2021 NCAA Qualifier Brian Meyer (Photo Courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
Below is a recap of last week's EIWA action, with individual highlights worth noting.
Julian Ramirez of Cornell finally makes his debut in a Big Red singlet and knocks off the returning National Champion. He's now ranked #17 in the nation
Brian Meyer upsets Wentzel of Pitt - who was 2nd in the nation last year
Jack DelGarbino of Princeton pins Cassioppi (#3) of Iowa to claim the Top Italian Heavyweight Crown.
The Eagles lost a tight match to George Mason 20-16 on Thursday. Then traveled to the Navy Classic to compete on Saturday.
Isaac Righter (285), Jack Maida (133), and Fitzpatrick (165) all notched wins, while Max Leete (125) notched a pin in their respective matches against GMU.
Andy Fallon (125) earned 5th place, while outplacing teammate Max Leete. Fallon had a win over Seidman of Bucknell, as Leete lost the round prior to Seidman.
Patrick Ryan (149) also took home 5th place at 149lb while beating teammate Jack Nies in the process.
At 165lb, Tim Fitzpatrick (165) lost via major to Hartman (#9) of Bucknell in the quarters. He battled back for 5th place.
Colin Shannon (174) had a solid weekend, placing 5th. He beat Crebs of Navy in the quarterfinals.
Josh Bauman (141) competed at the Shorty Hitchcock Open at Millersville University in PA. He battled in tough matches for a 4-2 record on the day.
The American Eagles are a unique team with some seasoned vets, and a few young freshmen/first-year starters. Coach Borrelli is slowly watching this team develop. With Borrelli and his coaching staff just starting a few short months ago, they will need time to work with this team to be at their full potential. This team's schedule is tough, and the team will continue to take more losses than wins. This may be a long year for most of the wrestlers, but what's the saying - "Rome was not built in a day"? However, if anyone is ready to improve the direction of this program - it is Coach Borrelli.
Army West Point
The Black Knights traveled to Penn State (#3) for a dual on Thursday. The score was a little one-sided in favor of Penn State, but Army walked away with 2 wins, one by major decision.
Corey Shie (#29) won by a 5-2 decision over Meredith at 141lb.
At 157lb, Markus Hartman (#32) earned a major decision over Barraclough, for his first victory over the season, not by medical forfeit.
The marquee match-up was at 149lbs, where PJ Ogunsanya (#22) lost to Bartlett (#21) in overtime.
Another thing to note, JT Brown had a tough few-day span. He lost to both Penn State returning All-Americans at 197lb in Dean and Beard. Expect him to bounce back after losing two in a row.
Army Head Coach, Kevin Ward, knew the Penn State match would be a challenge for his wrestlers. This was a good starting point to see where the team is at now, and where they need to go. Looking at their schedule, this is a common theme. They are on the road the entire first semester, concluding with The Midlands. He will keep challenging his guys, and I'm positive they will perform at a high level when it matters most because of it.
The Bearcats hosted Stanford in their first home dual of the year. Even though the team lost 25-13, there were some performances worth noting.
Anthony Sobotker (133) lost a 1-0 decision to DiSario (#32).
Brevin Cassella bumped up from his original weight to take on Eischens (#30) at 174lb. He dropped a close 8-6 decision.
At 184lb, Jacob Nolan (#27 @ 174lb) also moved up a weight class to secure a major decision, using two turns from the top position.
Lou DePrez (#12) had an 8-3 victory over Stemmet (#26) at the 197lb match-up.
The Bearcats are a solid team up and down the lineup. DePrez is still the main guy in this lineup, but after seeing how Cassella and Nolan have been performing, they are starting to jump levels too. Plus, with other starters like Anderson and Doyle missing this dual, I am not too concerned with this result. The Bearcats will be in the battle for a top 5 finish at EIWA's.
The Bears traveled to West Lafayette, IN, to compete in the Boilermaker Duals. They had three duals in total, competing against Northern Illinois, Purdue (#20), and Bellarmine.
Brown was defeated by Northern Illinois by a 33-9 score. At 125, Hunter Adrian won by decision, while Nicky Cabanillas won by forfeit at 133lb. Drew Clearie lost by decision to returning All-American Wilson (#8) at 184lb.
Brown was shut out in their next bout with Purdue (#20). There were still some strong performances by Nicky Cabanillas (133), Justin Bierdumpfel (141), and Harrison Trahan (174), who all wrestled ranked opponents, but kept the score to a regular decision. At 165lb, Keegan Rothrock lost by decision to Soehnlen 5-3.
In their last dual, the Bears defeated Bellarmine by a score of 42-0. Seven of the ten bouts wrestled, Brown won by bonus points. Both Drew Clearie (184) and Blake Saito (149) had quick first-period falls to end their weekends.
The Brown Bears had two tough ones in Purdue and NIU. They finished strong with a shut-out win over Bellarmine. I'm still excited for this team. Even though the score was lopsided, the Bears fought hard in some of those matches with Purdue. Coach Beckerman definitely has some talent on this roster. I expect them to shape into form as the season progresses.
The Bison took a trip to the Navy Classic to compete with a few other EIWA teams.
Returning All-American Zach Hartman barely broke a sweat with his 165lb title, accumulating three pins, two tech falls, and a major.
At 141lb, Darren Miller (#25) came away with a second-place finish after medical forfeiting in the finals. His most notable win was a 5-3 decision over Newell of Kent State.
Jaden Fisher (174) finished in second after a pin over Shannon of American in the semis.
Brandon Seidman walked away with 6th place at 125lb. He had wins via decision over EIWA competition in Leete of American and DelViscio of Navy before eventually falling to Fallon of American.
At 133lb, Kurt Phipps earned himself 4th place on the podium. He dropped an overtime loss to Koderhandt of Navy in the semis.
Kolby DePron wrestled his way to a bronze medal finish at 149lb. He beat out Ryan of American in the consi semis and earned a win by medical forfeit to Hagan (#30) of Ohio.
At the 184lb weight class, Logan Deacetis (184) went 4-2 on the day - good enough for 4th place.
The Bison are a relatively quiet team with some potential firepower. Obviously, Zach Hartman is their go-to guy when it comes to getting points on the board. With guys like Phipps and Miller also earning spots in the rankings, this team may have top 5 potential at conferences if a few more guys step up and bust some brackets.
The Lions hosted Michigan (#4) on Friday night.
The Lions lost the match 34-3, but there are some worthy notes to discuss. The lone victory came from Aaron Ayzerov in the first dual of the night, which started at 174lb. The premier match of the night was at 125lb. Joe Manchio (#15) was defeated by Medley (#18) by 6-3 a decision. At heavyweight, Danny Conley fell just short, losing in overtime. The final match of the night was a close one as well, as Josh Ogunsanya (#31) lost to Amine (#13) by a 3-1 score at 165lb.
The Lions had a tall order when Michigan came into town. Obviously, if a few of those close matches go the other way, this score would not look as one-sided. If Columbia can put forth that type of outcome against a team like Michigan, you need to feel good about where this team is heading. Coach Tanelli and company are doing great things in the Big Apple.
The Big Red welcomed back former Head Coach Rob Koll and his Stanford team for the first competition of the year for Cornell.
Vito Arujau (#5) was up at 133lb. He was ranked in the top 3 at the 125lb class. He earned himself a major over DiSario (#31).
Yianni Diakomihalis (149) came back after missing two straight years of college wrestling and defeated returning All-American Abas (#8). He retains his #1 ranking.
The talk of the wrestling world was Julian Ramirez (#17 - 165) defeating the returning National Champion, Shane Griffith (#1).
At 174lb, Chris Foca (#9) won 6-4 over Eischens (#30).
Another striking result was at 197lb, where Jacob Cardenas (#19) dominated Stemmet (#26), winning by tech fall. More importantly, is Cardenas the starter at 197 over All-American Ben Darmstadt?
Unfortunately, Lewis Fernandes (#17) was injured during the match and could not continue.
The Big Red answered many questions regarding the lineup. Also, they looked very impressive in the process. Both Vito and Yianni made the move up one weight class each. Will they stay there? We will see. Ramirez wrestled lights out against Griffith to pull off possibly the biggest upset of the week. It's been so long since this team wrestled; no one was totally sure how good they were. If this team can stay healthy, they look like early favorites to win the EIWA.
The Dragons walked up the block to compete at Penn's 25th Annual Keystone Classic.
At 125, Kyle Waterman earned 5th place while Antonio Mininno earned 8th place.
At 133, Jaxon Maroney and Deon Pleasant both ended up on the podium in 6th and 8th, respectively.
Luke Nichter was winning in the semifinals until an injury forced him to finish in 6th place at 149lb.
After losing in the first round, Parker Kropman (#28 - 157) rallied with five wins in a row to earn bronze.
Evan Barczak took 4th place in the 165lb bracket - which, in my opinion, was the toughest bracket in the entire tournament. He lost to cross-town rival Revano (#33) of Penn for 3rd place.
At 184lb, Bryan McLaughlin dropped a semifinal match to Walton of Rider and ended up with a 6th place finish after medically forfeiting.
The Dragons lone champion was at 174lbs, where Micky O'Malley (#12) had 2 falls and a decision victory.
The Dragons had a subpar performance this weekend, if I'm being honest. And to top it all off, they had a few of their starters go down with injuries as well. When this team is healthy, they can compete with the best teams in the conference. Head Coach, Matt Azevedo, has a young talented supporting staff that is helping "bring the fire" to this lineup. Once healthy, this team will be battling for a top-five finish at EIWAs in March.
Franklin & Marshall
The Diplomats made the trip to the Keystone Classic.
At 133, Pat Phillips had an impressive 5th place performance, losing close decisions to Russell (#26) and Carter, both of App State.
Wil Gil (141) walked away with 4th place, after losing to Gonyer of App State twice.
James Conway earned himself a 7th place finish at 184lb. He almost knocked off Antrassian of Penn, but then beat two Quakers - Hale and Hendricks both by a score of 6-1.
Heavyweight Cenzo Pelusi was an overtime takedown away from the finals. He earned 4th place after defeating two Sacred Heart wrestlers, and a Drexel opponent.
The Diplomats seem to have four or five solid guys that continue to place at the tournaments they attend. This is a good sign for a young, inexperienced team to have some success scattered throughout the lineup. Gil continues to wrestle well at 141. Keep an eye on Phillips at 133, Conway at 184 and Pelusi at heavyweight. Overall, I like the direction this team is heading.
The Crimson competed at the Keystone Classic in Philadelphia on Sunday.
Philip Conigliaro (#12) won the 165lb bracket in his first competition of the year. He beat Formato (#28) of Appalachian State and Revano (#33) of Penn.
At 197lb, Nick Mercenelle wrestled to a 3rd place finish with a pin over Delbonis of Sacred Heart.
Josh Kim (#30) also earned a bronze finish, with his lone loss coming to Incontrera (#22) of Penn at 174lb.
Beau Bayless wrestled to a 3rd place finish at 125lb. He had a pin over Mininno of Drexel.
Earning 4th place at 157lb was Trevor Tarsi. He upset returning National Qualifier Palumbo of Sacred Heart. He then lost a close 3-1 OT decision to Kropman (#32) of Drexel.
Lukas Stricker (149) finished in 4th with a win over Dailey of F&M.
Leo Tarantino lost a 1-point match to Antrassian of Penn, and wrestled back to 4th in the 184lb bracket.
At 141lb, Michael Jaffe earned 7th place after a 3-2 record on the day.
Harvard finished the day in 3rd place behind App State and Penn. This was without Yara Slavikouski, who is ranked 15th at heavyweight. Conigliaro and Yara are legit All-American threats, which could carry this team to a top 5 EIWA finish. With the emergence of Kim, Tarantino, and Mercenelle at 174, 184, and 197, the Crimson lineup can be sneaky good come March.
Hofstra - no competition
The Mountain Hawks wrestled #22 Pittsburgh at home on Sunday.
One of the biggest upsets of the weekend occurred at 165lbs, when Brian Meyer (#27) took out returning National Runner-Up Wentzel (#4).
Malyke Hines (#22) upset Phillippi (#5) with a defensive pin called with under 5 seconds left at 133lb
Jaret Lane (#14) won by decision over Camacho.
At 157lb, Josh Humphreys (#10) won 2-0 over Cleary (#30)
Jake Logan won by one point at 174.
Manzona Bryant got the start at 149lb, and he won via major decision.
Finally, Jordan Wood (#10) won by major over Slinger (#32) at heavyweight.
This is the Mountain Hawk team we all know and love! They defeated a tough Pitt team, coming away with two upsets in the process. Meyer is really starting to make noise after winning Journeymen a week ago, and then upsetting the returning NCAA runner-up. It looks like we will have ongoing battles for the 141 and 149lb spots. No matter who steps on the mat, these guys will be ready to compete. Lehigh should be battling Cornell for the EIWA Conference title.
The Sharks made the trip to the Shorty Hitchcock Open at Millersville Open in Pennsylvania.
Ryan Ferro (174) walked away the champion in his bracket. He went 5-0 on the day, all of which he won by decision. Some EIWA competitors he beat are Sosinsky of Navy and Hanson of Spartan RTC.
At 197, Nunzio Crowley earned a bronze medal after a 5-3 decision over Conner of Princeton. His lone loss came at the hands of Smith from the University of Maryland.
Bryce Cockrell did not win a match. But he did have two impressive one-point losses to Treanor of Army and Spellman of Princeton. These are not bad losses.
LIU had some positive performances at the open. Ferro walked away with a gold medal-winning all matches by decision. This was a good reversal from his 0-3 result last week, although all losses were to high-quality opponents. He may be a force to be reckoned with in the EIWA. Crowley, again, finds himself having one of the team's top outcomes. The Sharks, overall, have some work to do. We're excited to see how long it takes them to rise in the rankings of the conference.
The Midshipmen competed at their own Navy Classic, held on Saturday in Annapolis.
At 133, Josh Koderhandt fell in the finals to returning All-American Foley (#11) from Michigan State. This came after an upset win over Phipps of Bucknell.
Tyler Hunt (141) walked away as champion after a medical forfeit over Miller (#23) of Bucknell.
In the 165lb bracket, Val Park¸ went 4-2 to split 5th and 6th place with Fitzpatrick of American.
Both Midshipmen at 174lb, Cael Crebs and Shane Finney, shared 3rd and 4th place. The two split results against common opponents. This starting spot battle will continue into December.
David Key (#26) earned first place with a win over Malczewski (#27) of Michigan State at 184lb.
At 197, Jake Koser (#21) knocked off Caffey (#22) of Michigan State in the finals for gold.
At heavyweight, Grady Greiss earned third place with 3 falls. His lone loss was to McAleavey of Citadel.
Riley Smith won the heavyweight bracket with 3 decisions, including one over McAleavey.
Coach Kolat is starting to see improvements from his team. The Midshipmen have enough ranked guys to potentially see a top-5 finish at EIWA's. I'm keeping an eye on Koderhandt at 133, Park at 165, and whichever heavyweight Navy decides to go with as possible bracket busters. In addition to heavyweight, 174 looks to have a nice battle spot between freshman Crebs and senior Finney. I'm excited to see this team's progress throughout the year.
The Quakers hosted the 25th Annual Keystone Classic in their home gymnasium.
Ryan Miller (125) was the runner-up losing to Smith (#30) of Appalachian State.
Kelly Dunnigan finished in 7th at 125 with nice wins over Sotelo of Harvard and Mininno of Drexel.
Your 133lb champion was Michael Colaiocco (#13) with a win over Russell (#26) of App State.
Carmen Ferrante (#30) earned a gold medal, beating Herrmann of Harvard, Gonyer of App State, and Cassidy of George Mason at 141lb.
Teammate CJ Composto (141) lost a heart-breaking 8-7 semifinal bout to Cassidy of GMU before medically forfeiting all the way to 6th place.
At 149lb, Kaya Sement took home 5th place while Grant Aronoff was your bronze medal place finisher. He beat Stricker of Harvard for 3rd, who beat Sement twice during the day.
Doug Zapf (#21) won 3 matches in dominant fashion before medically forfeiting in the finals at 157lb.
In the toughest bracket, Lucas Revano (#33) took home 3rd place, losing to Conigliaro (#12) of Harvard and beating Barczak of Drexel in his final bout.
Nick Incontrera (#22) won his 174lb semi against Kim (#31) of Harvard but fell to O'Malley (#12) of Drexel.
At 184lb, Neil Antrassian defeated Sacred Heart's Accousti in his semifinal. He finished as runner-up.
Penn had another champion at 197lb, where Cole Urbas had a pin with two tech falls.
Ben Goldin won the heavyweight bracket with ease, notching three pins and a major decision.
The Quakers were dominant in their performance in front of their home crowd. They beat runners-up Appalachian State by over 40 points. I was very impressed with Ferrante moving up to 141lb and winning a bracket after three tight victories. As always, Zapf was impressive before his injury and remains my dark horse to surprise people at NCAAs. This team is talented, with an awesome coaching staff. They are ready to be in the top 3 of the EIWA right now.
The Tigers took a trip to Iowa City to wrestle a dual against #1 Iowa.
Quincy Monday (#5) was involved in the dual meet's marquee match-up at 157lb. He defeated multiple time All-American Young (#8).
Freshman Luke Stout (#28) earned a 4-0 decision over Glazier.
The upset of the year so far was at heavyweight, where Jack DelGarbino pinned Cassioppi (#7) for one of the craziest ways to end a match I've ever seen.
The Tigers are still wrestling with a lineup that is not full strength yet. Glory has not been in the lineup after competing at the U-23 World Championships, plus many second-semester athletes who are not enrolled in school now. Some of those additions may have made the overall match score somewhat closer, but the Tigers are ecstatic to be able to compete again. Once some of their older athletes make their way back into the lineup in January, they will be on a tear and ready to compete for the EIWA title.
The Pioneers were one of many EIWA teams who competed at the Keystone Classic.
Dante Delbonis (197) lost in the first round to come back and earn 4th place. He had a win over Labarbera of Penn.
Returning NCAA Qualifier, Joe Accousti found himself on 184lb podium in 5th place with wins over Hendricks of Penn, and a loss to Penn's Antrassian.
Nick Copley finished the day in 6th at heavyweight. He had wins over Dietrich of Drexel and Bensley of Penn.
At 174lb, Nick Marciniak finished in 7th place.
The Pioneers are a team that will come to compete whenever they have the chance. Palumbo and Accousti are typically the two guys winning matches, but appeared to have had off weekends. If Accousti and Palumbo can find their way back to the NCAA Tournament, while another Pioneer or two can make a run at Conferences, Sacred Heart may have a top 10 EIWA team. Let's watch them and see how much they can develop.