This past weekend, we were able to experience 3 consecutive team dual meet wins. I was pleased the guys were able to come together as a group, wrestle for each other and see some of the fruits to the effort they put forth in their preparation and during their bouts.
On Friday we wrestled at Davidson College for the mythical Atlantic 10 Dual Meet Championship. We brought our traveling trophy with us and Rene, our great bus driver, made sure he warned us if we didn’t get to keep it, he wasn’t going to drive us back home. We won the dual 8 matches to 2. The 2 bouts we lost were disappointing because we lost both in overtime. We need to find ways to win the close overtime bouts. We train too hard not to win in overtime. The dual meet started at 184 and Austin Harrison did a great job leading the team. He scored at the end of the 1st period, where his opponent did not have the opportunity to earn an escape point. In the 2nd period he rode his opponent for the entire round. Before the meet we talked about being extra stingy on top. Austin was stingy. We also talked about winning the 3rd period which Austin did scoring an escape and another takedown. Matt Meadows, Matt Voss, Ibrahim Bunduka, Logan Harvich (his debut at 141) and Sahid Kargbo all scored bonus points for their team. It was a good team win.
After the dual at Davidson, Rene drove us to Lexington, Virginia. The next morning we started the day against a tough Southern Illinois Edwardsville team. I thought it was our best team performance thus far of the year. Our attitude and effort was great. We won the bout 6 matches to 4. Ibrahim Bunduka and Sahid Kargbo both beat returning Southern Conference Champions. Lio Quezada and Tejon Anthony had come from behind wins. Matt Raines scored a fall that had our entire bench jumping for joy. Austin Harrison sealed the victory for the team with a shutout victory. Unfortunately, Pat Davis was hurt in his bout and had to injury default.
In our final dual of the weekend, we faced VMI. The dual turned out to be a nail bitter as we split 5 matches a piece. We jumped out to a huge lead after the first four bouts (Ibrahim Bunduka won by forfeit; Lio Quezada won another come from behind bout with an impressive and ultimately a team winning pin; Tejon Anthony barely missed getting a major decision win; and Sahid Kargbo won by a technical fall). We lost the next 5 bouts and so the dual meet victory fell to the hands of Matt Voss. Fortunately, Matt Voss came thru with a pin for us to win the dual.
We made it safely back to campus and began preparations for our next competition. As an added bonus to the successful trip, a few of the guys were able to bring the trophy with them to show Eric, our teammate via Team Impact, as they visited Eric in the hospital. I hope holding the trophy was enjoyable for Eric.
I look forward to the team building on the successes and learning from the failures from the weekend. We will compete at home in the RAC on Sunday, January 15 at 2pm against Cleveland State University in an Eastern Wrestling League dual. I hope we get a home mat advantage as the team tries to extend their win streak to 4 in a row.