Freshman Pierce Curran’s pin at 197 pounds gave the Case Western Reserve University wrestling team its first dual match victory since 2010, as the Spartans edged Rochester Institute of Technology, 21-20, on the second and final day of the annual Budd Whitehill Duals, hosted by Lycoming College at Lamade Gymnasium.
Ironically, the Spartans’ last dual match victory came by a score of 25-24 versus RIT on Feb. 13, 2010 as part of the Si Ostrach Meet in Cleveland. Overall, Case had dropped 29 dual matches in a row.
“This was a great team effort, and I’m proud of our wrestlers,” said first-year Head Coach Mark Hawald. “It may not seem like a significant accomplishment, but our guys were determined to snap this streak, and even though the numbers weren’t in our favor, they went out and got it done. We’ve got a long way to go in building for the future of this program, but it was great to see the hard work and dedication pay off for our student-athletes today.”
Freshman 125-pounder Josh Hall got the Spartans off to a fast start with a pin of Mike Nguyen in 2:30. The Tigers then picked up a forfeit at 133, decisions at 141 and 149, and a technical fall at 157 to lead 17-6.
From there, junior 165-pounder Brian Snyder was able to pick up the first of three-straight decisions with freshmen Ryan Brubaker and Joe DeGenova following at 174 and 184, respectively.
Trailing 17-15, Hawald then sent Curran out to the mat, and the rookie earned his first career victory via a pin of Mikhail Solomonik in 4:34.
Senior heavyweight Dale English was able to preserve the 21-17 lead by staying within a decision of RIT’s Nick Stewart. Any loss above a decision would have led to a tie or loss for the Spartans.
In their second and final match of the day, the Spartans fell to Rhode Island College by a count of 26-15.
Freshman Zack McCarthy earned Case’s first points at 149 via a pin of Silas Murray in 2:49. Senior Evan McDowell picked up a 5-1 decision at 165, and Snyder completed a 2-0 day with a pin of Max Carlsten in 6:20 at 174.
The Spartans are now idle until the annual Pete Willson Invitational on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1-2, at Wheaton College.