wrestle-offs


BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Lehigh kicked off the 2016-17 wrestling season with the annual Brown and White Wrestle-offs Thursday evening inside Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall. Eleven bouts were contested on the evening with many of the Mountain Hawks being aggressive and looking to score points, especially in the middle weights.

"The guys looked pretty relaxed and that's usually not the case during a wrestle-off," Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro said. "Obviously we have a couple things to work on. We have a couple guys who need to do a little better job with their weight management. That's something that we'll focus on over the next couple of weeks."

A pair of true freshmen started the evening with Nick Farro riding a pair of first period takedowns to a 5-3 win over Joe Lobeck.

"Nick and Joe went out and just wrestled," Santoro said. "It looked like they were having fun. They were very relaxed in this atmosphere, which was good to see. Usually that first time out you don't know what to expect. They set the tempo for what was a pretty good night."

In one of the more highly anticipated matches of the night, deferred freshman Ryan Pomrinca scored a double leg takedown in the final seconds of the third period to knock off returning All-American Randy Cruz 2-1.

In the first of two bouts at 149 sophomore Camden Fischer trailed sophomore Brandon Diaz 2-1 after one period but Fischer turned the tides, riding out the second period and then getting a reversal, a penalty point and a two point near fall to win 7-3.

Another intriguing bout matched senior Laike Gardner and sophomore Cortlandt Schuyler at 149. Both wrestlers showed early offense, with Schuyler scoring the only takedown of the first period, but Garner broke a 2-2 tie with a takedown on the edge in the second period. Schuyler suffered an apparent ankle injury on the Gardner takedown and elected to default with an injury.

There were two entertaining bouts at 165. Sophomore Ian Brown scored early, while junior Drew Longo picked up the pace in the third period. A late Longo score plus a slight riding time advantage gave him a 9-7 victory.

The second bout at 165 was a wildly entertaining matchup between sophomore Gordon Wolf and freshman Chase Gallik. A 23-point first period saw Gallik build an early 8-1 lead and eventually lead 13-10 after three minutes. Wolf battled back in the second period and when the dust settled in the third, a 2:02 riding time advantage gave Wolf the hard-fought 18-17 victory.

"That match went like we thought it would," Santoro said. "They wrestled about a week ago. It was almost an identical type of match and fun to watch. They just let it fly. You want everyone to go out there with that kind of attitude, to go out and wrestle your style. Obviously those guys have very unique styles but they like to score points. That's the most important thing."

In his first bout up at 174, sophomore Ryan Preisch racked up more than three minutes of riding time in a 10-1 major decision over Charlie Sell. Preisch scored two first period takedowns and added a four-point near fall to lead 8-1 after one.

In a matchup of deferred freshmen at 184, Andew Price scored a takedown in each of the first two periods to top Paul Dunn 5-3.

At 197, senior Ben Haas built an early 6-0 lead on sophomore Garett Stehley on the way to a 17-2 technical fall victory.

The final bout of the night matched fifth-year senior Doug Vollaro and true freshman Jordan Wood at heavyweight. Tied 1-1 in the third, Vollaro picked up a late takedown to knock off the Junior World Team member 3-1.

Thursday night's unofficial team score had the White team defeating the Brown 27-14.

Prior to the start of Thursday night's wrestle-offs, seniors Mitch Minotti and Laike Gardner and junior Drew Longo were announced as captains for the 2016-17 season.

"They've been the ones leading this team all summer long and into the fall," Santoro said. "They're three great leaders and great people. It's what they do every day. It's not a sometimes thing. It's all the time, and that's the most important thing."

The Mountain Hawks will send a contingent of wrestlers to the Nov. 6 East Stroudsburg Open before opening the dual meet season on Nov. 11 when Lehigh hosts Bucknell inside Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at any time by visiting or by calling 610-7LU-GAME during business hours.

133 - Nick Farro (White) dec. Joe Lobeck (Brown) 5-3
141 - Ryan Pomrinca (White) dec. Randy Cruz (Brown) 2-1
149 - Camden Fischer (Brown) dec. Brandon Diaz (White) 7-3
149 - Laike Gardner (White) injury default Cortlandt Schuyler (Brown) 4:48
157 - Jordan Kutler (Brown) tech fall Kent Lane (White) 16-0, 2:22
165 - Drew Longo (White) dec. Ian Brown (Brown) 9-7
165 - Gordon Wolf (Brown) dec. Chase Gallik (White) 18-17
174 - Ryan Preisch (White) major dec. Charlie Sell (Brown) 10-1
184 - Andrew Price (White) dec. Paul Dunn (Brown) 5-3
197 - Ben Haas (White) tech fall Garett Stehley (Brown) 17-2, 5:37
285 - Doug Vollaro (Brown) dec. Jordan Wood (White) 3-1


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Gilgamesh (1) about 5 years ago
Excellent story, looking forward to a top 10 season from Coach Santoro and the Mountain Hawks. If you have no burning affiliation for a team, find the Lehigh group at any tournament and sit with them. Their knowledge, sportsmanship and quiet enthusiasm are a joy to experience.