Grapplers stumble with three losses in weekend quad meet

Wrestling (1-3) traveled to Wesleyan last weekend to compete in a quad meet against Wesleyan, Oneonta State and Plymouth State. While the men fought hard, they fell to Wesleyan 34-10, Oneonta State 36-14 and Plymouth State 28-15. On Jan. 28, the grapplers faced NYU, Hunter and TCNJ at the NEWA/Metro duals hosted by Roger Williams, falling to NYU 29-10, Hunter 31-18 and TCNJ 29-12. The string of losses came after a successful performance at the NEWA Dual Meet Championship on Jan. 22, where the men defeated Plymouth State 24-13 and topped Trinity 28-14. The men did have one loss on the day, however, falling to Bridgewater State 23-18.

On Saturday, the men fell to Wesleyan in the quad meet after putting up a strong fight. Co-captain Ces Antista ’13 won in the 141 lb. weight class, defeating his opponent 4-2. At 197 lbs., co-captain Nikola Mirkovic ’12 lost 3-1 in an exciting match that went down to the wire; his opponent earned a takedown as time expired to earn the victory. ”Nikola’s match against the Wesleyan kid was really exciting,” Antista said. “It came down to the last few seconds and the kid got a takedown on a controversial call.”

Tom Foote ’13 earned a victory in the heavyweight class, overpowering his opponent 18-6. The Ephs were forced to forfeit in the 125 lb. and the 184 lb. weight classes, allowing the Cardinals to pull away with a 34-10 victory.

Against Plymouth State, Antista won by forfeit at 141 lbs. Mirkovic defeated his opponent in the 197 lb. class in another close match, this time coming up on the right side of the 3-1 score. Competing in the heavyweight class, rookie Adam Datema ’15 pinned his opponent in 4:22. Despite these strong performances, Plymouth State took the match 28-15, as the men once again forfeited at the 125 lb. weight class. “Having a forfeit anywhere in your wrestling lineup is always tough to overcome,” Antista said. “Giving a team an easy six points puts you in a pretty big hole to start with. Sadly we are just lacking in numbers this year.”

In the match against Oneonta State, the men were forced to forfeit in three classes: 125 lbs., 184 lbs. and 197 lbs. Kyle Gaffney ’15 pinned his opponent in 1:30 in the 165 lb. class. “Kyle Gaffney is showing he is a leader already as a freshman,” Antista said. “He works hard everyday in the room and leads by example. He and Datema both stepped up this weekend and showed that they are legitimate forces for this team.” Antista was successful at 141 lbs., winning by major decision with a score of 13-2. Foote also won by major decision at 285 lbs. with a score of 10-2. However, Oneonta State took the match 36-14.

On Jan. 28, at the NEWA/Metro Duals, the Ephs dropped matches to TCNJ, NYU and Hunter. Against TCNJ, the men fell 29-10 after forfeiting two matches. Antista was successful at 141 lbs., defeating his opponent in a close 4-3 victory. Carson Brooks ’14 also performed well, taking a 5-3 victory at 149 lbs., but the men could not recover from their forfeited points.

When the grapplers faced NYU, Scott Sanderson ’13 won 8-3 over his opponent at 157 lbs. Gaffney was pinned in 2:30 at the 165 lb. weight class. Kaison Tanabe ’13 defeated his NYU opponent 7-1 in the 133 lb. weight class. NYU ultimately topped the Ephs 31-18.

The men also faced Hunter at the NEWA/Metro Duals, falling 29-12. Tanabe was defeated at 133 lbs., losing 10-5. Antista once again found success, winning in an 8-2 decision over his Hunter opponent. Rookie Dan Kurnick ’15 pinned his opponent in 5:50 at 184. Brooks fell 4-1 to his rival at 149 lbs.

On Jan. 22, the team traveled to Springfield for the NEWA Dual Meet Championship, where it beat Plymouth State 24-13. Both Foote and Gaffney pinned their opponents: Foote at 2:18 from the 285 lb. weight class and Gaffney in an impressive 1:52 at 165. Mirkovic shut out his opponent at 197, winning 6-0. Brooks lost in a close match, losing 7-5 at 149 lbs.

The men also defeated Trinity 28-14 at the NEWA Dual Meet. Antista pinned his Bantam opponent in 2:47 at 149. Gaffney won by major decision 15-6 in the 174 lb weight class. Foote fell at 285 by a score of 10-2.

The men’s only loss of the day came against Bridgewater State, as they fell 23-18. Mirkovic was pinned in 2:11 at 197. Foote defeated his opponent in the heavyweight class in a close-fought 3-2 match. Another tight match came at 149 lbs., where Antista defeated his opponent in a narrow 3-1 victory.

The grapplers will travel to Springfield for a 1 p.m. match on Friday before hosting Southern Maine at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The men will also face off against Oswego State at 3 p.m. on Saturday. “Every week we look to progress,” Antista said. “This is crunch time in the season and the [team] has to keep their heads up and finish it out.”