Williams Wrestling go 2-1 at NEWA Duals

PROVIDENCE, RI – Williams Wrestling traveled to Johnson and Wales University this weekend to take part in the annual New England Wrestling Association Duals held there. Over the course of Sunday the 20th, the Ephs took on three opponents in dual matches.  

Of the thirteen opponents represented at the duals, the Ephs were ranked 8th. Beyond the collective success, five of the team members were also ranked top eight in their respective weight classes.

Competition involved single elimination from the championship bracket, but a consolation bracket allows the opportunity to "wrestle back" to a medal spot. Along with Williams College, previously encountered Trinity College, Castleton University, Wesleyan University, and Springfield College were present. Action kicked off at 9:00 am and ran throughout the day.

The Ephs built off success found at last weekend's Budd Whitehill Duals as they ended the day 2-1 against their competitors. Head Coach Scott Honecker had this to say about the team's performance: "We performed well today, had some success, but what I'm most excited about is the way we fight.  Even against JWU, the number 2 team in the country, we let those guys know they were in for a long night.  Our guys contested every point and wrestled through every situation.  We didn't win them all, but our identity as fighters and gunslingers will serve us well in these last 6 weeks."

The first dual of the day pitted Williams against previously encountered Trinity College. The Ephs entered the match after defeating the Trinity Bantams back in December. 

First year David Yeh got the ball rolling for the Ephs with a dominant 2:05 pin which put Williams up 6-0 early on. The Bantams returned at 133 pounds with a close 3-2 decision victory to cut the deficit to three at 6-3.

Junior Dietrich Hartman and Sophomore Joey Rossetti extended Williams' lead at 141 and 149 pounds. A forfeit against Hartman and a 2:58 pin for Rossetti put Williams up 18-3. Rossetti entered the day ranked fifth at 141 pounds and extended the undefeated streak he began at the Budd Whitehill duals.

A Bantam victory at 157 pounds pushed their score to seven. Entering Junior Yo Akiyama's 165 pound match, the score was set at 18-7. Akiyama extended the lead with a nail-biting 4-3 decision victory to make it 21-7.

First year Nasir Grissom was another Williams wrestler who entered today ranked. His success leading up to these duals earned him an impressive third place ranking. Not to disappoint, he defeated his opponent with a decisive 12-4 Major Decision victory to extend the lead another four points.

A Trinity College victory at 184 pounds made the score 25-11. Senior Sebastian Dziadkiewicz rounded out the lineup for the Ephs against Trinity. Coming off an injury Dziadkiewicz returned strong with 13-3 major decision victory to seal the victory for the Ephs. Coach Honecker commented on the return of the 197 pounder: "The big boost today was getting Sebastian Dziadkiewicz back in the lineup.  We only used him once, but he proved he is ready to compete with the top dogs."

Even a forfeit in the heavy weight division was not enough to overcome the lead Williams had built. The final score of the dual was 29-17 in favor of Williams College.

Williams 29, Trinity 17

125 David Yeh (WC) wins by fall over Finn McGoern (TC) - 2:05  6-0
133 Alex Steele (TC) over Ben Morton (WC) Decision 3-2   6-3
141 Dietrich Hartman (WC) Wins by Forfiet   12-3
149 Joseph Rossetti (WC) over Joseph Penna (TC) Fall 2:58   18-3
157 Grant Sorensen (TC) over Alex Pankhurst (WC) Major Decision 13-1  18-7
165 Yo Akiyama (WC) over John Reilly (TC) Decision 4-3 21-7
174 Nasir Grissom (WC) over Stephen Cerrone (TC) Major Decision 12-4 25-7
184 Anders Klass (TC) over Dylan Millson (WC) Major Decision 12-0  25-11
197 Sebastian Dziadkiewicz (WC) over Enrique Loya (TC) Major Decision 13-3  29-11
285 John O`Brien (TC) Wins by Forfeit 29-17

In their second dual of the day, Williams College took on top ranked Johnson and Wales University. The hosts entered today's competition ranked number two in the country.

A tough series of matches put JWU up early on. It was not until Grissom returned at 174 pounds that the Ephs were able to record their first points. His overtime decision victory at 8-6 made the score 28-3.

Junior Dylan MIllson was also able to advance the Eph's score when a forfeit at 174 pounds moved the score to 28-9. Unfortunately forfeits at the two final weight classes meant that Williams was unable to score any further points.

The final dual score was 46-8 in favor of Johnson and Wales University.

#2 Johnson & Wales 46, Williams 8

125 Jay Albis (JWU) over David Yeh (WC) Tech Fall 19-3  5-0
133 Christopher Caban (JWU) over Ben Morton (WC) Fall 4:06 11-0
141 Joe Ferinde (JWU) over Joseph Rossetti (WC) Decision 8-5 14-0
149 Da`mani Burns (JWU) over Jack Murphy (WC) Fall 5:57 20-0
157 Brady Robin (JWU) over Brendan Kiernan (WC) Tech Fall 16-1    25-0
165 Adrian Gonzalez (JWU) over Nick Anselmi (WC) Decision 11-5  28-0
174 Nasir Grissom (WC) over Nick Caracappa (JWU) Decision 8-6 SV1 28-3
184 Dylan Millson (WC) Wins by Forfeit  28-9
197 Michael DiNardo (JWU) Wins by Forfeit  34-9
285 Tommy Wrzesien (JWU) Wins by Forfeit 40-9

 Williams docked one points for unsportsmanlike conduct                    40-8

In their final dual match of the day the Ephs took on Rhode Island College.

Two forfeits at 125 pounds and 133 pounds gave Williams an early lead at 12-0. Rossetti and Pankhurst built off the lead with dominant 0:53 and 0:46 pins respectively to advance the score to 24-0.

The Rhode Island College Anchormen earned their first points at 157 pounds to make the score 24-3. Akiyama returned Williams to their winning ways and remained undefeated on the day when he downed his opponent with a 3:00 pin. After Yo's string of victories over the past couple weeks, Coach Honecker commented on Akiyama's performance: "Yo Akiyama is showing an edge out there on the mat.  He is so technically proficient, when he chooses to impose his will he can beat just about anybody."

Grissom remained undefeated on the day when his opponent pulled out at 174 pounds. Honecker also commented on Tariq's prowess today and throughout the season: "Nasir Grissom is competing so hard.  He was our only 3-0 wrestler on the day, and he's out there showing his progress and enjoying the fight.  We need to tighten up a couple things tactically, but his mindset is solid and he's really showing growth."

At day's end Grissom was named to the NEWA DUals Championship All-Tournament Team.

Millson recorded the Ephs final points of the day when defeated his opponent 7-2 at the 184 pound weight class. Even a late Rhode Island College surge at the end of the dual was not enough to overcome the Eph's dominant performance.

The final score of the dual was 39-15 in favor of Williams College.

125 David Yeh (WC) Wins by forfeit 6-0
133 Ben Morton (WC) Wins by forfeit  12-0
141 Joseph Rossetti (WC) wins by Fall over Marc Uehling (RIC) - 0:53  18-0
149 Alex Pankhurst (WC) wins by fall over Samuel Lindblom (RIC) - 0:46  24-0
157 Zachary Ford (RIC) wins by decision over Brendan Kiernan (WC) - 4-2  24-3
165 Yo Akiyama (WC) wins by fall over Alexander Hom (RIC) - 3:00 30-3
174 Nasir Grissom (WC) wins by forfeit  36-3
184 Dylan Millson (WC) wins by decision over Nathaniel Stemple (RIC) - 7-2  39-3
197 Travis Manick (RIC) wins by forfeit   39-9
285 Jordan Zanni (RIC) wins by forfeit  39-15

The NEWA Duals were cut short this year due to the inclement weather in the Rhode Island area. Despite some setbacks, Williams Wrestling was able to find considerable success.

Coach Honecker summed up the team outlook succinctly: "All the guys showed they are tough as nails today.It was good to see the best team in the region and also have some comfortable wins all in one day. We need to manage our weight well and have a productive week of practice since we go again on Saturday against WNEU and Hunter. That will be a very closely contested tri-meet and we need to continue our peaking process toward the postseason."

The Ephs will have the chance to compete once again on January 26th. They will face off against Western New England and Hunter College. Action kicks off at 9:00 am sharp.