NEWBERRY, S.C. – UNCP split 10 individual match-ups with Mercyhurst, but the Braves used key victories by Shane Nolan and all-American J.J. Davis to slip by the Lakers, 22-18, and wrap up a perfect weekend at the Super Region I Duals Saturday afternoon in Newberry's Eleazer Arena.
The win gave UNCP (12-6) a perfect 4-0 weekend at the prestigious event, while also helping the current edition of the Black and Gold tie the mark for third-most wins all-time. The loss snapped a three-match winning streak for Mercyhurst (4-8) whose last loss against UNCP came during the 2004-05 campaign. UNCP's current four-match winning streak is the longest since 2002-03.
Down 6-0 on the scoreboard after forfeiting the 125-pound match, Mercyhurst used David Bolger's 10-4 decision at 133 pounds and Lance Pitcel's pin at 141 pounds to take a 9-6 advantage. The lead would be short-lived, however, as Brandon Bradley booked an 8-2 decision over Robert Blotzer and Mike Williams used a late reversal to upset third-ranked Andy Lamancusa. The duo would hand the lead back to UNCP, 12-9, heading into the second half of the team match-up.
The teams traded major decisions in the next two bouts as top-ranked Josh Shields defeated Rashaad Saunders by a 12-2 count and Davis answered with a 16-5 rout of Pat Leahy, before Mercyhurst tied things back up at 16 apiece on Eric Lundgren's 7-3 decision over John Sturrock.
A penalty point (bench infraction), coupled with Shane Nolan's pin of Chris Nocchi in the 197-pound bout would, inevitably, wrap things up for UNCP heading into the final match of the night. Fred Hale would give Mercyhurst points going away, however, as he turned in a tight 3-1 decision over Erik Stancil in the heavyweight match.
UNCP will be back in action again on Friday when the Braves suit up to battle region rival St. Andrews in a 7 p.m. match at the English E. Jones Center. The event will be preceded by Senior Night festivities as the Black and Gold's 5-member Class of 2009 – Bradley, Davis, Saunders, Stancil and Derving Rios – will be honored prior to the start of wrestling action.
UNCP 22, Mercyhurst 18
125: Russell Weakley (UNCP) forfeit No Entry (MC) For
133: David Bolger (MC) dec. Timdarius Thurston (UNCP) D 10-4
141: Lance Pitcel (MC) pinned Matthew Sharp (UNCP) F 4:37
149: Brandon Bradley (UNCP) dec. Robert Blotzer (MC) D 8-2
157: Mike Williams (UNCP) dec. #3 Andy Lamancusa (MC) D 5-4
165: #1 Josh Shields (MC) maj. dec. Rashaad Saunders (UNCP) M 12-2
174: #5 J.J. Davis (UNCP) maj. dec. Pat Leahy (MC) M 16-5
184: Eric Lundgren (MC) dec. John Sturrock (UNCP) D 7-3
197: Shane Nolan (UNCP) pinned Chris Nocchi (MC) F 4:38
285: Fred Hale (MC) dec. Erik Stancil (UNCP) D 3-1
Starting Weight: 125
Notes: Mercyhurst deducted one team point (coach penalty)
Records: UNCP 12-6; Mercyhurst 4-8