CASTLETON, VT – The Williams College wrestling team traveled to Castleton University today to take on the 8th ranked Spartans. The Ephs came into the match ranked two spots below at 10th. Today's action marks the third time the two teams have competed in the same events this season. Castleton was also present at the Williams Open and the New England Wrestling Association Duals. Competition began at 7:00 pm and ran through all weight divisions.
The Ephs began the match with a quick 4-0 lead after Senior Matt Morris defeated his opponent in a convincing major decision. Castleton fired back with two close decision victories to put the Spartans in the lead with a score of 6-4.
Junior Brendon Seyfried got the ball rolling again with another major decision victory to put the Ephs back on top. The 8-6 lead was further extended by Senior Jake Savoca's dominant 2:34 pin at the 157 pound weight division. His victory extended the lead to 14-6.
Sophomore Yo Akiyama's 4-2 upset over his opponent brought the lead to 17-6, and effectively sealed the victory for the Ephs. Fellow Sophomore Luke Anselmi capped off Williams' success with a tech fall in 5:18 to bring the score to 22-6.
Even as the Spartans edged out Williams' representatives in two hard fought battles and a forfeit, they were unable to close the gap the Ephs had opened up.
In addition to the scheduled wrestling that took place, Williams and Castleton made time for two exhibition matches at 149 and 157 pound weight classes. First Years Jack Murphy and Brendan Kiernan both won their matches with scores of 6-4 and 17-6 respectively.
Eph head coach Scott Honecker commented on the match outcome, "We have a nice rivalry developing with Castleton. We knew we would need some bonus points and one upset, and the guys came through. Yo gave us the upset and we got the bonus points in our other four wins. Fuzz [Morris] started us off with the major and the purple blood was flowing all the way through the dual."
While a Williams victory is always something to be celebrated, coach Honecker felt the win held particular value: "I'm glad, with tonight being the last dual of the career for Jake, Carl, and Chris, that the guys were able to make it a special one."
WILLIAMS 22, CASTLETON 19
125 – Matt Morris (WILL) def. Ryan Cabezas (CU), MD 10-2
Williams 4, Castleton 0
133 – Nick Camacho (CU) def. Ben Morton (WILL), Dec 4-3
Williams 4, Castleton 3
141 – Max Tempel (CU) def. Joseph Rossetti (WILL), Dec 6-1
Castleton 6, Williams 4
149 – Brendon Seyfried (WILL) def. Ben Billings (CU), MD 14-4
Williams 8, Castleton 6
157 – Jake Savoca (WILL) def. Cameron Milliken (CU), Fall 2:34
Williams 14, Castleton 6
165 – Yo Akiyama (WILL) def. Jared Costa (CU), Dec 4-2
Williams 17, Castleton 6
174 – Luke Anselmi (WILL) def. James Kilgo (CU), TF 5:18 (19-2)
Williams 22, Castleton 6
184 – Mitchell LaFlam (CU) def. Sebastian Dziadkiewicz (WILL), Dec 5-0
Williams 22, Castleton 9
197 – Cedrick Stephens (CU) def. Carl Sangree (WILL), MD 12-0
Williams 22, Castleton 13
285 – Jesse Webb (CU) def. Unknown (WILL), Forfeit
Williams 22, Castleton 19
EXH (149) – Jack Murphy (WILL) def. Reece Millington (CU), SV-1 6-4
EXH (157) – Brendan Kiernan (WILL) def. Ryan Haff (CU), MD 17-6
The Castleton Dual meet is the last dual event of the season, and concludes a successful regular season campaign. "This close to the postseason, preparations for this dual were not as important as our long range goals," stated Honecker and he added, "but it is nice to have some momentum as we closed out the regular season."
The Ephs next chance at competition comes in a little over a week at the New England Wrestling Association Futures. The event will be held at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island on February 18th. With the postseason approaching, the Ephs will look to continue to improve on the considerable progress they have made thus far.