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Zack Hernandez (184 Pounds)
Courtesy: Ray DeBoer

Three Matches on the Docket for Wrestling This Weekend

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 01/15/2014
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NEW YORK – The Columbia wrestling team will begin an action-packed weekend this Friday at the University Gym when it hosts Buffalo at 7 p.m. before heading out on the road to take on Gardner-Webb and American in Washington, D.C. on Sunday at noon.

Friday home dual against the Bulls can be seen live on the Ivy League Digital Network. Fans can follow the play-by-play of the action via trackwrestling.com.

Sunday’s tri-match features three sessions with competition taking place as follows on two mats.

Session 1:
Mat 1 - Gardner Webb vs. American 125-157
Mat 2 - Gardner Webb vs. Columbia 165-285

Session 2:
Mat 1 - Columbia vs. American 165-285
Mat 2 - Columbia vs. Gardner Webb 125-157

Session 3:
Mat 1 - American vs. Columbia 125-157
Mat 2 - American vs. Gardner Webb 165-285

The sessions in which Columbia will face American can be seen via a live stream at www.patriotleague.tv. Fans can also follow the play-by-play of the action via trackwrestling.com.

The Lions (2-3, 1-2 EIWA) are coming off a solid 24-9 downing of Binghamton in their first home dual of the season last Friday. Senior Matt Bystol (141 pounds), first-year Markus Scheidel (157) and Shane Hughes (174) each earned major decisions as Columbia came away victorious in seven of the 10 bouts against the Bearcats for its first EIWA win on the season.

Buffalo enters Friday’s dual with just a 2-9 overall mark. Since beating Sacred Heart on Nov. 30, 37-6, the Bulls have gone 1-8 with their only other victory coming against Division II Seton Hill on Jan. 12 by a score of 38-0. Despite the disappointing record, Buffalo has challenged itself with a highly competitive schedule that has included three top-10 opponents in No. 3 Iowa, No. 9 Northern Iowa and No. 10 Pittsburgh.

Gardner-Webb sports a 5-9 record with a match at Davidson still ahead before Sunday’s match in our nation’s capital. The Runnin’ Bulldogs got off to a slow 1-6 start, but have since bounced back to win four of their last seven matches. The last time out, Gardner-Webb hosted in-state rival Appalachian State, falling to the Mountaineers, 29-3.

American is coming off an impressive showing at the Patriot Duals in Boston on Jan. 12, going 3-0 with wins against Harvard, Boston University and Brown to improve to 4-3 overall and 3-1 in the EIWA. Prior to the Patriot Duals, American’s only other win came on the road at George Mason, 26-10, on Dec. 19. 

PROBABLE LINEUPS (Rankings are: InterMat/AWN/WIN)
125 Pounds
Penn Gottfried (11-8) vs. Max Soria (11-5) or Mike Soria (12-5) (Buffalo)/Cortez Starkes (GWU, 9-9)/No. 11/6/9 David Terao (American, 21-7)

Gottfried will look to get back in the win column after dropping his third straight bout last Friday to Binghamton’s David White in a 6-2 decision. Last season, Gottfried faced both Max Soria from Buffalo and Terao from American. At the NYS Championships, Gottfried defeated Soria, 7-5, but Terao came away with a 6-4 decision in dual competition. Terao leads American with five major decisions and two technical falls.

133 Pounds
Angelo Amenta (9-8) vs. Justin Farmer (Buffalo, 9-15)/Robbie Golde (GWU, 12-8)/Esteban Gomez-Rivera (American, 16-12)

Amenta improved to over .500 (9-8) with a 5-2 decision against Binghamton’s Mike Sardo. The sophomore has yet to face any of the probable starters above during his career at Columbia. Gomez-Rivera is third on American’s squad in wins this season with 16, four of which he earned with major decisions. Farmer has struggled in dual matches this season for Buffalo, going just 2-9 in those bouts.

141 Pounds
No. -/17/24 Matt Bystol (13-5) vs. Nick Flannery (Buffalo, 12-11)/Ryan Mosley (GWU, 7-11)/Tom Page (American, 6-10)

Bystol picked up his third major decision of the season last Friday, moving to 13-5 overall with an 11-3 downing of Binghamton’s Nick Tighe. This weekend marks the first meeting for Bystol against each of the listed probable starters. Flannery is second on Buffalo’s squad with 12 wins, but is just 3-8 in dual action.

149 Pounds
Ryan Ponte (1-0) vs. Ryan Todora (Buffalo, 5-14)/Tyler Ziegler (GWU, 3-15)/Mark Cirello (American, 12-9)

Seeing his first live action of the season, Ponte took control of his opportunity with a 4-0 shutout of Binghamton’s Dylan Caruana. Last season, Ponte split time between 141 and 149 pounds, earning an 8-8 mark. Cirello’s improvement during his senior campaign is highlighted by his 12 wins for American, matching his previous career total through his first three years as an Eagle.

157 Pounds
Markus Scheidel (16-7) vs. Wally Maziarz (Buffalo, 11-9)/Alex Bennett (6-9) or Kyle Ash (8-5) (GWU)/John Boyle (American, 15-13)

As a first-year, Scheidel has continued to standout, improving to 16-7 on the year with a 12-4 major decision versus Colton Perry from Binghamton. The Bay Village, Ohio, native leads the Lions in both wins and major decisions, with seven victories by at least eight points. Maziarz is among the most experienced wrestlers on the Buffalo roster, posting a career record of 48-46. With 15 victories this season, Boyle has already surpassed his first-year win total of 12, but he is just 2-5 in duals.

165 Pounds
No. 17/20/18 Josh Houldsworth (15-7) vs. Ryan Therien (11-10, Buffalo)/Austin Trott (GWU, 19-3)/Cristian Masaya (American, 1-10)

Houldsworth is second on the Lions’ roster with 15 wins, including a 6-1 downing of Binghamton’s Vincent Grella last Friday. The senior co-captain has the most wins against EIWA grapplers with six and has boasted three falls. Trott has seven more wins than any other wrestler on Gardner-Webb’s roster, coming into Sunday’s event with 19.

174 Pounds
No. 20/14/17 Shane Hughes vs. Rrok Ndokaj (Buffalo, 10-12)/Brett Stein (GWU, 9-9)/Keithan Cast (American, 12-11)

Over his last eight bouts, Hughes has recorded seven victories, including two major decisions and a fall and Andre Petroski of Kutztown at Midlands. His success on the mats has led to his ascension into all three of the national polls in recent weeks.  Hughes wrestled Buffalo’s Tyler Rill at the NYS Championships back in November, registering a 6-3 win, but Ndokaj has been entered as the probable starter for Friday’s bout. Cast is an even 29-29 over his first two seasons at American, posting eight major decisions and seven pins over that span.

184 Pounds
Zack Hernandez (12-6) vs. Tony Lock, (Buffalo, 14-9)/Gray Jones (GWU, 9-14)/Jason Grimes (American, 10-14)

Hernandez thrilled the home crowd last Friday with a come-from-behind, sudden-victory decision against Binghamton’s Caleb Wallace. Trailing 6-3 heading into the third period, Hernandez was able to tie the bout and then used a takedown just 16 seconds into the extra period to capture the win. The win avenged an earlier loss this season to White at the NYS Championships. Lock and Hernandez also did battle at the NYS Championships with the Bulls’ wrestler securing a 7-3 decision.

197 Pounds
Matt Idelson (5-6) vs. Angelo Malvestuto (Buffalo, 14-10)/Boyce Cornwell (GWU, 8-9)/No. 9/6/8 Danny Mitchell (American, 17-3)

Idelson is expected to return to the Columbia lineup this weekend after missing the Binghamton bout. His last time out, he snapped a four-bout losing skid with a 4-3 defeat of Rutgers’ Hayden Hrymack on Jan. 3. After redshirting last season, Mitchell has returned to the mats in strong form for American, posting a 17-3 mark to bring his career win total to 77. He has yet to lose a dual bout as a redshirt-senior, going 7-0.

285 Pounds
Wyatt Baker (6-10) vs. James Benjamin (Buffalo, 7-15)/Justin Kozera (GWU, 8-11)/Blake Herrin (American, 12-7)

Baker will look to snap a three-bout losing streak this weekend. The junior wrestled well early on against Binghamton’s Tyler Deuel, but in the end Deuel would come away with a 10-3 decision. Another redshirt-senior in the American lineup, Herrin is the lone probable at heavyweight with a winning record at 12-7. At the Patriot Duals, Herrin picked up decisions against opponents from Harvard and Boston University. 

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