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Wrestlers are making strides

Northwestern wrestling head coach Jim Moll said in the preseason the he was excited to see what his guys would do in competition mode.

Out of the gate, Moll wasn't completely happy, but he likes the improvement.

"When we started out, I think we underperformed at Nazareth to open the season up," he said. "They came back to wrestle real well the following Monday against Notre Damd (Green Pond). It was nice to see them bounce back after having a rough weekend."

The Tigers competed in the Nazareth Invitational to start on Dec. 7. Freshman Ryan Dengler (113) finished third tehre, while sophomore Quentin Bernhard (120) and junior Alex Russo (182) both took fourth place finishes in their respective weight classes. Most classes had seven wrestlers competing.

"Alex Russo had a good tournament," said Moll. "He lost in the third-place match in double overtime. Ryan Dengler also had a good tournament as well. Baily Wehr (fourth) had a pretty good tournament. Those three are the ones that did the best at Nazareth."

The Tigers followed up that performance with a 60-16 dual-meet victory against Notre Dame Green Pond on Dec. 9 to open up their Colonial League schedule. Matt Shetay (106), Ryan Dengler (113) and Dalton Webster (126) all received victories by forfeit.

Moll said that multiple wrestlers, including Anthony Fillis, bumped up weight classes in order to fill out a lineup. The junior notched a 6-3 decision in the 195-pound class.

Sophomore Jacob Murray (285), Bernhard (120), sophomore Jarett White (132), sophomore Andrew Sorensen (170) and junior Matt Dunaway (220) all were victorious by pin against teh Crusaders. Dunaway's was his first career varsity pin.

The Tigers will compete in the Blue/White Duals Saturday at Exeter High School. That tournament replaces the Mt. Carmel tournament on the schedule as that tourney was cancelled due to lack of participants.

On December 28 and 29 Northwestern will participate in the Bethlehem Holiday Wrestling Classic at Liberty High School. Northwestern's next league meet is on January 2 at home against Palisades.

"The kids improved from Nazareth to Notre Dame," Moll said. "So we will see if they can keep that going and improve. We just need to get better as individuals and the wins will come."