Wrestling triumphs on Senior Day

Ben Morton ’19 defeated Anthony Messina of Oneonta 6-0 in the 133 pound class.   Photo courtesy of Sports Information.
Ben Morton ’19 defeated Anthony Messina of Oneonta 6-0 in the 133 pound class. Photo courtesy of Sports Information.

Wrestling (12-4, 3-1 in the NESCAC) hosted Oneonta,Wesleyan and No. 9 Ithaca last Saturday during the men’s Senior Day, the last home meet of the 2015-2016 wrestling schedule. The men secured wins against Oneonta (36-19) and Wesleyan (43-10) but failed to beat Ithaca, losing 34-3, the team’s fourth defeat of the season.

“While we came up short against national powerhouse Ithaca, we displayed a lot of resilience and I know that we are on the cusp of making the jump into the top echelon of teams,” co-captain Anthony Brooks ’16 said. “Chris Chorzepa [’17] showed once again that he is one of the best wrestlers in the country, rolling to a 7-4 decision against the ninth ranked wrestler in the country.”

As part of Senior Day, Head Coach Scott Honecker recognized the five seniors on the Eph roster prior to the match against the Cardinals: Brooks, co-captain Jonathan Berry ’16, co-captain Tim Garripoli ’16, co-captain Jorge Lopez ’16 and Daniel Sedeita ’16. Honecker noted that three of the seniors – Brooks, Garripoli and Lopez – were members of his first recruiting class in his tenure at the College and became four-year starters. Both Garripoli and Lopez have accrued over 100 wins during their collegiate careers.

The men’s opener against the Oneonta Red Dragons marked a decisive win for the Ephs and gained the team six pins. Eph winners via pin were Brooks, Garripoli and Matt Morris ’18, competing in the 125-lb. weight class, Ben Morton ’19 in the 133-lb. weight class, Jake Savoca ’18 in the 149-lb. weight class and Chorzepa in the 184-lb. weight class.

In their second match of the day, the Ephs again posted six pins. By downing Little Three foe Wesleyan 43-10, the men showed how far they have progressed since facing Wesleyan on Jan. 23 at the New England Wrestling Asso-ciation (NEWA) Duals, where the Ephs edged the Cardinals by only two points to win 24-22.

This NESCAC match-up opened with a 19-0 Eph lead after four bouts with Morris and Morton recording pins, Brendon Seyfried ’19 winning in the 141-lb. weight class and Savoca notching a major decision wrestling up in the 165-lb. weight class.

In their final match, Ithaca wasted no time in establishing control and won the first seven bouts to build a lead of 24-0 before Chorzepa won 7-4 at 184. Chorzepa went 3-0 on the day and has extended his season-long win streak to 33. In his first 100 bouts as an Eph, Chorzepa has authored a record of 93-7.

“This is a veteran team that understands the value of the developmental process,” Honecker said. “Of course it’s good to blow out NESCAC rival Wesleyan, but even though we took it on the chin against Ithaca, I think that’s where we really got better.”

On Jan. 30 at the NEWA Duals, Williams gained impressive wins over both Hunter (45-9) and Centenary (37-6) despite a loss to No. 10 TCNJ (22-13). Chorzepa, ranked No. 1 in the region and No. 2 in the country for his weight class in Div. III, was named NEWA Wrestler of the Week on Feb. 2 for his performances at NEWA Duals.

Looking ahead, the men will head to Springfield next Saturday to compete in a tri-match at 12 p.m. against Springfield and WPI. Thereafter, the men look forward to the Futures Tournament at Roger Williams on Feb. 21.

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