The No. 11 Lehigh Mountain Hawks’ wrestling team were hoping to continue another very successful season against two Ivy league programs at the Leeman Turner Arena in Grace Hall.
They won head-to-head bouts against the Harvard University Crimson and the Brown University Bears, winning 36-3 and 33-6, respectively, to improve to 12-4.
The Harvard match kicked off with a forfeit from Harvard in the 125-pound division because of a lack of wrestler. Junior Mason Beckman had an impressive day in the 133-pound division, winning his two matches with a score of 15-0 versus Harvard’s Ryan Osleeb in the first round and 16-0 early in the second round of his match versus Brown’s Zeke Salvo.
“(It felt) good,” Beckman said. “More importantly we wrestled really well. Guys were attacking for every point, moving forward and you really started to see late in the year the things we’ve been preaching, the things our staff preaches.”
Sophomore Randy Cruz went one for two on the day, losing his first match against Harvard’s Todd Preston 1-0 and winning against Brown’s Anthony Finocchiaro 3-0, which was a great turnaround in the second match.
Freshman Drew Longo won both of his matches in the 149-pound division. His first match was an automatic win when he reached 17 points over Harvard’s Patrick Hogan’s four points. He won his second match 3-2 against Brown’s William McDonald, which was one of three matches in a row ending with a nosebleed from a Brown wrestler. McDonald’s nosebleed caused at least three timeouts, all of which caused between 20 and 30 minutes of stoppage time in the match.
In the 157-pound division, sophomore Mitch Minotti won both of his matches versus Harvard and Brown by points won, 10-2 and 3-1, respectively. Minotti’s second match also resulted in a Brown wrestler getting a nosebleed. Justin Staudenmayer of Brown was the second of two Brown wrestlers to get a nosebleed but unlike McDonald’s, Staudenmayer’s only caused a couple minutes of stoppage.
The heavyweight matches were between sophomore Doug Vollaro of Lehigh and David Ng of Harvard. It went into a sixth round, with three rounds being the normal length of a wrestling match, and resulted in a win by Vollaro. Vollaro also wrestled Brown’s Gus Marker and won the match 6-2. Vollaro also got a nosebleed in this match, making it Lehigh’s first nosebleed.
Freshman Scott Parker had to forfeit his match against Brown because of health and muscular issues according to junior Eric Hess. Brown had to forfeit the 184-pound division match because its wrestler, Ophir Bernstein, was also dealing with health issues, giving junior Nate Brown of the Mountain Hawks a win by default. Nate Brown also won his first match against Harvard’s Josh Popple 11-3.
Sophomore Elliot Riddick took on Harvard’s James Fox in the 197-pound division. Fox was winning 3-2 until the last 30 seconds of the match when Riddick reversed for a point and got two takedowns, giving Riddick a 7-3 win. The second match in the 197-division was between junior John Bolich and Brown’s Austin Pfarr, and Bolich beat Pfarr 6-1.
The team will have its final meet of the season against George Mason University at Leeman-Turner Arena on Feb. 14 at 7 p.m.