PAINESVILLE, OHIO – The Lake Erie College wrestling team wraps up a busy stretch with their third match in five days-- and second in that time period against a nationally ranked team—on Tuesday night, when they travel to Ashland University for a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) dual against the 18th-ranked Eagles.
The Storm (7-3, 0-1 GLIAC), who are listed second among others receiving votes in the latest NCAA Division II Wrestling Coaches Association poll, split a pair of road duals this past weekend. Lake Erie went toe-to-toe at 12th-ranked University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Friday night (Jan. 11) before falling to the Mountain Cats 23-13. The Storm then rebounded with an emphatic 44-3 victory at Millersville University the following day.
Lake Erie had four wrestlers go unbeaten on the weekend. Sophomore Austin Gillihan (Corry, Pa./Corry Area) upset 8th-ranked Dan Fogle of UPJ 2-0 on Friday night and then picked up a pin in just 31 seconds into his match Saturday to improve his season record to 17-4. Junior Zak Vargo (Stow, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy) earned a pin and a major decision in his two matches at 157 pounds, upping his mark to 17-7. Sophomore All-American Matt Vandermeer (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) ran his winning streak to 11 straight with a pair of victories, moving to 22-5 on the season, while Almonte Patrick (Maple Heights, Ohio/Maple Heights) earned an overtime decision at UPJ and a pin at Millersville. He is now 16-6.
The Eagles (6-2) are coming off a 4-1 performance at the Central Missouri Duals. Their only loss at the event was a 20-19 setback against the number one team in the country, University of Nebraska-Kearney. They've been led to date by freshman Michael Labry who is 20-0 and ranked fourth nationally at 133 pounds. He'll be matched up with Gillihan on Tuesday night for what should be one of the most anticipated bouts of the evening. Sophomore Joe Brandt is 20-2 at 197 pounds and ranked fourth.
Following Tuesday night's match, the Storm will have a week off before hosting Gannon University for a nonconference match on Youth Night, Wednesday, Jan. 23.