February 2, 2009

Men’s Wrestling Erases Memories of Last Weekend in Tenn.

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Wrestling head coach Rob Koll likes to downplay the importance of individual dual matches during the regular season, choosing instead to look at the big picture — that his team peaks in time to be at its absolute highest level of performance in time for the NCAA championships. But it would have been impossible to not be disappointed — frustrated, even — by the team’s loss last weekend at home to then-No. 12 Missouri. The 16-14 loss dropped the Red (6-2) to the No. 3 ranking, and no doubt hurt the team’s pride. It was from this mental standpoint that the team traveled to Chattanooga, Tenn. to take on the Mocs (11-8) in MacLellan Gym yesterday. The Red came away with a dominating, 32-7 victory to help erase, at least partly, memories of last Saturday’s loss.[img_assist|nid=34643|title=Can you taste that?|desc=The Cornell Men’s Wrestling team dominated Chattanooga with a 32-7 victory on the road in Tennessee. The team fell to No.3 after their loss to No. 12 Missouri last weekend.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Cornell racked up bonus points in four different matches during the contest. Junior All-American Troy Nickerson won his match by fall, sophomores Justin Kerber and Cam Simaz both won by technical fall and sophomore All-American Mike Grey picked up a major decision for the Red.
No. 12 Nickerson started off the afternoon for Cornell, facing off against opponent Demetrius Johnson at 125 pounds. Nickerson scored first, earning two quick points for a takedown. The two went back and forth for the next minute, before he flipped his opponent, earning six points with the quick pin.
Grey took the mat next, taking on Josh Statum at 133 pounds. Easily dominating the overmatched Statum, Grey earned a remarkable eight takedowns en route to a 20-6 victory and major decision, putting his team up early, 10-0.
At 141, sophomore Corey Manson faced No. 9 Cody Cleveland. The Chattanooga wrestler got on the board first, earning a takedown near the end of the first period. A second takedown in the second period put Cleveland up, 6-2, a lead he would hold, earning another six points and a major decision for the Mocs.
Next up, sophomore DJ Meagher faced Dan Waddell at 149 pounds. After some scrambling, Meagher scored first with a takedown. Despite a good fight on the part of the Moc grappler, Meagher earned the 10-6 decision, aided by late riding time.
No. 5 senior and captain Jordan Leen was the last match of the first half, taking on Joey Knox at 155. Leen controlled the first period, earning a takedown and racking up riding time. In the third period, up by six points, 8-2, Leen seemed to be looking to earn a major decision, but time ran out before he could do so.
To start the second half, junior John Basting squared off against William Garvin. Garvin, the alternate for All-American Mack Lewnes fought hard and earned five points. But the struggle was not enough to defeat his opponent, who ended the match with 10 points.
At 174 pounds, No. 6 senior Steve Anceravage faced Jason McCrosky. Anceravage took his opponent down to the mat several times, but the match was close, with Anceravage finally prevailing, 5-4.
The next match featured No. 16 sophomore Justin Kerber, wrestling at 184 pound against Tyler Roberson. Working steadily, Kerber racked up the points with takedowns and a nearfall, before walking away with a 17-2 techfall victory.
The second-to-last wrestler for the Red was freshman Simaz, wrestling at 197 pounds against Ethan Winel. Simaz’s technical fall with less than a minute left in the match increased the Red’s team lead to 23-8.
Rounding out the afternoon was No.12 senior Zach Hammond, Cornell’s heavyweight entry. Hammond faced Cody Sliger and dispatched him, 8-1, with close to three minutes in total riding time.