CLEVELAND, Ohio – A trio of Vikings went 2-0 on the day as the Cleveland State University wrestling team closed the regular season by suffering a pair of non-conference setbacks as it hosted a tri-dual Saturday inside Woodling Gymnasium.
CSU began its day by dropping a 27-16 decision to Gardner-Webb in a dual in which the winning team was in doubt entering the final bout. The Vikings closed the tri-dual with a 36-9 setback to Northern Illinois. The Huskies had begun the day by topping the Runnin' Bulldogs, 22-18.
"It was a big day for both Evan and Nick Corba," head coach Ben Stehura said. "They needed to win out to get their win percentage close to 70%, and they did that today. Nick beating the 20th ranked kid in the country should help him in his goal toward securing a spot at nationals."
Corba had perhaps the biggest win of the day when he took down Gardner-Webb's Hunter Gamble, who was ranked among the top 20 in FloWrestling's latest rankings at 184 pounds. In that match, Corba used a first-period takedown to take a 2-1 lead after three minutes. After Gamble tied the match with a second-period escape, Corba was able, after multiple attempts, to secure an escape of his own. He would go on to claim a 5-2 decision in his first match of the day.
Cheek and Vaughn both garnered wins via technical fall against the Runnin' Bulldogs.
At 141 pounds, Cheek used a takedown and a pair of four-point near fall efforts to take a 10-0 lead after the first period. He would end the match after five minutes with another takedown followed by four more near fall points.
Vaughn picked up the first win via technical fall of his career without allowing a point. He used three takedowns, six near fall points, an escape, a penalty point on his opponent and a point for riding time to earn a 15-0 win.
Redshirt junior John Martin started the Vikings off on the right foot against GWU. After a scoreless first period, he used an escape and a takedown in the second frame to take a 3-0 lead. He added another takedown in the third and earned a point for riding time, finishing with a 6-1 victory.
After a setback at 133 to GWU, Cheek got the hosts back into the lead at 141. Sophomore Sam Matzek, competing in a dual for the first time in his career, was tied, 2-2, in the second period but went on to drop a 5-2 decision at 149 pounds.
Vaughn's win at 165 would push CSU back into the lead, but Corba's victory was the only bout win for Cleveland State over the final four matches. CSU would have been able to tie the dual with a technical fall in the heavyweight bout but was unable to do so.
Northern Illinois jumped all over Cleveland State at the first two weight classes of the final dual, and the Vikings were never fully able to recover.
Cheek stopped the NIU run by winning a hard-fought match against Angel Velasquez. He used a second-period escape to take a 1-0 lead after five minutes. Velasquez chose neutral to begin the third period, but Cheek refused to allow a takedown, as he held on to win a nip-and-tuck affair.
NIU won the next two matches before Vaughn had a thrilling victory for the Vikings. The Huskies had a 3-1 lead after two periods. Vaughn was able to secure an escape in the third to pull within a point. With his opponent having a point of riding time locked up, Vaughn secured a takedown in the final 10 seconds of regulation to virtually tie the match. Vaughn carried his momentum over into the sudden-victory period and posted a takedown 15 seconds into the frame to claim the win.
After a loss for CSU at 174, Corba picked up his second win of the day. In his match against the Huskies, Corba pitched a shutout, using an escape, a takedown and a point for riding time to earn a 4-0 win.
Freshman Michael Furbee was part of an intense match at heavyweight in the foul bout of the day. However, he fell slightly short, dropping a 4-1 decision.
Cheek improved to 24-9 on the season with his wins. He is now 12-0 this season in matches ending via fall or technical fall. Corba upped his record to 21-7 on the campaign with his wins Saturday. Vaughn surpassed the double-digit win mark Saturday and now owns 11 on the season.
Cleveland State will next be in action when it heads to Bloomsburg for the Eastern Wrestling League Championships Saturday, March 4.
Gardner-Webb 27, Cleveland State 16
125: John Martin (CSU) over Landon LoAlbo (GWU) – 6-1 dec. | CSU leads, 3-0
133: Philip Anderson (GWU) over Andrew Coghill (CSU) – 10-2 MD | GWU leads, 4-3
141: Evan Cheek (CSU) over Dallas Roemer (GWU) – 16-0 TF 5:00 | CSU leads, 8-4
149: Joby Armenta (GWU) over Sam Matzek (CSU) – 5-2 dec. | CSU leads, 8-7
157: Ryan Mosley (GWU) over Ryan Montgomery (CSU) – 16-0 TF 4:46 | GWU leads, 12-8
165: John Vaughn (CSU) over Alex Bennett (GWU) – 15-0 TF 7:00 | CSU leads, 13-12
174: Austin Trott (GWU) over Devon Pingel (CSU) – 16-0 TF 2:25 | GWU leads, 17-13
184: Nick Corba (CSU) over Hunter Gamble (GWU) – 5-2 dec. | GWU leads, 17-16
197: Kyle Ash (GWU) over Collin Kelly (CSU) – 10-2 MD | GWU leads, 21-16
285: Boyce Cornwell (GWU) over Michael Furbee (CSU) – Fall 1:49 | GWU wins, 27-16
Northern Illinois 36, Cleveland State 9
125: Brock Hudkins (NIU) over John Martin (CSU) – Fall 2:23 | NIU leads, 6-0
133: Alijah Jeffery (NIU) over Andrew Coghill (CSU) – 16-1 TF 5:11 | NIU leads, 11-0
141: Evan Cheek (CSU) over Angel Velasquez (NIU) – 2-0 dec. | NIU leads, 11-3
149: Steve Bleise (NIU) over Sam Matzek (CSU) – 19-4 TF 5:42 | NIU leads, 16-3
157: Caden McWhirter (NIU) over Ryan Montgomery (CSU) – Fall 2:31 | NIU leads, 22-3
165: John Vaughn (CSU) over Andrew Scott (NIU) – 6-4 SV | NIU leads, 22-6
174: Trace Engelkes (NIU) over Devon Pingel (CSU) – 16-0 TF 2:46 | NIU leads, 27-6
184: Nick Corba (CSU) over Michael Aldrich (NIU) – 4-0 dec. | NIU leads, 27-9
197: Shawn Scott (NIU) over Collin Kelly (CSU) – Fall 2:48 | NIU leads, 33-9
285: Caleb Gossett (NIU) over Michael Furbee (CSU) – 4-1 dec. | NIU wins, 36-9