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February 8, 2016

South Siders Fall to Augustana

The wrestling team picked up its ninth loss of the season on Friday as it dropped its match against Augustana College 35­­–16. The Maroons performed valiantly as they picked up four weight class wins, but had trouble competing with the veteran experience of the Vikings. The latest loss for the Maroons brings their overall record to 3–9, while Augustana improved its record to 7–6.

The Maroons got off to a hot start as two of their top first-years, Louis Demarco and Mason Williams, won the first two matches of the evening. Demarco notched a 5–2 decision at 133 pounds in the first match. To follow up Demarco was Williams, who pinned his opponent in the third period of the second match at 141 pounds. Williams had a big adjustment going into the match as he had moved weight classes from 149 pounds.

“A big change for me individually was going down a weight class…. I did not change much of my offense, but I felt like I had an advantage in size. I was glad I got the pin for the team because it had us in good position to possibly win down the stretch along with the performances of the rest of the team,” Williams said.

After the two quick wins for the young duo of the Maroons, Augustana came right back to go up 17–9 in the team score with two forfeits and a technical fall. The Maroons responded with their veteran leaders as second-year Nick Ferraro and third-year Paul Papoutsis notched wins to make the score 17–16. Ferraro controlled his match in a dominating fashion as he won 11–3 by major decision.

“I feel like I performed well, the kid I wrestled I will wrestle again at regionals so it felt good to get a win over him before then. I worked [on] some things I needed to improve at for the end of the season, and I'm definitely improving on my feet and I think that it showed on Friday,” Ferraro said.

After Ferraro’s win, it was downhill for the Maroons. The Vikings notched three straight first period pins to give them a 35–16 lead over the Maroons that would prove to be insurmountable. The Maroons were a victim of their own youth as the Vikings took advantage of the lack of veteran presence on the team.

“The team wrestled pretty well, I thought, but the score makes it look like we lost badly. We have five freshman in the starting lineup and we are all trying to improve and learn still. We just need to continue to work hard and listen to our coaches and we should be in good position to win the conference title this weekend,” Williams said.

That conference title is this Saturday at Ratner Athletics Center as the Maroons will take on Case Western and NYU. The Maroons will look to shake off this loss and take home another UAA championship.

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