Late Norwich Spurt Spoils 2021-22 Home Debut for WPI Wrestling

Tyler Riggs - WPI Wrestling 2021-2022

WORCESTER -- Kyle Merritt (Hope Valley, RI) capped a late Norwich rally with a second period pin to lift the visiting Cadets to a dramatic 24-19 victory over WPI in the Engineers 2021-22 home opener Saturday afternoon in the Sports and Recreation Center.   The Cadets are now 1-1 on the young season while the Engineers slip to 0-1. 

Trailing 19-12 with just three bouts remaining, the visitors found themselves in a position to win after Dylan King (Millsboro, DE) and Joseph Lotruglio (Andover, NJ) posted consecutive narrow decision victories.  King squeaked out a 5-4 win at 133 pounds before Lotruglio used a late scoring move to secure a 5-2 triumph at 141.  

Those results set up a winner-take-all bout at 149 pounds and Merritt seized a quick first period advantage the culminated in a fall at 4:51. 

Tommy Dell'Aera (Eastchester, NY) got the home campaign started for WPI with a 7-4 victory at 157 pounds.  The Crimson and Gray were then forced to wrestle from behind as the Cadets surged ahead with back-to-back pins from Joe Castellino (Round Rock, TX) and Tyler Barker (Natick, MA) at 165 and 174 pounds respectively to take a 12-3 lead.  

It was then the hosts who battled back, winning four straight matches.  The run started when Adam Marsh (Upper Black Eddy, PA) provided a 10-1 major decision at 184 pounds and continued with a Tyler Riggs (North Scituate, RI) at 197.  Heavyweight Chris Gens (Avon, CT) put the Engineers ahead with a hard-earned 11-7 win and 125-pounder Tanner Thatcher (Blairstown, NJ) grinded out a 8-5 win to push the edge to 19-12 before Norwich claimed the last three bouts. 

Both teams return to the to the mat in two weeks, venturing to Rochester, NY for the RIT Invitational on Saturday, December 4th.  Action begins at 9am.