PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Highlighted by an upset win at 149 pounds by sophomore Zak Vargo (Stow, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy), the Lake Erie College wrestling team engaged in a back-and-forth affair Wednesday night (Feb. 8) at Gannon University, with each team winning five matches, but the Storm came up just short in a 22-18 setback at The Hammermill Center.
The host Golden Knights (8-5), who are listed in the receiving votes portion of the latest NWCA Division II Coaches Poll, led by a single point at 19-18 heading into the final match of the evening. It was there that heavyweight Chaz Lear edged Bobby Zappitelli (Painesville Township, Ohio/Lake Catholic) 5-2 to clinch the victory for Gannon.
But arguably the biggest win of the night was the one by Vargo who beat the nation's four-ranked wrestler, fifth-year senior Ethan Swope, 4-1. It was the seventh straight win in dual competition for Vargo who was coming off a perfect 3-0 record at the inaugural Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Championships on Sunday at Ashland University.
Vargo's win was part of a six-match streak of alternating victories. Gannon earned wins at 125, 141 and 157 pounds – including two by pin – but the Storm (7-10) kept pace. Sophomore Tom McVicker (South Fork, Pa./Forest Hills/Penn Highlands) pinned 17-match winner Adam Weinell at 133 pounds and seventh-ranked freshman Matt Vandermeer (Clarkston, Ohio/Clarkston) shut out Sam Brehm 5-0 at 165 pounds.
Sophomore Zev Green (Marysville, Ohio/Marysville) followed with a 9-2 decision over Adam Greenman at 174 pounds, the only time all evening either of the two teams won two straight matches. Green's victory made the score 16-15 in favor of Gannon.
The Knights pulled ahead by four with a decision win at 184 pounds, but the Storm again closed within a single point when redshirt freshman Mikey Samijlenko (Parma, Ohio/Normandy) pulled out a 9-7 win at 197 pounds. That set the stage for the final winner-take-all finale which went to Lear.
The Storm is back on the mat this weekend when it travels to Bristol, Tenn. for a tri-match with Ohio Valley University at King College.
Gannon 22, Lake Erie 18
Wednesday Feb. 8, 2012 | Hammermill Center (Erie, Pa.)
125: Matthew Turek (GU) pinned Austin Gillihan (LEC), 6:50
133: Tom McVicker (LEC) pinned Adam Weinell (GU), 6:12
141: Scott Bulzan (GU) maj. dec. Kevin Brunner (LEC), 13-5
149: Zak Vargo (LEC) dec. Ethan Swope (GU), 4-1
157: Sean Floor (GU) pinned Tyler Tesny (LEC), 6:53
165: Matt Vandermeer (LEC) dec. Sam Brehm (GU), 5-0
174: Zev Green (LEC) dec. Adam Greeman (GU), 9-2
184: Zack Zelcs (GU) dec. Josh Linden, 3-0
197: Mikey Samijlenko (LEC) dec. Chris Boyd (GU), 9-7
285: Chaz Lear (GU) dec. Bobby Zappitelli (LEC), 5-2