Wrestlers Face Big Battle with Lock Haven

WVU faces another top opponent in the form of Lock Haven on Friday evening at the WVU Coliseum. The dual meet will go a long way in determing the regular season EWL championship.

Lock Haven leads the EWL with a 4-0 record, while WVU is third at 2-0. The only other team unbeaten in league matches is Pitt at 3-0. However, the Panthers have not wrestled WVU, Lock Haven or Edinboro yet. Edinboro's sole loss was a close 22-18 decision to Lock Haven.

Lock Haven comes into Friday's match off a 22-18 win over EWL rival Edinboro on February 1. LHU snapped Edinboro's 25-match unbeaten streak in the EWL that spanned three seasons.

LHU is paced by 2001 All-American JaMarr Billman at 149. Billman is 24-2 this year and leads the team in major decisions (5), technical falls (10) and pins (6).

There is a chance that Billman will move up to 157 to go against WVU's Joe Carr. Billman moved up to 157 for the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) championships, which he won, and against Edinboro where he earned a major decision. Moving up Billman would leave James LaValle (13-4), who won the PSAC championship at 149 in Billman's absence, to face WVU's Billy Smith. Adding to Lock Haven's dilemma is the fact that Carr pinned Jason Gilligan, the tentative LHU starter at 157, in last year's dual matchup.

Mike Maney (141) and Trap McCormack (125) are second and third on the team in wins with 18 and 17 and should produce difficult matchups for the Mountaineers. Maney has five pins and three major decisions on the year while McCormak has two pis, two major decisions and two technical falls on the year.

The Bald Eagles field strong competitors in the upper classes as well. Josh Millard, the defending EWL champion at 184, is 14-5 this year and won the PSAC championship two weeks ago. Millard defeated Edinboro's Josh Koschek, who is ranked second at 174, 3-1 in a tiebreaker last week when Koschek moved up to face him. Avery Zerkle is another reigning EWL champion at 197. Zerkle has battled injuries to each of his knees this season, which has limited him to only 15 matches this season.

WVU is 5-0 at home this season, but the Mountaineers have not wrestled an EWL team since they defeated Bloomsburg 36-7 on January 20.

Lock Haven holds a 13-10 series lead against WVU after defeating the Mountaineers 33-12 last season.

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