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Columbia finishes strong to beat Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart’s Kyle Davis picked up a pin on Sunday against Columbia but the Pioneers still fell. (Photo courtesy Sacred Heart University)

FAIRFIELD, February 16, 2020 – Trailing by six, Columbia won the four of the final five matches with two pins and two technical falls to beat upset-minded Sacred Heart, 28-16, at the Pitt Center in EIWA action on Sunday.

The Pioneers led 12-6 after five matches and victories from Brandon Levesque (165), Kyle Davis (184) and Connor Fredericks (285). But Columbia got pins from Angelo Rini (133) and Matt Kazimir (141) in less than two minutes and technical falls from Kyle Mosher (157) and Joe Manchio (125) to secure the victory.

Columbia (8-5, 3-3 EIWA) was wrestling their third match in two days. They split an Ivy League doubleheader with Brown and Harvard on Saturday in New York.

“It could have been easy for the guys to use that as an excuse but our guys have done a really nice job adjusting to and handling those situations,” Columbia assistant coach Kyle Massey said. “These guys have a lot of resilience and it showed today.”

Sacred Heart took a 3-0 lead when Levesque battled hard to get a 2-0 decision over Sam Webster at 165 pounds. Columbia tied the match at 3-3 when Newtown’s Joe Accousti dropped a 3-2 decision to Lennox Wolak at 174 when Accousti was penalized twice for stalling in the third period.

Davis had a 7-2 lead over Columbia’s Mike Baker at 184 pounds before he pinned Baker in 2:22 to stretch the Pioneer lead to 9-3. The Lions cut the lead to three points with a win at 197 before Sacred Heart’s Connor Fredericks beat Dan Conley, 5-1.

Sacred Heart’s final win of the bout came from Nick Palumbo (149) with a 10-1 victory over Columbia’s Val Miele. Palumbo had three takedowns in the match and picked up a point for riding time, too.

Sacred Heart turns to action on Saturday when they travel to Long Island University to face LIU at 11 a.m. and Hofstra at 2 p.m. The Pioneers close out the dual meet portion of the 2020 season when they host Brown on Sunday at the Pitt Center in Fairfield at 4:30 p.m.

Columbia 28, Sacred Heart 16
At Fairfield
165: Brandon Levesque (SH) dec. Sam Webster (C), 2-0
174: Lennox Wolak (C) dec. Joe Accousti (SH), 3-2
184: Kyle Davis (SH) pin Michael Baker (C) 2:22
197: Sam Wustefeld (C) dec. Nick Fierro (SH), 9-3
285: Connor Fredericks (SH) dec. Danny Conley (C), 5-1
125: Joe Manchio (C) tech fall Sean Faraon (SH), 15-0
133: Angelo Rini (C) pin Kyle Randall (SH), 1:56
141: Matt Kazimir (C) pin Gerard Daly (SH), 0:48
149: Nick Palumbo (SH) dec. Val Miele (C), 10-1
157: Kyle Mosher (C) tech fall Shaun Williams (SH) 16-0
Records: Sacred Heart 7-4, 4-2 EIWA; Columbia 8-5, 3-3 EIWA

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 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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