Finishing an up-and-down dual meet season, the Ephs went 1-1 in a triangular meet with Southern Maine and Plymouth State, defeating the former and falling to the latter last Friday.
“It was a little bit of a moral victory against Plymouth State with us winning five matches, losing four and one being a forfeit,” said Mike Whalen, head wrestling coach.
Williams lost 28-20 to Plymouth State, suffering heavily from a hole at the 184 lbs. weight class and three pins. Gus Whyte ’03 (174), Justin Sullivan ’04 (HVT) and Josh Weisenbeck ’04 (149) all earned decisions; and Mike Cirrito ’05 (197) and Dan Jacobs ’03 (141) both pinned their opponents.
“Mike Cirrito had a good night with a tech fall vs. Kevin Bell of Southern Maine and a pin of Plymouth’s Taylor Kravic,” said Whalen.
In their victory over Southern Maine, the Ephs enjoyed strong performances from their entire line-up. Jeff Ishizuka ’04 (165), Whyte, Ben Haldeman ’05 (133), Jacobs and Scott Moskowitz ’05 (149) all won either major or minor decisions.
Cirrito defeated his opponent with an 18-4 technical fall and Sullivan received a forfeit. The Ephs are looking forward to next weekend’s New England championship competition.
“At New Englands this weekend in Springfield, we are shooting to place in the top ten,” Whalen said. “It really is an individual event, so it’s really all up to each wrestler. Some will do well and some will do less than what we hope, but we’ll just try to do the best we can.”
Taking on Western New England (WNEC), Johns Hopkins (JHU) and Wesleyan in a quadrangle meet on Feb. 2 at Wesleyan, the Ephs emerged 2-1, defeating JHU and WNEC 28-12 and 33-12, respectively, while falling to second-ranked Wesleyan 39-7.
“Overall, it was a really positive day for us,” Whalen said. “It’s nice to get back on the winning track.”
In their win over JHU, Williams enjoyed strong performances from light and heavyweight wrestlers alike. Ari Crystal-Ornelas ’05 (125) earned the first pin of his collegiate wrestling career, followed by a solid win by Jacobs (141), who recently returned from a two-week leave of absence which was accompanied by various injuries to his knees.
Ishizuka won his 157 lbs. bout, leading off a four-match run in which Greg Matisoff ’05 (165), Whyte (174) and Cirrito (184) also earned wins. Williams displayed much of the same prowess in their match against WNEC. Moskowitz (141) and Tony Bletsis ’04 (HWT) both won key matches; Ishizuka and Matisoff earned their second victories of the day.
In their match against second ranked Wesleyan, the Ephs felt the absences caused by injuries in their roster which have dogged the team all season long.
“We wish we could have had all our guns in the line-up,” said Whalen. “Wesleyan is a really strong team.” Jacobs and Whyte won Williams’ only two matches, 11-1 and 17-3 respectively.