In their first match of the day, John Stutzman's squad dropped a heartbreaker to Columbia, 18-15. Kyle Akins set the pace for the match with a dominating 11-3 major decision victory over Vince Pallone. Bryan Lantry couldn't pull off the upset against Angelo Amenta at 133 pounds, but Brandon Lapi and Colt Cotten answered back for the Bulls.
Lapi utilized a cradle and backpoints to earn the 9-1 major decision; while 'Major' Cotten got back to his winning ways with an impressive 10-0 win over Tyler Ponte; giving UB a 12-3 lead heading into the 157 pounds weight class. Tim Schaefer did an admirable job against nationally ranked Markus Scheidel, who is a two-time national qualifier. Schaefer was able to prevent Scheidel from scoring any bonus points to keep UB's lead to 6 points heading into the back half of the lineup.
UB would have no such luck as Rrok Ndokaj, Muhamed McBryde, and Joe Ariola all lost close bouts, all by 4 points or less. The Ariola loss was particularly stinging as he was taken down 3 times with the exact same move and just had no answer on his feet to the tall and lanky Mike Fetchet.
James Benjamin stopped the bleeding for UB at 197 pounds and was able to score a 4-0 decision over Matt Doggett after racking up nearly 3 minutes of riding time to tie the team score at 15 heading into the final bout of the afternoon.
Sadly, Jake Gunning fell victim to an early takedown and was never able to gain any momentum against Garrett Ryan in the heavyweight bout. Gunning lost 8-6 and UB lost the dual in heartbreaking fashion, 18-15.
From last year's match to this year's there was definite improvement that can be seen from top to bottom; but it was just some of Buffalo's youth and inexperience that caught up with them in a couple of matches and they weren't able to capitalize on a commanding 12-3 lead. The Bulls will take on Sacred Heart later this evening and this post will be updated at the conclusion of that dual.
***UPDATE - 1/16 8:35 PM***
After a heartwrenching loss to Columbia early this afternoon, John Stutzman's squad rebounded with a 32-6 victory over the Sacred Heart Pioneers. This was Stutzman's 3rd win in as many tries against the Pioneers as head coach of the Bulls.
Kyle Akins, once again got things going at 125 pounds with a 9-5 decision over Gerard Daly. After a close loss to Angelo Amenta, Bryan Lantry rebounded in a big way with a pinfall victory over Tim Johnson, giving the Bulls a quick 9-0 lead over the Pioneers. Major Cotten did his thing and earned his 2nd major decision of the day to give UB a commanding 17-0 lead heading to the halfway point.
Casey Mitchell would stop the bleeding for the Pioneers as he eked out a 4-3 decision over Tim Schaefer. Rrok Ndokaj earned a 5-1 decision at 165 pounds and all but sealed the victory for UB heading into the final 4 matches of the evening. Muhamed McBryde would officially seal the victory for UB at 174 pounds with a dominating 11-2 major decision victory giving UB a 24-3 lead.
UB would close out the match with a decision victory from Joe Ariola and a close loss from James Benjamin before Jake Gunning ended the match in style with a slick 19-4 technical fall victory to give UB the dominating 32-6 win.
UB earns it's 7th win of the season, their most since the 2011-2012 season. A 1-1 weekend was at minimum what I was expecting from this squad, and the close match against Columbia, while a bummer, was a good litmus test for this squad heading into the latter half of their dual meet schedule.
UB will return home for their first home dual in almost a month when they take on MAC foe Old Dominion on January 22nd.
Buffalo 15, Columbia 18
125: Kyle Akins (Buffalo) maj. dec. Vince Pallone (Columbia), 11-3
133: Angelo Amenta (Columbia) dec. Bryan Lantry (Buffalo), 4-1
141: Brandon Lapi (Buffalo) maj. dec. Joe Moita (Columbia), 9-1
149: Colt Cotten (Buffalo) maj. dec. Tyler Ponte (Columbia), 10-0
157: #21 Markus Scheidel (Columbia) dec. Tim Schaefer (Buffalo), 10-4
165: Tyrel White (Columbia) dec. Rrok Ndokaj (Buffalo), 2-1
174: #30 Zack Hernandez (Columbia) dec. Muhamed McBryde (Buffalo), 4-0
184: Mike Fechet (Columbia) dec. Joe Ariola (Buffalo), 8-6
197: James Bejamin (Buffalo) dec. Matt Doggett (Columbia), 4-0
285: #31 Garrett Ryan (Columbia) dec. Jake Gunning (Buffalo), 8-6
Buffalo 32, Sacred Heart 6
125: Kyle Akins (Buffalo) dec. Gerard Daly (SHU), 9-5
133: Bryan Lantry (Buffalo) pinned Tim Johnson (SHU), 4:25
141: Brandon Lapi (Buffalo) maj. dec. Alex Harnsberger (SHU), 11-2
149: Colt Cotten (Buffalo) maj. dec. Brandon Levesque (SHU), 8-0
157: Casey Mitchell (SHU) dec. Tim Schaefer (Buffalo), 4-3
165: Rrok Ndokaj (Buffalo) dec. Matt Fisher (SHU), 5-1
174: Muhamed McBryde (Buffalo) maj. dec. Johnny Vrasidas (SHU), 11-2
184: Joe Ariola (Buffalo) dec. Elliott Antler (SHU), 6-2
197: Sasha Oliinyk (SHU) dec. James Benjamin (Buffalo), 6-3
285: Jake Gunning (Buffalo) tech fall Duke Sherwood (SHU), 19-4