Second-year grapplers Alec and Andrew Hoover have been wrecking their competition lately.
During the team’s four matches over the past week, the dynamic duo combined for a 6-0 record. Andrew Hoover has been especially spectacular, receiving University Athletic Association Wrestler of the Week after recording two pins and a technical fall in his four matches.
“[The Hoover brothers] are coming on and they get better every time out,” raved Head Coach Danny Song.
The first competition of the week pitted the Case Western Reserve University Spartan wrestling team against Adrian College at Horsburgh Gymnasium. After Adrian forfeited the first match, the Hoover brothers dominated and simply out-muscled their adversaries. Alec (133 lbs) won by major decision and Andrew (141 lbs) defeated his opponent by technical fall to open up a 15-0 CWRU lead.
At 157 pounds, second-year wrestler Andrew Munn had himself a fight; but the fight was against his finger, which was dislocated during the bout. The athletic trainer popped it back into place and taped it, but the tape wouldn’t hold and his finger continued to dislocate throughout the bout. Munn had a 10-5 lead going into the third period, but he was obviously not at full strength and gave up three late takedowns, losing 14-13.
The most exciting match of the night occurred at 174 pounds with fourth-year captain Nick Tommas. Tommas fell behind 6-0 early in the first period and all looked lost. However, he kept scoring points and kept fighting. At the end of regulation the score was tied, 7-7.
Now the crowd and everyone on both teams was invested. With 22 seconds left in the first overtime, Tommas scored two points on a takedown to win in sudden death, sending the fans into simultaneous screams and the Adrian bench into immediate silence.
In the very next match, his brother, fourth-year captain Nate Tommas, pinned his opponent in a mere 54 seconds to to clinch a win for the Spartans. The final score was 24-19.
While the win was nice, Song wasn’t totally pleased with the team’s performance as a whole, saying that improvements were still needed.
Song said, “There were so many adjustments that we can make going forward, and we actually did moving into Saturday.”
On Saturday, Jan. 20, the team wrestled in a quad meet with Waynesburg University, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College and Kent State University-Tuscarawas.
The first match of the day came down to the last weight class. The score was tied 19-19 going into the last bout, but the Spartans couldn’t muster a win, losing 19-25. However, there was a bright spot for Nate Tommas. Earlier in the year he lost by technical fall to his opponent from Waynesburg; this time around, Tommas won, a dramatic turnaround in just a few short weeks.
“[Tommas’s win] was a nice example of making progress, like this is real life proof of what’s going on in this program, and a bunch of guys are doing it,” said Song.
The team fared better in the win column the rest of the day. The Spartans beat PSU-Behrend 39-16 and defeated KSU-Tuscarawas 33-18.
Up next for the Spartans is the Pete Wilson Invitational on Jan. 26 and 27, which Song notes is a measuring stick for nationals. The weekend will be a good test to see where the wrestlers stack up against the best of the best.