The University at Buffalo Wrestling team honored their three graduating seniors today, Tyler Rill, Rrok Ndokaj, and Muhamed McBryde, ahead of their penultimate regular season dual meet against MAC rival Northern Illinois. It came down to the final bout and Joe Ariola was the hero of the day to clinch UB's first winning season under Coach Stutzman and their second MAC dual win of the season.
The match began at 197 pounds where James Benjamin has a gigantic upset of #16 Shawn Scott in the first period of their bout giving UB an early 6-0 advantage. Jake Gunning followed that up with an impressive 8-1 decision victory over Arthur Bunce; utilizing a 3rd period takedown and 4 back points from a cradle to open up a comfortable lead.
Kyle Akins rallied in the closing seconds of his match, scoring a tying takedown at the final buzzer and then pouncing on Alisha Jeffery in the opening seconds of the overtime period to take the 8-6 win. Bryan Lantry received a forfeit at 133 pounds to give UB a 18-0 leading heading into the back half of the lineup.
Brandon Lapi gave #15 Steve Bleise all he could handle at 141 pounds, but couldn't get the takedown late in the match to try and tie. However, some aftermatch extra curriculars each team was docked a team point and the team score was brought to 17-2. Colt Cotten couldn't overcome a severe reach disadvantage and fell 7-3 to Gabe Morse.
Things wouldn't get any better for the Bulls as ALex Smythe, Rrok Ndokaj and Tyler Rill all lost their bouts and the team score was 17-16 heading into the final bout of the afternoon, leaving a winner-take-all match between Joe Ariola and Quinton Rosser.
Ariola started strong with a takedown in the first period to claim an early 2-0 lead and followed that up with a quick escape in the 2nd to take a 3-0 lead heading into the final stanza. Ariola countered a single leg takedown at the first whistle beautifully to score a takedown of his own to open up a 5-0 advantage. Ariola would hang on and clinch UB's first 10 win season since the 2003-2004 season. and the first winnign season since 2010-2011.
This was a monumentous win for UB as they get ready for their final dual meet of the season against Northern Iowa this coming Friday.
Full Results - Buffalo 20, Northern Illinois 16
197: James Benjamin (Buffalo) pinned #16 Shawn Scott (NIU)
285: Jake Gunning (Buffalo) dec. Arthur Bunce (NIU), 8-1
125: Kyle Akins (Buffalo) SV-1 Alisha Jeffery (NIU), 8-6
133: Bryan Lantry (Buffalo) wins by forfeit
141: #15 Steve Belise (NIU) dec. Brandon Lapi (Buffalo), 10-7
149: Gabe Morse (NIU) dec. Colt Cotten (Buffalo), 7-3
157: Andrew Morse (NIU) maj. dec. Alex Smythe (Buffalo), 9-0
165: Shaun'Que McMurtry (NIU) dec. Rrok Ndokaj (Buffalo), 7-4
174: Trace Englekes (NIU) maj. dec. Tyler Rill (Buffalo), 12-4
184: Joe Ariola (Buffalo) dec. Quinton Rosser (NIU), 6-1