The wrestling team earned two solid home wins this past weekend, defeating Columbia, 38-0, on Saturday, and notching a second victory over Hofstra, 24-13, on Sunday at the Friedman Wrestling Center.
“I actually thought most of guys actually wrestled better [against Hofstra],” said head coach Rob Koll. “Hofstra’s got a nice team. And even for the guys in defeat, I thought some of them wrestled very well.”
The two wins improved Cornell’s dual meets record to 5-4, as the Red continued to build on its important victory over No. 14 Lehigh on Jan. 22.
Freshman Troy Nickerson – ranked No. 6 in the nation at 125 pounds – started things off against Columbia (4-6) on Saturday. Against Brandon Kinney, Nickerson managed an early takedown to go up 2-1 after the first period, but he would dramatically increase his lead in the second period. He recorded four takedowns to go up 11-4, and then added three more takedowns to go up 17-7 in the third period. Nickerson capped off the match with a pin late in the period, giving Cornell a 6-0 lead in the team score.
Senior Mike Mormile, ranked No. 13 in his weight class, then took on Matt DeLorenzo at 133 pounds. Mormile would eventually prevail, earning a decision and giving the Red a 9-0 lead. Junior Matt Easter would increase Cornell’s lead at 141 pounds, recording an 8-3 victory. Junior Keith Dickey then gave Cornell another win with a 7-4 decision.
Senior No. 5 Dustin Manotti was next up for the Red, and recorded six takedowns on his way to 14-4 major decision over Tyler Thurgood at 157 pounds. Sophomore No. 13 Steve Anceravage then give Cornell a 22-0 lead in the team score with a 7-3 win at 165 pounds, while senior Dan Miracola looked solid in a 10-1 major decision over Kenji Porter.
Senior Joe Mazzurco – ranked No. 5 at 185 pounds – earned a 6-5 win over Justin Barent to give the Red a 29-0 lead. Junior No. 7 Jerry Rinaldi then earned an impressive win, pinning Orrin Kleinhenz in the first period for the victory. Sophomore Zach Hammond closed out the day for the Red with a solid 9-5 victory over John Grando, and Cornell finished the day with a 38-0 win.
The Red was faced with a more challenging opponent on Sunday, as Hofstra featured top-10 wrestlers at 149 pounds and 174 pounds. However, Cornell did not have to face the entire Pride lineup, as Hofstra forfeited the first matches of the day at 125 pounds and 133 pounds, giving Cornell an early 12-0 lead.
As a result, Easter was the first grappler to step onto the mat for Cornell, facing off against No. 12 Charles Griffin at 141 pounds. It was an intense round, but Griffin fought his way to a win, giving Hofstra four points in the team score.
“I actually thought [Easter] wrestled really well,” Koll said. “He was in that match