WILLIAMSPORT, PA - - The Williams College Wrestling Team competed in the second day of the 31st annual Budd Whitehill National Duals today at Lycoming College. Each of the sixteen teams present competed in three duals yesterday to determine the bracket they would be placed into today. Williams was one of four teams placed into group A along with Southern Virginia University, SUNY-Oswego, and York College.
The Ephs 1-2 record in yesterday's action earned them a reseed into the 9-12 place bracket along with Washington and Lee University, the hosts, Lycoming College, and fellow Nescac member, Wesleyan University. Unlike Friday's setup, the reseeded brackets do not require each team to wrestle all others. Instead, the foursome is separated into two matches. The winners of those matches compete for first place in that bracket (9th) and the other two teams compete for third place in that bracket (11th).
Amidst very difficult competition present at the annual duals, Williams managed to secure a 12th place finish.
Head Coach Scott Honecker commented on the team's performance this weekend: "This lineup was faced with more adversity at one time than we have experienced in years. I'm so proud of these guys, the way they battled every minute regardless of the circumstances. This group has an attitude and we will be a stronger version of ourselves for this experience. We will take a day off and then come back on Monday focused on the New England Duals next Sunday."
In their first match of the day Williams took on the Wesleyan Cardinals for entrance into the 9th place match. This was the first time the two teams have met this season.
The Cardinals took an early lead over the Ephs with a decision victory at 125 pounds to put them up 3-0.
Senior Ben Morton and sophomore Joey Rossetti built on strong performances delivered on Friday with two key victories today to put Williams on the board. Morton downed his opponent with a nail-biting 3-2 decision victory to bring the Ephs even at 3-3. Rossetti maintained his undefeated tournament record and posted his third consecutive pin in 1:28. His efforts gave Williams their first lead of the match at 9-3.
Unfortunately, strong performances by the rest of Wesleyan's roster meant the Ephs were unable to earn any further points in the remaining weight classes.
The final score of the match was 31-9 in favor of Wesleyan University.
In their final match of the tournament, Williams Wrestling took on Washington and Lee University for the 3rd place position in the bracket.
First year David Yeh returned to his winning ways in the first match of the dual. His 11-5 decision victory put Williams up 3-0 to start things off. The Washington and Lee University Generals fired back in the next match with a close 9-7 decision victory to even the score at 3-3.
Rossetti finished off his tournament with a lossless record and gave the Ephs a 9-3 lead when his opponent was forced to leave the match injured. Once again, the Generals evened the score with a pin at 149 pounds to make it 9-9.
Coach Honecker made a special point of addressing Joey's efforts: "Joe Rossetti went 5-0 this weekend. We are still identifying places where he can improve and make adjustments, and this kid applies the adjustments so well. He's looking good, but more importantly he's getting better."
Rossetti was named to the All-Tournament Team. All-Tournament Team honors are awarded after the tournament at each weight to the undefeated wrestler that earned the most team points per match, not including wins by default, injury default, or disqualification.
Sophomore Brendan Kiernan posted Williams' final points of the tournament when he defeated his opponent with a score of 10-7. The Washington and Lee University representatives felled the Williams competitors in the remaining matches.
The outcome ended in Washington and Lee University's favor with a score of 36-12.
Completion of the Budd Whitehill National Duals marks the first of a streak of dual matches for the Ephs. Their next change to compete will come in just eight days' time when they travel to compete in the New England Wrestling Association Duals. Coach Honecker and team look to enter the matches on a strong note.