Lehigh wrestling team rebounds from Penn State loss by crushing Princeton 34-3

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The No. 11 Lehigh wrestling team beat Princeton University, 34-3, on Friday night at Leeman-Turner Arena.

Lehigh’s 10 competing wrestlers came into the match with high intensity, as they had just come off a big loss against Penn State, which currently is the second best team in the nation. Lehigh (4-1, 2-0 EIWA) won all but one out of the 10 bouts with three technical falls to defeat Princeton.

The Mountain Hawks’ best performers were Darian Cruz, Ryan Preisch and Drew Longo, who each put together solid performances. Heavyweight Doug Vollaro closed it out for Lehigh in a victory over Princeton’s Ray O’Donnell. Kyle Gentile also added to the team’s overall performance, as he used a late surge to come from behind and earn a victory.

““I would’ve liked to start off a little better in my match . . . But I knew I had to continue wrestling, and I knew I could still win,” Gentile said. “I stayed in the match and didn’t let it affect me to much. Then, I got my takedown in the third period.”

Darian Cruz said the team wrestled tough and that it was a well-earned victory. Cruz also noted that despite the decisive final score, Princeton was good competition and that it has a strong program.

“We pushed the pace a lot, which was awesome,” Cruz said. “It was a great match to have after the loss to Penn State. It was a good morale booster, especially for the midway point in the season in which we’re at.”

Cruz said his coach, Pat Santoro, told him he expected Cruz to set the tone, and the junior tried to do so to the best of his abilities.

Santoro thought the team wrestled hard and put forth its best effort.  

“Everybody showed up and wrestled hard tonight,” Santoro said. “Tonight, overall I think we did a really nice job.”

Santoro also reflected on how the win was a good one to have after the loss at Penn State. He said the team wrestled hard against Princeton to make an example out of Penn State loss.

Lehigh looks to close out the fall semester with a victory, as well as win its last match of 2016, in another dual against Drexel on Sunday at Leeman-Turner Arena.

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