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Columbia dominates LIU in EIWA road victory

BROOKVILLE, N.Y. -- Three wins via fall and three wins via technical fall powered Columbia Wrestling (3-2, 3-1 EIWA, 0-1 IVY) to a dominating 45-3 win over Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association foe, LIU (2-18, 0-6 EIWA) at the Pratt Recreation Center on Friday, Jan. 31, kicking off a busy weekend for the Lions with a solid victory.

Columbia recorded wins via fall from first-year Kyle Mosher (157) and sophomores No. 31 Joe Manchio (125) and No. 24 Matt Kazimir, while first years, Michael Baker (184) and Lennox Wolak (174), along with sophomore Danny Conley (285) recorded wins via technical fall in the biggest margin of victory for the Lions since 2018. Joining the six Lions in the win column were first years, Angelo Rini (133) and Andrew Garr (149), while sophomore Sam Wustefeld (197) picked up a win as well.

"We told the guys coming in, that this was an important dual for us to get the weekend started," said John Huemer Assistant Coach of Wrestling Kyle Massey. "We knew that on Saturday we would have a pair of real good fights on our hand, and it was important to get the weekend started strong.

"We know that the matches at Hofstra will be a tougher challenge for us, and we know that we need to step our game up a bit more. But our guys have always been ones who are ready to step up to meet a challenge and I think we will be excited and ready to take on the challenge we will face on Saturday."

HOW IT HAPPENED: Columbia got things started with a bang, with Mosher flying out of the gates at 157 pounds, recording a win via fall (3:23) over Dominick Demarco. Mosher's start was big for Columbia as it set the tone for the match, and he would be joined by two more of his teammates in recording wins via pin.

At 165 pounds, Columbia received its lone loss of the match, but it was not easy for LIU to pick that win up, as Ryan Ferro beat junior Riley Jacops via decision, 9-8. But in the final seconds of the match, things were decided as a takedown late by Jacops gave him an 8-7 lead, but Ferro was able to return the favor and record two points in the last seconds of the match to get the lone win for LIU.

Unphased by the loss at 165 pounds, Columbia would not drop another match and Wolak's technical fall win, 21-4, over James Langan at 174 pounds got the Lions back on the winning track. His technical fall victory was followed up by another dominating performance from Baker, who at 184 pounds, worked another technical fall win, 17-0, not letting Dan Shafran even come close to scoring as the Lion first-year pushed Columbia's lead to 16-3.

Wustefeld's match at 197 pounds was a competitive affair, but the Lion sophomore was ready for what Mark Malico had to bring and Wustefeld confidently worked a 6-3 decision. For Wustefeld, the win was his fourth straight, as his lone loss in a dual meet came all the way back in Columbia's match at Stanford on Nov. 23, 2019.

The heavyweights were on the mat next, and in what was his most dominating performance of the 2019-20 season, Conley smoothly worked a 16-0 technical fall victory over Maguire Horl for his first win since Jan. 4. With Conley's solid victory, the lineup flipped over and the Lions sat comfortably ahead, 24-3, and with four matches remaining the Lions would continue to add to that lead.

Manchio, came out as a wrestler on a mission, and it showed as he worked Brandon Mercado through the first period, before coming out in the second and hitting a solid takedown that would lead to a victory via fall (3:54) and with a forfeit by LIU to Rini at 133 pounds, Columbia remained firmly in the driver's seat.

With two matches remaining, the Lions had a chance to add to their lead, and at 141 pounds, Kazimir did just that, not allowing his match against Michael Blando to leave the first period, recording a win via fall at 2:38 to end his match in a quick and exciting fashion. In the final match of the night, Garr battled a tough Rhise Royster, but the Lion first-year would not let himself fall into any traps and he would put a cap on Columbia's night, taking the match with a 7-5 decision to wrap up a 45-3 dominating victory for Columbia.

Results:
157 | Kyle Mosher (Columbia) def. Dominick Demarco (LIU), fall (3:23)
165 | Ryan Ferro (LIU) def. Riley Jacops (Columbia), dec. 9-8
174 | Lennox Wolak (Columbia) def. James Langan (LIU), TF 21-4
184 | Michael Baker (Columbia) def. Dan Shafran (LIU), TF 17-0
197 | Sam Wustefeld (Columbia) def. Mark Malico (LIU), dec. 6-3
285 | Danny Conley (Columbia) def. Maguire Horl (LIU), TF 16-0
125 | No. 31 Joe Manchio (Columbia) def. Brandon Mercado (LIU), fall (3:54)
133 | Angelo Rini (Columbia) win via forfeit
141 | No. 24 Matt Kazimir (Columbia) def. Michael Blando (LIU), fall (2:38)
149 | Andrew Garr (Columbia) def. Rhise Royster (LIU), dec. 7-5

UP NEXT: Columbia's weekend continues with a tri-meet at Hofstra, starting at 3 p.m. with Franklin & Marshall, before facing hosting Hofstra at 6 p.m. in Hempstead, New York.

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