Kings Point, NY --- WPI wrestling competed three times Saturday in the Mariner Duals hosted by the United States Merchant Marine Academy. The Engineers kicked off the day by coming back to defeat Division II LIU-Post 20-19 by capturing four of the final five bouts. Later WPI dropped a pair of matches to nationally-ranked squads, falling 24-18 later to No. 24 Hunter and dropping a 35-6 decision to No. 18 Johnson & Wales.
After Stephen Jendritz (Rockford, MI) got WPI off to solid start against LIU-Post with a 6-3 victory at 125 pounds, the Division II Pioneers captured the next four bouts to take 15-3 advantage. Andy Tanner (Danville, NH) began the comeback with 15-0 tech fall at 165 and the Engineers then got back to within a point at 15-14 on a second period pin by Justin Marsh (Upper Black Eddy, PA) at 174.
The Crimson and Gray pushed ahead briefly when Lucas Muntz (West Hartford, CT) took a 7-3 decision at 184 only to see their Division II opponent regain the lead 19-17 with a major decision at 197. That set the stage for a winner-take-all heavyweight bout and WPI freshman Logan Mendelson (West Bloomfield, MI) played the role of hero with a 9-6 match-clinching triumph.
Against Hunter, WPI got consecutive pins from Marsh and Muntz at 174 and 184 pounds respectively to surge ahead 18-15 with just two bouts remaining but the Hawks avoided the upset with a win by decision at 197 and a pin by a nationally-ranked wrestler at heavyweight. The Boynton Hillers had also led 6-3 in the contest after Brian Amato (Newington, CT) registered a 8-3 victory at 125 and Jack Nigro (Closter, NJ) collected a 7-4 win at 141.
The Engineers got off on the right foot against Johnson & Wales, the top ranked team in New England, with Jendritz registering a 7-0 shutout at 125 pounds. Tanner provided WPI's other win against the Wildcats when he knocked off his regionally-ranked opponent (fourth) at 165.WPI is off from competition until after final exams and the holiday season. The Engineers are back on the mat on Saturday, January 10th at the North-South Duals hosted by Ursinus (PA).