February 16, 2015

Maroons come short of a title for fourth straight year

After an exhausting regular season that has spanned nearly four months, the Maroons finally entered postseason action this past weekend, taking part in the UAA Championships in Cleveland, Ohio.

Looking to capture the UAA Conference Title and to ready themselves for the rest of the postseason, the Maroons sought to crush the competition and make a statement. Unfortunately for the South Siders, their efforts were not enough as they fell just short at the conference championships, taking second place to UAA champion NYU.

The first match of the UAA Championship weekend was against No. 24 NYU. Carrying a dual-match win streak of seven, the Maroons hoped to continue their winning ways and position themselves for a shot at the conference title. While the momentum was in place, there just wasn’t enough steam behind the South Siders as they fell to NYU by a score of 28–12.

While the Maroons may have lost against NYU, and lost out on hope for a conference title, there was still hope for several individual performers to make a claim to the UAA All-Association Team. Maroons advancing these efforts included season standouts such as first-year Devan Richter at 125 pounds, first-year Nick Ferraro at 174 pounds, and fourth-year Mario Palmisano at 258 pounds.

After the dust settled on the mats against NYU, the Maroons may have lost, but they still had a shot at second-place in the conference, and the likes of Richter, Ferraro, and Palmisano still had hopes of making the All-Association team.

“I felt pretty good in my personal performance. Being the 125 pounder, I am the first one out there, so I feel like it is my job to try and get the team started on a good note,” Richter said.

Richter was not alone in his sentiments, as Ferraro had similar opinions to share.

“I could have wrestled better, and I will have to in order to qualify for nationals at regionals next week. I wasn’t sure of what to expect in my first match against NYU,” Ferraro said.

Coming off of their loss against NYU, the Maroons did not get lazy. They showed up against Case Western in their second match of the tournament with the same intensity they have brought to the table all season. At the end of the day, the Maroons were able to emerge victorious over Case by a score of 38–6 as the South Siders improved their season record to 8–4.

Against Case, all but two Maroons were winners of the day, as there was utter domination on the mats. Notable winners for the Maroons include Richter, Ferraro, Palmisano, second-year Paul Papoutsis at 165 pounds, fourth-year Timothy Salazar at 157 pounds, and third-year David Gremling at 197 pounds.

Unfortunately, the victory over Case was not enough for the Maroons to take the title, as NYU had secured enough points by the end of the day to claim the conference title, while the Maroons had to settle for second.

With the conference tournament done, the Maroons will now set their sights on the NCAA Midwest Regional that will take place in two weeks in Crawfordsvile, Indiana. With a strong performance there, the Maroons could advance to the NCAA Division III Championships that would take place two weeks later in Hershey, PA.