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Hofstra splits decisions in third annual Grapple at the Garden

Mike Rudin/Hofstra Chronicle Teams introduced at Madison Square Garden during the pregame ceremonies of the Grapple at the Garden torunament. Mike Rudin – Sports Editor

Hofstra visited Madison Square Garden for the 3rd annual Grapple at the Garden tournament to compete against the University of Maryland Terrapins and the Bucknell University Bisons.

Hofstra pulled a win out of thin air against Maryland 29-12, but once they moved into the second dual meet, Bucknell stole the show 25-15. Hofstra’s 1-1 split puts the Pride at 3-5 overall this season.

“I don’t like losing ever,” said head coach Papadatos. “We train to win. We were good enough to win both dual meets but we didn’t. [But] I’m happy because we made progress.”

The Pride started out stumbling in the first couple of matchups against the Terrapins. A forfeit from the beginning of the meet and a 7-3 decision win by Maryland’s Geoffrey Alexander over Pride wrestler Kyle Kasavage put Maryland at a 9-0 lead.

Things looked bleak after the first two matchups but the Pride surged and never looked back. Jamel Hudson led the rally with an 8-3 decision over Maryland’s Shyiem Brown to chip away at the Terrapins’ lead, 9-3.

The turning point of the meet was the back-to-back takedowns granted to Cody Ruggirello and Jahlani Callender to propel Hofstra over the Bisons 15-12. Ruggirello took down Maryland wrestler Frank Goodwin in 4:44, then Callender took down Mascola in 4:05, respectively.

Hofstra won six straight matchups, including the back-to-back takedowns to put the Pride’s lead at 24-12. Three decisions were won by Nick Terdick (10-4) over Anthony Guidice, Frank Affronti (2-0) over Josh Snook and Jermaine John (6-4) over Anthony Gardner.

Maryland’s Rob Fitzgerald broke Hofstra’s 24-point streak with a 7-1 decision win over Pride wrestler Mike Oxley to cut Hofstra’s lead to 24-15. But Mike Hughes would cap off the dual meet on a high note with a 16-0 technical fall decision to bring Hofstra’s final score up to 29 points.

The Pride had some time to rest, but shortly after the victory, they started their second dual meet at Madison Square Garden against Bucknell University.

Hofstra started out strong and carried momentum from their previous dual meet but things would start to fall apart in the midst of it.

The Pride started out in the same hole with another forfeit to cost Hofstra a six-point deficit. Kyle Kasavage and Jamel Hudson would turn the streak around with a 12-5 decision by Kasavage over Girmaldi Gonzalez and Hudson earned a Fall at 1:39 over Colling Boylon to flip the lead in Hofstra’s favor 9-6.

The next four matches swung back-and-forth between both teams, starting with Ruggirello losing to Victor Lopez by a slim 3-2 decision. The three points granted to Bucknell tied the match but then Jahlani Callender retaliated with a hard-fought 3-2 decision win over Rustin Barrick to keep a three-point lead.

A critical moment went against the Pride when Nick Terdick fell to Bucknell’s Rob Schlitt after 1:16 to cost the Pride six points and surrendered the lead. Nick Affronti with a valiant effort tied the meet at 15-15 after his 2-1 decision. Affronti battled through some tough situations and managed to keep himself in the matchup and secure the win.

The turning point in this dual meet was the Bisons securing the last three matchups to take the win. Hofstra’s Jermaine John lost to a major decision of 11-0 against Thomas Sleigh to supply the Bisons four points and a 19-15 lead. Next, Bucknell wrestler Tyler Greene secured his matchup and the meet win with a 2-0 decision to provide the necessary three points to clinch.

Finally, Mike Hughes wouldn’t have been able to receive enough points in the matchup to give Hofstra a win, but the Bison’s threw salt in the wound when Bucknell’s Joe Stolfi overpowered Hughes by a 9-3 decision.

The Pride wrestling squad’s next dual meet is against Lock Haven University at 9:00 a.m. to start the Lock Haven University Invitational.

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