W&L's Tassoni Earns Bid to NCAA Wrestling Championship

W&L's Tassoni Earns Bid to NCAA Wrestling Championship

LEXINGTON, Va. – The Washington and Lee wrestling team claimed four place-winners and finished 11th out of 18 teams as it hosted the NCAA Division III East Regional on Sunday.

W&L had three athletes finish in sixth-place in their respective weight classes, while senior 184-pounder Ron Tassoni (Media, Pa. / Haverford School) placed third to earn a bid to the NCAA Division III National Championship.  He is the first W&L wrestler to receive a bid to Nationals since Joe Mueller competed in the same weight class at the 2001 National Championship.

Tassoni, seeded third, fell in his semifinal match to second-seeded William Gockel-Figge by a score of 4-3.  He then recovered to post a 5-2 win over Delaware Valley's Nick Della Ferra in the consolation semifinals, setting up an epic third-place battle with Dan Wojtaszek of The College of New Jersey.  Tassoni emerged with a 9-8 win that cemented his bid to Nationals.  He is now 33-5 on the season.

Sophomore 133-pounder Zach Bylykbashi (Southington, Conn. / Southington) was defeated by the tournament's outstanding wrestler, Ryan O'Boyle of McDaniel, who recorded a pin in 1:58 in the semifinals.  He then dropped matches to Robert Cunningham of Ferrum (12-5) and Connor Kirkegard of Delaware Valley (6-4).  Bylykbashi finishes his rookie season with a school-record 34 wins and just 10 losses.

At 141 pounds, sophomore Alex Pollera (Warren, N.J. / Watchung Hills Regional) downed Jeffrey Rottingen of Centenary (N.J.) in the consolation quarterfinals, before falling to Tim Ambacher of Delaware Valley in the consolation semifinals, 3-0.  He then dropped a second match of the weekend to Christian Hoogheem of Ursinus by a score of 7-3 in the fifth-place match.  Pollera finishes his season with a 22-14 overall mark.

Sophomore Brandon Lefore (Morgan Hill, Calif. / Ann Sobrato) also placed sixth in the 174-pound weight class.  On Sunday, he opened with a 5-1 win over Nicholas Cross of McDaniel in the consolation quarterfinals, but fell to Phil Woods of Stevens in the consolation semis, 8-1.  Lefore's season ended with a 5-3 setback against Corey Markovitch of Ursinus in the fifth-place match.  He completed the year with a 22-10 record.

Stevens won the team title with 137.0 points.  The College of New Jersey was second with 98.0 points and Ursinus was third with 88.0 points.  W&L finished with 40.0 points, just five points behind McDaniel, who placed 10th.

The NCAA Division III Championships will be held on March 11-12 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

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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
Ryan O'Boyle (McDaniel) d. Zach Bylykbashi (W&L); Fall 1:58 (Semis)
Robert Cunningham (Ferrum) d. Zach Bylykbashi (W&L); 12-5 (Con. Semis)
Connor Kirkegard (Delaware Valley) d. Zach Bylykbashi (W&L); 6-4 (Fifth-Place Match)

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) d. Jeffrey Rottingen (Centenary); 7-4 (Con. Quarters)
Tim Ambacher (Delaware Valley) d. Alex Pollera (W&L); 3-0 (Con. Semis)
Christian Hoogheem (Ursinus) d. Alex Pollera (W&L); 7-3 (Fifth-Place Match)

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) d. Nicholas Cross (McDaniel); 5-1 – (Con. Quarters)
Phil Woods (Stevens) d. Brandon Lefore (W&L); 8-1 (Con. Semis)
Corey Markovitch (Ursinus) d. Brandon Lefore (W&L); 5-3 (Fifth-Place Match)

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
William Gockel-Figge (NYU) d. Ron Tassoni (W&L); 4-3 (Semis)
Ron Tassoni (W&L) d. Nick Della Ferra (Delaware Valley); 5-2 (Con. Semis)
Ron Tassoni (W&L) d. Dan Wojtaszek (TCNJ); 9-8 (Third-Place Match)