This past weekend, wrestling (10-3) continued its dominance of New England, destroying MIT, Norwich, Bridgewater State and Plymouth State in a quadruple meet. Plymouth and Bridgewater were ranked seventh and eighth in the region, respectively, ahead of the meet. The Ephs’ victory was total, as the Williams grapplers lost only six of the 40 bouts they competed in on the weekend.
Williams started out the day strong, soundly defeating Norwich 43-3 and winning nine of the 10 individual contests. Josh Mattana ’11, Corey Paulish ’11, Tom Foote ’11 and Ces Antisata ’13 contributed to the Ephs’ victory with their Major Decision matches, in which the wrestlers dominated their opponents so thoroughly that extra points were added to the team’s total. Meanwhile, Rob Brackup ’13 performed well at 165, beating Norwich’s Clayton Brittingham 7-2. Head Coach Dan DiCenzo praised Brackup’s standout performance: “Rob looked really sharp all day,” he said. “All of his hard work is paying off.”
Williams moved on to beat MIT’s club team 40-8. Mattana beat MIT’s Grant Kadokoura in his bout, avenging a loss to Kadokoura earlier in the year. Co-captain Dylan Rittenburg ’10 also contributed a major win, defeating MIT’s Kenzan Tanabe 4-2.
Next, Williams’ match with Bridgewater State got off to a fast start, with Mattana and Antista contributing two pins at 125 and 133 and Rittenburg and Paulish completing two Major Decision wins at 144 and 149.
Ryan Malo ’11 and Drew Gatewood ’10 closed out the duel, with Malo making his third pin and Gatewood his second. “Drew [especially] is starting to wrestle very well,” DiCenzo commented. “It is great to see him step up when the team needs it.”
Williams finished the day by soundly beating Plymouth State 45-0. All 10 of the Eph grapplers won their matches, with notable wins by Paulish, Breitenstein, and Gatewood. The competition concluded with Tom Foote ’13, ranked no. 4 in New England, defeating no. 3 Jake Gagnon in overtime. The two wrestled for nine minutes before Foote was finally able to secure a takedown in the extra period. DiCenzo noted Foote’s excellent performance and expressed confidence in his heavyweight wrestlers in general, stating that “Foote, Malo, [Colin] Curzi [’12] and [Nikola] Mirkovic [’12] are all wrestling very well.” Malo performed particularly well on the weekend, landing his 25th pin of the season and breaking his own school record of 24, set last season. His four pins during the quad-meet match leave his record this season at 28-4, with all four of his losses occurring at the hands of Div. I wrestlers.
This weekend’s victory comes on the heels of a narrow 21-18 loss to American International College Jan. 13. The undermanned Ephs wrestled well, but were unable to overcome their depleted ranks.
Since returning from break, Williams trounced the University of Northern Iowa on Jan. 10, a refreshing win after back-to-back losses to North Central and Wisconsin-Whitewater the day before. The Ephs came in first in the Williams Invitational on Jan. 5, and defeated both Southern Maine and Simpsonthe weekend of Jan. 4-5.
The Ephs are now 18th in the country in the D3 National Wrestling Coaches’ rankings. The team’s next contest is Sunday at Springfield College.