Wrestling (9-8-1) dominated this weekend in its tri-meet against Norwich and the University of Southern Maine. The men rolled to a 30-15 win over host Norwich and manhandled USM 45-8. USM came into the day ranked 10th in New England Div. III wrestling, while Norwich entered competition unranked. Williams opened the meet ranked third in NEWA competition.
The Ephs used their depth to control both matches, earning contributions from 14 different grapplers on their way to victory in the tri-meet.
“We wrestled some different guys and switched it around a little bit,” said Head Coach Rich Hasenfus. “We have fewer numbers than most teams, but it was good to see some guys step up.”
Williams opened against Norwich on Saturday. The Ephs started the competition strong as tri-captain Josh Mattana ’11 got the men going with a pin of his opponent in the second round. After Carson Brooks ’14 was pinned in the 141 lb weight class, tri-captain Corey Paulish ’11 won a 9-2 decision over his Cadet opponent at 147. Paulish’s victory got the Ephs back on track, as Robert Brackup ’13 and Kyle Martin ’12 followed with wins of their own. The Ephs would claim seven total victories in the match. Nikola Mirkovic ’12 won his decisions in the heavyweight match, while Taylor Treadgold ’14 took home a win as his opponent was forced to forfeit due to injury. Tri-captain Ryan Malo ’11 also won due to forfeit. The Ephs’ strong performances brought home a 30-15 win over the Cadets.
Williams next challenged the grapplers from USM in their final match of the day. Kaison Tanabe ’13 won the Ephs’ first decision 10-4 over Husky Billy Cole in the 133 lb weight class. “Kaison’s match was one of the biggest matches of the day,” Hasenfus said. “Kaison wrestled extremely well and followed his game plan.”
Brooks suffered his second defeat of the day, but Paulish managed to earn the Ephs another win with a pin of his opponent out of the 149 lb weight class. The Ephs went on to pin four more opponents in the match, as Martin, Mir Henglin ’13, Mike Lomio ’14 and Colin Curzi ’12 all pinned their Husky opponents.
“We did a better job on top and at pinning this weekend,” Hasenfus said. “Pinning is going to be a big factor going into New Englands. It’s good to see other guys starting to get pins.”
Malo and Mattana earned points for the Ephs via forfeits from the Huskies in the 125 lb and 197 lb weight classes, respectively.
Williams took the match by a decisive 45-8 margin to go undefeated in the tri-meet.
“Southern Maine had two forfeits, but we wrestled pretty well,” Hasenfus said. “We had several falls, and the guys wrestled hard and did a good job.”
The men will next hit the mats tonight at 7 p.m. for their final regular season match before championship season begins.
“The big thing going into this week is trying to get healthy for NEWAs,” said Hasenfus. “We’re looking forward to getting our 10 best guys healthy and ready for New England championships.”