Thanks to Carie Dernlan for the great photos @cdernlan
November Competition Recap
Washington and Lee wrestling opened the 2019-2020 season wrestling well, won 5 out of 7 dual meets (with 1 loss coming with a reserve team to Apprentice School), and have been rewarded with a #24 team national ranking. Our one dual meet loss was to #18 Millikin University at the Southeast Duals. Most recently, W&L Generals went 3-0 at Penn College in Williamsport, PA, beating York College 35-12, Scranton 22-18, and host Penn College 34-3. It was a good end to three straight weeks of competition in November, and a nice way to head into Thanksgiving Break. The week before, the Generals wrestled at the Southeast Duals, beating Otterbein College 25-13 and Greensboro College 30-9, before falling to #18 Millikin University 9-32 and to Apprentice School 15-28 (reserve line-up). The next day 12 Generals competed at the Star City Classic, with 6 of them placing in the tournament. The season opened on November 9 at the Washington and Jefferson Invite, where the Generals secured their best ever finish at the event, taking 2nd place as a team and placing 11 wrestlers in 9 of the 10 weight classes. As we move into the Holiday season, the let’s take a look at some of the main storylines.
A Balanced Line-Up
This year, more than any other year, the Generals have a 10 man line-up that is stacked top to bottom with talented wrestlers. The Generals have averaged 29 points in their 5 dual meet wins (while only giving up 11 points). Even in their loss to Millikin, while the 32-9 score looks bad, a few very tight matches went against us, in what was otherwise a very tightly contested match. We lost 125, 141, and 157 each in a last second and were winning at 184 before getting caught and pinned. As we continue to improve during the 2nd semester, our ability to turn those types of matches into victories will determine whether we are able to move up in the rankings and push for conference and regional titles.
In addition, the Generals line-up is very balanced by age. So far, 2 first years (Riley Parker and Mark Fasciocco), two sophomores (Clay Chadwick, Brad Basham), three juniors (Matt Muller, Bryce Crew, and Nick Konovalchik), and three seniors (Shane Conners, Alec Horne, Rexx Hallyburton) have started. While it is still early in the season and changes to the line-up are still likely, this mix of youth and experience has been a blessing as the whole team is working together toward the goal of continuous improvement.
First years make an impact
125 Riley Parker (Virginia Beach, VA) has had a great start to his Washington and Lee career, with a 8-4 record, including 5 falls, 2 tech falls, and a major decision. 3 of his losses have been by 7 combined points. He is continuing to grow into the 125 lb weight class and is making the adjustments that he needs to to win those close matches.
133 Mark Fasciocco (Southampton, PA) is 7-2 on the season, including 4-1 in dual meets and a 2nd place finish at the W&J Invite. Mark has stepped into the 133 lb weight class and been solid from his opening match. We are looking forward for him to continue improving and wrestling tough during the 2nd semester.
184 Matt Majoy (Long Island, NY) has stepped up at 184 while senior Rexx Hallyburton missed time early in the season, winning 7 out of his first 9 matches, including a 5th place finish at the W&J Invite. Though Matt missed much of his last two high school seasons with injuries, he hasn’t missed a beat and has wrestled really well thus far.
Junior Bryce Crew (Saint Marys, GA) came into the season with 31 pins through two seasons, only 2 shy of David Dennis’ 2012 record of 33 career falls. He has now pinned 5 out of his last six opponents and has six total falls on the season. This puts him at 37 career pins…and counting!
Meanwhile, Soph Joe Salerno (Princeton, NJ) is 10-2 on the season with 8 falls. Last season he had 17 pins and 17 wins (1 behind Bryce for the single season pins record). He is now at 25 falls through 1.5 seasons!
As mentioned above, fist year 125 lber Riley Parker has 5 falls and 8 wins over the past three weekends.
Looking Ahead to Challenging Competitions
Although the first three weeks of competition have gone well, the second semester holds plenty of challenges for the Generals. First up, the Generals travel to Ft. Lauderdale, FL for the Citrus Invite, a event that consistently brings in some of the nation’s top teams, including #3 Augsburg, #15 RIT, #16 NYU, and regional rival Ferrum College.
Next, the Generals return home for our annual Jim Crytzer Invite, which this year includes top regional rivals Ferrum and #17 Messiah. Then, just as winter term classes are getting underway the Generals travel to Lycoming College for the Budd Whitehill Duals, a grueling two day dual advancement tournament.
And all of this is before the Generals head into the Centennial Conference Dual meet schedule while also fitting in duals with regional rivals Ferrum, Averett, and SVU. The first semester has shown that the Generals are a team with tremendous potential. But much hard work remains! See the full schedule here. There are three upcoming home events: the Jim Crytzer Invite (Sat Jan 4), dual vs. Ferrum College (Wed Jan 22), and dual vs. SVU (Sat Feb 1).