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  • Photo: Sam Janicki

    Photo: Sam Janicki

    EIWA Conference Recap (1/31/23)

    Penn 174 lber Nick Incontrera (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)

    In another week of great EIWA matches, we saw Columbia knock off a ranked Lehigh team, Harvard upset Princeton for the first time in a decade, and Cornell proved they are still the top team in the conference. Lehigh’s McGonagle made his return to the lineup, as did Sacred Heart’s Nick Palumbo. It’s almost the crunch time part of the season, so expect wrestlers to fine-tune everything in the upcoming weeks.

    This week’s standout performance goes to Penn’s Nick Incontrera. The 174 lbs wrestler, currently #20 in the nation, was 2-0 on the weekend with a pin over Brown and an impressive victory over returning EIWA champion, Phil Conigliaro of Harvard. Incontrera’s win has him in the mix to be the top seed at EIWAs in a very deep weight class. His true test will come in the upcoming weeks. He will take on fourth-ranked Chris Foca of Cornell and fifth-ranked Mickey O’Malley of Drexel. Congrats to Nick, who wins my Outstanding Wrestler of the Week!


    The Eagles were off. They will be on the road to take on Virginia this weekend.


    The Black Knights lost to Cornell 27-12 and won 19-17 over Bucknell. Nate Lukez was a winner in both of his matches on the weekend. At 174 lbs, #20 Ben Pasiuk had a win over Bucknell. Ethan Berginc (#33 @ 125 lbs) was 1-1 on the week, with a close loss to #17 Brett Ungar of Cornell. At 184lbs, Sahm Abdulrazzaq was a winner over #6 Jonathan Loew by injury default. The forfeit Dalton Harkins received at 165 lbs against Bucknell was the difference in the dual. We saw Matthew Williams and Trae McDaniel each earn a match at 149 lbs – each getting a win. Overall, a nice weekend for Coach Ward and company. This team is fun to watch, and they wrestle hard. They’ll be on the road at Lehigh this weekend.


    The Bearcats had a dominant win over Hofstra, 27-8. They followed that up with a 19-18 loss at Navy. Micah Roes has been wrestling well lately at 125 lbs, earning a fall in one of his two wins on the weekend. The Binghamton middleweights went 6-0 on the weekend thanks to Michael Zarif at 149 lbs, Conner Decker at 157 lbs, and 33rd-ranked Brevin Cassella at 165 lbs. Cassella had a tech fall over Hofstra, and beat last season’s EIWA eighth-place finisher, Val Park of Navy. Jacob Nolan (#19 @ 184 lbs) had a ranked win over Jacob Ferreira (#24) of Hofstra en route to a 2-0 weekend. Lastly, Cory Day (#21 @ 285 lbs) had a win over NCAA qualifier Zachary Knighton-Ward of Hofstra, then had a loss to #20 Grady Griess of Navy. Binghamton’s huge loss with Lou DePrez’s season-ending injury will force one of the other wrestlers to start stepping up. Keep an eye on this team, as they can still land in the top 5 at EIWAs. Next up, a home dual against Princeton on Saturday.


    The Bears were on the road, visiting Penn, Drexel, and Princeton in EIWA action. Brown posted two wins in each dual against tough EIWA opponents. Hunter Adrian (133 lbs) picked up a win against Penn, as did Ricky Cabanillas at 149 lbs. Cabanillas earned a win over Rocco Camillaci of Princeton, right after Ian Oswalt won by decision at 141lbs. Against Drexel, Brown saw wins from Sam McMonagle at 157 lbs and Alex Semenenko at 285 lbs. Drew Clearie took a 4-1 lead into the third period over #5 Mickey O’Malley of Drexel, before ultimately losing 5-4. We are seeing improvement from this team. It is a good sign. Give Jordan Leen a few years to build Brown into the program he envisions. This week, the Bears are off after a long weekend on the road.


    The Bison had a long weekend of wrestling with a dual meet at home against LIU (winning 38-4) on Saturday afternoon, and an away match at Rider that night (winning 19-15). Finally, they ended the weekend at Army on Sunday (losing 19-17). At 133 lbs, Kurt Phipps (#23) went 3-0 on the weekend. Dorian Crosby (285 lbs) was also 3-0 on the weekend, adding to his hot streak. Darren Miller (#20 @ 141 lbs) was 2-1 on the weekend, dropping a dual to #33 McKenzie Bell of Rider. Freshman at 157 lbs, Riley Bower was also 2-1 on the long weekend. Another guy wrestling lately is Mason McCready at 184 lbs. He was 2-0 this weekend as well. Nolan Springer was 2-1 at 197 lbs. Something to note was Kolby DePron making his return from injury at 149 lbs. Although he was 1-2, expect better results moving forward – as being off for 3 weeks may include getting off some of the rust.

    An interesting note, regarding Dylan Chappell. He started the year at 133 lbs, and could not win the spot over a ranked teammate. He moved up to 141 lbs, and had the same situation. This weekend, he won the Mat Town Open at 149 lbs in a very tough bracket. This is an interesting wrinkle for this team. Let’s see if he chooses to stay here. Bucknell is sneakily moving toward having more guys in the rankings. The upper three weights have been wrestling well as of late. If this continues, Bucknell will have a nice EIWA tournament and shock some fans. This week’s two matches are chances for some nice individual and team wins, taking on Columbia Friday and Navy on Saturday – both at home.


    The Lions hosted #27 Lehigh and came away with a win 18-17. The match started with Nick Babin (#32 @ 125 lbs) getting a fall in the third period, which ended up being the difference in the dual. At 141 lbs, returning EIWA champ, Matt Kazimir (#26) defeated a red-hot Malyke Hines (#28). Columbia has three wins in a row from Cesar Alvan (#22 @ 157 lbs), Josh Ogunsanya (#16 @ 165 lbs), and Lenox Wolak (#32 @ 174 lbs). At heavyweight, Billy McChesney held #28 Taylor to a seven-point decision, which ended the dual with a Columbia one-point win. The Cornell match was a bit lopsided for fourth-ranked Big Red. The match score was 30-3, but three of the six decisions were one-score matches that went Cornell’s way. Their lone win was at 184 lbs by Aaron Ayzerov. Columbia was in many of these matches, and just getting better every time they are on the mat. This week’s matchup against Bucknell should be a good one at Bucknell.


    The Big Red were on a New York state road trip this weekend with wins at Army (27-12) and Columbia (30-3). Brett Ungar (#17 @ 125 lbs) had two one-point wins over ranked opponents in Nick Babin (#32) of Columbia and Ethan Berginc (#33) of Army. Third-ranked Vito Arujau had a tech fall and major at 133 lbs. Vince Cornella had two wins as well – one coming over returning EIWA champion, Matt Kazimir (#26) of Columbia. Both Yianni Diakomihalis (#1 @ 149) and Julian Ramirez (#8 @ 165 lbs) each had one win on the weekend in their lone appearances. Both Chris Foca (#4 @ 174 lbs) and Jacob Cardenas (#19 # 197 lbs) each won both matches on the day. Brendan Furman was at heavyweight all weekend, winning both matches. We saw Benny Baker get a win at 165 lbs. It looks like Cole Handlovic is finding his stride at 157 lbs this year, up from 141 lbs. He had an overtime loss to a tough Nate Lukez of Army, but had a win over #22 Cesar Alvan of Columbia. This team is the real deal. With a full line-up, expect nine or more participants at NCAAs. This weekend’s schedule includes home matches against Princeton Saturday and Penn on Sunday.


    The Dragons took on the Brown Bears in their lone dual meet, winning 31-6. The match-up of the day occurred at 133 lbs. Kyle Waterman beat Hunter Adrian in tiebreakers. The Dragons put up a lot of points, and looked aggressive overall. We saw Mickey O’Malley back from injury, where he gutted out a 5-4 win to maintain his fifth rank in the nation at 174 lbs. At 165 lbs, Evan Barczak (#19) secured a pin and Brian Bonino (#27 @ 184 lbs) earned a major decision – the only bonus point victories for the Dragons, not including the forfeit at 125 lbs. With Luke Nichter (#26 @ 149 lbs) making steady appearances in the line-up this team is solid from top to bottom. I am excited to see how high they can climb in the team race at EIWAs. Next week, they will be on the road at LIU – facing them and George Mason on Saturday. They will hit up Hofstra on the way home for a dual on Sunday. This is a great opportunity for them to bring their record to 9-4 on the season if they win all 3.

    Franklin & Marshall

    The Diplomats scored a ton of points in their 35-11 win over Sacred Heart. They started off hot with back-to-back tech falls by Mason Leiphart (125 lbs) and Pat Phillips (133 lbs). At 149 lbs, Bryce Kreshko earned a fall in his matchup. They closed out strong winning four straight with Noah Fox (174lbs) earning a tech fall, an injury default win by James Conway at (184lbs), John Crawford (#32 @ 197lbs) earned another tech fall for the Dips, before Cenzo Pelusi won by an easy decision at heavyweight. This was a dominating victory for F&M, winning their seventh match of the year. They will be off this weekend, with one more match for the remainder of the season.


    The Crimson were 1-1 in Ivy League competition this past weekend. They started with a 20-18 win at Princeton, winning six of the ten bouts. Diego Sotelo (125 lbs) earned a win, as did Joseph Cangro (141 lbs) and Jack Crook (149 lbs). Making his return for the first time this semester, Phil Conigliaro (#12 @ 174 lbs) won by decision. Finally, big man, Yara Slavikouski (#9 @ 285 lbs) capped off the team win by decision over #31 Travis Stefanik.

    Harvard’s 28-9 loss to Penn saw wins by Sotelo over Ryan Miller (#24). At 149 lbs, Jack Crook defeated his opponent. Closing out the dual, we saw Slavikouski beating #29 Ben Goldin in the final bout of the evening. Overall, Harvard is a solid squad with seasoned talent in Conigliaro and Slavikouski. They have young talent in Sotelo, Cangro, and Crook, among others. The first win over Princeton in ten years is a great way to start momentum heading into the final week of the season. They’ll have a week off this weekend to prepare for their final three matches in the next few weeks.


    The Pride lost both duals this weekend to Binghamton (27-8) and Navy (21-12). Hofstra’s Trey Rogers (#30 @ 197 lbs) won both matchups, including a tech fall over Binghamton. He’s on a five-match win streak. Justin Hoyle had a win over Binghamton. Against Navy, Joe McGinty earned a win at 157 lbs, as did Ross McFarland at 174 lbs. Closing out the weekend, Jacob Ferreira (#24 @ 184 lbs) defeated #32 David Key of Navy and Rogers had a win over his opponent. Ferreira’s win was the team’s leading 16th win on the year. This weekend’s agenda for Hofstra includes home matches against George Mason on Friday and Drexel on Sunday.


    The Mountain Hawks went 0-2 this weekend. I’m not sure the last time that happened, but both matches were close. Friday was an away loss to Columbia 18-17, while Saturday’s home loss was to #17 Arizona State. It’s important to note that Josh Humphreys (#4 @ 157 lbs) missed both matches due to injury – expect him back in the next few weeks. Michael Beard (#3 @ 197 lbs) had a tech fall and pin on the weekend. At 184 lbs, #20 Tate Samuelson was 2-0 on the weekend. We saw Max Brignola at both 149 lbs, and 157 lbs, he was 2-0 performing well at two weights. Malyke Hines was 1-1 with a win over #22 Jesse Vasquez, but had a loss to #26 Matt Kazimir of Columbia. Connor McGonagle split his matches, losing to #4 Michael McGee of Arizona State – proving he belongs in the All-American conversation. Nathan Taylor (#30 @ Lehigh) had a nice win over Columbia. This team is 6-9 on the year, with losses to #11 Oklahoma State, #17 Pitt, #1 Penn State, #7 NC State, #3 Ohio State, and #6 Cornell – it’s hard to call this a “down year” for a talented Lehigh squad that was plagued with injuries. With Humphreys coming back soon, I expect Lehigh to be peaking very shortly. They are back in action Saturday with a home dual against Army.

    Long Island

    The Sharks were on the road this weekend, losing to Bucknell 38-4 and Bloomsburg 34-9. The team’s lone win against Bucknell came from Robbie Sagaris at 125 lbs. He earned a major before Bucknell ran the table to win 9 straight. Drew Whitman (149 lbs) and Rhise Royster (157 lbs) were 1-1 on the weekend, both posting competitive losses with Bucknell. The bright spots in Sagaris, Whitman, and Royster seem to shine brighter every week. This team’s development is coming along nicely. I am excited to see some of these guys make the EIWA podium. On this weekend’s agenda, LIU will host George Mason and Drexel.


    The Midshipmen were 2-0 on the weekend with wins over Hofstra (21-12) and Binghamton (19-18). Brendan Ferretti (#31 @ 133 lbs) was 2-0 on the weekend, as was Josh Koderhandt (141 lbs). Also going 2-0 on the weekend was 20th-ranked heavyweight Grady Greiss, who defeated #21 Cory Day and multiple-time National Qualifier, Zachary Knighton-Ward of Hofstra. Grady has been solid anchoring the end of the lineup, who is now 28-4 on the season. We saw Kaemen Smith (149lbs) get some action this weekend, splitting his two matches this weekend. At 197 lbs, #29 Jacob Koser was 1-0 as well. This team has had some ups and downs this year. I believe Coach Kolat and company will get this team ready for the postseason. Next up, they have duals at Lock Haven and Bucknell this weekend.


    The Quakers had a dominant weekend over Ivy League teams Brown and Harvard, winning 37-7 and 28-8, respectively. Carmen Ferranti was 2-0 this weekend at 141 lbs. At 157 lbs, Anthony Artalona (#12) scored a ton of points, earning himself two major decisions. Lucas Revano (165 lbs) was undefeated in both matches – revenging an early season loss to Joshua Kim of Harvard. Max Hale (184 lbs) and Cole Urbas (197 lbs) each won both matches this weekend too. Nick Incontrera had himself a weekend, beating Phil Conigliaro (#12 @ 174lbs) of Harvard. Conigliaro was the EIWA champ at 165lbs a season ago, and was in the bloodround at NCAAs. This team is exciting to watch. They like to score takedowns, and make their opponents earn every point. This week, they will compete in the Ivy League (and potentially) EIWA championship match-up with Cornell, on the road, Sunday.


    The Tigers wrestled Brown and Harvard this weekend, splitting matches. Their 36-6 win over Brown was impressive, winning 8 of 10 matches. The loss to Harvard was a 20-18 loss for the Tigers. We saw Patrick Glory (#2 @ 125 lbs) up at 133 lbs for the team, winning both matches on the weekend. Quincy Monday (#3 @ 165 lbs) won both matches on his plate as well. Both Nate Dugan (184 lbs) and Luke Stout (#17 @ 197 lbs) both scored two wins each. There have been a lot of moving parts to this lineup, and the dust is starting to settle. It looks like Glory is weighing in close to 125 lbs, but wrestling up for the dual meets. The team was without Danny Coles this weekend. It seems like the team has answers at 149 lbs in Camillaci and heavyweight in Travis Stefanik (#31). The team is talented, but seems to be a better tournament team than a dual team. With some young talent developing, this squad is a year or two out from competing with Cornell and Penn at the top of the Ivy League. They will be on the road at Cornell and Binghamton this week.

    Sacred Heart

    The Pioneers dropped a dual to Franklin & Marshall. They earned a win at 141 lbs by Dakota Asuncion, now taking his record to .500. 157 lbs dark horse, Nick Palumbo made his long-awaited return with a major decision, in only his seventh match of the season. Expect him to turn it on late. Aidan Zarrella followed up at 165 lbs with a win via major decision. Sacred Heart has been battling all year. With Palumbo back in the lineup, they are a better team overall. They will host Bloomsburg this weekend, looking to finally add a few more wins under their belt.

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