LEWISBURG, Pa. – Thanks to wins in the final five bouts, including an exclamation-point pin by Tyler Smith to conclude the match, the Bucknell wrestling team overcame an early 10-0 deficit and defeated Penn by a 22-13 score Friday evening in front of a loud crowd in Davis Gym. It was the fourth consecutive win for the Bison, who improved to 6-4, 4-1 EIWA on the year. Penn fell to 2-5, 0-4 EIWA.
The match began at 149 pounds and the Quakers won the first three bouts to open up the double-figure advantage. However, Bucknell won six of the final seven bouts on its way to the victory.
D.J. Hollingshead got things started at 174 with a convincing 9-1 major decision over Quinton Hiles. Hollingshead finished with more than five minutes of riding time, and his emotions on the mat got the crowd behind him.
“D.J. wrestled with emotion tonight,” commented Bucknell head coach Dan Wirnsberger. “Someone needed to get this crowd going and he did that tonight. He has gotten our team going in four different duals this year.”
After a loss at 184, Bucknell ran the table the rest of the way with four straight decisions and then the match-ending pin by Smith.
In the lone matchup of nationally ranked opponents, Tom Sleigh posted a 3-2 decision at 197 pounds, defeating Frank Mattiace. The difference in the match was a third-period takedown by Sleigh, who won his 13th consecutive bout.
Tyler Greene was outsized at 285 pounds by Tyler Hall, but came away with an 8-4 victory. Greene outscored Hall 5-3 in the third period thanks to a pair of takedowns.
A crowd full of Lewisburg fans who had watched their Green Dragons take on Southern Columbia in a high school match just prior to Bucknell-Penn watched 2016 Lewisburg graduate Jordan Gessner post a 6-5 win over Jeremy Schwartz at 125 pounds. A penalty point that Gessner earned in the third period proved to be the difference in the close match. It was Gessner’s third consecutive win.
“Jordan has developed and is starting to figure things out,” praised Wirnsberger. “He battles in practice and now he is taking it to the competition mat.”
Gessner’s victory tied the score at 13-13 with just two bouts remaining.
Joey Gould gave Bucknell its first lead with a 7-2 victory at 133 pounds. He scored two points in every period and earned the riding time point thanks to a more than four-minute advantage.
Smith then closed the match with a dominating performance at 141 pounds. He led 19-5 when he finally pinned Patrick Munn with 38 seconds remaining in the final period. Smith had four takedowns in the final period.
Friday’s match marked the beginning of a busy weekend for the Bison, who will travel to Bloomsburg for a 2 p.m. match on Sunday.
Bucknell 22, Penn 13
149: Joe Oliva (P) maj. dec. David Kelly (BU), 12-2.
157: May Bethea (P) dec. No. 11/10/17 Victor Lopez (BU), 3-2.
165: Brooks Martino (P) dec. Joey Krulock (BU), 2-0.
174: D.J. Hollingshead (BU) maj. dec. Quinton Hiles (P), 9-1.
184: Joe Heyob (P) dec. Drew Phipps (BU), 7-2.
197: No. 16/11/17 Tom Sleigh (BU) dec. No. 15/20/13 Frank Mattiace (P) 3-2.
285: Tyler Greene (BU) dec. Tyler Hall (P), 8-4.
125: Jordan Gessner (BU) dec. Jeremy Schwartz (P), 6-5.
133: Joey Gould (BU) dec, Tristin DeVincenzo (P), 7-2.
141: No. 19/15/14 Tyler Smith (BU) pinned Patrick Munn (P), 6:22.