The Princeton wrestling team celebrated the Thanksgiving weekend in style Sunday at Madison Square Garden. The Tigers improved to 2-1 on the young season with impressive victories over both Maryland (24-9) and Buffalo (28-12).
The Tigers looked strong up and down the lineup during the annual collegiate showdown in New York City, but Princeton got especially strong performances from members of its freshman class during the two victories.
While fourth-ranked Matthew Kolodzik improved to 7-0 at 141 with a decision and a technical fall, it was classmate Kevin Parker who had the most impressive day. The younger brother of former Princeton All-American Greg Parker '03, Parker posted third-period pins against both Idris White (Maryland) and Brett Perry (Buffalo).
The former broke open what had been a very tight match between the Tigers and Terrapins. The two teams split decisions in the first six matches, though all three of Princeton's losses came by either one or two points. Jon Schleifer, who improved to 6-1 on the season, opened a 12-9 lead with a 7-3 decision, and Parker tripled that advantage with his fall.
Both fourth-ranked Brett Harner and 18th-ranked Ray O'Donnell finished the victory with wins of their own, and the Tigers carried that momentum into the nightcap by winning six of the first seven in the win over Buffalo. Freshman Ty Agaisse opened with a 6-1 win, and classmate Leonard Merkin made his dual meet debut with a dominating 22-4 technical fall at 157. Sophomore Joe Tavoso basically put the match away with a 9-8 win at 165.
Princeton will head to Lincoln, Neb., next Saturday to compete at the 2016 Nebraska Duals. The Tigers will open at 10 am with EIWA rival Drexel, and then will take on Michigan State (12 pm) and No. 6 Nebraska to complete the day.
PRINCETON 24, MARYLAND 9
125 - Alex Vargas (M) dec. Ty Agaisse 3-2
133 - Pat D'Arcy (P) dec. Michael Beck 5-1
141 - Matthew Kolodzik (P) dec. Billy Rappo 7-2
149 - Alfred Bannister (M) dec. Jordan Laster 6-4, SV
157 - Justin Alexander (M) dec. Mike D'Angelo 8-6
165 - Joe Tavoso (P) dec. Josh Ugalde 8-4
174 - Jonathan Schleifer (P) dec. Sam Rowell 7-3
184 - Kevin Parker (P) p. Idris White 5:42
197 - Brett Harner (P) mdec. David-Brian Whisler 16-4
285 - Ray O'Donnell (P) dec. Youssif Hemida 15-8
PRINCETON 28, BUFFALO 12
125 - Ty Agaisse (P) dec. Derek Spann 6-1
133 - Bryan Landry (M) dec. Pat D'Arcy 4-1
141 - Matthew Kolodzik (P) TF Blake Retell 25-10
149 - Jordan Laster (P) dec. Colt Cotton 3-2
157 - Leonard Merkin (P) TF Kobe Gerrehy 22-4
165 - Joe Tavoso (P) dec. Derek Holcomb 9-8
174 - Jonathan Schleifer (P) dec. Muhammed Mcbryde 5-2
184 - Kevin Parker (P) p. Brett Perry 5:51
197 - James Benjamin (B) dec. Brett Harner 7-5, SV
285 - Jake Gunning (B) won by forfeit