February 9, 2009

Wrestlers Win Doubleheader

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The wrestling team made it very clear why it is ranked third in the nation. The Red dominated opponents in both halves of a doubleheader yesterday. Cornell wrestlers won 16 of 20 total matches as they prevailed against Columbia and Hofstra.
“I really think we wrestled very well,” said junior Troy Nickerson. “It was definitely the best we’ve wrestled in the last month or so.”
The Red opened its Ivy League season at Columbia. The meet began with Nickerson at 125 pounds. Nickerson, who is ranked No. 2 in the nation, quickly took down his opponent and won by fall. The pin was a sign of things to come for the Red.[img_assist|nid=34872|title=No Meagher effort|desc=Sophomore D.J. Meagher won both of his matches yesterday.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Twelfth-ranked Mike Grey, a sophomore, followed with a 17-4 major decision over his opponent at 133 pounds. Classmate Corey Manson wrestled at 141 pounds. He won his match 7-1, failing to score bonus points but helping Cornell build a 13-0 lead. Fellow sophomore D.J. Meagher prevailed 9-4 at 149 pounds.
In the 157-pound weight class, senior Jordan Leen won by forfeit, which helped extend Cornell’s lead to 22-0. At 165 pounds, top-ranked sophomore Mack Lewnes did not appear to be fully healthy after missing time in January with injuries. He trailed late in the match and needed a reversal with 15 seconds remaining in the match to secure a win.
At 174 pounds, sixth-ranked senior Steve Anceravage outshined his opponent. Anceravage had six take downs and then pinned his opponent. Sophomore Justin Kerber scored a 9-1 major decision at 184 pounds. Freshman Cam Simaz earned a major decision of his own at 197 pounds.
Cornell’s bid for a perfect meet came up short in the final match. Senior heavyweight Zach Hammond was pinned by 14th-ranked Ryan Flores of the Lions. The final score of the match was 39-6 in favor of Cornell.
In the second half of its Sunday doubleheader, the Red faced a bit more resistance at Hofstra. Again, the meet began in the 125-pound weight class and progressed in ascending order by weight class. Nickerson won his second match of the day, this time with a major decision over a ranked opponent.
At 133 pounds, Mike Grey was unable to score points against eighth-ranked Lou Ruggirello. Grey fell 6-0 as Cornell’s overall lead was narrowed to 4-3. Corey Manson failed to replicate his success from earlier in the day at 141 pounds. He was in the midst of a close match when he was turned onto his back and pinned.
D.J. Meagher answered for a Cornell with a pin of his own. The pin at 149 pounds cut Hofstra’s lead to one. At 157 pounds, Jordan Leen – well-rested after winning by forfeit earlier in the day – pinned the 16th-ranked wrestler in his weight class.
Mack Lewnes again appeared rusty as he tries to regain his 2008 form. He won 3-1, but required overtime to do so. Steve Anceravage engaged in a highly competitive battle with the tenth-ranked wrestler at 174 pounds. Anceravage earned a victory thanks to superior riding time.
Justin Kerber and Cam Simaz each earned their second victories of the day by scores of 6-2 and 11-4, respectively. Cornell was penalized a point for unsportsmanlike conduct after Simaz’s victory, but still held a 27-9 lead. Zach Hammond lost the final match of the day in overtime.
Cornell defeated Hofstra 27-12 to complete a sweep of its doubleheader.
“It was great,” Nickerson said of the team’s wins. “We work hard all week long and we come into these matches and that’s the time to have fun.”