PAINESVILLE, OHIO – In what Northeast Ohio wrestling fans hopes develops into a great rivalry, the Lake Erie College wrestling team's dual with two-time defending NAIA champions went down to the final match. But ultimately the Storm's comeback bid came up short in a 24-15 setback to visiting Notre Dame College on Friday night (Jan. 20) at the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic & Wellness Center.
After dropping the first three matches, the Storm (6-6) mounted a comeback. Redshirt freshman Mikey Samijlenko (Parma, Ohio/Normandy) took down Eddie Hupp in overtime for a 5-3 decision at 197 pounds for the first Lake Erie victory of the night and his tenth win of the season.
The drama was heightened in the heavyweight bout when Storm freshman Bobby Zappitelli (Painesville Twp., Ohio/Lake Catholic), trailing 2-1, flipped Notre Dame's (1-0) Dan Demick right before the horn in the third period for a 3-2 win. It was the third straight dual meet win for the big freshman.
Classmate Austin Gillihan (Corry, Pa./Corry Area) won the Storm's third straight match, this one in convincing fashion at 125 pounds, 8-2. Notre Dame took decisions at 133 and 141-pounds to extend the lead to 18-9.
Sophomore Zak Vargo (Stow, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy) pinned Louden Gordon 40 seconds into the second round to improve to 7-3 and close the gap to 18-15 heading into the final match.
The finale was a close match into the third when Ashtin Primus picked up a controversial pin of Tyler Tesny (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio/Cuyahoga Falls) at the 5:10 mark following a caution call.
Tonight's results were a marked improvement over last year's inaugural meeting between the schools when Notre Dame cruised to a 46-3 victory at the Osborne Center. The rivalry only figures to intensify when the Falcons join the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) as an associate member.
The Storm closes out the home portion of their schedule next weekend when they host 13th-ranked University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 2 p.m.
Notre Dame College 24, Lake Erie 15
Friday Jan. 20, 2012 | Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic & Wellness Center (Attendance: 162)
125: Austin Gillihan (LEC) dec. Matt Perez (NDC), 8-2
133: Paul Rose (NDC) dec. Ian Ross (LEC), 7-1
141: Austin Sanders (NDC) dec. Tom McVicker (LEC), 11-6
149: Zak Vargo (LEC) pinned Louden Gordon, 3:40
157: Ashtin Primus (NDC) pinned Tyler Tesny (LEC), 5:10
165: Jared King (NDC) dec. Matt Vandermeer (LEC), 7-5
174: Jon Bittnger (NDC) dec. Zev Green (LEC), 8-1
184: Charles Mason (NDC) pinned Jon Schafer (LEC), 4:51
197: Mikey Samijlenko (LEC) dec. Eddie Hupp (NDC), 5-3 (OT)
Hwt: Bobby Zappitelli (LEC) dec. Dan Demick, 3-2