BUFFALO, NY – The Buffalo wrestling team (1-10, 1-4 MAC) suffered another heartbreaking defeat Saturday afternoon, losing to Northern Illinois in the final match of the day. It was senior day for four UB seniors – Mark Lewandowski, John-Martin Cannon, Jedd Mason, and Chris Conti.
Max Soria kicked things off with a 10-0 major decision over NIU's Derek Elmore at 125, but the Huskies responded with a major at 133.
At 141, Erik Galloway continued to dominate at his new weight and held off a late charge to earn a 16-9 decision over NIU's Kevin Fanta. In a surprising result, the Huskies took back the lead thanks to a second period pin from Rob Jillard, who beat Blake Roulo with 44 seconds left in the second period. Northern Illinois extended the lead to 14-7 when Andrew Morse earned an 11-2 major decision over UB's Wally Maziarz at 157 lbs.
Wrestling in his final dual meet at Alumni Arena, senior Mark Lewandowski ended the brief losing streak with a dominating performance. He won a 15-0 technical fall over Sam Bennett to bring Buffalo back within two, 14-12. The win was the 107th of the Depew native's career.
At 174 pounds, Cannon was not able to wrestle on senior day due to injury, but Dominic Montesanti battled, tying the match at 6-6 with 10 seconds left. However, Matt Mougin used riding time to earn the 7-6 decision.
For the first time since Dec. 18 the Bulls were no longer crippled at the heavier weights, finally returning 184 and 197 starters Tony Lock and Angelo Malvestuto. Down 17-12, the team needed the two to hit the ground running immediately to have a chance at the win, and the duo would do just that.
Lock earned a 6-1 decision over Bryan Loughlin at 184, and Malvestuto put the Bulls ahead, 18-17, by earning a 5-2 decision over NIU's Parker Settecase. That would set up another do-or-die match at heavyweight.
NIU's Jared Torrence and Justin Heiserman traded escapes in regulation, forcing a sudden-victory overtime. The two then were able to get out for escapes in the second and third overtime periods to force yet another sudden-victory round. Torrence won with a takedown to seal the win for the Huskies.
Next up for Buffalo is the Regional Duals, hosted by Franklin and Marshall next Saturday.