Seven national top-10 team finishes
PELLA—Dueling for the second time in eight days, the Central College wrestling team improved on its previous victory, upending Simpson College 36-12 in Friday’s Iowa Conference dual finals seventh-place matchup.
It was a case of same book, different chapter as the Dutch (7-10 overall) won seven out of the 10 bouts, same as the Feb. 6 dual, but tallied four falls and one forfeit for the 24-point win.
“Simpson competes hard,” coach Eric Van Kley said. “It’s a rivalry dual and it’s always competitive. The two duals were similar to some degree, but we picked up some additional bonus points. That was something we stressed tonight.”
The Storm (3-14 overall) won the opening bout at 184 pounds by major decision, but the Dutch rattled off seven in a row, beginning with No. 9-ranked 197-pounder Tyler Lowy (junior, Phoenix, Ariz., Thunderbird HS). Lowy needed only 2:15 to win by fall over Jared Bevins, putting Central on top for good.
Edwin Etienne (freshman, Lehigh Acres, Fla., Riverdale HS) followed up Lowy’s match with a 3-2 decision over Colby Vlieger at 285 pounds. The two were tied 1-1 entering the third period, but a thundering takedown by Etienne clinched the bout and brought the Dutch fans to their feet.
“Edwin is getting better each and every week,” Van Kley said. “He’s still relatively new to collegiate wrestling, but he has been working hard. His match-winning takedown was exciting for our team and the crowd. It was a lot of fun.”
Following a forfeit at 125 pounds, 133-pounder AJ Pestano (sophomore, Torrance, Calif.) notched Central’s second fall over Sam Reichenbacker in 4:13. It was a welcomed, but not unexpected result in Van Kley’s eyes.
“It’s great that we have that kind of depth,” said Van Kley. “We knew what we wanted to do with our lineup and we had some flexibility. For AJ to step in and win by fall was huge. It’s a testament to his preparation.”
Aaron Anderson (sophomore, Clarion, Clarion-Goldfield HS) wrestled up a weight class at 141 pounds, just like he did last week, and scored the 14-7 decision over Jeff Sand.
In the 149-pound match, senior TJ Peretti (Auburn, Wash., Mountainview HS) made his final home dual one to remember, winning by fall 1:35 into the first period over Devin Syler. The result clinched the dual for the Dutch, who led 30-4.
“I was happy to see TJ end his career on a great night,” Van Kley said. “His leadership has been tremendous and it’s fun to see how he has grown and the great season he’s had. It’s nice to send him out on a high note.”
Freshman Ryan Vandall (Phoenix, Ariz., Moon Valley HS) closed out Central’s scoring with yet another fall over Clay Harris at 157 pounds. His was the quickest of the night, coming in only 1:16.
The Storm won the final two bouts by major decision, but the dual was already decided.
Friday closed out the dual portion of the 2013-14 campaign. Central takes two weeks off to prepare for the NCAA Division III Central Regional March 1 at Dubuque, where tickets to the NCAA Division III Championships will be on the line.
“We’ve geared everything this year for the regional,” Van Kley said. “We have two big weeks of training and we’re going to go and give it our best shot. We’re excited and ready for it.”
And as always, Van Kley ended the night with an emphatic “Go Dutch!”