March 16, 2013
Two Dragons in semis, Myhrberg upset victim
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Freshman Bobby Dierna and sophomore Lou Puca each remain in contention for individual national titles and are among SUNY Cortland’s guaranteed three All-Americans after the first day of competition at the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships.
Though upset in the opening round at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena, top-seeded senior Jared Myhrberg will also be an All-American at 197 pounds for the second straight season after recovering from that disappointment to win twice in wrestlebacks.
Cortland is in seventh place in the team standings with 25.5 points. Wartburg leads with 66 points, followed by Wisconsin-Whitewater (46), Elmhurst (39.5), Wisconsin-La Crosse (32.5), Ithaca (29), Centenary (27), Cortland and Springfield (24) in the top eight.
Dierna, seeded fifth at 149 pounds, won all three of his opening day matches on Friday. Puca, the third seed at 174 pounds, finished Day One with a 2-0 record. They will both compete in the semifinals today and are guaranteed top-six finishes.
Myhrberg, the top seed at 197, will finish between third and eighth place. The top eight finishers in each weight class are All-Americans.
Three other Red Dragons were eliminated in Friday’s action.
Senior Troy Sterling, making his third NCAA showing, entered as the fifth seed at 157 pounds. He lost his first match, won his second, but lost, 1-0, in the match that would have secured All-America honors.
The same was true for senior Corey James at 285 pounds. Unseeded, James lost his first match, won in overtime in the next, but lost after that to end his season a win shy of advancing to Saturday’s action. James was competing in his second NCAA tournament in three years at Cortland.
Freshman Alec Dierna finished 0-2 as an unseeded entry at 133 pounds. He completed his first collegiate season with a 26-11 record.
Bobby Dierna, currently 33-2 on the year, received a draw at 149 pounds where he had to wrestle an extra match. He won that bout by a 21-9 major decision over Cornell College’s Trevor Engle, then defeated Waynesburg’s Luke Lohr 5-1 by breaking a 1-1 tie with a late takedown and near fall.
Dierna then out-lasted fourth seed Emmanuel Ajagbe of Delaware Valley with a 4-3 decision in the second tiebreaker period. The win avenged a 3-2 loss to Ajagbe in the regular season. The wrestlers were tied 1-1 after regulation on a pair of escapes.
After a scoreless one-minute sudden-victory overtime, each wrestler scored an escape during the first tie-breaker period that consisted of two 30-second periods.
There was no scoring in the second sudden-victory period, and in the second tiebreaker Dierna and Ajagbe again recorded an escape each. Dierna, however, had a cumulative riding time advantage over the two tiebreaker periods and was awarded the decisive point for the win.
Dierna will face top seed Kodie Silvestri of Wartburg in Saturday’s semifinals.
Puca trailed 2-1 in his first match before rallying for a 5-2 win over Dallas Winston of Delaware Valley. He then won by a 9-7 decision over sixth-seeded Dan Schiferl of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in the quarterfinals. A reversal in each period accounted for six of Puca’s points in the match.
Puca, currently 30-4 on the season, will face second-seeded Jules Doliscar of Ithaca in the semifinals Saturday. Doliscar pinned Puca during a dual match at Cortland late in the regular season.
Myhrberg entered the tournament with a 33-1 record and the top seed at 197 pounds. In his opener, however, he lost 3-2 to unseeded Andrew Lovins of Heidelberg.
Lovins took a 2-0 lead with a reversal in the second period and didn’t allow Myhrberg to escape. Myhrberg recorded a takedown with 54 seconds left in the third period to tie the match at -2-2. He decided, however, to allow a quick escape instead of trying to ride out the rest of the third period to force overtime. Myhrberg was unable, however, to record the go-ahead takedown as the clock expired.
Myhrberg then defeated Joshua Roometua of Wesleyan 8-3, putting the match away with two third-period takedowns. In his final match of the night, Myhrberg broke a 2-2 tie with an escape early in the third period and held on for a 3-2 victory over seventh seed Darren Faber of Wheaton out of Illinois.
Myhrberg opens action Saturday versus Matthew Hechsel of Augsburg.
Sterling lost to unseeded Ryan Arne of Minnesota’s St. John’s 6-3 in the opening round. Sterling pulled to within 4-3 on an escape with 49 seconds left, but Arne’s late takedown sealed his victory. Sterling then led 9-3 and withstood an escape and takedown in the final minute to defeat Oswego’s Blake Fisher, 9-6.
Sterling was eliminated with a 1-0 loss to third-seeded Cole Welter of Wartburg. After a scoreless first period, Sterling chose a neutral start for the second period and neither wrestler scored. Welter scored on an escape 46 seconds into the third period, leaving Sterling short of the riding time needed for the tying point, and Sterling was unable to notch the go-ahead takedown. Sterling finishes the season with a 21-9 record and completes his career with an 85-33 mark.
James lost 2-0 to third seed Tom Bouressa of Concordia-Moorhead in the opening round. In his next match, James trailed 2-0 to McDaniel’s Joe Camlin entering the third period. He rode Camlin from the start of the period, and Camlin’s second stall warning of the match gave James a point with 45 seconds left. James finished out the ride and tied the match with a riding time point, then won with a takedown just 13 seconds into the first sudden-victory overtime period.
James was eliminated when fifth seed Anthony Edgren of Wisconsin-Whitewater won by pin in the next round. James completed the year 25-6 and finished his three-year Red Dragon career with a 68-20 record.
Alec Dierna, unseeded at 133 pounds, faced sixth seed Evan Obert of Luther in the first round. Dierna led 4-3 after a reversal 19 seconds into the second period, but Obert tied the match with an escape with 1:29 left in the second and scored the winning point on an escape early in the third period for a 5-4 decision.
Dierna was pinned by Centenary’s Zachary Huxford in the next round.
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