Wrestling drops close Senior Night

Category:  Sports
Thursday, February 28th, 2019 at 10:10 AM
Wrestling drops close Senior Night by Chris Rosato Jr.
Photo: Grace Montgomery

Through most of Friday’s dual season finale, it looked like Edinboro wrestling might head into the EWL tournament with a win over PSAC foe Clarion, but a bonus-point match win for the Golden Eagles early in the night ended up being the deciding factor. The Fighting Scots would fall 18-15 at home on Senior Night.

Before the meet began, redshirt senior Avery Henry and graduate student Arick Shankles were honored on the mat. Shankles was winless in five dual starts this season at 125 pounds, and he finishes his career 6-15. Henry also lost his only dual start this season at 141 pounds and is 5-29 in his career.

The two squads exchanged wins through the first four matches, but a pin by Clarion’s Seth Koleno over Richie Gomez at 133 pounds early in the third period helped stake his team out to an early lead. Edinboro’s Lucas Rodriguez had begun the night with an 8-2 decision over Gavin Park.

Carmine Ciotti’s victory at 144 pounds over Clarion’s Andrew Gapas was anything but guaranteed, as a challenge from Head Wrestling Coach Matt Hill that Ciotti had earned a takedown early in the first period was defeated. The challenge was necessary because the takedown attempt took both men toward the edge of the mat, forcing the referee to call them back to the center — without awarding Ciotti the two points. 

After reviewing the action, it appeared that the call couldn’t be changed because it happened outside of the frame of the closest camera. Ciotti said he wasn’t upset about not getting the call. 

“It could have been the ref, [but] you can’t always count on the edges of the mat,” said Ciotti, who would go on to earn an 8-2 decision victory. “You live and you learn and you come back.”

Clarion would go on a run of three straight decision victories before Jacob Oliver would help put Edinboro back into the flow with an 8-4 decision at 174 pounds.

Edinboro’s Zach Ancewicz followed with a heated victory at 184 pounds against Ty Bagoly in a rematch from the PSAC Championship tournament earlier this season. Ancewicz defeated Bagoly en route to winning the 184-pound championship, while Bagoly would settle for third. 

“This is actually my third time wrestling him. I wrestled him in high school, too, so I kind of knew what to expect,” Ancewicz said. “I knew that I wanted to go to the underhooks. I knew he was going to keep his elbows in. So I just made small adjustments during the match and that paid off.”

Ancewicz got to Bagoly’s legs multiple times, completing a takedown in the first and again in the third. Bagoly had an escape in the second and third periods, and Ancewicz began the third with an escape to give him the 5-2 decision. With hand-fighting more common in this match than in others this season, Bagoly — seemingly frustrated with the loss — appeared to slap Ancewicz as the final buzzer hit. No disciplinary actions were taken by the referee.

“I mean, it happens. It’s wrestling,” Ancewicz said. “You know, he shoved me a little bit, but I’ve been there before. I’m not going to hold anything against him. It happens; it’s nothing personal. It’s just wrestling.”

With Edinboro trailing 15-12 and two matches remaining, Dylan Reynolds had an opportunity to tie things up with a decision at 197 pounds. In his way was No. 17 Greg Bulsak, who put together a takedown in the first period and two escape points through the final two periods to take away the possibility of an Edinboro win. While a pin at heavyweight for Edinboro would tie things up, anything less would fall short.

Hill turned to Jon Spaulding, who could only muster a bittersweet 10-6 decision victory over Toby Cahill to bring the final tally to 18-15. Spaulding tried to run up the score, hoping to earn bonus points for Edinboro, by repeatedly taking Cahill down and then letting him escape in the third period. At one point he led 10-3, but Cahill followed with an escape and a takedown of his own in the final 30 seconds to bring the score to 10-6.

Oliver and Spaulding helped their individual cases to move up the ratings percentage index and coaches’ poll with wins. Oliver was No. 11 at 174 pounds in the first RPI announcement while Spaulding was No. 30 at heavyweight. Reynolds had also been ranked No. 30 at 197 pounds before his loss to Bulsak.

Clarion improved to 7-6 and 4-2 in the EWL while the Fighting Scots finished their dual season 1-5 in the conference and 2-9 overall. The EWL tournament will take place at George Mason University March 9.

Christopher Rosato Jr. | sports.spectator@gmail.com

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