The Lock Haven University Division I wrestling team officially started the 2015-16 dual season with four matches in a three-day span.
The Bald Eagles traveled to play the always tough Nittany Lions of Penn State University. Penn State, who is currently ranked No. 1 in the NCAA rankings, cruised to a season opening victory with a 50-0 shutout against the Bald Eagles.
Redshirt-senior Dan Neff and junior Brad Emerick had solid performances at Penn State’s Rec Hall. Neff, a returning All-American, fell 3-1 to No. 2 Jimmy Gulibon, who is also a returning All-American. Brad Emerick came close in a 3-2 decision to Penn State football star Dan Johnson, who received the biggest ovation of the night.
The Bald Eagles later traveled to Troy, N.Y. for the Northeast Duals at Hudson Valley Community College. Lock Haven had three matches that day against No. 10 Nebraska, Hofstra and Buffalo University. The Division I squad started against the NCAA powerhouse Nebraska Cornhuskers, who are currently ranked No. 10 in the NCAA pole. The Bald Eagles got shutout for the second straight match, 41-0. Later, Lock Haven rebounded in an impressive 24-12 victory against Hofstra University. Lock Haven won six of 10 bouts in the victory. Lock Haven ended the weekend with a tough loss to Buffalo University, 17-16. Both Buffalo and Lock Haven won five bouts, but two major decision victories proved to be the difference.
In the Northeast Duals, 197-pounder Phil Sprenkle went 2-1 for the day, only losing to No. 9 Aaron Studebaker of Nebraska. Lock Haven also got victories from No. 12 Neff, Aaron McKinney and Tyler Wood. Neff suffered two tough losses to No. 7 Anthony Abidin of Nebraska and No. 15 Jamel Hudson of Hofstra. McKinney also lost two bouts to Tyler Berger of Nebraska and Jahlanie Callender of Hofstra. Wood lost to Frank Affronti of Hofstra. Jake Field went 2-0 on Sunday with wins against Bryan Damon of Hofstra and Kyle Akins of Buffalo.
The Lock Haven University wrestling team will hit the home mat for the first time this weekend. The Bald Eagles will host a tri-match with Division II Shippensburg and the Boilermakers of Purdue University. Purdue and Shippensburg will face each other for the first time ever at 11 a.m. at the Thomas Fieldhouse.
The Haven will square off with Purdue at 12:30p.m. and Shippensburg at 2:00p.m. The wrestling team will also host the Mat Town Open Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 22 at the Thomas Fieldhouse.
The tournament is open to all collegiate wrestlers and non-collegiate wrestlers.