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  • Photo: Sam Janicki

    Photo: Sam Janicki

    MAC Weekly Recap (1/10/2024)

    Here are some of the notable happenings from the last week in the MAC. 

    George Mason over Virginia

    On Saturday, George Mason did something that hasn’t been done by the Patriot wrestling program since 1991, when they snapped a 10-match losing streak against the University of Virginia, 18-17. GMU handed Virginia their first loss of the season in a neutral-site dual at St. Christopher’s High School in Richmond, VA. These two teams tangled almost a year ago, to the day, at the same venue and Virginia prevailed 26-6. 

    The dual didn’t appear as if it was going GMU’s way as they lost the first three bouts and found themselves in a 10-0 hole. The Patriots middleweights helped turn the tide with three consecutive wins by Kaden Cassidy, DJ McGee, and Evan Maag at 149-165 lbs. Virginia extended their lead to 14-9 after a major decision at 174; however, 184 lber Malachi Duvall struck the biggest blow of the contest when he pinned UVA’s Griffin Gammel late in the first period to give the Patriots their first lead of the day (15-14). At 197 lbs, Tyler Kocak extended that advantage with a 15-10 win over Colden Dorfman. Though Virginia won the heavyweight contest, it was via a regular decision and the Patriots held on to win 18-17. 

    The Duvall pin led to him earning MAC Co-East Wrestler of the Week honors from the conference. His fall was the only bonus point win for George Mason. 

    George Mason will be back in action this weekend with a pair of home duals. They’ll host MAC rival Edinboro on Saturday and Hofstra in a non-conference tilt on Sunday. 

    The Hofstra dual will feature marquee matches at 149 lbs and heavyweight. Those have been Hofstra’s two best weights and they are strengths for GMU, as well. 

    SIU Edwardsville Picks Up Two Conference Wins

    The Friday/Sunday swing saw SIU Edwardsville notch a pair of conference wins as they downed Edinboro 23-9, before beating Buffalo 24-9. Both of which occurred on the road. 

    Six Cougar wrestlers earned wins in both duals. Davian Guanajuato (125), Marcel Lopez (133), Eric Almarinez (141), Brock Woodcock (157), Deron Pulliam (184), and Bryson Buhk (285) all went 2-0 on the weekend. Woodcock won via tech fall in the Edinboro dual and received a forfeit at Buffalo. 

    Almarinez, a redshirt freshman, was named the MAC Co-West Wrestler of the Week after his 2-0 showing. His 15-3 major decision over the Bulls Caleb Brooks gave Almarinez the team lead with 15 wins on the season. 

    The Cougars will be back in action on Sunday at home against Lindenwood. 

    Tyler Klinsky over Dean Peterson

    All year we’ve lamented the chaos that is 125 lbs, nationally. The MAC did their part contributing to that topsy-turvy weight class when Tyler Klinsky defeated then-number two ranked Dean Peterson on Sunday. Peterson came into the bout a perfect 6-0 and had beaten Penn’s national qualifier Ryan Miller the night before. 

    Down 5-1 after the first period, Klinsky used a reversal, then a takedown to even the score at six a-piece during the second stanza. He would add three more in the final period to win 9-6. 

    The win brings Klinsky’s season record to an even 9-9. Though he recently went 1-2 at the Midlands, Klinsky did knock off Jett Strickenberger (West Virginia) who was ranked at the time. 

    With the unexpected being the norm at 125 lbs this season, Klinsky could be rounding into form at the right time and has the potential to make some noise at the MAC Tournament. 

    Before then, Klinsky has matches with Princeton’s Drew Heethius and Edinboro’s Caleb Edwards on the docket. During the last week of January, he’ll face top-ranked Anthony Noto (Lock Haven) and attempt to notch his second top-five upset of the year. Last year the two met twice and wrestled close bouts in both instances. At the 2023 MAC Championships, the pair met in the quarterfinals and Noto prevailed, 3-2.

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