Wrestling falls at UAA Tournament

McNamara earning UAA Rookie of the Year Award brightspot for team despite losses

they competed in their final two dual meets of the season. The Case Western Reserve University squad took on University Athletic Association (UAA) rivals the University of Chicago Maroons and the New York University Violets in Chicago at the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship.

The Spartans opened the day of competition by taking on the Violets who entered the championship ranked 15th in the nation for DIII. The Spartans struggled in the opening seven bouts of the match, as third-year student Matt Moy and fourth year pins leader Nick Lees lost their matches at the 125 lb and 174 lb classes by decisions. The Spartans lost the 141 lb, 165 lb matches by pins and the 157 lb class by a technical fall. Finally the Spartans gave up the 133 lb and 149 lb weight classes with forfeits, finding them down in team points by a score of 36-0 in after those first seven rounds came to conclusion.

However the Spartans refused to roll over and battled back against the highly skilled violets. Following a 184 lb weight class decision for second-year student Cito Balsells, the Spartans turned those first few points in two straight wins in the 197 lb and 285 lb bouts. First-year student Gavin Dersh-Fisher picked up an extremely narrow 4-3 decision and first-year student Brian McNamara picked up a 4-0 decision

The late wins boosted the Spartans to a final score of 36-9 in the defeat.

McNamara was awarded with the UAA Rookie of the Year award for his strong showing at the tournament and over the course of the whole season. He was also named the All-UAA wrestler in the 285-pound weight class and the 12th CWRU wrestler to be named 285 lb class.

The second head-to-head duel of the day against the hosting University of Chicago saw the Spartans struggle again in the early matches, before bouncing back for a run late, but still being handed the defeat. Moy lost a 10-3 decision in the 125 lb class while the Spartan wrestlers at 133 lbs and 144 lbs, first-year students Luke DiMuzio and Connor Howlin were both pinned. The Spartans also gave the Maroons the points for the 149 bout via forfeit.

However Connor Gordon picked up a win in the 157 lb. class with a technical fall. The Maroons swept the 174 through 197 lb classes before McNamara won the 285 lb weight class merely off of forfeit.

The Spartans will continue their post-season play when they compete in the 2016 NCAA Division III Mideast Regional. The Spartans head out to Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania for the competition in two weeks.The action kicks off on Saturday Feb. 27 and carries over into the following day. Feb. 28.