FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – The Williams College wrestling team traveled to Florida for the annual Citrus Invitational. The tournament marks the Eph's final chance to compete in the calendar year. Strong performances at the Doug Parker Invite and the RIT Invitational in November set the stage for a promising tournament. Of note is junior captain Joey Rossetti's undefeated record so far this season. He looked to continue that trend today.
The tournament takes place over the course of December 29th and 30th. Fourteen teams made the trek to Florida to compete at the prestigious invitational. Williams Wrestling brought nine scoring competitors to take part in the action. Aside from the heavy weight division the Ephs were able to field representatives at every weight class. Two additional non scoring team members wrestled this weekend as well.
Coach Honecker was proud of his team's performance amidst a difficult field of competitors: "Today was a tough day at the office. We are going to learn some lessons about resolve this week. Tomorrow doesn't care that today was tough. We're going to dust off, get back in the fight, and end this tournament with a bang tomorrow.".
Sophomore David Yeh returned in his role as the Eph's 125 pounder. After medaling in the past two tournaments, Yeh entered Citrus with hopes of continuing that success. He received a bye in the first round before facing off against Jonathon Keltz from NYU. Yeh delivered an impressive 18-3 tech fall to advance to the quarter finals against Jack Stanley out of Baldwin Wallace College in Ohio. Stanley managed to edge out Yeh in a back and forth 7-3 match. The loss sent Yeh to the consolation bracket where he bounced back quickly with an impressive 4:16 pin over a Ferrum University opponent. Yeh's 2-1 record on the day means he has the opportunity to return tomorrow to the consolation bracket to wrestle back for a chance at a medal.
Senior Dietrich Hartman was Williams College's sole representative at 133 pounds. He also received a bye in the first round but was felled by his first opponent of the day. In the consolation bracket, Hartman came up big with a 12-2 Major Decision victory to push him to the third round of the wrestle back bracket. Unfortunately, Hartman's success ended there with another loss which ended his day and put him into the hunt for the 13th position tomorrow.
Rossetti was one of the few to not receive a bye in the first round. He took on Jake Wulf of Cornell College in his first match. A dominant 13-0 major decision victory set a strong note for the day. Unfortunately, he was defeated by an Ausburg University competitor in the second round. Having been sent to the consolation bracket for the first time this season, Rossetti returned strong with a decisive 1:38 pin over Anthony Hennen from St. John's University. He followed that up with an 11-5 decision victory over Conner Deboe from Baldwin Wallace College. This would end Rossetti's chance to medal as he was overcome in the following match by Deboe's teammate from Baldwin Wallace. Rossetti will wrestle for 11th tomorrow.
First year Albert Xing stepped in as the 149 pounder for Williams. He came out firing with a 4:18 pin over Jake Burress from Keiser University. In the second round Xing was defeated by an Ausburg University opponent to send him to the consolation bracket. Showing his grit, Xing returned with two decisive victories. In the first match he delivered a 16-0 tech fall victory over Justin Valdoria out of Johns Hopkins and in the second match he won a 12-9 decision victory over Same La Corfe from NYU. A second defeat on the day ended medaling chances for Xing but he completed day one with a promising 3-2 record.
Senior captain Yo Akiyama returned at 157 for the Ephs. He was just edged out in the first match by a Cornell College representative, but he returned strong in consolation. Akiyama delivered a 13-5 major decision victory in the first round of consolations over Luke McKeon from John Carroll University. He followed that up with a 10-5 decision victory in the following round over Liam Drury from NYU. Unfortunately, Akiyama was downed in a grueling 4-2 decision loss in the following match to end his chance at earning a medal.
At 165 pounds, senior Nick Anselmi was the scoring eligible representative, while junior Brendan Kiernan was the non-scoring team member. Anselmi won a hard fought 6-4 decision victory over Reid Dentner from Washington & Lee. He was eliminated from the championship bracket in the second round, but he returned in consolation with a 16-1 tech fall victory over Joseph Pasquesi from Cornell College. Unfortunately, Nick would not win another match that day as he was defeated in the following round to make his record 2-2 on the day. Kiernan began his day differently. A loss in the first round put him immediately into the consolation bracket. He rallied with three straight victories over Luke Nees from Ferrum, Logan Edwards from St. John's, and Andrew Burgette from Liberty. Two decision victories and a medical forfeit were followed by a tough loss in the fourth round of consolation. A 3-2 record was a strong day for the additional 165 pounder.
At 174 pounds, first year Dante Gutbroad took on the role for Williams. Gutbroad was unable to record any wins amidst a very difficult field. The opportunity to wrestle against a difficult group of opponents continues to help him improve for the Ephs.
First year Will Smith rounded out the first-year contingency of scoring team members. He was sent immediately to the consolation bracket with an early loss. However, Smith bounced back with a bye in the first round and an 8-4 decision victory in the second over a Keiser University wrestler. This would be Smith's only successes of the day as he was defeated in the following round to end his day one.
At the Ephs' final weight category senior Dylan Millson was the scoring team member while first year Larry Adyeri was the non-scoring one. Millson was unable to record any wins on the day, but he managed to force his first match to a two point spread. Adyeri on the other hand received a bye in the first round and then recorded a 1:58 pin over Bernard Fox from NYU. This would be his only victory of the day and he ended with a 1-2 record.
The Williams College wrestling team will return to the mat tomorrow for the second and final day of the 2019 Citrus Invitational. A difficult day of competition will be put behind them as they hope to end this portion of their season strong.