Coming off a dissappointing MAC loss on the road at Eastern Michigan last weekend, the UB Wrestling team looked to rebound at home for their first home dual of the season against the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs.
Kyle Akins started the night off with a dominant 9-0 major decision victory over Cortez Starkes of Gardner-Webb that saw Akins rack up over 4 minutes of riding time en route to giving UB an early 4-0 lead. Then, Bryan Lantry took undefeated senior Tyler Ziegler into overtime and won on a beautiful takedown after a scramble on the mat to put UB up 7-0. Brandon Lapi continued the UB momentum with a dominating 11-3 major decision victory where he too racked up over 5 minutes of riding time. Lapi was in complete control from start to finish and picked up the bonus points to put UB in control 11-0.
Gardner-Webb would finally get on the board after Colt Cotten lost a heartbreaker in overtime. Cotten was burned by a reversal that put his man up 2-1 before tying the match with an escape to send the bout to overtime. In overtime Cotten was looking for an upper-body throw but was countered and taken down to the mat.
Tim Schaefer wrestled a back and forth match against Kyle Ash at 157 pounds, with a tie at 1-1 heading into late in the 3rd period. In dramatic fashion, Schaefer scored a takedown as time expired to take the 3-1 decision and put UB ahead 14-3 heading into halftime.
Coming out of halftime, Tyler Rill put his takedown skills on display, and a theatrical display at the end. Rill had Austin Trott, a former NCAA qualifier gassed after a period and unleashed 3 vicious takedowns before heading into the 3rd period. However, Trott had Rill in a bad position and Rill was giving up back points before he turned his hips and planted Trott on his back for the pinfall victory to put UB up 20-3.
Muhamed McBryde followed up Rill's pin with a solid 3-2 victory over Brett Stein at 174 pounds to give UB a 23-3 heading into the final 3 bouts of the evening. First, Joe Ariola took on Gardner-Webb's only ranked grappler in #27 Hunter Gamble and scored an early takedown to take a 2-1 lead after the 1st period. Ariola followed that up with a sweet takedown that took Gamble to his back, but he was unable to secure the pinfall. Instead, Ariola took a 6-2 advantage heading into the final stanza. Ariola earned another 4 points in addition to a riding time point to pull off a huge upset victory with a 11-3 major decision to seal the match for UB.
James Benjamin earned a hard fought 5-4 decision at 197 pounds to extend the team lead 30-3 heading into the final bout at 285 pounds. After an early takedown, Jake Gunning was nearly pinned after getting caught out of position on a toss attempt digging himself a 7-2 hole after 1 period.
Unfortunately Gunning was unable to overcome and fell in a 12-6 decision.
Momentum is the name of the game in wrestling and UB controlled the momentum throughout the match and it showed. This was as dominating of a victory as I've seen from this squad and whatever John Stutzman said to his team after the EMU match, it worked.
UB collected their first home victory since 2013 and improve to 5-2 on the season.
They take to the mat again Sunday when they head to Ohio to take on Kent State.
125: Akins (UB) maj. dec. Starkes (GW), 9-0
133: Lantry (UB) SV-1 Ziegler (GW), 3-1
141: Lapi (UB) maj. dec. Hull (GW) 11-3
149: Mosely (GW) SV-1 Cotten (UB), 4-2
157: Schaefer (UB) dec. Ash (GW), 3-1
165: Rill (UB) pinned Trott (GW)
174: McBryde (UB) dec. Stein (GW), 3-2
184: Ariola (UB) maj. dec. #27 Gamble (GW), 11-3
197: Benjamin (UB) dec. Jones (GW), 5-4
285: Cornwell (GW) dec. #26 Gunning (UB) 12-6