Jan. 14, 2012
BETHLEHEM, Pa. — The 15-ranked Lehigh wrestling team (6-4/2-1 EIWA) won eight of the 10 bouts, including each of the evening’s first three matches, to hand Navy (3-4/1-1 EIWA) a 28-6 loss Saturday night at Grace Hall in Bethlehem, Pa. Four of the bouts were decided by two points or less, including three matches that went in favor of the Mountain Hawks.
“We had several close matches again tonight,” said 12th-year Navy head coach Bruce Burnett. “There were some guys that did not put forth their best effort tonight and when you wrestle a good team like Lehigh, you have to give your best effort. I felt like we had some guys who were intimidated inside the arena and it showed. If you don’t do the little things right like sprawling, controlling the tie up, simple fighting, then the outcome is not going to be what you had hoped for.”
The competition began at 184 pounds in what was deemed to be the most anticipated matchup of the night, featuring fourth-ranked Robert Hamlin of Lehigh against 13th-ranked Luke Rebertus (Gloucester, Va.) of Navy. Hamlin, who dropped a 5-4 decision to Rebertus in last year’s dual match in Annapolis, avenged his loss by capturing a 6-2 decision over Rebertus. Hamlin opened up the match with a takedown and sealed the victory with a late takedown.
The Mountain Hawks pushed their lead to 9-0 with consecutive wins at 197 and 285 pounds. Lehigh senior Kadeem Samuels used three first-period takedowns to deal Navy newcomer Paul Rands (Cary, Ill.) an 11-6 loss, while third-ranked and defending National Champion Zach Rey of Lehigh managed to outlast Navy junior Dan Miller (Berlin, Md.) in the heavyweight bout, 3-1, thanks to a takedown in the opening period.
The Mids finally got on the scoreboard thanks to a 7-5 decision by senior Tyler Sackett (Omaha, Neb.) at 125 pounds. Sackett, who has battled a knee injury throughout the season, returned to the mat Friday night against East Stroudsburg, scoring a fall in the evening’s first bout. On Saturday, he earned a hard-fought 7-5 victory over junior Alex Abreu.
Lehigh went on to win the next three matches, which included a disappointing loss by Navy senior captain Aaron Kalil (Salem, N.H.) at 133 pounds. Kalil, who is ranked 19th nationally, suffered a 6-5 loss at the hands of Lehigh rookie Mason Beckman in the first tie breaker. Kalil scored first and led 2-1 after one period. A Beckman escape in the second knotted the match at two. In the third period, Kalil escaped and then took a 5-2 lead with a takedown, but Beckman rallied to escape and was able to work his way into the tying takedown at the edge of the mat just before the end of regulation. After a scoreless sudden victory period, Beckman rode out Kalil in the first 30 second tiebreaker, and was able get free for an escape in the final three seconds of the second 30 second period to take the win.
Navy earned its second win of the night at 157 pounds when junior Bobby Barnhisel (River Forest, Ill.) shut out Lehigh senior Brian Tanen, 7-0. Like Sackett, Barnhisel had missed a good portion of the season with a knee injury but returned to competition a week ago when he upset then 12th-ranked Matt Lester of Oklahoma. Barnhisel has now won three-straight duals and six of his last seven matches of the season.
Lehigh, meanwhile, sealed the victory by taking wins at the final two weight classes, including another close match which saw freshman Nate Brown edging the Mids’ Oscar Huntley (Stafford, Va.), 4-3 at 174 pounds. Brown scored a first period takedown and added escapes in the second and third periods.
While Navy narrowly leads the Mountain Hawks with a 47-45 series advantage, the Mids have now lost eight straight to Lehigh on its home mat.
“Hopefully we can bounce back and get things turned around. We’ve got to get over the hump and win some of these close matches. Momentum is a funny thing, a win here or there can make all the difference in a match.”
Navy will be back in action next Friday when it plays host to the neighboring Maryland Terrapins, who are ranked 14th nationally. Action is slated for a 7:30 pm start at Alumni Hall.
Lehigh 28, Navy 6
184 – #4 Robert Hamlin (L) dec. #13 Luke Rebertus, 6-2
197 – Kadeem Samuels (L) dec. Paul Rands, 11-6
285 – #3 Zach Rey (L) dec. Dan Miller, 3-1
125 – Tyler Sackett (N) dec. Alex Abreu, 7-5
133 – Mason Beckman (L) dec. #19 Aaron Kalil, 6-5, t.b.
141 – #17 Steve Dutton (L) major dec. Raymond Borja, 12-3
149 – Shane Welsh (L) dec. Peyton Walsh, 10-5
157 – Bobby Barnhisel (N) dec. Brian Tanen, 7-0
165 – Sean Bilodeau (L) Fall Mike Brant, 3:36
174 – Nate Brown (L) dec. Oscar Huntley, 4-3
Attendance – 1,433
### Go Navy ###