By Dan Teliski
Gannon Sports Information
ERIE, Pa. – Gannon’s Nick Budd (Port Allegany, Pa./Port Allegany) has been named Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Wrestler of the Week. The honor comes from a conference that includes four NCAA Division I programs.
Budd was part of a dramatic victory against nationally-ranked Lake Erie during the regular-season finale last Friday at the Hammermill Center. With Gannon heading into the final bout and trailing No. 18 Lake Erie 22-20, Budd faced Robert Zappitelli with the entire meet on the line. Zappitelli already owned a sudden-victory decision against Budd during their previous match-up November 16 at the Mount Union Invitational.
Last Friday’s bout appeared to be headed towards overtime again after both wrestlers recorded an escape following a scoreless first period. Budd then made his move with 1:21 remaining in the final period, taking down Zappitelli right before the two wrestlers barreled out of bounds. Zappitelli cut the deficit to 3-2 with an escape, but was unable to secure more points during the final 60 seconds. The dramatic victory gave Gannon a 23-22 upset of the 18th-ranked Storm. Budd’s revenge on Zappitelli moved his record above the .500 mark at 13-12 overall and 5-4 in dual bouts.
Gannon (8-4, 4-3) opens postseason action Saturday, March 1 and Sunday, March 2 at the NCAA Division II Super Regional One hosted by Pitt-Johnstown.