Air Force Drops WWC Opener to No. 22 Northern Iowa
Jan. 17, 2009
USAFA, Colo. - In its first Western Wrestling Conference match of the season, the Air Force wrestling team was unable to withstand a dominating performance by 22nd-ranked Northern Iowa, falling 42-0, Saturday evening in Clune Arena. With the loss, the Falcons drop to 1-7 on the year and 0-1 in the WWC, while the Panthers improve to 6-4 overall, 2-0 in the league.
The match started out at 197 pounds, where 15th-ranked Andrew Anderson scored a 12-5 decision over the Falcons' James Ciccone (Jr., Mentor, Ohio). Following a technical fall by 16th-ranked Christian Brantley in the heavyweight match, Air Force's Andrew Zwirlein (So., Nashotah, Wis.) fought a tight battle at 125 pounds, but came up short in a 6-3 loss to Cruse Aarhus.
The Panthers rolled through the next three weight classes, picking up a pair of falls and a technical fall before grabbing an 8-3 decision at 157 pounds. The 165-pound match-up was a highlight of the evening, with the top two finishers at the 2008 NCAA West Regional facing off. The Falcons' senior captain Stephen Crozier (Monona, Iowa) went up against UNI's Moza Fay, currently ranked second in the nation, but could not get past the returning All-American, dropping a 10-2 major decision.
A tough loss followed at 174 pounds, before the closest bout of the evening came in the final match-up, as Air Force's Sterling Tribble (Sr., Midwest City, Okla.) found himself battling Alex Dolly. Dolly, ranked 14th in the nation at 184 pounds, held a 4-1 lead after two periods, but Tribble responded with three points in the final period. A takedown by Tribble with 47 seconds remaining in the period tied the score at 4-4, and it appeared that the match would head into overtime. However, Dolly regained the lead by scoring a reversal with just six seconds on the clock to take the 6-4 victory.
Air Force is back in action next weekend, Jan. 24, at the Borah Duals, hosted by Western Colorado in Gunnison, Colo.
No. 22 Northern Iowa 42, Air Force 0