WORCESTER, MA – The Williams College wrestling team finished the second and final day of the 2018 NCAA Division III Northeast Regional Tournament today. At the start of competition, the Ephs had five representatives vying for medal contention. By the close of action, all five representatives had fought their way through to the top six.
Sophomore Yo Akiyama, juniors Sebastian Dziadkiewicz and Brendon Seyfried, and seniors Jake Savoca and Matt Morris all needed to notch victories to earn a medal spot. Their collective efforts earned Williams College more than the number of podium representatives that were captured last season. Brendon Seyfried led the day with a second-place finish and the chance to compete for the NCAA title at the 149 weight division.
Eph head coach Scott Honecker only had praise for his wrestlers' determination: "We wrestled amazing today. Coming out with five medals exceeded the reasonable expectations of everyone in attendance except for our guys. We peaked well, but without the fight and competitive grit our guys showed we wouldn't have turned in the results we did this weekend. Seabass, Yo, and Jake put in their best performances of the year and Brendon's season continues as he will pursue a NCAA title in Cleveland in two weeks."
125 – Matt Morris entered Sunday with a 1-0 record at this tournament. In his semifinal matchup, Morris was pitted against Peter Del Gallo of The University of Southern Maine. After a valiant effort ended in a close victory for Del Gallo, Morris faced off against Ben Zogby from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in his second match of the day. Rallying from his earlier defeat, Matt posted a dominant 13-1 major division victory to advance to the third place match. Unfortunately, Morris was bested in his final match of the day in a close 10-7 nail biter by a well matched Roger Williams University opponent. Matt Morris' 4th place success at the NCAA Regionals ends an illustrious career for the Eph senior. He will be missed as he moves onto his next endeavor.
"The story of the weekend is a bittersweet one as the Matt Morris era comes to an end.", Honecker commented on the Captain's four year effort, "He has been the ultimate teammate and competitor for us. A four year starter at 125, he was a three time region place winner and four time scholar All American. We could always count on him and he was a true leader. Words can't describe how much I will miss him. Matt leaves the program a better one than he found, and the impact of the standard he set for work ethic and professionalism will resonate through the program for years after he is gone."
149 – Brendon Seyfried entered the day with Grant Sorensen of Trinity College standing between him and the first place match. After a back and forth battle was forced to a tie breaker, Seyfried emerged victorious with a (TB-1 3-2) score and a ticket to the final. In the championship match Brendon faced Evan Drill out of New York University. A close match between the pair resulted in a marginal victory for the NYU competitor. Seyfried completed the tournament with an impressive 2nd place finish and the chance to compete in the championship in a few weeks.
157 – Jake Savoca entered Sunday on a match win streak, after defeating a Springfield College adversary in his first round of consolations yesterday. His first match of the day was against Nick Simeti from Plymouth State University. Savoca kept his momentum going with a dominant 13-4 victory. Regrettably, Savoca conceded his next two matches to difficult opponents from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Johnson and Wales University respectively. His marked success at this year's regionals earned him a 6th place finish in the tournament. A successful finish marks Jake Savoca's last time competing for Williams wrestling. His significant achievements this season, and in previous ones, will be sorely missed by the remaining Ephs in the years to come.
165 – Yo Akiyama's determination on Saturday earned him the chance to further his cause in the consolation bracket today. His two wins yesterday put him up against Aarin Feliz of Springfield College in his first match today. In a well-deserved fight, that ended in a tie breaker and a score of 11-10, Yo prevailed to round out his three match win streak. While Akiyama relinquished his final two matches of the day, his efforts throughout the tournament earned him the 6th place regional honors.
184 – Sebastian Dziadkiewicz's first season at 184 pounds proved to be a well rounded success. His efforts thus far carried him to a match against Kolby Smith of the University of Southern Maine today. Dziadkiewicz continued his two match victory streak with a 3-2 decision victory to propel him to the next round. A close match in the consolation semis ended in a victory for a Worcester Polytechnic Institute opponent. However, in a display of impressive tenacity, Dziadkiewicz rallied to earn a decisive 9-3 decision victory over Henry Oberlander of Bridgewater State University. Sebastian's 4-2 record at the NCAA Regionals earned him a prestigious 5th place finish.
This weekend's actions at WPI caps off a successful season for the Ephs. A very difficult regular season will be completed with Brendon Seyfried's efforts at the NCAA Championships in Ohio in March. Brendon will be competing for the championship spot at the 149 weight division and his second All-America honor.