We had an exciting finish to our first conference dual of the year. Matt Voss was able to secure the lead late in the match and ride out his opponent to win. His match clinched the dual victory for the team over Clarion University. I was pleased with his attitude and effort. Due to his effort, he is being honored as the EWL Freshman Wrestler of the Week. Matt Voss had the fans out of their seats cheering for the victory. The dual meet win was a 5-5 split in matches. We won 22-18 because of the bonus points scored by Vince Rodriguez, Greg Flournoy, and Ryan Forrest. Our other win came via 8-7 decision from Blake Roulo.
During the dual, both teams lost a match due to injury default. Although the risk of injury in wrestling is deemed to be high, I can’t recall too many times each team has lost a bout due to an injury default. It was strange. My hope is both wrestlers fully recover in a timely manner. No one wants to win or lose due to an injury default.
Our other 4 guys, who lost their matches, helped the team by not giving up any bonus points. We learned the hard way a few weeks ago how important getting and not giving up bonus points can be. This time we learned the positive way in saving and getting team points.
In our second dual of the day, Vince Rodriguez was the only guy to score a bonus point for the team. I was pleased to see him stay on the attack and to secure the bonus point in the third period. Vince had a very good day on the mat. We had six other guys win their matches against Grand Canyon University. All of them won by a decision – Tejon Anthony, Konbeh Koroma, Greg Flournoy, Patrick Davis, Luke Ludke, and Matt Voss. The three guys who lost did not give up any bonus points. Even though they did not win, I was pleased with the effort they displayed. We won the dual 22-9.
I was pleased to see guys find a way to win the close matches. In matches decided by 2 points or less, we had a 6-3 record this weekend. It is important to find a way to win the close matches. In doing so, it also means you found a way to win some of the tough positions during a match.
I struggled watching the pace some guys wrestled in their bouts. They have the ability to wrestle a much higher pace. They need to know it and own it when they are competing. After the match, I reiterated to the team the importance of training at a high pace, so the match situation is physically no different. When they run, they need to run as hard as they can. When they lift they need to lift as intently as they can. When they wrestle in practice, they need to wrestle at the highest pace they can. By doing these things, they will be physically prepared and, the harder to prepare for mental battle of a match, will be strengthened as well. They will know they have earned the right to win. I was pleased some of the guys pushed the pace in their bouts. They were positive examples to their teammates and showed the aggressive and fun style we preach to our team.
This week is final exams. The team will focus on finishing well.
Next Monday (December 21), we will host Davidson (7pm at the RAC). Both of our institutions are part of the Atlantic 10 Conference. Since the Atlantic 10 currently does not sponsor a wrestling championship we compete in separate conferences in wrestling. Davidson is in the Southern Conference, while we compete in the Eastern Wrestling League. Nevertheless, in order to link our wrestling programs with the other teams at our institutions and to create further excitement for our dual, we have coined our dual as the Atlantic 10 Dual Meet Championship. We will wrestle for a trophy which the winning team will keep in their possession. We will have the trophy up for grabs whenever we compete against each other. All dual meets matter. Now that this is a trophy match, I think the Davidson v. Mason dual has even greater significance. I am excited. I hope this adds to the level of excitement for others as well. If you can, please come out and support the teams as we compete for the Atlantic 10 Dual Meet Championship.
We are also currently having a contest, via twitter, for the naming of this new trophy match. If you have an idea, please get it to us. We hope to have a catchy name that will enhance the rivalry of dual meets between Davidson and Mason.