Following a comeback victory from Ethen Miller at 149 pounds, Maryland wrestling nabbed the lead in its dual meet against Columbia. But that lead, a 9-6 advantage, would not last for long.
Despite wins from Miller and King Sandoval in the opening four bouts, the Terps won just two of the final six bouts of the match.
A major decision victory for Jaxon Smith at 197 pounds meant Jaron Smith needed a pin at heavyweight to win it for Maryland. However, Jaron Smith could only muster a decision victory, as the Terps (10-9, 1-7 Big Ten) fell to Columbia 18-16.
[Coach Alex Clemsen welcomed King Sandoval back to Maryland wrestling with open arms]
King Sandoval earns first victory of the season with pin
Since rejoining the Maryland program in the new year, a win still eluded King Sandoval at 133 pounds. Taking on Columbia’s Boris Witmer, Sandoval was able to flip the entire bout in his favor over the span of a single period.
Witmer came out firing for Columbia, taking down Sandoval and scoring four points to open the first period. Witmer looked to have full control in the bout, but Sandoval turned the tables on his opponent.
Sandoval escaped from Witmer’s control after the takedown, then went on the attack to land a takedown of his own. The quick three points from the redshirt senior brought the bout score from 4-0 to 4-3. Down in the bout, Sandoval then ended the scrap in one fell swoop.
Riding Witmer, Sandoval got the Lions’ sophomore onto his back, and in an instant ended the bout with his first pin of the season. The quick first period fall is Sandoval’s first victory since coming back to the Terps, and Maryland’s first win at 133 pounds since the opening season quad-meet.
Ethen Miller goes 2-0 on the weekend
After earning a 11-0 major decision victory over Binghamton’s Michael Zarif on Friday, Ethen Miller followed that win with another against Columbia’s Danny Fongaro.
[Maryland wrestling outlasts Binghamton to secure 10th win of season, 19-12]
The first two periods in the 149 pound bout were tight. After no score through the first period, the only scoring in the second was an escape from Fongaro. Miller began the second period on top, and Fongaro was able to escape from Miller’s grasp to open the scoring.
Into the final period, things looked bleak for Miller. Fongaro began on top and rode Miller to bring his riding time over a minute to secure the riding time point.
As time ran down, Miller needed a reversal to force an extra two minutes. With under 10 seconds remaining, Miller succeeded with a reversal at the buzzer and forced an extra period after tying the bout at 2-2.
Miller was in complete control in overtime. He landed his first attack on Fongaro, and all that was needed from the redshirt freshman was to complete the takedown. Miller finished the takedown, securing a come from behind 4-2 decision victory in overtime.
Dominic Solis comes close, but not close enough to beating ranked opponent
Dominic Solis has had a difficult stretch of bouts after entering the last month of the regular season. In Solis’ four bouts in the month of February, he was victorious in just one bout against Purdue’s Brody Baumann by a 5-4 decision. Up against No. 30 Lennox Wolak, Solis had an opportunity to secure a big ranked win to wrap up the regular season.
After a scoreless first period, Solis struck first against Lexon Wolak with an early escape. After the majority of the second period was fought in neutral position, Wolak succeeded with a takedown attempt at the end of the period, taking a 2-1 lead over Solis into the final two minutes.
Starting on top, Solis allowed Wolak to escape. But after the escape, Solis landed a takedown of his own on Wolak to tie the bout score at 3-3. However, Wolak quickly escaped from Solis’ hold, regaining a 4-3 lead with a minute left in the bout.
With the riding time point out of the question for both wrestlers, Solis needed a takedown in order to secure a ranked win over Wolak. On the attack for a score, Solis’ attacks were stifled by Wolak as the period came to a close.
Solis couldn’t land the bout-winning takedown, and fell to Wolak by a 4-3 decision.