The university’s brass turned out to open up the Friedman Wrestling Center yesterday afternoon. The Red, ranked No. 7 in the country, faced off against No. 6 Ohio State in the national match of the week. President Hunter Rawlings and Athletic Director and former wrestling coach Andy Noel both spoke to the sold-out crowd to start the match off.
“It’s a thrill for the kids to wrestle in a match like that,” said head coach Rob Koll.
Unfortunately for Cornell, the Buckeyes weren’t intimidated. Ohio State won the close matches and came out on top where it should have on its way to a 22-15 victory.
The loss, Koll noted, “is disappointing when you get a crowd like that.”
But that’s not so say the Red let its opponents off easily. It also won the matches it should have, taking the decision down to the final pairing before the loss.
There, senior Gabe Webster went up against No. 2 Keaton Anderson in the 157-pound match. Webster battled hard for all three periods, giving up only two take-downs and an escape, but in the end, he couldn’t quite find an answer for Anderson, and Cornell fell to the Buckeyes.
“I feel the team didn’t wrestle the way we wanted to,” said sophomore Travis Lee.
Early on, the Red lost two close matches and found itself in a tough position coming into the end of the dual. The first tough break came in the 174 match. Junior Tyler Baier wrestled well for two periods, but with the score tied at 4-4 in the third, his opponent, OSU’s Anthony Magistrelli, got a late take-down to give the Buckeyes a 6-4 decision.
In the 197 match, senior Matt Greenberg, ranked No. 18 in the country, faced No. 9 Anton Talamantes. Greenberg battled through the first, and the score was tied 0-0 going into the second. However, midway through the period, Greenberg suffered a knee injury and went down 3-0. He stayed tough, scoring three points with the clearly painful knee, but the injury was too much to overcome, and Talamentes got a 5-3 decision.
“I don’t think he ever considered not wrestling,” said Koll after the match.
There were several bright spots for Cornell, though. Senior captain Clint Wattenberg dominated his way to a major decision in the 184-pound weight class, and Lee overcame a tender knee of his own, tossing his opponent around for a 16-5 major decision.
Right behind the two All-Americans was junior Alejandro Alvarez and freshman Dustin Manotti. Alvarez fought a tough, aggressive match to gain a 19-7 victory. Manotti faced Ohio State’s Josh Daugherty, who had defeated him a week ago at the National Duals. Manotti didn’t let it happen this time though, coming away with a 9-4 victory.
Koll noted that the atmosphere might have made the grapplers a little anxious and a little distracted.
“It was a great day,” he said, “the kids got a little excited.” Travis Lee’s feelings about the match seemed to confirm Koll’s observation.
“It was pretty nerve-racking,” Lee said, “seeing all those people.”
But that’s not to say he didn’t enjoy the crowd.
“It was great,” he concluded.
Next weekend the Red faces Pennsylvania at the Friedman.
“We have to wrestle as a team a lot better,” said Koll, adding that Penn wasn’t a team to overlook.
“We definitely have some adjustments to make,” Lee noted.
He wasn’t worried though.
“I think we still feel confident,” he concluded.
The Ivy opener is on Friday at 7:00.
Archived article by Matt James