Winning streak stretches to seven on the mats

The wrestling squad took on Augustana at home, coming away with a 21-18 victory.

By Sarah McNeilly

The Maroons logged another dual-meet win last Saturday with a 21–18 comeback victory over No. 29 Augustana College.  This marks their seventh straight dual meet victory of the season. The Chicago squad improved to 7–3, while Augustana fell to 7–6 on the season.

This was the second meet in a row where fourth-year Mario Palmisano provided the winning points for the Maroons.

Augustana captured the first three matches, with a win by forfeit at the 125-pound weight-class, a 7–1 decision at 133 pounds, and a fall at 141 pounds. The Maroons crawled their way back from this deficit to tie the match, with four straight wins by second-year Michael Sepke (149), fourth-year Devon Range (157), third-year Brennan King (165), and first-year Nick Ferraro (174).  King stepped up to fill in for second-year Paul Papoutsis, who usually wrestles at the 165-pound weight class. King commented on his pivotal debut varsity performance of this season.

“It was tough to not have [Paul] for this meet. I am just glad I was able to step up to fill in for him while he was injured. Paul should be back in the lineup for the UAAs so my focus is just on working hard to help our starters get ready and be in a position to compete at my best if they need me,” King said.

Augustana’s 4–1 decision victory at the 184-pound class meant that the Maroons would need a pair of wins in their final matches in order to seal the win. Third-year David Gremling, of the 197-pound weight class, and his opponent had a grueling match that lasted into three overtime periods. Gremling won the match 2–1 after scoring an escape, which left the rest up to Palmisano.

Palmisano delivered for the Maroons with a 4–2 win which came after a two-point reversal, finally leading to a takedown in the final 30 seconds.

“It felt great to be able to secure the win after everyone else worked so hard to put me in that position,” said Palmisano of his role in the team’s win. “There were outstanding performances all around and it was exciting to be a part of that. Personally, I was having a great time out there on the mat.  It is about that time in the season when everything just feels natural and that’s an awesome feeling.”

Knocking off a tough opponent like Augustana helps prepare the Maroons for their upcoming UAA Championships next weekend at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH.

“Augustana is a very tough team. It would have been easy for us to go into the meet a little hesitant but every single one of us showed up ready to get after them and I think that made all the difference. We have been building up some incredible energy and confidence as a team this season and if we can carry this momentum through the UAA’s I think we have a really great shot at the conference title,” King said.

The South Siders will head to Cleveland, OH this weekend for the UAA Championships. Chicago will face NYU on Saturday at 11 a.m. and then Case Western at 12:30 or 2 p.m.