By Joe Ruby
The men’s wrestling team split its two EIWA matches this weekend, defeating Brown (2-13, 1-7) by a score of 31-7 before falling 25-14 to No. 8 American (14-7, 3-2). With the weekend’s results, the Bison finished the regular season with a record of 7-11 overall and 2-5 in the EIWA. Alex Pellicciotti ’14, No. 4 Kevin LeValley ’11 and Rob Waltko ’11 each won their two bouts over the weekend.
Against Brown on Saturday, the Bison got off to a good start with a 2-1 decision from Derek Reber ’13 and a pin in 2:31 by Pellicciotti. LeValley earned an 8-2 decision and Brantley Hooks ’11 and Corey Lear ’13 each scored major decisions to push the Bison’s lead to 20-4. Brown’s Jeff Lemmer closed the gap slightly with a 13-9 decision over Stephen McPeek ’14, but Waltko earned a 5-2 decision at 184 lbs and Jay Hahn ’11 and Joe McMullan ’13 finished the match with consecutive major decisions. The victory over the Bears gave the Bison a three-match winning streak.
It was a different story the following day against a very talented American line-up that featured five ranked wrestlers, including 157 lb. national No. 1 Steve Fittery. Highlights for the Bison included Pellicciotti following his pin with a 17-1 tech fall in just 2:31 and LeValley defeating No. 8 Ganbayar Sanjaa 9-6. With the victory, LeValley moved into second place all-time on the Bison’s career wins list and improved his record this season to 26-1, including a 7-1 mark against ranked opponents.
Back-to-back decisions by David Thompson ’11 and Waltko decreased the Eagles’ lead to 16-14, but American won the last two bouts, with No. 3 Ryan Flores earning a fall at heavyweight to finish the match. The match dropped the Bison’s record to 0-7 against ranked teams this year.
The Bison host the EIWA Championships all day March 5 and 6 in Sojka Pavillion.