WREST: Grossmann gets back to NCAA tournament

One might have looked at the past NCAA Division III Wrestling tournament brackets in the past two years and noticed there was a notable name missing.

The 2015 National Champion at 133 pounds was absent from NCAA glory for the past two years.

Now, senior Matt Grossmann is back for a second time.

“It’s been a journey. There’s definitely been some highs and lows in-between,” said Grossmann reflecting on his past four years.

Grossmann will hit the mat for the final time in his wrestling career when he travels to Cleveland, Ohio for 2018 NCAA Division III Championships on Mar. 9 and 10.

The journey, however, almost never happened at all.

He had reached the semifinal round and was one win away from “dancing” but was turned away.

The semifinal match featured a tight battle between Grossmann and Zach Bylykbashi of Washington and Lee. The match would not be without any controversy.

After leading 4-2 late in the third period, Grossmann was just seconds away from securing a spot in the finals. Bylykbashi scored a takedown to tie the match, but in a flurry of action, Grossmann appeared to lock up a cradle, scoring a minimum of an escape point, or a reversal, along with back points. The initial ruling on the mat was no points awarded for Grossmann.

After a series of boos from the crowd, some of the loudest of the day, the officials took it upon themselves to utilize the video replay system before Wilkes went to challenge.

After review, the ruling on the mat stood, which would eventually force overtime. Grossmann lost in sudden victory, 6-4.

Grossmann battled back in the consolation semifinals by taking a 5-4 thriller over King’s Jacob Taylor.

He won the third place match as well by defeating Zachary Rainess of Greensboro to earn his second career NCAA qualification.

“He’s a champion for a reason,” noted Laudenslager. “He found a way to get it done even when he was losing in matches.”

Grossman said he looks forward to this year’s preparation with “great workout partners,” senior Josh Evans, senior Jake Dimarsico, senior Billy Bicci and assistant coach Guesseeppe Rea.