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January 27, 2013

UPJ sweeps through Super Region I Duals

NEWBERRY, S.C. — The Pitt-Johnstown wrestling team completed a perfect weekend with three victories during the second day of the Super Region I Duals at Newberry (S.C.) College on Saturday.

“Hard-fought, tough matches,” Pitt-Johnstown coach Pat Pecora said. “We’re getting there. We’re getting better every day. This was a big weekend for a relatively young team to make a nice step forward.”

Pitt-Johnstown followed up a big upset of host Newberry College on Friday night with an impressive roll on Saturday, outscoring three opponents by a combined 100-21. The

11-2 Mountain Cats have won 10 consecutive dual meets.

No letdown was evident as the 11th-ranked Mountain Cats beat Limestone (S.C.) College (37-4); Belmont Abbey (N.C.) College (42-3); and No. 20 North Carolina-Prembroke (21-14).

Overall, Pitt-Johnstown went 4-0 in the Super Region I Duals, including a dramatic 21-14 win over No. 4 Newberry on Friday.

“I’m proud of the guys this weekend,” Pecora said. “To come out of this 4-0 and wrestling against two top-ranked teams, we did well.

“Evan Link, Dave Fogle, Travis McKillop, Josh Duplin, they all went undefeated for the weekend.”

Against Limestone College, UPJ won nine of the 10 individual bouts. Eighth-ranked 133-pounder Dave Fogle and freshman heavyweight Josh Duplin of Westmont Hilltop each won by fall.

Eighth-ranked 184-pounder Travis McKillop earned a technical fall. Pitt-Johnstown led 31-0 at one point of the match.

Against Belmont Abbey, the Cats fell behind 3-0 but then won the final nine bouts. Fogle and McKillop each recorded pins. Pitt-Johnstown 141-pounder Dave Cawley scored a 16-0 technical fall.

“I wasn’t worried about a letdown,” Pecora said, referring to Fiday’s win over Newberry. “I knew we were going to be OK with Limestone and Belmont Abbey. But Pembroke matched up real well with us. The guys came through. When one guy went down, someone else would come back.”

Against North Carolina-Pembroke, the Cats fell behind 14-10. But three straight wins put Pitt-Johnstown back on track.

McKillop had a technical fall, Nikos Garafola won by decision, and Duplin took a 2-1 overtime win to set the final.

“The weekend ended exactly the way it started with a tough match that went down to the heavyweight match,” Pecora said. “Josh Duplin had to seal the deal for us again. Great ending.

“We wrestled well under pressure in some big matches,” he added. “When we needed someone to come through with a tech fall like Travis, he did. When we needed someone like Nikos to come through with a win, he did. It was toe-to-toe, all the way down to the heavyweight match.”

The Mountain Cats will visit Mercyhurst on Friday before returning to the Sports Center to face WVIAC rival Seton Hill on Feb. 6, starting a string of three straight duals at home. Anderson (S.C.) visits on

Feb. 9 with Shippensburg following on Feb. 13.

“We have another tough match against Mercyhurst coming up, so we’ve got to get ready,” Pecora said.

 

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