Wilkes Wrestling loses close one to Ithaca

Serena Molyneux and Justin Franiak

Friday was a rollercoaster of emotions for the Wilkes wrestling team, as familiar foe Ithaca College rolled into town. The Colonels, nationally ranked No. 19 put up a hard battle against the No. 5 Ithaca Bombers, but in the end, Wilkes came out on the losing end.

The night started out with 125-pound freshman, Michael Fleck. Fleck came out with a 9-1 win and earned his 29th win overall, continuing his successful rookie campaign.

The next win of the night came from a forfeit in the 133-pound weight class with Myzar Mendoza. This pushed Wilkes into the lead with a 10-0 score over Ithaca.

Ryan Wilson, a 141 pound senior, then pushed the score to 13-0 with a 4-1 win over Ithaca’s Alex Gomez.

A major decision for Ithaca came in the 149-pound weight class, which ended the Colonels shut out 12-4. Freshman Jon Lynch faced No. 2 ranked Jeremy Stierly in a hard fought battle.

Wilkes 157-pound senior Mathew Ellery had a tough, but close, loss against Ithaca’s Derek Brenon 5-4, making the score 13-7 Wilkes. Ellery surrendered a late takedown in the losing effort.

With a 2-1 decision, junior Nathan White took a hard loss against the Bomber’s Nick Sanko wrestling at 165 pounds.

Ithaca was close behind at 13-10 when their nationally ranked No.1 wrestler, Jules Doliscar, took on Wilkes junior, Dustin Stough. Stough came out on the losing end of the bout, which pushed Ithaca to the lead for the first time of the night 14-13.

Sophomore Dave Oberrender had a close win after a late takedown while wrestling at 197. This win gave the Colonels a 1-point lead 17-16 with one bout to go.

The last, and deciding, bout of the night was at the 285-weight class. Ithaca’s Matt Mahon had a tough 4-3 decision over Wilkes freshman William Fletcher, pushing Ithaca into the lead with a 16-20 final score.

“The team wrestled well, we should have beat Ithaca,” said Oberrende. “We are better than 19th, and we deserve some respect for that.”

The Colonels had a quick turn around after the emotional loss to Ithaca, as they traveled to McDaniel College for a quad-meet.

The Colonels posted a 33-6 win over the host McDaniel College, as they got back to their winning ways.

The Colonels had a shutout going into the heavyweight match, as Michael Fleck, Myzar Mendoza, Ryan Wilson and Phil Racciato swept the lightweights.

Nathan White, Dustin Stough, Marlon Duque and Seth Gray opened up the second half of the match with one major decision and a pin. Wilkes’ lone loss came at heavyweight as sophomore Michael Shannon gave up a pin.

The Colonels then went up against nationally ranked, and undefeated, Ursinus College. Wilkes came out on top with a score of 24-18, as the match came down to heavyweight.

Fleck, Mendoza and Wilson opened up the match with three straight wins, putting Wilkes on top 10-0.

The Colonels suffered two loses in a row at the 149-pound and 157-pound weight classes.

John Lynch surrendered a pin and Matt Ellery suffered a loss by decision.

Nathan White and Dustin Stough ripped off two wins, but the Colonels suffered losses at the 184-pound and 197-pound weight classes.

The match came down to freshman heavyweight William Fletcher. Fletcher used a 10-8 win over Ursinus College’s William Cornely, sealing the match for Wilkes 24-18.

The Wilkes grapplers finished up the day with a win over the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, 20-15.

Fleck, Mendoza and Lynch racked up wins at the top of the match, as Stough, Oberrender and Fletcher capped off the victory at the bottom.

The Colonels return to action Feb. 17 in their annual showdown with cross-town rival King’s College. The match starts at 7 p.m. and will be held at home in the Marts Center.