Fighting Scots wrestling welcomes in powerhouse Michigan

Category:  Sports
Tuesday, February 25th, 2020 at 4:03 PM
Fighting Scots wrestling welcomes in powerhouse Michigan by Paul Petrianni
Tyler Vath wrestles against Michigan's Kanen Storr. | Photo: Jamie Heinrich

The Fighting Scots wrestling team completed their 2020 regular season this weekend as they welcomed both Michigan University and Clarion University to town.

On Friday night, the Scots set out on their goal to declaw the Michigan Wolverines. A raucous McComb Fieldhouse sat patiently waiting for the Division I battle, as a surprising number of Michigan fans and families made the four-hour drive from Ann Arbor to Western Pennsylvania to watch their team. They’d be rewarded for their travel, as the Wolverines topped ‘Boro, 33-5.

“It’s just really good for Edinboro wrestling anytime a smaller school gets to host a Big Ten team,” said 'Boro Head Coach Matt Hill. “We know what wrestling means to Michigan University, and it’s just nice to get to wrestle a tough program.”

The night began in the 127 pound division, with No. 18 Jack Medley taking on EU’s Lucas Rodriguez. Medley was 1 of 4 top-20 guys that Michigan brought into McComb. He would prove worthy of his ranking, taking Rodriguez (14-12) down in a technical fall victory.

Nate Hagan would battle valiantly for the Scots at 141 pounds, ending the first round with a scoreless tie. After giving up four points on a tough scramble, though, Hagan couldn’t recover, losing 5-0.

Michigan, at 149 pounds, would send in their second ranked guy of the night. No. 10 Kanen Storr would take to the mat to face ‘Boro’s Tyler Vath, a match that would be interesting until the final bell. The two transitioned between single legs, but Storr would strike first. A quick escape from Vath, however, would shorten the lead to a single point. That is as close as Vath would get, losing in a very close match, 5-2.

The Wolverines would follow up No. 10 Storr and raise you a No. 9 ranked 157 pounder. Peter Pappas would be tasked with taking on Will Lewan, who has had a very impressive season (18-5 overall record). Lewan would display his excellent abilities; a powerful trip would give him the early lead, a lead Pappas would not be able to overcome. A takedown in the final minute of the match gave Lewan a 7-1 victory.

Michigan’s Tyler Meisinger would continue their undefeated night after taking out Derek Ciavarro quickly in the first round with a fall. The pressure was on Edinboro to garner a victory.

One of the best bouts of the night would then commence, as Edinboro’s lone ranked wrestler, Jacob Oliver, would take on Max Maylor. Oliver, ranked No. 14 at 174 pounds, would come out guns blazing, taking Maylor down very early into their match. Unfortunately, Michigan would challenge the takedown, and they would win the challenge, resetting the score at 0-0. Oliver would secure a single leg once again, but was not able to get anything out of it. They would end this very competitive first round with no points for either challenger.

Oliver, the redshirt sophomore, would trail Maylor 1-0, but after scoring an escape of his own, he’d knot the match at two within the final six seconds of the third round. The two wrestlers were destined for overtime. Oliver made sure nothing was left out on the mat, as he quickly exploded forward and finished his bout with a takedown. He would win 4-2, finally putting ‘Boro in the winners column as McComb erupted for their Fighting Scot challenger.

“He had a shaky match but was able to capitalize and get his hand raised,” Hill said of Oliver’s performance.

Edinboro then began to string a few match victories together as redshirt freshman Cody Mulligan would beat JT Correl in a close 8-7 decision. Mulligan would record two early takedowns in the first round and would lead 5-3. The two combatants would trade reversals in the second. Mulligan would be rewarded with an escape in the third and would ultimately take a 8-7 victory. Some after-the-bell activity would cause ‘Boro to lose a team point due to unsportsmanlike conduct.

“Cody is continuing to find his way as a college wrestler,” said Hill. “Although he is finding his way, he still has a long way to go. But [he] is very green behind his ears and has everything that it takes to be great. He is probably a bit frustrated because of how dominant he was in high school.”

Dylan Reynolds would lose a very close bout to Bobby Stiggow at 197 pounds. The match proved to be even as Reynolds would lose by only two points, 8-6.

The final match of the night would be at heavyweight. ‘Boro’s Jon Spaulding would have the opportunity to go up against the No. 2 guy in the country, Mason Paris. The undefeated Paris would simply prove to be too much for Spaulding, as he would win 10-1.

“Jon pushed Mason very hard; he didn’t make it an easy battle,” said Hill. “We always tell the guys to make them remember you after you wrestle them.”

Paris moved to 26-0 on the year, as Spaulding would fall to a respectable 23-8.

In the follow-up, Edinboro would fall to Clarion University, 17-16 on Sunday. The Scots finished the regular season with a record of 10-10. 

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