Providence, RI --- The WPI wrestling kicked off the 2014 portion of its schedule on Wednesday evening, coming up on the short end of a 29-16 decision against host Rhode Island College.
The Anchormen earned their fifth straight victory and improved to 5-1 overall, while upping their record to a perfect 3-0 in New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) competition. WPI is now 1-4 in dual meets this season.
After WPI sophomore Justin Marsh (Upper Black Eddy, PA) opened the contest with a 14-3 major decision at 174 lbs., the Anchormen responded with a 12-1 major decision of their own at 184 lbs., courtesy of junior Kyle Humphries (East Longmeadow, MA), to tie the match, 4-4.
WPI answered right back just minutes later at 197 lbs., as senior Alex Freilich (Worcester, MA) pinned his opponent to put the Engineers on top, 10-4. However, RIC would bounce back to tie the match, 10-10, behind Brian Nicoll (Plaistow, NH), pin at the 2:06 mark. The win marked the fourth straight victory for Nicoll, who is improves to 9-1 on the year and is currently ranked No. 1 in New England and No. 7 in the nation at 285 lbs.
The momentum carried into the next bout for Rhode Island College, as junior Jonathan Murray (Brentwood, NY) outlasted freshman Brian Amato (Newington, CT), the No. 3 wrestler in New England at 125 lbs., in his season debut to pick up a 10-6 overtime victory.
After Silas Murray (Brentwood, NY), won by forfeit at 133 lbs. for the Anchormen, Ricondo Cole (Cranston, RI), who is ranked No. 3 in New England at 141 lbs., stepped in and earned an 8-0 major decision over junior Tyler Tilbe (Woodbury, CT), the No. 1 wrestler in New England at 141 lbs., to give Rhode Island College a 23-10 lead.
Senior Mike Perruccio (Pelham, NH), the No. 3 wrestler in New England at 149 lbs., kept the Engineers alive with a 6-2 decision over sophomore Chris Kelly (Franklin, MA) to make it, 23-13. However, freshman Kyle Lake (Toms River, NJ) followed by putting the match out of reach and securing the victory for the Anchormen with a pin at the 4:33 mark at 157.
In the final bout of the evening, WPI sophomore Torin Zonfreli (Carver, MA) knocked off RIC sophomore Brandon Conrad (East Bridgewater, MA) at 165 lbs. in the fourth overtime period, 7-2, to round out the scoring and make it, 29-16.
In upcoming action, both teams will compete at the 2014 Ursinus North/South Duals on Saturday, Jan. 11. WPI will face Elizabethtown, Gettysburg, McDaniel and Merchant Marine.
Release Courtesy Rhode Island College Sports Information