Bucknell Wrestling Splits with South Dakota State and No. 22 Nebraska
Nov. 27, 2010
LINCOLN, Neb. - The Bucknell wrestling team opened the dual portion of its schedule on Saturday at Devaney Arena and nearly posted a win over a nationally ranked opponent for the first time since 2007. The Bison lost to host No. 22 Nebraska by a 19-16 score, but held a one-point lead going into the final bout. Bucknell (1-1) defeated South Dakota State, 38-3, in its first match of the day.
Five Bison posted two wins on the day as Derek Reber (Lewisburg, Pa./Lewisburg Area), Kevin LeValley (Hugo, Colo./Limon), Brantley Hooks (Spartanburg, S.C./James F. Byrnes), David Thompson (West Liberty, Ohio/Graham Local) and Jay Hahn (Malvern, Pa./Great Valley) claimed victories against both the Jackrabbits and Huskers. LeValley, who is now one win away from becoming the sixth Bison in program history with 100 career victories, is 6-0 this year and 99-37 in his four-year career. He had two bonus-point victories as he recorded a technical fall vs. South Dakota State and a major decision opposite his opponent from the Huskers.
Against Nebraska (3-1), an 11-10 decision by Hahn at 197 pounds gave Bucknell a 16-15 lead with just the heavyweight bout remaining. However, Conor Sweeey (Gladstone, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) faced No. 9 Tucker Lane with the match on the line and lost by a 12-3 major decision.
Bucknell (1-1) also led by 3-0, 10-6 and 13-12 scores against Nebraska, which defeated South Dakota State (1-4) 36-6 later in the afternoon. The Bison won five bouts overall opposite the Huskers, who had three nationally ranked wrestlers in their lineup and all came away with victories.
Bucknell claimed the first nine bouts against the Jackrabbits in the opener, including two forfeits. However, a 6-3 victory by Kevin Kelly over Sweeney at heavyweight gave South Dakota State its first points of the match. LeValley's tech fall at 149 pounds marked the only bonus-point victory for the Bison, outside of forfeits wins by Alex Pellicciotti (Boyertown, Pa./Boyertown Area) and Hahn.
If Bucknell had been able to hold on for a victory over Nebraska, it would have earned its first win over a top-25 team since February of 2007. The Bison defeated then-No. 25 Columbia in February of that year for their only win vs. a nationally ranked team since the program was reinstated prior to the 2006-07 campaign.
Bucknell will have another chance to face a nationally ranked team when it wrestles at No. 2 Oklahoma State on Sunday at 3 p.m. (Eastern).
Match 1: Bucknell 38, South Dakota State 3
Match 2: No. 22 Nebraska 19, Bucknell 16