In a great collegiate wrestling atmosphere, the No. 16 Wheeling Jesuit Cardinals gave No. 1 Notre Dame College all it could handle, but fell short of an upset, 24-15.
The Cardinals’ Dominick Nania produced the loudest roar from the home crowd when he rushed the Falcons’ Zach Dailey, lifted him and completed the fall in 57 seconds at 149. WJU also saw Dustin Warner (125) and Dean Meyer (174) earn late-match wins and 285-pounder Logan Bowman finished the night with a late-decision victory.
“It was our first change to have a dual like we want on a night. Obviously, wrestling No. 1 amped everything up with a great atmosphere and big crowd support,” said Cardinals head coach Sean Doyle. “Notre Dame just won the National Duals, but I don’t think any of those duals there were this close. For us to get 15 points with where we are as a program, it is huge.”
WJU (8-6) and its 15 team points ties the most allowed by top-ranked Notre Dame this season. The Falcons (10-0) allowed 15 points only to defending National Champion St. Cloud State (21-15) and No. 8 Mercyhurst (24-15), both as part of the National Duals on Jan. 8-9.
Ending the night, Bowman trailed Super Region I’s No. 5 ranked 285-pounder Almonte Patrick, 2-0, after two periods. The sophomore escaped in the first nine seconds of period three, before he worked his way to a lift takedown with 42 seconds and rode out the 5-2 victory.
“Against a guy ranked in the region, Logan maintained and wrestled really hard. I told our guys we want to make them fight for seven minutes and we did throughout our lineup. You can see this with Keegan (Driscoll) almost pulling out the last-second win, while Dean (Meyer), DJ (Warner) and Logan all won late,” explained Doyle.
In the opening 125 bout, Warner started the night with his own crowd-pleasing finish. Tied 2-2, the sophomore secured a takedown with two seconds left in the match for the 4-2 victory.
The Falcons tied the match, 3-3, in the second match. The nation’s No. 6 rated 133-pound wrestler, David Bavery, fended off a hard-charging Nolan Whitely and escaped with a 7-6 decision on riding time advantage.
Trailing 9-3, the surging Nania took the mat at 149. The Cardinals junior trailed 6-0 in the early first period to Dailey. After working back to neutral behind 6-1, Daily shot in, but Nania met him, lifted him and turned him on the mat into the fall in a total time of 57 seconds. It was Nania’s team-leading 11th fall of the season and he improved to 22-5.
In another exciting ending, Driscoll almost pulled out a 165-pound victory. The freshman trailed 12-4, but outscored Notre Dame’s No. 6 nationally-ranked Juwan Edmond, 8-1 in the final of the match. Driscoll took Edmond down for a final time with two seconds left, but his comeback come up shy of the win, 14-12.
At 174, Meyer continued his strong wrestling. The second-year WJU wrestler took a 2-0 lead with 28 seconds left in the first period and never lost the advantage on Super Region I’s No. 2 ranked Justan Rivera. Meyer allowed only a second-period escape, while he took Edmond down one more time at in the third for the eventual 5-1 victory.
WJU has a week off until it travels for a ? night, , dual match at Millersville. First match begins at ?
No. 1 Notre Dame College 24, 16 Wheeling Jesuit 15
125 – Dustin Warner (WJU) dec. Jacob Goodwin (NDC), 4-2 –– WJU 3-0
133 – David Bavery (NDC) dec. Nolan Whitely (WJU), 7-6 –– Tied 3-3
141 – Cobey Fehr (NDC) fall Damon Outward (WJU), –– NDC 9-3
149 – Dominick Nania (WJU) fall Zach Dailey (NDC), –– Tied 9-9
157 – Jonatan Rivera (NDC) dec. Reyse Wallbrown (WJU), 8-4 –– NDC 12-9
165 – Juwan Edmond (NDC) dec. Keegan Driscoll (WJU), 14-12 –– NDC 15-9
174 – Dean Meyer (WJU) dec. Justan Rivera (NDC), 5-1 –– NDC 15-12
184 – Joey Davis (NDC) maj. dec. Sawyer Leppla (WJU), 12-0 –– NDC 19-12
197 – Garrett Lineberger (NDC) tech fall Terrance Fanning (WJU), 16-0 () –– NDC 24-12
285 – Logan Bowman (WJU) dec. Almonte Patrick (NDC), 5-2 –– NDC 24-15