BROCKPORT, N.Y. – The University of Scranton wrestling team sits in 12th place after totaling 32 points on the opening day of the NCAA Mideast Regional Qualifier hosted by The College at Brockport.
Ithaca leads the 18-team competition with 88 points while TCNJ is second with 81.5 points.
Senior Dan D'Agostini (Allentown, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic) won two matches on Saturday at 197 pounds to move to the semifinals of his weight class. He will face Muhlenberg's Gennaro Cerminara tomorrow looking to punch his ticket to the NCAA national championships. D'Agostini, who improved to 37-2 on the season and 106-28 for his career, won his first bout with a 16-0 major decision before advancing to the semifinals with a 9-2 decision.
D'Agostini could also tie Michael Grandchamp's single-season wins record with a victory tomorrow, or break it with two. Grandchamp set his school record in the 1998-99 season.
Junior Keegan Connelly (Schnecksville, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic) opened his day with an 8-4 decision at 285 pounds before falling in his next match in a 3-1 decision. Connelly bounced back with a 12-2 major decision in his first wrestle-back bout and will face TCNJ's Thomas Marretta tomorrow. Connelly, now 34-10 on the season and 82-36 for his career, is now tied for the third most wins in a season in program history and is fifth on Scranton's all-time wins list.
At 157 pounds, sophomore Kyle Shaffer (Mahwah, N.J./Mahwah) dropped a major decision to open the day, but rebounded for wins in his next two bouts to set up a match with Christian Gramuglia of Oswego State as he seeks a shot at a third place finish.
Senior Kevin Merle (Stroudsburg, Pa./Belvidere) went 1-2 on the day at 165 pounds and picked up his 31st career pin at the 6:34 mark of his first wrestle-back bout. The win was the 65th of his career, placing him in sole possession of 11th place on Scranton's win's list while his finishes second all-time in pins, one behind Scranton's all-time leader Tim Moser, who pinned 32 opponents from 1985-89. Merle also had 12 pins on the season, tied for the fifth-most in a year in program history.
Freshman Matthew Murawski (Harrington Park, N.J./Northern Valley – Old Tappan) won his opening match at 125 pounds with a pin at the 1:45 mark, but dropped his next two bouts.
At 149 pounds, junior T.J. Conlon (Long Branch, N.J./Long Branch) bounced back from an opening round defeat to post a 12-3 major decision in the first round of wrestle-backs, but was defeated via a pin in the following round.
At 174 pounds, sophomore Aidan McNally (Scranton, Pa./Scranton) opened his day with a pin at the 2:21 mark of his first match before suffering setbacks in his next two bouts.
The NCAA Mideast Regional Qualifier will wrap up on Sunday with the action starting at 10 a.m. at The College at Brockport.