Bucknell Wrestling Opens Season with 1-2 Record at ACC Challenge
Nov. 15, 2009
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The Bucknell wrestling team opened its 2009-10 season Sunday afternoon at the ACC Challenge and had three very close matches and came away with a 1-2 record. The Bison defeated host North Carolina 19-14 after falling to No. 20 Virginia (20-13) and Virginia Tech (19-17) earlier in the day.
Bucknell was carried on Sunday by its four captains, veterans David Marble, Kevin LeValley, Andy Rendos and Shane Riccio. That quartet combined to post a 12-0 record with four major decisions. Additionally, freshmen Derrik Russell and Joe McMullan each picked up his first career dual victory.
Overall, the Bison faced eight ranked individuals on Sunday, going a combined 2-6 in those bouts. One of the ranked opponents was Thomas Scotton, a 157-pounder from North Carolina who defeated Brantley Hooks 9-4. Scotton is the son of former Bison Tom Scotton, a three-time national qualifier and a member of the Bucknell Athletics Hall of Fame.
The opening Virginia match was close throughout and Bucknell led 13-12 going into the final two bouts, but the Cavaliers' No. 9-ranked 197-pounder Brent Jones defeated McMullan 9-7 and Calvin Cardillo posted a tech fall victory over Sweeney at heavyweight.
Riccio, ranked 13th nationally and wrestling at his customary 174 pounds, had perhaps the most impressive win of the day against the Cavaliers when he defeated No. 3 Chris Henrich 10-9 in overtime, staking the Bison to a 13-9 advantage.
The Virginia Tech match, which featured Bison head coach Dan Wirnsberger facing a program where he was an assistant for six years, was close throughout as well with the lead changing hands four times. The Hokies ended up taking the victory when D.J. Bruce pinned Sweeney in 6:35 at heavyweight, helping Virginia Tech overcome a 17-13 deficit and Bucknell victories in three of the previous four bouts. Both teams won five individual matches, but the pin was the difference in the final score.
Both Marble, who is ranked 13th at 133 pounds, and 149-pounder LeValley won by major decision, but perhaps the best bout was a matchup of ranked wrestlers at 184 pounds. No. 17 Tommy Spellman defeated Bucknell's No. 19 David Thompson 3-2 at that weight.
Bucknell led wire-to-wire against North Carolina as Russell got things started with a 7-4 decision over Brian Bokoski at 125 pounds for his first career dual victory. Marble followed with a major decision, staking the Bison to an early 7-0 lead. The teams proceeded to split the final eight bouts with LeValley, Rendos, Riccio and McMullan picking up wins for Bucknell.
In addition to Bucknell, No. 16 American and Gardner-Webb also competed in the ACC Challenge. Both went 0-3 against the same three ACC squads as the Bison.
Bucknell will be back in action on Saturday when it travels to Annapolis, Md., for the Navy Classic. The Bison totaled nine placewinners at the event a year ago.
No. 20 Virginia 20, Bucknell 13
Virginia Tech 19, Bucknell 17
Bucknell 19, North Carolina 14
Other ACC Challenge Scores