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Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024
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wrestling v UVA 1/28 pic

Wrestling taken down by UVA

Jack Nies and Lucas White earn AU’s wins in overall loss

The American University wrestling team (5-10) lost to the University of Virginia Cavaliers on Jan. 28 (7-2) by a score of 36-6.

The meet kicked off with the 125-pound bout where AU junior Shamil Kalmatov took on UVA’s Kyle Montaperto. Intermat’s #28 Jack Maida couldn’t participate in this dual, and the Eagles felt his absence. Montaperto was completely dominant, and won by a 15-0 technical fall in just seven minutes. The Cavaliers took a 5-0 lead they would not relinquish. 

In the 133-pound match, junior Maximilian Leete faced off against Gable Porter. Leete fared better, earning one point, but didn’t go far enough to win. As the two concluded, Porter won 4-1, putting his team ahead 8-0. 

Then came freshman Cael McIntyre in the 141-pound bout where things got worse against Jack Gioffre. The official paused the bout at one point because McIntyre was bleeding and he and the mat needed to be cleaned up. After a few stoppages for blood and dangerous positions, Gioffre came away with the 20-5 win by technical fall.

In the 149-pound, redshirt junior Jack Nies met up with Michael Gioffre just after his twin brother defeated McIntyre. Gioffre would not be as lucky as his brother, however, and after a close fought bout, Nies earned American’s first win of the day. Nies’ 5-4 decision brought the overall score to 13-3 and kept the Eagles in this dual, at least for the time being.

At 157 pounds redshirt junior Ryan Zimmerman matched up with Dylan Cedeno. Nies’s win temporarily paused Virginia’s dominance, but Cedeno got right back to business. He earned the Cavaliers’ third win by technical fall in just their fifth bout by a score of 23-4 in just 4:43.  

In the sixth bout of the afternoon, 165-pound junior Breon Phifer took on Nick Hamilton. Phifer held some ground, staying within reach of Hamilton for much of the bout, but ultimately fell by a 12-2 major decision.

At 174 pounds, Mervin Mancia matched up against #14 Justin McCoy. McCoy, like many of his UVA teammates, was completely dominant. He marched out to a quick 15-0 win by technical fall in a mere 2:46. This bout brought the overall score to 27-3, an insurmountable margin for the Eagles. Even if they earned the maximum 6 points through forfeits or pins in the final three bouts, it would not be possible to match the Cavaliers’ 27 points.

Regardless of the lack of implications for the dual score, redshirt sophomore Lucas White held his own against Griffin Gammell at 184 pounds. Gammell came to an early lead, but White fought back, and knocked down the riding time Gammell had built up and earned his own two minutes of riding time. 

The crowd was hungry for a stalling call, drowning out all other noise with their shouts at the officials. No call was made, and the wrestlers fought on. Tied up at 7-7 toward the end of the bout, White earned a near fall to come out ahead of Gammell. White came away with a 12-7 decision, just the second American win on the day.

In the penultimate bout, 197-pound freshman Caleb Beaty met up with Krystian Kinsey. This bout followed a similar rhythm to most of the others. Kinsey dominated early, and Beaty barely stood a chance. Kinsey came out with the win in 6:10, and secured the 21-4 technical fall. 

For the final bout, heavyweights graduate student Will Jarrell and Ryan Catka took to the mat. The typically strong Jarrell was no match for Catka. This match contained some discrepancies, and American used a coach’s challenge on a reversal call, but the call stood and the match continued as it was. Catka came away with a 14-6 major decision, and the dual concluded with a final score of 36-6, UVA.

“They hadn't been healthy in wrestling at full strength until today, Virginia, and they had all their hammers in the lineup, which really helped us get exposed to some of our weaknesses, so that'll help us going into next week,” head coach Jason Borrelli said. “And a lot of our guys are just spending too much time not wrestling through transition and that's something that will take back and try to adjust in practices. If you get scored on that's okay. You just got to work for the next points.”

The Eagles return to Bender on Feb. 4 for duals against Drexel at 1 p.m. and Morgan State at 3 p.m.

This article was edited by Delaney Hoke and Abigail Pritchard. Copy editing done by Luna Jinks, Isabelle Kravis and Liah Argiropoulos.

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