Drexel 184 lber Brian Bonino (photo courtesy of Drexel athletics)
There was a good amount of action in the conference. Cornell and Lehigh represented the conference at Collegiate Duals in New Orleans. There were a handful of dual meets, both inside and outside the conference.
This week's Outstanding Wrestler is 184lbs wrestler, Brian Bonino of Drexel. He earned three wins on the weekend, two of which were ranked opponents. He defeated Caleb Hopkins of Campbell (#21) which helped catapult him into the rankings for the first time this season. He's currently 5-1 this month and will look to continue his streak into the new year. Congrats Brian!
The Eagles had a few dual meets over a couple-day span. They dropped a dual to George Mason 23-15, beat Sacred Heart 41-3, and were victorious 21-16 over Hofstra. Considering this team lost to both Sacred Heart and Hofstra a season ago, it speaks to how far this team has come. In the Sacred Heart match, 125lbs Raymond Lopez jumped up to 141lbs to earn a fall. He wrestled up at this weight against Hofstra too, dropping a match to Justin Hoyle â€“ who placed at EIWA's a season ago. Max Leete has a 20-second fall against Hofstra. This team has improved from a season ago. Things are looking up for American. They will return to competition at the F&M Open the first weekend of January.
The Black Knights were not in action. They are back after Christmas at the Soldier Salute in Iowa.
The Bearcats were also off this weekend, as they prepare for the Southern Scuffle on January 1st.
Brown was not involved with any competition this week. The Bears will be in action next week at the Midlands Championships.
The Bison had a few duals over the weekend. They defeated Sacred Heart 33-6, beat Edinboro 36-7, and dropped a tough one to Buffalo 21-9. Bucknell's stud Kurt Phipps (#32 @ 133lbs) won all of his matches, as did Darren Miller (#25 @ 141lbs). At 184lbs, Logan Deacetis upset #26 Guiseppe Hoose of Buffalo. He's been cranking out some great wins lately. He ended his day 3-0 as well. Many of the Buffalo matches were one-score differences. It would be nice for Bucknell to reverse some of those, but not a bad day overall. Expect them at the Southern Scuffle next week.
The Lions were not in action. They will be at the Soldier Salute in Coralville, Iowa 12/29 â€“ 12/30.
The Big Red were at the National Collegiate Duals, where they went 2-1 as a team. They beat #26 Oregon State 32-7, and #21 North Carolina 31-9. They dropped an exciting dual to #6 Iowa State 18-13. Against Oregon State, we saw Brett Ungar (#21 @ 125lbs) upset returning All-American Brandon Kaylor (#10). At 197lbs, Jacob Cardenas upset #10-ranked Tanner Harvey by a 9-5 decision. The match of the day may have been in the Iowa State dual, where we saw Yianni Diakomihalis (#1 @ 149lbs) beat Paniro Johnson (#5) by a tight 3-1 score. Unfortunately, Cornell was without returning All-American Jonathan Loew (#6 @ 184lbs). Aside from Yianni, both Vito Arujau and Chris Foca looked great â€“ both winning all three matches. Next up for the Big Red is a dual against Arizona State, in Austin, TX on Wednesday, January 4th.
The Dragons went 2-1 on the week, while competing at the Purdue Duals. They had a 20-17 victory over Purdue, a 19-16 loss against Campbell, and then a 19-13 win over Utah Valley. The lineup was finally healthy and it showed. Luke Nichter (#29 @ 149lbs) returned from injury to go 3-0 on the day. He joined Evan Barczak (#18 @ 165lbs), Mickey O'Malley (#6 @ 174lbs) and Brian Bonino going undefeated on the day. O'Malley's biggest win came in a tie-breaker, defeating former All-American Demetrius Romero of Utah Valley. Bonino earned his way into the rankings with three wins on the weekend, two of them coming against ranked opponents. The Dragons return to action after the new year at the F&M Open.
Franklin & Marshall
The Diplomats had a notable return to their line-up this week. One wrestler having success this year, whom I've failed to mention is Josh Hillard. He's one of the leaders in all of D1 for falls. He's been consistently placing at opens. He is only getting better working behind Phillips at 133lbs. Ranked heavyweight, Vincenzo Pelusi, made his return to the team at the Wilkes Open. He went 2-0 before medically forfeiting out of precaution. He will be back in action at Midlands along with the remainder of the squad.
The Crimson were off this week. They will be at the Midlands at the end of the month.
The Pride hosted a dual against American. They split five matches to five, but lost the dual 21-16 due to bonus points. All of Hofstra's ranked wrestlers won by decision â€“ Jacob Ferreira (#24 @ 184lbs), Trey Rogers (#26 @ 197lbs), and Zachary Knighton-Ward (#28 @ 285lbs). The other two victories came from Justin Hoyle by major at 141lbs and Ross McFarland at 174lbs. I'm sure Hofstra would like to have this one back, but not a bad performance, overall. They will get back to work and return to competition at the Southern Scuffle on January 1st.
The Mountain Hawks competed in the Collegiate Duals in New Orleans. They wrestled three tough duals, walking away 1-2. They beat #25 Cal Poly 26-6. They dropped matches to #7 NC State 24-10 and #3 Ohio State 23-12. Against Cal Poly, we saw Manzona Bryant (#33 @ 149lbs) defeat #11 Domas Demas. Lucas Frinzi made a splash in the rankings when he beat Lamer (#32 @ 165lbs). #22 at 184lbs, Tate Samuelson beat #19 Adam Kemp as well. Michael Beard dropped a match to Bernie Truax (#9 @ 197lbs) but picked up wins over #8 Isaac Trumble of NC State and #24 Gavin Hoffman of Ohio State on the weekend. At 157lbs, Josh Humphreys (#6) defeated Ed Scott of NC State (#9) in a high-scoring battle. Something to be on the lookout for in the lower weights â€“ Jaret Lane made his return at 125lbs, dropping a 4-0 decision to Jarrett Trombley of NC State. And Ryan Crookham, freshman phenom, made his debut at the Wilkes Open. He went 4-0 on the day, with a tech fall, two majors, and a six-point decision. The Mountain Hawks have a long layover and will be back on January 14th to take on conference rival, Cornell, in Ithaca.
The Sharks went to battle with The Citadel over the weekend, dropping a tight 23-18 dual. They came away winning four of the nine bouts, while giving up a forfeit at 125 lbs â€“ which may have ended up being the difference. At 141 lbs, Devin Matthews earned a tech fall. It was followed up at 149lbs, where Drew Whitham won by fall. Blake Bahna also earned a major at 165 lbs. The fight from this team is there, and it shows when three of the four wins were by bonus points. This team is slowly improving every week. It's great to see positive results from the newest member of the conference. The next competition for the Sharks will be at the F&M Open on January 6th.
The Midshipmen will be in action again at the F&M Open.
The Quakers were resting this weekend. They will compete at the Midlands next week over the holiday break.
The Tigers will follow many of the EIWA teams and compete in the Midlands next weekend
The Pioneers saw two conference duals over the weekend, dropping both of them to Bucknell and American. The lone win against American was at 149lbs, where Matt Laurie defeated Antonio Segura in overtime. Former American Eagle, Andrew Fallon, lost in sudden victory to former teammate, and quality opponent, Jack Maida. Against Bucknell, Laurie earned a last-second takedown to defeat Kolby DePron. This was a nice win for Laurie â€“ as DePron has been on the cusp of being ranked this season. Mike Manta was the other victor in the dual at 125 lbs. They will be competing at the F&M Open once the new year rolls around.