INDIANAPOLIS -- As familiar as it has become, winning the Regional Tournament is still a great feeling for Notre Dame College wrestling. The Falcons came away with the team victory, scoring 127.5 points on Saturday, while six wrestlers qualified for the NCAA Division II Tournament.
Notre Dame has now won four consecutive Regional Tournament team titles and they have taken home the biggest trophy in seven of the eight Regional Tournaments since joining the NCAA Division II in the 2012-13 season.
The wrestlers who placed in the top-3 in each of the weight classes qualified for the NCAA DII Tournament. The Falcons had six qualifiers with Hunter Bray (133 lbs.), Kelan McKenna (141), Taylor Misuna (157), Jordon Tague (165), Tony Vezzetti (184) and Jared Campbell (285).
Hunter Bray is ranked No. 1 at 133 lbs. and he continues to add to his accolades this season. Bray went up against Ashland's Lawrance Dudgeon in the First Place Match. Not only was Bray going for the win, but Ashland University was also approaching NDC in team points. The Falcons' grappler and Dudgeon were tied at zero after the first period. Bray earned one for an escape in the second period before Dudgeon earned one in third. Bray won the match with a takedown late in the third period.
Kelan McKenna entered the day fifth in the nation at 141. He cruised through the first three matches, winning them all by major decisions, including a 12-4 victory over No. 11 Chandler Minnard, of Ashland. Against Branson Proudlock (Findlay) in the First Place Match, McKenna had two takedowns in the first period, totaling four points. He added on and won by a score of 7-2.
At 157, No. 6 Taylor Misuna received a bye and then won the next round by decision. His toughest battle came in the semifinal when he went up against No. 9 Dawson Combest, of Indianapolis. In that bout, Misuna was trailing 4-2 after two periods. With less than 10 seconds left, he put two points on the scoreboard with a takedown of Combest. He would win in Sudden Victory-1, with another takedown. Misuna then won the First Place Match against Trey Grine, of Tiffin.
Jared Campbell also took home the top spot at 285. The No. 2 ranked wrestler defeated Jeremy Splix (Indianapolis) with a 13-0 major decision before pinning West Liberty's Chase Logan, 35-seconds into the match. He would take the trophy via forfeit.
At 184, No. 6 Tony Vezzetti did not receive a bye, but he won by tech fall (17-1), major decision (14-3) and decision (8-5) to get to the First Place Match. He faced No. 5 Aidan Pasiuk, from Ashland. Vezzetti fell behind 4-3 after two periods, and took second place in the region.
Jordon Tague is also heading to the National Tournament after he placed third at 165. He went 3-1 on the day and faced Christian Price (Ashland) in the Third Place Match. The two were scoreless after one and then Tague had two takedowns in the second period. He won by a score of 8-3.
Alonzo Turner took fourth place at 174 while Sandro Ramirez (149) and Michael Viramontes (197) both earned Fifth Place.
"I'm happy for the wrestlers, coaches, parents and fans today for their support and effort," Head Coach Sonny Marchette said. "Everyone of them did what it took to bring home the Regional Championship. The coaches were in sync and the guys did what they came to do. I'm very happy with where the program is heading as a whole and we look forward to seeing what we can do at the National Tournament."
Notre Dame heads to the NCAA Division II National Tournament on March 13-14. The tournament will be held in Sioux Falls, S.D.
1 Notre Dame 127.5
2 Tiffin 122
3 Ashland 121.5
4 Indianapolis 115.5
5 Lake Erie 87.5