LANCASTER, Pa. – Virginia Military Institute snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in three bouts to hand Franklin & Marshall a 24-13 setback at Mayser Center Saturday afternoon.
A Matt Brock (6-4) reversal late in the second tiebreak period gave the Keydets (1-0) the meet clinching victory at 174 pounds. The Diplomats (0-3) Matt Fullowan (2-4) traded escapes with Brock in regulation. Fullowan escaped again early in the first tiebreaker and nearly recorded a takedown, but ran out of time. He appeared to have the rideout secured in the second tiebreaker, but Brock was able to score a late reversal and ride the Diplomat out.
It was the third of four bouts VMI took by less than a takedown. The Keydets turned momentum with the second of the four, the 157-pound match. F&M's Eric Norgard (1-4) used two first period takedowns to build an early lead, but Nick Emison (1-2) ground away and took a 5-4 lead on a strong counter in the second period. Norgard reclaimed the lead with a late takedown, but Emison reversed him in the final ten seconds of the bout to make it the 7-6 final.
A late third period takedown by VMI's David Yost (8-4) was the difference at 141 pounds. Yost hit a double late for a 7-5 win over Kenny Knapp (1-4). At 184 pounds, F&M's Matt Latessa (0-5) saw a strong shot countered in the closing seconds of the third period by John Dommert (3-4). Dommert turned the shot into the decisive takedown in an 8-7 bout.
F&M started the day in a six-point hole, forfeiting 125 pounds. Jake Bucha (7-0) started digging F&M out scoring four takedowns a reversal and a pair of near fall points for a 13-4 major of Luke Todd (2-3). Andrew Murano (1-4) got the Diplomats within two points in his first collegiate win. He piled up half of his four takedowns in the first period en route to an 11-6 decision of Rennie Merhige (6-7).
Despite the tough losses at 174 and 184, Colin Ely (3-2) soldiered on for the day's only pin, avenging last year's 7-5 loss to Ronnie Ellsworth (7-5). The wrestlers traded takedowns and escapes in the first period, and Ellsworth carried an 8-6 lead into the third. Ely struck quickly with a solid double in the third, converting the takedown into three back points before sticking the Keydet at 5:40.
VMI 24, F&M 13
125: Jonathan Pope (V) by forfeit (6-0)
133: Jake Bucha (F) maj. dec. Luke Todd (V), 13-4 (6-4)
141: David Yost (V) dec. Kenny Knapp (F), 7-5 (9-4)
149: Andrew Murano (F) dec. Rennie Merhige (V), 11-6 (9-7)
157: Nick Emison (V) dec. Eric Norgard (F), 7-6 (12-7)
165: Joe Munno (V) dec. Anthony Bongarzone (F), 11-5 (15-7)
174: Matt Brock (V) dec. Matt Fullowan (F), 3-2, TB2 (18-7)
184: John Dommert (V) dec. Matt Latessa (F), 8-7 (21-7)
197: Colin Ely (F) pinned Ronnie Ellsworth (V), 5:40
285: Josh Wine (V) dec. Dan Canfield (F), 8-2