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Bucknell wins 16 of 20 matches over Sacred Heart in round-robin event

Newtown’s Joe Accousti, left, won his second straight match for Sacred Heart on Sunday in a round-robin tournament against Bucknell at the Pitt Center. (Steve McLaughlin photo courtesy of Sacred Heart University)

There are limited opportunities to wrestle during the COVID-19 pandemic. So Sacred Heart and Bucknell took the advantage to get their wrestlers as many matches as they could on Sunday at the Pitt Center in Fairfield.

The two teams competed in 20 bouts with Bucknell winning 16 of the 20 in a round-robin event. No team scores were recorded.

Wrestlers need to get four bouts in whatever weight class they hope to compete in at the NCAA Division I tournament in St. Louis in March. For the Pioneers, those four bouts can also come n the EIWA tournament at the end of February.

“Today was a little unique,” Sacred Heart coach John Clark said. “They don’t call these exhibitions. They are all countable matches. Today, we wrestled 20 matches against Bucknell and no match was more important than the previous one. We wrestled for 3½ hours in the middle of a pandemic.”

Bucknell’s Mason McCready (197 pounds) won three of four bouts while Bison teammates Kurt Phillps (141), Nick Delp (157), No. 9 ranked Zach Hartman (165) and Vincent Andreano (174) each went 2-0 on the day.

McCready was pinned by Sacred Heart’s Robert Hetherman in the first match of the day in 2:47 but McCready rebounded to beat Sacred Heart’s Dante DelBonis, 6-2, Nick Fierro, 6-2 and Jacob Harrison, 12-3.

Hartman, who is ranked No. 9 in the country, pinned Sacred Heart’s Will Schmidt in 1:51 and had a 12-2 lead over Scott Jarosz, who had to default due to an injury with 31 seconds left in the match.

Delp swept a pair of matches against the Pioneers with a 9-6 win over Nick Palumbo at 157 and a 6-1 win over Shaun Williams (Danbury).

“Once that whistles blows, you are wrestling and it is pretty special,” Clark said. “It is something that we are grateful for — to wrestle for 3½ hours. There are some programs who haven’t practiced yet never mind hold a dual meet.”

Hetherman, the junior from Harpswell, Maine, improved to 2-0 on the year with his pin, his second career pin.

In his first bout of the season, Sacred Heart sophomore Raf Lievano (149) earned his first victory of the year with a 2-1 win over Bucknell’s Joey Gould. Lievano got a hard-earned takedown in the first period and held on for the win.

Sacred Heart’s Joe Accousti (184), the junior from Newtown, won his second straight win with a 4-1 win over Sam Barnes thanks to an early takedown that put him in command.

Redshirt freshman Jordan Carlucci (141) went 1-2 in his varsity debut this season for the Pioneers. Carlucci got a third period takedown and two near fall points to secure a 10-8 win over Chris Lanciano.

Sacred Heart returns to the mat on Friday when they host Hoftstra at 7 p.m. at the Pitt Center.

Bucknell vs. Sacred Heart
At Fairfield
197: Robert Hetherman (SH) dec. Mason McCready, 2:47
285: Dorian Crosby (B) dec. Mark Blokh, 5-0
125: Brandon Seidman (B) dec. Sean Faraon, 6-2
133: Darren Miller (B) tech fall Kyle Randall, 21-4, 6:43
141: Kurt Phipps (B) dec. Jordan Carlucci, 11-2
149: Raf Lievano (SH) dec. Joey Gould, 2-1
157: Nick Delp (B) dec. Nick Palumbo, 9-6
197: Mason McCready (B) dec. Dante DelBonis, 6-2
165: Zach Hartman (B) pin Will Schmidt, 1:51
174: Vincent Andreano (B) dec. Patrick O’Donnell, 12-2
184: Joe Accousti (SH) dec. Sam Barnes, 4-1
141: David Campbell (B) pin Jordan Carlucci, 4:53
149: Matthew Kolonia (B) pin Raf Lievano, 3:37
197: Mason McCready (B) dec. Nick Fierro, 6-2
157: Nick Delp (B) dec. Shaun Williams, 6-1
165: Zach Hartman (B) dec. Scott Jarosz, injury default
184: Sam Barnes (B) pin Logan Michael, 4:49
174: Frankie Guida Jr. (B) dec. Vincent Andreano (B), 3-1, OT
141: Kurt Phipps (B) dec. David Campbell (B), 10-6
197: Mason McCready (B) dec. Jacob Harrison, 12-3
141: Jordan Carlucci (SH) dec. Chris Lanciano, 10-8
157: Thomas Spirk (B) dec. Jack Molloy, 7:27
Records: Bucknell 0-2, Sacred Heart 0-2

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of Connecticut Wrestling Online. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 35 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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