By Chris Detwiler — STAFF WRITER
The Hofstra Pride wrestling team competed in the Hofstra Duals on Sunday evening at the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex.
The team ended the day with a 1-2 record, defeating The Citadel in their first match 43-6 before dropping their matches to Campbell University and Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) opponent University of Pennsylvania by scores of 30-9 and 34-8 respectively.
Senior heavyweight Michael Hughes led the Pride with a 3-0 record, increasing his record to 14-0 this year.
Sophomore Sage Heller ended the day with a 2-1 record, pinning his first opponent and defeating his third opponent on a last-second takedown.
In the team’s first match against The Citadel, Hofstra won four of the 10 bouts by fall, ending the match with a 43-6 victory. The Pride won four bouts in a row, three of which were by fall.
Redshirt freshman Anthony Olivieri, redshirt junior Cory Damiana, Heller and Hughes all had pins in the dominant victory.
Redshirt freshman Ricky Stamm fought hard in his match and was able to surmount a four-point deficit in the third period to win in sudden victory.
“Even when he’s down big, he always gets up with the belief that he can win,” Hofstra head coach Dennis Papadatos said about Stamm.
Hofstra’s second match was against a tough Campbell University team.
The Pride fell to Campbell by a score of 30-9. Redshirt juniors Connor Muli and Nezar Haddad both had wins in their bouts along with Hughes.
There were a few bouts that could have gone either way, with both Heller and Damiana losing in the final 30 seconds of their respective bouts.
“We’re not winning in the tough situations,” Papadatos said. “That’s what it takes in this sport … we need to do a better job of grinding things out.”
The Pride’s third and final match of the day was against in the University of Pennsylvania.
Hofstra dropped this match against their conference opponent by a score of 34-8.
The highlight of the match was Heller battling for a last-second takedown to win the bout.
“I’m glad [Heller] got on the mat against a good kid and found a way to get a takedown at the end,” Papadatos said. “That’s what we need more of.”
Hofstra wrestling will be back in action next Sunday when they take on George Mason in the Grapple at the Garden at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Match time is scheduled for 5:45 p.m.