CWRU Wrestling 2016-17 Season Recap

CWRU Wrestling 2016-17 Season Recap

With a young squad under second-year head coach Danny Song, the Case Western Reserve University wrestling team steadily improved throughout the 2016-17 campaign.

With 13 of the team's 20 wrestlers on the roster either freshman or sophomores, the team gained experience and consistently improved as the season progressed. One of the team's major highlights came during the 2017 University Athletic Association Championships in New York, New York, as senior captain Matt Moy was named the All-UAA wrestler in the 125-pound weight class, becoming the fourth Spartan in the 125-pound weight class to earn the All-UAA honor, and the first since Josh Hall in 2014. CWRU would finish third at the 2017 UAA Championships.

Freshman 149-pounder Isaac Collier paced the Spartans during the year with 22 wins, followed by sophomore 197-pounder Gavin Dersh-Fisher who recorded 21 wins. Freshman 149-pounder Michael Petersen was also a bright spot for the Spartans, as he has totaled 13 wins, including a team-high seven pins and three technical falls.

Collier and Dersh-Fisher would be two of four Spartans to win a match at the NCAA Division III Mideast Region Championships, along with junior Connor Gordon in the 165-pound draw and freshman Alec Hoover in the 133-pound bracket. Case Western Reserve finished 18th at the NCAA Regionals.

Earlier in the year, the Spartans earned their first victory of the season, topping Penn State Mont Alto 48-5 as part of a Tri Meet at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. CWRU opened with 30-0 lead due to a pin by Moy at 125 (1:23), forfeit at 133 in favor of Alec Hoover, two pins at 141 and 149 from freshman Andrew Hoover (4:47) and Petersen (6:36), and two wins by decision from freshman 157-pounder Ben Kring (6-2) and Gordon (7-5). A technical fall from Mont Alto was quickly cancelled out when junior 184-pounder Cito Balsells and Dersh-Fisher picked up wins by forfeit to bump the lead to 42-5. The Spartans got their final points thanks to a pin (4:36) by sophomore 285-pounder Brian McNamara.

CWRU's best overall team performance came at the John Summa Tournament, hosted by Baldwin Wallace University. The Spartans placed fifth out of 13 teams. Freshman 157-pounder Andrew Munn and McNamara led the Spartans by each placing second in their respective weight classes. Overall, CWRU had six wrestlers place at the tournament.

Other notable tournament finishes for Case Western Reserve during the year included a 12th-place finish at the RIT Invitational on December 3rd, a 10th-place finish at the Waynesburg Invite on January 7th and a 31st-place finish at the Pete Willson Invitational on January 27th and 28th.

The Spartans capped off their 2016-17 campaign by receiving the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Division III Scholar Team Award with the nation's highest grade point average. With a team GPA of 3.48, this was the first time since 2007 that the Spartans were ranked No. 1 in Division III.

In addition to their NWCA Scholar Team Award, the Spartans excelled individually in the classroom during the campaign. Eight members of the team – Balsells, Dersh-Fisher, McNamara, Moy, juniors Nate Tommas and Nick Tommas, sophomores AJ Vetturini and Chris Zhang – received UAA All-Academic recognition based on their cumulative grade point averages.

The Spartans earned the following honors during the 2016-17 season:

UAA Champion

Matt Moy

Bayside, N.Y. / Stuyvesant

125 lbs.


The following Spartans led the team during the 2016-17 season:

Wins

Isaac Collier

22

Winning Percentage

Michael Petersen

.619 (13-8)

Pins

Michael Petersen

7

Technical Falls

Isaac Collier & Michael Petersen

3