The break was an interesting one for the Cornell wrestling team, who competed in some massive tournaments and the beginning of Ivy League competition, with some very positive results to start the season, while the rest of the student population went home for the holidays.
“As a team we expect to shut teams out. We expect all of our guys to perform at an extremely high level and dominate every time we step on the mat,” said senior Kyle Dake. “The good thing about this is that our young guys are starting to realize what they need to do and how they need to wrestle every match.”
It all started with the Grapple at the Garden on Dec. 16, which led to two losses for Cornell against the University of Missouri and Oklahoma State. This showdown was the first time in the 133-year history of Madison Square Garden arena that collegiate wrestling has competed.
The team also headed to Tennessee to compete in the Southern Scuffle on Jan. 1, where the wrestlers took home fifth place as a collective with a few strong individual performances. In that competition, Cornell crowned two champions, Mike Nevinger at 141 lbs and Dake at 165 lbs.
To cap the break off the Red took home two wins against EIWA rival No. 16 Lehigh on Jan. 16.
“It was a great win for us as a team. We just got back from the Southern Scuffle but our guys showed up ready to wrestle, which was pretty awesome. I personally was really excited simply because we lost to them my first two years here and I went up another weight class to help the team earn the victory,” Dake said.
The team also beat fellow member of the Ancient Eight, Princeton, in a 42-0 shutout on Jan. 12.
“[The win against Princeton] gives our younger kids a lot of confidence going into the Ivy schedule. Historically we have been very dominant and I believe we will continue to that tradition,” Dake said.
This upcoming weekend, Cornell will head on the road to face off against Brown on Saturday and Harvard on Sunday, where the Red expects to dominate the competition and the remaining Ivy members for the rest of the season.
Original Author: Haley Velasco