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Rider defeats Clarion to Clinch MAC East Division title

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. -- Six Broncs won their matches and two seniors won by fall to push the Rider University wrestling team over MAC foe Clarion University, 25-13, Sunday morning at Alumni Gymnasium. With the win, the Broncs (11-3, 7-1 MAC) clinched the MAC East Division title, while the Golden Eagles are now 9-6 (6-4 MAC).

Clarion claimed the first points of the dual at 125, but Rider would take two decisions at 133 and 141 to give the Broncs the lead. Richie Koehler (Middletown, NJ/Christian Brothers Academy) won by a 5-2 decision, while Peter Lipari (Byram Township, NJ/Bergen Catholic [Rutgers]) won similarly, 6-0, giving Rider a 6-4 lead.

Clarion and Rider would trade the lead twice more, with the Golden Eagles winning a decision at 149, before #4 Jesse Dellavacchia (Great River, NY/East Islip [Binghamton]) claimed a 7-0 victory at 157 to put Rider on top, 9-7, heading into the intermission. Clarion took its final lead with a sudden victory decision at 165, before #20 Dean Sherry (Brick NJ/Brick Township) swiftly swung the momentum into the Broncs' favor with a fall at the one-minute mark of his match against Mike Vernagallo at 174.

George Walton (Franklin, NJ/Bound Brook) gave Rider more bonus points with a major decision
over Christian Sequete, 20-7, at 184 to push Rider's lead to 19-10. Clarion won its final points of the day with a decision at 197, before heavyweight Ryan Cloud (Brookville, OH/Northmont) sealed the Broncs' victory with a win by fall at 5:36.

Quotes & Notes
(On winning the MAC East Division title) "It feels good. The MAC conference is very competitive. It is very gritty, it's very talented, it's got a lot of great quality and we are very proud of that. We are looking for bigger and better things, so we need to improve on our performance. It's nice to be in our first year, our inaugural year, to claim this title. It sets a standard. For (Dean Sherry and Ryan Cloud), this is the pinnacle of our sport. We expect them to go out and win every time they wrestle, so kudos to them to end their last match at home with a fall."- Rider Head Coach John Hangey

-The Broncs lead the all-time series with Clarion, 17-4. The home team has won each of the last six duals in the series, with the last two duals being contested in Lawrenceville.
- Dellavecchia's decision was his team-leading 26th of the year. Walton and Cloud each won their 20th match of the year.
- Cloud pushed his team-leading fall total to six.
- Today was the last home dual for six seniors and Rider Wrestling in the 2019-20 season.
-Rider finishes their inaugural season as part of the MAC with a 7-1 record, claiming first place in the East Division of the MAC.
-Rider returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 22, when they travel to face the University of Maryland. The Broncs will wrestle in the Xfinity Center for the last dual of the year before the MAC and NCAA Championships. The match is set to begin at 6 p.m.

Results:
125: Jake Gromacki (CLR) maj. dec. Jonathan Tropea (RID), 15-4; Clarion leads, 4-0
133: Richie Koehler (RID) dec. Seth Koleno (CLR), 5-2; Clarion leads, 4-3
141: #29 Peter Lipari (RID) dec. Brayden Palmer (CLR), 6-0; Rider leads, 6-4
149: #11 Brock Zacherl (CLR) dec. Gino Fluri (RID), 6-3; Clarion leads, 7-6
157: #4 Jesse Dellavecchia (RID) dec. Taylor Ortz (CLR), 7-0; Rider leads, 9-7
165: Mike Bartolo (CLR) dec. Gary Dinmore (RID, 9-7 SV1; Clarion leads, 10-7
174: #20 Dean Sherry (RID) WBF Mike Vernagallo (CLR), at 1:00, Rider leads, 15-10
184: George Walton (RID) maj. dec. Christian Sequete (CLR), 20-7; Rider leads, 19-10
197: #15 Greg Bulsak (CLR) dec. #12 Ethan Laird (RID), 8-1; Rider leads, 19-13
285: Ryan Cloud (RID) WBF #28 Tyler Bagoly (CLR), at 5:36; Rider wins 25-13.

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