Nate Brown wrestles in the National Championships at St. Louis, Missouri, in the 184-pound weight class against Cornell University wrestler Gabe Dean. Lehigh fell to Cornell 21-20 on Saturday to drop to 8-2 on the season. (Photos courtesy of Eric Hess)

No. 10 Cornell wrestling team edges No. 7 Lehigh, 21-20

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In a battle of top 10 wrestling programs in the country, the No. 10 Cornell wrestling team squeaked by No. 7 Lehigh to pull off the upset, 21-20, Saturday at Grace Hall.

The Mountain Hawks (8-2, 6-1 EIWA) held their biggest lead at 17-3, but a slew of wins later on in the dual by the Big Red pushed them over the edge for the win. In all, the teams each won five matches.

Senior Darian Cruz started off the dual by dominating Noah Baughman 17-1, winning by technical fall in the 125-pound class. Cornell grabbed a win in the 133-pound match, but senior Randy Cruz, senior Laike Gardner and sophomore Jordan Kutler strung together three straight wins for Lehigh.

Cornell then took back control by winning the next four matches, as sophomore Cole Walter, junior Ryan Preisch, sophomore Andrew Price and senior Ben Haas of Lehigh lost. Senior Doug Vollaro won the heavyweight bout, but it still wasn’t enough, as his win by decision left the Hawks still down a point.

Lehigh’s schedule gets even more difficult as it will host No. 5 Virginia Tech on Jan. 27 at Grace Hall. Its final EIWA matchup will also be its last regular season dual, a meeting with Army on Feb. 10.

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