Last Saturday, wrestling (9-8) traveled to SUNY Oneonta for a quad match that also included Wesleyan and Ithaca. Williams went 1-2 on the day, dropping to 9-8 on the season. Since Jan. 22, the grapplers have gone 4-3, including a close 28-21 victory over Hunter and a one-point loss to Centenary, both on Feb. 1.
The quad match did not start well for the men, as they lost an extremely close and winnable match against Oneonta 21-19. Some individual Ephs had strong showings, however. Daniel Evangelakos ’15 at 133 and Kyle Gaffney ’15 at 165 both pinned their opponents, Jorge Lopez ’16 wrestling in the 157 lb. weight class won a major decision 12-1 and Tim Garripoli ’16 in the 149 lb. weight class won his match 9-7.
Ithaca, a team that won all of its matches in the tournament, beat the men. In the match, the Ephs picked up points courtesy of the All-American Lopez at 157, who won his match 9-3, and Chris Chorzepa ’17 at 184, who won his match 7-2.
Despite losing their first two matches of the tournament, the Ephs collected themselves and picked up a big 27-9 win against the rival Cardinals in their third and final match of the day. Seven of the 10 Eph wrestlers won their matches, with Evangelakos, Lopez and Chorzepa all picking up major decisions with scores of 10-0, 11-3 and 10-2 respectively. In addition Gaffney, Anthony Brooks ’16 at 197, Martin Strenk ’17 at 174 and Ben Wertz ’17 at 285 all won their matches as well. Williams had not beaten Wesleyan in several matches. “It was sweet to finally pick them off,” Head Coach Scott Honecker said.
On Feb. 1, the men hosted Hunter, Centenary and The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) for the NEWA/METRO Duals. Williams again went 1-2 on the day, coming back from an early deficit to beat Hunter before succumbing by one point to Centenary and then losing handily to TCNJ, ranked 25th in the nation. Lopez continued his sterling form this season by winning all three of his matches. Anthony Brooks, Garripoli and Strenk each won two of their matches and Wertz was the only other Eph aside from Lopez to win his against TCNJ.
On Jan. 26 the men traveled to Bridgewater State for the NEWA “Headlock for Hunger” Dual Meet Championship. The Ephs were seeded fifth out of 14 teams and they cruised past No. 12 Plymouth State in the first round 32-18. They met stiffer competition in the second round and unfortunately lost in a close match to No. 4 Rhode Island College 17-22. In their final match of the day they easily defeated No. 6 WPI 25-9 to claim fifth place in the tournament. Strenk and Lopez both went undefeated on the day with the former recording two pins and a major decision. In addition, Wertz and Evangelakos each went 3-1 in what was an overall very strong performance from the Ephs. The Ephs also took home the NEWA team GPA Award as the wrestlers hold a combined 3.305 GPA, the highest in the conference.
On Saturday, the men travel to Springfield where they will also take on the American International College.