Friday evening marked senior night and was the final dual meet of the season for the Vikings. The Vikings wrestled in front of a packed carver center but fell short by a score of 27-21 to the visiting University of Chicago Maroons.
The Vikings jumped out to an early 18-0 lead as a result of three straight forfeits to start the match. They dropped the next four weight classes, before Chicago tied up the match at 18-18.
Senior, Matt Sears, dropped a decision by the score of 7-2 to Chicago’s Chaise Hauck at 149 lbs. Neil O’Shaugnessey took the mat next at 157 lbs, but he lost by a tech fall to Chicago’s Jason Crary.
Augustana’s next two losses came from when Maroon, Kahlan Lee-Lermer, defeated Viking, Jacob Poole, by a score of 12-1 and Chicago’s Nick Ferraro pinned Augustana’s Josh Bush to win the 174 lb match.
Next, Augustana’s Christos Giatras took the mat with the chance to put the Vikings back in the lead. After being behind for most of the first two periods, Giatras had a takedown in the last minute of the third period that put him up 7-6 and gave him his victory on senior night.
“There are no big matches and there are no small matches. You prepare the same way for everyone. Every single time you can only control three things effort, attitude, and aggressiveness. If you do that, and you’re honest with yourself, the same outcome should come every single time,” Giatras said.
Giatras has moved to 18-1 on the season and is looking ahead to the conference and national meets in the near future.
The Vikings dropped the next two matches when Chicago’s John Jayne pinned Augustana’s Trystan Schoonover and senior, Mike Devitt, fell to Chicago’s Will Hare by a score of 2-0. This brought the match score to 27-21 resulting in a loss for the Vikings, their 11th loss of the season.
The Vikings were notably without their usual 285 pounder, Adarios Jones, who is ranked number one in the country. Jones suffered an injury in the Pete Willson invitational, and he will be out for the rest of the season.
“It hurts,” head coach, Tony Willaert, said. “He was number one in the country so it was a big loss, but we just gotta find a way to get through it. Although it will be tough to have team success, we have some guys that can be successful on the individual side of things.”
Next up, the Vikings will travel to North Central on February 8th to compete in the CCIW championships.
Photo Above: Senior Matt Sears attempts to roll his opponent over. Sears won his match against UW-Platteville with a score of 4–3. Photo by Tony Dzik