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Despite loss, Jack earns All-American honors for 2nd time

ST. LOUIS, March 17 – For the second straight year, Wyoming’s Bryce Meredith foiled the plans of North Carolina State’s Kevin Jack (Danbury) at the NCAA Division I wrestling tournament. Meredith, a former Wolfpack wrestler, upset No. 2 Jack, 6-5 in the quarterfinals at 141 pounds on Friday.

A year ago, Meredith also beat Jack in the quarterfinals on riding time, 5-4.

However, Jack rebounded nicely on Friday in the fourth round of the consolation bracket, beating Penn State’s Jimmy Gulibon, 6-4, to earn All-American honors for the second time in three seasons. He is the first Connecticut wrestler to earn All-American honors in multiple years at the Division I level.

At 285 pounds, Somers’ Doug Vollaro of Lehigh University won three straight consolation round bouts but fell one win shy of All-American status, dropping a 4-1 decision to No. 8. Michael Kroells of Minnesota on Friday night.

Jack (32-2) had won 29 straight matches going into the quarterfinals. Meredith grabbed a 2-0 lead with the first takedown but Jack escaped within 10 seconds to cut the lead to one. A second period reversal gave Jack a 3-2 lead before Meredith escaped to tie the bout at 3-3.

In the third period, Meredith took a 4-3 lead with an escape with 1:25 remaining and took a 6-3 lead with a takedown with 35 seconds remaining. Jack got a reversal with eight seconds left but there wasn’t enough time left to score additional points.

Against Gulibon, both wrestlers had first period takedowns. An escape by Jack with 1:46 remaining in the second period tied the match at 3-3. In the third period, Jack got a takedown with 1:35 lead to take a 5-3 lead. He got an additional point for over one minute of riding time in a 6-4 victory.

Jack will face No. 14 Thomas Thorn of Minnesota in the consolation semifinal on Saturday morning.

Vollaro (24-10) beat two ranked wrestlers before being eliminated by Kroells. Vollaro beat No. 6 Austin Schaefer of Oklahoma State, 5-1 in the second round of the consolation bracket. Vollaro had a 2-1 lead after two periods and extended the lead with a third period escape. A takedown with 12 seconds remaining secured a 5-1 victory.

Against No. 14 Thomas Haines of Lock Haven, Vollaro had two takedowns in the first period and added an escape and a third takedown in the second period of a 7-3 victory.

Kroells took a 1-0 lead with an early second period escape. He rode Vollaro for over a minute in the third period to earn another point. Vollaro did escape with 1:06 left in the bout and tried to get a takedown but could find few openings. Kroells took advantage of a desperate Vollaro in the third period for a late takedown to secure a 4-1 victory.

Vollaro finishes his collegiate career with a record of 72-46.

2017 NCAA Division I national championships
At St. Louis
Full brackets

NCAA Division I wrestling

NCAA Division I 
Connecticut All-Americans
Kevin Jack (Danbury),
North Carolina State, 141, 3rd, 2017
North Carolina State, 141, 5th, 2015
Orville Palmer (Middletown), Oklahoma, 197, 7th, 2000
Jim Guzzio (Madison), Maryland, 134, 5th, 1997
John Engel (Stamford), Lehigh, 118, 1st, 1931

2017 national 
tournament results
Kevin Jack (141), N.C. State
1R: Beat Ronald Perry, Lock Haven, 10-0
2R: Beat (15) Tyler Smith, Bucknell, 4-0
QF: Lost to (10) Bryce Meredith, Wyoming, 6-5
Consolation 4R: Beat Jimmy Guilbon, Penn State, 6-4

Doug Vollaro (285), Lehigh
Prelim: Def. Zack Parker, Ohio, 3-1 OT
1R: Lost (5) Nick Nevills, Penn State, 4-2
Consolation
1R: Def. Cory Gilliard-Daniel, North Carolina, 3-1
2R: Def. (6) Austin Schafer, Oklahoma State, 5-1
3R: Def. (14) Thomas Haines, Lock Haven, 7-3
4R: Lost (8) MIchael Kroellis, Minnesota, 4-1

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of Connecticut Wrestling Online. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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