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Sacred Heart drops final two dual meets of season to LIU, Brown

Sacred Heart’s Nick Palumbo won twice this weekend but the Pioneers lost dual meets to Long Island and Brown. (Photo courtesy Kristen Bilek Jarosz)

Sacred Heart’s Nick Palumbo and Ryan Bolletino each picked up a pair of victories this weekend but the Sacred Heart men’s wrestling team finished the dual meet portion of the season with a pair of EIWA losses to Long Island University and Brown.

The Pioneers dropped a 26-15 loss to Long Island on Saturday and fell to Brown on Sunday, 35-11 to finish 1-9 on the season and 1-7 in the EIWA (Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association).

Against Brown, Palumbo improved to 8-3 on the year with a 13-4 victory over Jack Bokina at 157 pounds. Bolletino (8-10) beat Brown’s Keegan Rothrock, 13-5 to cut the Brown lead to three points, 14-11 with four matches remaining.

But Brown won the next four matches with three pins and a decision to secure the victory.

On Saturday against Long Island, a win from Palumbo at 157 and a pin from Bolletino at 165 cut the Sharks’ lead to four points, 20-16 with one match remaining. But a pin in the final match secured the first win of the season for Long Island and the eighth straight loss for the Pioneers.

Long Island University’s Devin Matthews (141), the second-year wrestler from Gilbert School in Winsted, won his fourth straight match with a tech fall of Sacred Heart’s Chris Naegele, 16-0, in just 2:58. Matthews is 9-8 on the year.

With the dual meet season complete, Sacred Heart turns their focus toward the EIWA championships on March 5-6 at Cornell. The tournament will serve as an automatic qualifier for the NCAA Division I championships.

A year ago, Palumbo and Joe Accousti of Newtown became the first Pioneer wrestlers since 2007 to qualify for the NCAA Division I tournament and will try to do it again for a second straight year. Palumbo is 8-3 on the year while Accousti is 6-9.

Brown 35, Sacred Heart 11
At Providence, R.I.
125: Reese Fry (B) pin Vincent Milazzo, 2:39
133: Anthony Petrillo (SH) dec. Nicky Cabanillas, 3-2
141: Tim Levine (B) tech fall John Lafferty, 20-2, 6:59
149: Ricky Cabanillas (B) dec. Raf Lievano, 8-2
157: Nick Palumbo (SH) dec. Jack Bokina, 13-4
165: Ryan Bolletino (SH) dec. Keegan Rothrock, 13-5
174: Drew Clearie (B) pin Shaun Williams, 2:44
184: James Araneo (B) pin Robert Hetherman, 4:08
197: Cade Wilson (B) dec. Joe Accousti, 7-3
285: Lear Burton (B) pin Nick Copley, 1:54
Records: Sacred Heart 1-9, 1-7 EIWA; Brown 4-9, 3-7 EIWA

Long Island University 26, Sacred Heart 15
At Hempstead, N.Y.
184: Joe Accousti (SH) dec. James Langan, 5-1
197: Nunzio Crowley (LIU) dec. Mark Blokh, 16-3
285: Tim Nagosky (LIU) dec. Nicholas Copley, 9-3
125: Robbie Sagaris (LIU) dec. Jacob Venezia, 10-0
133: Anthony Petrillo (SHU) dec. Kaelan Francois, 7-2
141: Devin Matthews (LIU) tech fall Chris Naegele, 16-0, 2:58
149: Drew Witham (LIU) dec. Rafael Lievano, 10-0
157: Nick Palumbo (SH) dec. Rhise Royster, 6-3
165: Ryan Bolletino (SH) pin Blake Bahna, 2:55
174: Ryan Ferro (LIU) pin Alex Marciniak, 1:39
Records: Sacred Heart 1-8, 1-6 EIWA; Long Island University 1-13, 1-7 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 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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