ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Junior Andrew Gombas (Warren, N.J./Bound Brook) finished second at 165 pounds to help The University of Scranton wrestling team finish sixth at the RIT Invitational at Rochester Institute of Technology on Saturday.
Gombas was one of four Royals to post a top-three finish, and he did it in thrilling fashion. After a first-round bye, he easily dispatched Jakob Warner of RIT, 12-5, to reach the semifinals against top-seeded Chase Lind of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). Gombas stunned Lind with a 10-8 decision to second a top-two finish. He ran out of gas, though, suffering a first-period pin against WPI's Brendan Marion in the final.
Scranton also had three third-place finishes – sophomore Nicholas Ciaccia (Freehold, N.J./Howell) at 141 pounds, sophomore John Sheedy (Somerset, N.J./Bishop George Ahr H.S.) at 157 and junior Daniel D'Agostini (Allentown, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic) at 184.
Ciaccia had a first-round bye before posting back-to-back first-period pins to reach the semifinals. He suffered a 9-2 loss by decision there, but came back with a pin in 2:42 to reach the third-place match. There, he continued his impressive day with a pin in 4:00 of WPI's Andrew Ellis to take third.
Sheedy also received a first-round bye at 157, then won by major decision, 15-6, and then pulled out a 6-5 decision to reach the semifinal. But he lost on a second-period pin to fall into the consolation bracket. There, he rallied 6-3 decision in the semifinal and eked out a 6-5 win over John Carroll's Austin Victor to take third place.
D'Agostini had a similar day to Ciaccia and Sheedy. He also had a first-round bye, then advanced to the semifinals with a first-period pin and a 3-1 decision. In the semifinal, he lost in sudden victory, 8-6, to fall into the consolation bracket, where he rebounded with a 5-4 decision to reach the third-place match. He pulled out a second-straight one-point win, 3-2 over Wesleyan's Simon Chee to take third.
Senior Nicholas DePierro (Manalapan, N.J./Freehold) finished fourth at 133 pounds with a trio of wins, and junior Kevin Merle (Stroudsburg, Pa./Belvidere) added a fifth-place finish at 165 pounds by going 4-2.
The wrestling team will now break for finals and return to action on Friday, Dec. 22, at the Wilkes Open at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.