WORCESTER, MA – The Williams College Wrestling team traveled to Worcester Polytechnic Institute today to compete in the first round of this season's postseason. The NCAA Division III Northeast Regional Tournament kicked off at 9:00 am with single round elimination in all weight categories.
The Ephs entered competition with ten representatives. After the first day of wrestling, five Ephs will advance to Sunday. While senior Matt Morris and junior Brendon Seyfried remain in the running for the championship spot, senior Jake Savoca, junior Sebastian Dziadkiewicz, and sophomore Yo Akiyama have remained undefeated in the consolation bracket. Seyfried is chasing his third consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships. The remaining four are competing to earn their first trip to the next level.
Head coach Scott Honecker, who has consistently stressed the importance of difficult wrestling in the regular season in return for results in the postseason, was pleased with his wrestlers' outcomes amidst difficult competition: "We came here with the goal of wrestling the best we have all season. The guys exceeded expectations. Fuzz [Morris] and Brendon punched their way to the semis while Jake, Yo, and Sebastian all upset ranked wrestlers to advance to day two. We have had a pretty single-minded focus in 2018 – all eyes on the postseason. They worked hard, made incremental improvements, and had great professionalism and discipline in the preparation. Tomorrow presents a new challenge as all five of those guys are alive for an NCAA berth. Let's make it happen."
125 – Matt Morris received a bye in the first two rounds of today's competition. His first match of the day was against Amir Daouk from Wesleyan University. After recording a dominant 2:34 pin, Morris advanced to the semifinals on Sunday. He will face Peter Del Gallo of the University of Southern Maine for a shot at the top rank.
133 – Junior Ben Morton began the day with a bye in the first round. In the second round he fell in a close match to a Johnson and Wales opponent. In the consolation bracket, Morton rallied with a bye, and a strong 6:34 pin over a Johnson and Wales Opponent. Unfortunately, he was eliminated in a well fought battle by a Western New England University opponent in his third match of the day.
141 – First Year Joseph Rosetti made his NCAA Regionals debut with an impressive quarterfinal run. After receiving a bye in the first round, Rosetti notched a decisive 1:04 pin over his first opponent from Roger Williams University. In the quarterfinal match Rosetti was pitted against Max Temple from Castleton University. After a tumultuous match, Rosetti was bested in a sudden victory (SV-1 7-5). A difficult loss in the consolation bracket fully eliminated Rosetti from further wrestling.
149 – Brendon Seyfried received a bye in the first round and defeated a Johnson and Wales University opponent with a 11-10 decision to advance to the quarter finals. Seyfried kept the momentum going with another decision victory over Ryan Peters from Springfield College to remain undefeated on the day. He will take on Grant Sorensen of Trinity College in the semifinals on Sunday.
157 – Jake Savoca advanced through the first round with a bye, before earning a well fought victory over an opponent from Bridgewater University. In the quarter finals, Savoca was eliminated from championship contention after a well-matched battle with a New York University adversary. He rallied to keep his qualifying status alive with a 6-5 decision victory over a Springfield college competitor. Savoca will take on Nick Simeti from Plymouth State University on Sunday for the chance to advance further.
165 – Yo Akiyama received a bye in the first round, but fell in a close match to a Castleton University representative in the second. With a show of grit, Akiyama recorded three consecutive wins in the consolation bracket to keep his bid alive. After a bye in the first round, Yo delivered a quick 2:35 pin over a Wesleyan opponent, followed by a strong 9-6 decision victory over a University of Southern Maine competitor to advance to Sunday's wrestling. He will face off against Aarin Feliz of Springfield College in the next round.
174 – Sophomore Luke Anselmi began his day with a strong 13-5 Major Decision victory over a Castleton University adversary. Unfortunately, Anselmi was eliminated from the championship bracket in a tough loss to a University of Southern Maine opponent in the next round. After mounting an impressive rallying effort, which included a bye and another Major Decision victory, Luke was eliminated in the third round of the consolation bracket.
184 – Junior Sebastian Dziadkiewicz was defeated in a close 8-7 decision in the second round, after receiving a bye in the first, by a Springfield College competitor. Mirroring Yo Akiyama's competitive spirit, Dziadkiewicz notched two consecutive victories to keep his national chances alive. The 4-2, and 8-6 scores respectively earned Sebastian a match against Kolby Smith from the University of Southern Maine in the next round on Sunday.
197 – Senior Carl Sangree received a bye in the first round, but was felled in a well fought match in the second. His bye in the first round of consolations was followed by an equally well battled loss to a Bridgewater State University.
285 – Senior Christopher Washington competed above his typical weight class for this year's NCAAs. After receiving a bye in the first, Washington moved to the consolation bracket with a tough loss in the second round. His second bye was followed by a fighting defeat in the second round of consolations.
The surviving Ephs advanced to Sunday's wrestling where they will look to earn spots for the NCAA championships next month. Action begins at 9:00 am on Sunday to determine the region's representatives at the NCAA DIII Championships in Cleveland.