The wrestling squad finished 1-2 at the 2012 Northeast Duals Saturday, defeating Hofstra but dropping matches to Cornell and Oklahoma in Troy, N.Y.
No. 11 Central Michigan began the annual tournament with a 17-15 loss to No. 8 Cornell.
“Both teams won five matches a piece but Cornell got two big wins by major decision that put them ahead by two points,” head coach Tom Borrelli said. “It seemed like every time we would win a big match, they would answer with a win.”
The Big Red held a 13-6 lead, seemingly dominating the Chippewas until junior 174-pounder Craig Kelliher won a 7-3 match over freshman Duke Pickett to cut the lead.
Senior heavyweight Jarod Trice stepped in for the final match with CMU trailing 17-12, needing a pin against Cornell senior Stryker Lane. Trice earned a 2-1 decision but wasn’t able to pin Lane.
“Trice won his match, so I can’t be mad at him,” Borrelli said. “As a team, we can’t let a match come down to that anymore.”
Redshirt freshman Lucas Smith (157) and senior Ben Bennett (184) also earned decisions for CMU.
Senior 125-pounder Christian Cullinan bounced back from his first loss of the day with a 5-1 decision over Hofstra redshirt senior Steve Bonanno in CMU’s second dual meet.
Senior 133-pounder Scotti Sentes increased the team’s lead to 6-0 with a 3-0 decision over redshirt junior Jamie Franco.
Hofstra bounced back with victories over 141-pounder Nick Hodgkins and 149-pounder Jared Porter but never regained any control in the meet.
CMU picked up wins from Dakota Cooley, Mike Ottinger, Anthony Bill, Bennett and Jackson Lewis to lead up to the final matchup, but Hofstra senior Paul Snyder defeated junior Mike Murray, ending the meet 24-9 in favor the CMU.
Cullinan opened CMU’s third meet with an 8-5 decision over Oklahoma freshman Kyle Garcia, but the Chippewas did not lead again the rest of the day.
The Sooners took a 21-3 lead after Tyler Keselring (133) and Scott Mattingly (141) were both pinned, and Smith (149) and Donnie Corby (157) lost overtime matches.
Borrelli said he was pleased with the team overall, but there are still areas that need improving.
“Our conditioning has been improving,” he said. “It was much better today than it was in our meet against Michigan, and the number of close matches and matches that went to overtime show that.”
The Chippewas made a run late, earning bonus points on major decisions by Kelliher (9-1) and Bennett (14-0), but it was too little too late.
Trice earned a 7-2 decision against senior Keldrick Hall to end the day, but the team fell to Oklahoma, 24-14.
“I saw some good things in that win against Hofstra, but the loss to Oklahoma showed that there are still a lot of things we need to work on,” Borrelli said.
The Chippewas are back in action at 7 p.m. on Saturday in the Convocation Center at Ohio University.