WILLIAMSPORT, PA – The Williams College Wrestling team traveled to Lycoming University this weekend for the annual Budd Whitehill Duals. Created in 1989, the Duals are now in their 32nd year of existence. In its original form, the event pitted eight of the top DIII wrestling programs against one another under the name: "the Division III National Duals". Since that time, it has expanded to include sixteen teams and adopted its current name to honor Lycoming College's wrestling program founder and coach for the first thirty-seven seasons, Budd Whitehill.
Unlike a tournament in which each wrestler is competing for the championship spot in their bracket, the Duals function as a team tournament. The teams are seeded into Groups of four and then compete against their group for the chance to advance to one of three groups which will ultimately determine their placing.
This year's tournament attracted sixteen of the top colleges in DIII Wrestling. Williams was placed into Group B along with Messiah College, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and the host Lycoming College. With matches at 9:00 am, 12:00 pm, and 3:00 pm the Ephs had a long day of wrestling against strong competition.
Head Coach Scott Honecker had this to say about his team's performance: "We knew when draws came out Tuesday we were in a very tough pool, we fought well in all three matches and I think we are poised for good success tomorrow." He continued: "No one let us down with effort today and I'm expecting that to translate to wins in Saturday morning' session.".
In their 9:00 am match, Williams Wrestling took on Messiah College who entered the duals 9-4 after a recent loss to Mulhenberg College out of Allentown, PA. Williams jumped out to an early lead with victories in three out of their four matches, but were ultimately outpaced through the final stretch to end in Messiah's favor.
Sophomore 125 pounder David Yeh posted a back and forth battle with Messiah's Jordan Howard. A tie score at the end of the three rounds of action sent it to a tie-breaking round where Yeh delivered with 2-0 OT victory to put the Ephs up 3-0. Messiah shot back with a tech fall victory at 133 pounds to take a two point lead at 5-3.
The Ephs rallied in both the 141 and 149 weight divisions to take the lead once more. Senior captain 141 pounder Joey Rossetti posted a dominating 16-0 tech fall victory to push the Ephs back into the lead at 8-5. First year 149 pounder Albert Xing followed his lead with a 6-4 decision victory of his own to extend the lead to 11-5.
Unfortunately, this would be the Ephs final lead against Messiah College as the Falcons managed to capture the following three matches to put them back in the lead with a score of 22-11. First year Will Smith managed to cut the lead to five after his 184 pound match when he delivered a strong 3:13 pin over Kevin Diehl.
Smith's victory ended the dual on a strong note, but a major decision loss at 197 pounds and a forfeit at 285 ultimately sealed the 32-17 loss to Messiah College. The Ephs lack of representation at the heavy weight division means they will face an uphill battle in any dual match as they enter all duals already down six points.
Messiah defeated Williams 32-17
- 125 - David Yeh (Williams) over Jordan Howard (Messiah) TB-1 2-0
- 133 - Josiah Gehr (Messiah) over Dietrich Hartman (Williams) TF 16-0
- 141 - Joseph Rossetti (Williams) over Dalton Daugherty (Messiah) TF 16-0
- 149 - Albert Xing (Williams) over Nick Nunez (Messiah) Dec 6-4
- 157 - Stephen Maloney (Messiah) over Yo Akiyama (Williams) TF 17-0
- 165 - Matt Pangle (Messiah) over Nick Anselmi (Williams) Fall 6:13
- 174 - Brian Shermeyer (Messiah) over Dante Gutbrod (Williams) Fall 4:24
- 184 - William Smith (Williams) over Kevin Diehl (Messiah) Fall 3:13
- 197 - Joe Embleton (Messiah) over Dylan Millson (Williams) Maj 12-2
- 285 - Samuel Blevins (Messiah) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf
In their second match of the day, the Ephs took on the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. The Stevie Pointers came into the match with a 1-0 record on the day after narrowly beating out Lycoming College in a 25-22 upset. Another back and forth battle put the Ephs up early before Stevens Point battled back to take the match.
The Stevie Pointers were unable to field a competitor against Yeh which gave the Ephs a quick 6-0 lead to start. However, Stevens Point tied the score in the following match with a quick pin to make it 6-6.
Rossetti mantained his undefeated streak on the day with an almost identical defeat of Steven Point's Zane Strubler. His 15-0 tech fall victory put the Ephs back into the lead with a score of 11-5. The six-point lead was closed and the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point opened a lead of their own in the following four matches. A combination of a few decision victories and a pin ensured the Stevie Pointers jumped out to a ten-point lead with a score of 11-21. Among these was a particularly close match between senior captain and 157 pounder Yo Akiyama and Brandon Peckham. The back and forth defensive battle was ultimately decided by one point and fell in the favor of Peckham.
Smith returned again for the Ephs at 184 pounds with his second consecutive pin of the day. He downed Taran Holland in 3:42 to make the score 17-21. The final scoring match of the dual gave Stevens Point another six matches, and the 285 forced forfeit completed the loss with a final score of 33-17 in the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point's favor.
Wis.-Stevens Point defeated Williams 33-17
- 125 - David Yeh (Williams) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf
- 133 - Matt Berlin (Wis.-Stevens Point) over Dietrich Hartman (Williams) Fall 1:27
- 141 - Joseph Rossetti (Williams) over Zane Strubler (Wis.-Stevens Point) TF 15-0
- 149 - Mason Wheeler (Wis.-Stevens Point) over Albert Xing (Williams) Dec 9-2
- 157 - Brandon Peckham (Wis.-Stevens Point) over Yo Akiyama (Williams) Dec 4-3
- 165 - Jordan Weinzetl (Wis.-Stevens Point) over Brendan Kiernan (Williams) Fall 2:43
- 174 - Zack Moon (Wis.-Stevens Point) over Dante Gutbrod (Williams) Dec 7-3
- 184 - William Smith (Williams) over Taran Holland (Wis.-Stevens Point) Fall 3:42
- 197 - Jerry Lipke (Wis.-Stevens Point) over Dylan Millson (Williams) Fall 1:45
- 285 - Noah Wieczorek (Wis.-Stevens Point) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf
In their final dual of the day, the Ephs took on the third member of Group B, Lycoming College. A disappointing day for the hosts put them at 0-2 after losing to both the University of Wisconsin Stevens Points with a score of 25-22, and Messiah College with a score of 30-18. The final match of the day was completed in similar fashion. The Ephs took an early lead before falling later in the dual.
Yeh and Rossetti continued their undefeated streaks with a 9-1 and 14-2 decision victories respectively. Their successes in two of the first three matches put the Ephs up 8-4 to start. Lycoming University wrestlers captured both the 149 and 157 weight divisions to put them in the lead with a score of 8-12. Senior 165 pounder Nick Anselmi earned his first win of the day over Hunter O'Connor with a 6-2 decision victory to cut the lead to one at 12-11 in favor of Lycoming. Unfortunately, Lycoming was able to capture the remaining four matches to make the final score 33-11.
Lycoming defeated Williams 33-11
- 125 - David Yeh (Williams) over Shane Casey (Lycoming) Maj 9-1
- 133 - Samuel Hanley (Lycoming) over Dietrich Hartman (Williams) Maj 18-4
- 141 - Joseph Rossetti (Williams) over Ethan Landis (Lycoming) Maj 14-2
- 149 - Josiah McClarren (Lycoming) over Albert Xing (Williams) Dec 9-2
- 157 - Trevor Corl (Lycoming) over Yo Akiyama (Williams) TF 16-0
- 165 - Nick Anselmi (Williams) over Hunter O`Connor (Lycoming) Dec 6-2
- 174 - Hadyn Swartwood (Lycoming) over Dante Gutbrod (Williams) Fall 3:17
- 184 - Mason Novak (Lycoming) over William Smith (Williams) Dec 4-1
- 197 - Brody Keefe (Lycoming) over Olamide Adeyeri (Williams) Fall 1:44
- 285 - Nicholas Winfield (Lycoming) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf
With notoriously difficult competition, the Ephs came out of today's matches banged up, but with plenty of solid experience to aid progress moving forward. Strong wrestling throughout the day puts the Ephs in a good position to come out firing again tomorrow. Williams' Wrestling's record today puts them in the 13-16th place bracket tomorrow. The second and final day of the Budd Whitehill Duals concludes tomorrow where the Ephs take on Wesleyan Unveristy, Oswego state, and Wilkes University.