ROANOKE, VA – Sophomore Joey Rossetti traveled to Virginia as the sole representative for the Williams College Wrestling Team at the 2019 NCAA DIII National Championships. After earning third place at the NCAA DIII Northeast Regionals a few weeks ago, Joey got the opportunity to advance further.
This year's championships were held at the Berglund Center over the course of March 8th and 9th. Rossetti represented Williams as one of the fifty-one teams which made appearances there.
The 2018-2019 season was a strong one for Rossetti. While anchoring the team at 141 pounds and delivering key wins throughout the season, Joey managed to capture third at the annual Citrus Invitational, second at the Williams Open, and qualify for nationals.
At nationals, Joey was up against a strong group of competitors. His weight class featured sixteen talented wrestlers from across the country. Further, the 141 pound weight class had far and away the highest total match points scored out of any category. From the first day alone, 253 points had been scored on either side of 141 pound matches. The next closest was 125 pounds with 230 total match points. The high scoring competitions are indicative of the kind of battle Rossetti was in for when he arrived.
For his first match of the day, as a part of prelims, Rossetti took on Jarrod Brezovec out of John Carroll University in Ohio. Brezovec has a season record of twenty-eight wins and only ten losses. Rossetti came out with a strong showing and downed Brezovec with an 11-7 decision.
Unfortunately, Rossetti was unable to advance any further in the tournament. His next opponent out of Alma College in Michigan has a season record of 30-2. This loss eliminated him from the championship bracket. Another loss in the following match to a rival from NYU meant ended Rossetti's season. Additionally, both of his opponents were returning All Americans and earned those honors again this year. In both of his final two matches, Joey was defeated by only a two-point margin.
Head coach Scott Honecker was proud of his wrestler's efforts: "I'm so proud of Joey. He made this opportunity for himself with his habits, his lifestyle, and work ethic. Last year he didn't place in the region and this year he won a match at the national tournament. That's incredible progress. Failing to medal shouldn't be an indication he needs to make changes, his performance this weekend shows that he is on the path. He needs to keep doing what he's doing and he will keep making the same gains."
Joey's run at nationals marks the end of the Williams Wrestling program's 2018-2019 season. A good run for the team and the individual wrestlers bodes well for next season's outlook. Coach Honecker and the returning team members are hard at work in their offseason already.