Takeaways from UB Wrestling's Day at the Pitt Duals
Wrestling is one of those sports thats near and dear to me. I wrestled in high school, and my coach, Jake Blowers, wrestled for UB from 02-07, and he's part of the reason I came to UB. So, I think I'll start doing recaps from the wrestling teams matches/tournaments. Today the Bulls competed in Pittsburgh and faced off against quality opponents in North Carolina, Seton Hill, Duke, and #10 Pittsburgh. Here are a few takeaways from today's action.
In the very first match of the day, redshirt Junior Mike Soria (125) faced off against, and upset #10 Nathanial Kressier of North Carolina. Soria has been wrestling solid matches ever since he stepped in for two-time NCAA qualifier Max Soria after he went down with an injury. Mike went 3-1 on the day, picking up a forfeit against Seton Hill, and downing Alex Elsea of Duke by the score of 13-4. Soria moves to 13-5 on the year and is proving to be a good fill in for twin brother Max. If Max does not return this season keep an eye on Mike during the postseason, he is a dangerous wrestler and could qualify for the NCAA tournament at seasons end.
Malvestuto, Lock, Maziarz still leading the way:
With a completely new coaching staff in place it was expected that the wrestling team would take its lumps during dual matches, and that this season would be more focused on learning first year coach John Stutzman's system, and focusing on individual success at tournaments. Through the 2-9 start to the season three wrestlers have consistently stepped up on the mat: Angelo Malvestuto (197), Tony Lock (182), and Wally Maziarz (157). The trio has come out on a consistent basis and wrestled with a lot of energy and are leading the Bulls. Today, the trio combined to go 8-4 on the day, with Malvestuto and Maziarz each going 3-1. The hope is that over the course of the season, and into the future that the rest of the squad will begin to gel and start wrestling better. There is a lot of inexperience on the Bulls squad this year, with plenty of freshmen and sophomores getting time on the mat. But, this experience now will only help the Bulls in the future and big things are in store for the program.
Schedule not getting easier:
With the MAC being one of the powerhouse wrestling conferences in the NCAA, things are not going to get easier for the Bulls. With duals coming up against current #7 Missouri, #14 Edinboro, and MAC rival Ohio, the road to the MAC championships is not easy for the Bulls. Coach John Stutzman will have to look to rely on team leaders Mike Soria, Wally Maziarz, Tony Lock, and Angelo Malvestuto to help pace the Bulls in the upcoming matches and give the team some momentum going into the postseason, where, I believe each of the 4 aforementioned grapplers will have a shot at making the NCAA tournament in Oklahoma City.