Seven national top-10 team finishes
PELLA—The Central College wrestling team was foiled by bonus points in a 27-13 dual loss to Iowa Conference foe Loras Thursday night.
Snow drifted and temperatures dropped outside, but it was heated inside Kuyper Gym as the Dutch (3-5 overall, 0-2 conference) and Duhawks (6-7 overall, 2-0 conference) battled it out on the mat. Central won four of the 10 matches, but Loras scored three falls en route to the 14-point victory.
“The night shook out like it would on paper,” coach Eric Van Kley said. “Loras is a very good team with quality guys throughout its lineup. We competed, but the bottom line was they got bonus points and we didn’t.”
In a tide-turning moment, Loras’ 174-pounder Joe Butler was awarded a first-period fall as the buzzer sounded while trailing on the scoreboard. The result put the Duhawks on top 24-6 with three matches remaining.
“If we’re going to be competitive with really good teams we need to eliminate bonus points and falls,” said Van Kley. “That’s something that’s plagued us a lot this year. We need to be tougher in those situations.”
Daniel Page (junior, Tumwater, Wash.), TJ Peretti (senior, Auburn, Wash.) and Tyler Lowy (junior, Phoenix, Ariz.) each scored three match points at 125, 149 and 194 pounds, respectively. Page and Lowy won by decision, while Peretti bested Loras’ returning All-American Joe Wood in the third overtime period.
“TJ had a terrific win,” Van Kley said. “It was a good, hard-fought win and just a great match. Tyler battled back in the third and won at his best position and Daniel produced a consistent result. I was proud of their efforts tonight.”
Van Kley also cited two newcomers to the dual lineup: 184-pounder Matt Seabold (freshman, Burlington) and 285-pounder Edwin Etienne (freshman, Lehigh Acres, Fla., Riverdale HS). Seabold transferred at semester from South Dakota State University, while Etienne joined the team after competing as a member of the Central football team this fall.
Seabold won by 11-0 major decision over Mathias Palmersheim in his debut, while Etienne was edged by No. 5-ranked James Buss in a 5-0 decision.
“Matt really battled in his first night,” said Van Kley. “He’s a guy that makes our team better, but it’s not just what he does on the mat. He’s got a great attitude and has really bought into our system. We’re excited to have him and his best is yet to come. Edwin’s been practicing one week and he stepped up against a top-tier opponent. He really battled and competed.”
Next the Dutch travel to Crawfordsville, Ind., for Saturday’s annual Max Servies Wrestling Duals. Last year Central was 2-1 at the one-day dual tournament with wins over Knox (Ill.) (60-0) and Mount St. Joseph (Ohio) (30-6). The complete schedule is not yet available, but the Dutch and host Wabash (Ind.) (7-2 overall) square off at 12:30 p.m. at Chadwick Court.
“There’s not going to be an easy dual the rest of the year,” Van Kley said. “Nights like tonight, that level of competition is what we have on the schedule the rest of the way. We need to embrace the battles, eliminate the falls and bonus points and win some matches.”