BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo wrestling team
captured a 31-9 home-opening dual meet victory over Ashland
University on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Arena. Sophomores Kevin Smith and John-Martin Cannon and junior Jimmy Hamel each collected
falls in the Bulls' dominating performance over the Eagles.
Ashland opened the dual meet with an overtime decision, 3-2. Facing a 2-1 deficit heading into the third period, sophomore Dylan Dabolt rode his way to a 2-2 tie through the end of the third. In overtime, the Eagles' Brandon Davis stole the win at 125 on a penalized move by Dabolt.
The Bulls quickly erased Ashland's 3-0 lead as Smith pinned AU's Jacob Creed at 5:50. Smith dominated the four-time North Carolina State champion throughout the first two periods, not allowing Creed to score a single point in the 133-pound bout. "Kevin dominated his guy. He was able to break him down and turn him for the pin," said head coach Jim Beichner.
With the score tied up at 6-6, Desi Green picked up a close 10-9 decision over Ashland's T.J. Rigel. Picking up four takedowns in his victory, the 16th nationally-ranked wrestler has moved into 20th place in the all-time UB list for most takedowns in a career (75).
At 157, the Bulls widened their margin to 13-6 as senior Andrew Stella collected a 12-0 major decision. Following a scoreless first period, Stella turned it on in the remaining periods as nine of his 12 total points came off three-point nearfalls. "After a scoreless first period, Andrew came back with four solid minutes of wrestling. He dominated his opponent on top, which says something," stated Beichner.
Moving up a weight class from last year, Cannon came out to rebound from his performance at last week's UB Open. In the first ten seconds of the match, he took Ashland's Peter Lewis to the mat. In the first period alone, Cannon recorded five takedowns. On his final takedown of the second period, Cannon was able to work Lewis to his back, recording a fall at 4:25. "Following his disappointing performance at the UB Open, John-Martin bounced back today. He was himself, coming out to wrestle from the start," said Beichner.
Redshirt-freshmen Matt Bogardus at 174 and Josh Peters at 184, scored their first career dual meet victories. Both wrestlers won in 6-3 decisions.
In his bout at 174, Bogardus wrestled the final period with a knee injury. "Matt's relentless attitude showed the mental toughness needed to compete in this sport," explained Beichner.
In the 197-pound bout, Hamel attacked the Eagles' Josh Grider from the start. In the first period, the 20th nationally-ranked wrestler built an 8-2 lead including a two-point nearfall. In the second period, Hamel buried Grider's shoulders to the mat for his first career fall at 4:28.
"We did what we expected of ourselves. Overall, it was a dominating performance. Ashland fought hard throughout the entire match and was able to close the door on bouts where we were unable to. Smith, Cannon and Hamel gave our team insurance points by recording pins in their bouts," said Beichner.
The Bulls will return to dual meet action on Sunday, November 15 as they travel to Hempstead, NY to face Hofstra University at 1:00 pm.