WASHINGTON, Pa. – Led by sophomore 125-pounder Josh Hall (Galloway, Ohio/Bishop Ready) and freshman 149-pounder Luke Marcelli (Massillon, Ohio/Jackson), the Case Western Reserve University wrestling team opened the 2013-14 season with a 15th-place finish at the 2013 W&J Invitational hosted by Washington & Jefferson College on Saturday at Henry Memorial Center.
Hall finished the day at 2-2 and in fourth place in the 125-pound bracket. Marcelli was impressive in his collegiate debut with a 5-1 record at 149 and lone loss versus a returning All-American.
"I was happy with our performance," said second-year Head Coach Mark Hawald. "We left this tournament last year with zero place winners and finished with two today. We had six wrestlers make their collegiate debut and all six won at least one match. Our first priority of showing improvement was accomplished today."
Hall opened with a 7-4 decision versus Cody Buchanan of NCAA Division II Alderson Broaddus University (W. Va.) then followed with a 9-2 decision over Tyler Price of Heidelberg University. In the championship semifinals, Hall fell via a pin (5:34) to Gordon Bieber of Waynesburg University (Pa.) then forfeited in the third-place match.
Marcelli picked up a pin at 3:40 of his first collegiate match versus Jaleel Richardson of Baldwin Wallace University then earned an 8-3 decision over Devin Barker of Alma College (Mich.). After an 8-2 loss to returning senior All-American Luke Lohr of Waynesburg in the championship quarterfinals, Marcelli was forced into the wrestle-back bracket where he opened with two victories in a row. Marcelli defeated Ian Gillespie of Heidelberg in a 4-2 decision and pinned Gavin Pejakovich of Middlesex County College (N.J.) in 4:37. Then in the fifth-place match, Marcelli earned a 4-3 decision versus Shane Foster of Waynesburg.
In addition to Hall and Marcelli, freshman David Brunk (Hood River, Ore./Hood River Valley) opened his career with a 10-2 major decision versus Paul Rallis of Baldwin Wallace. After being pinned, Brunk advanced via a forfeit and eventually finished the day at 2-2.
The Spartans are right back in action this Tuesday, November 12 in a dual match at local-rival John Carroll University at 7:00 p.m. at the DeCarlo Center.