W&L Wrestling Has Strong First Day at NCAA Regionals

W&L Wrestling Has Strong First Day at NCAA Regionals

LEXINGTON, Va. – The Washington and Lee wrestling team resides in 10th-place out of 18 teams following the first day of competition at the NCAA Division III East Regional hosted by the Generals at the Warner Center on Saturday.

Stevens leads the team portion of the event with 66.5 points and is followed by The College of New Jersey in second with 56.5 points.  W&L has 25.5 points and has advanced a pair of wrestlers to the semifinals of their respective weight classes.  The top three place-winners in each of the 10 weight classes will advance to the NCAA National Championships held on March 11-12 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Leading the way for the Generals are senior 184-pounder Ron Tassoni (Media, Pa. / Haverford School) and first-year 133-pounder Zach Bylykbashi (Southington, Conn. / Southington), who have both advanced to the semifinals and are potentially one win away from cementing their trip to Nationals.

Tassoni, the third seed, opened his tournament with an 18-2 tech fall over Muhlenberg's Ethan Pentz in 5:49.  He then notched an 8-2 victory over Hunter Goulart of Ferrum to set up a match with second-seeded William Gockel-Figge of NYU in the semifinals on Sunday.

Bylykbashi, seeded seventh, started with a 13-6 win over William Hardin of the Merchant Marine Academy and then he posted a 13-7 win over second-seeded Keven Hoogheem of Ursinus.  He will meet third-seeded Ryan O'Boyle of McDaniel in Sunday's semifinal match.  O'Boyle has defeated Bylykbashi twice this season, including in the Centennial Conference championship match two weeks ago.

Sophomore 141-pounder Alex Pollera (Warren, N.J. / Watchung Hills Regional) and sophomore 174-pounder Brandon Lefore (Morgan Hill, Calif. / Ann Sobrato) are also still alive in the consolation rounds for W&L.  Both won their opener, before falling in the second match.  They will both wrestle in the consolation quarterfinals on Sunday.  Pollera, seeded fourth, will take on Jeffrey Rottingen of Centenary and Lefore, seeded eighth, will grapple with Nicholas Cross of McDaniel.

First-year 125-pounder Ethan Hartman (River Edge, N.J. / River Dell Regional) finished 1-2 on the day and was eliminated from the competition.  He completed his rookie campaign with 10 wins.

Sunday's competition will begin at 11:00 am.  The first and third-place matches are slated to begin at approximately 3:00 pm.

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125 Pounds
Evan Krumheuer (Johns Hopkins) d. Ethan Hartman (W&L); 14-3
Ethan Hartman (W&L) d. Gabriel Wilson (Greensboro); 10-9
Michael Mui (Merchant Marines) d. Ethan Hartman (W&L); TF, 19-4 (5:00)

133 Pounds
Zach Bylykbashi (W&L) d. William Hardin (Merchant Marines); 13-6
Zach Bylykbashi (W&L) d. Keven Hoogheem (Ursinus); 13-7
Zach Bylykbashi (W&L) vs. Ryan O'Boyle (McDaniel) – Semifinals Sunday

141 Pounds
Alex Pollera (W&L) d. David Naupari (Hunter); Fall 1:40
Christian Hoogheem (Ursinus) d. Alex Pollera (W&L); Fall 4:45
Alex Pollera (W&L) d. Matthew Sparks (King's); 14-0
Alex Pollera (W&L) vs. Jeffrey Rottingen (Centenary) – Consolation Quarterfinals Sunday

174 Pounds
Brandon Lefore (W&L) d. Nicholas Brutus (Hunter); TF, 18-2 (6:53)
Joshua Sibblies (Centenary) d. Brandon Lefore (W&L); 12-5
Brandon Lefore (W&L) d. Zachary Smith (King's); Fall 2:25
Brandon Lefore (W&L) vs. Nicholas Cross (McDaniel) – Consolation Quarterfinals Sunday

184 Pounds
Ron Tassoni (W&L) d. Ethan Pentz (Muhlenberg); TF, 18-2 (5:49)
Ron Tassoni (W&L) d. Hunter Goulart (Ferrum); 8-2
Ron Tassoni (W&L) vs. William Gockel-Figge (NYU) – Semifinals Sunday