CLEVELAND, Ohio - Senior Dane Robbins left everything on the mat in two heartbreaking thrillers at the 2018 DI NCAA Wrestling Championships, Thursday afternoon, at Quicken Loans Arena. Robbins retires from Air Force wrestling as the program’s 91st NCAA qualifier.
In the first round of action, Robbins took on 2014 NCAA champion, Jason Tsirtsis, of Arizona State. Robbins and Tsirtsis engaged in a staunch defensive battle with no offensive points being scored in the bout.
Tsirtsis recorded the first escape point in the second period, matched Robbins’ escape point in the third period. Robbins, a native of Fairfax, Virginia, entered sudden victory with the tenth-seeded Sun Devil.
After a scoreless SV1 period, Tsirtsis, a two-time All-American, chose the defensive position in the first tie-breaker period. Tsirtsis registered his escape point in 10-seconds then fended off Robbins’ attack for the remainder of the period. In the ensuing tie-breaker round, Robbins was unable to escape Tsirtsis’ ride in the allotted 30-seconds, dropping his NCAA Championship debut, 2-1.
In the first-round wrestle backs, Robbins matched up with Frank Garcia of Binghamton. Robbins notched the first take down at 1:43 in the first period, met with Garcia’s escape six-seconds later. Robbins took the down position in the second period where a slight miscalculation yielded Garcia a near fall opportunity which he ceased for two points.
A last-second escape by Robbins knotted the pair up going into the third period. A takedown with 10-seconds remaining in the third period propelled Robbins to a 5-4 lead, but Garcia rallied to a last-second escape, sending Robbins to his second sudden victory match of the event. Sixteen-seconds into the overtime period, Garcia scored a takedown, finalizing Robbins’ time at the NCAA tournament with a 7-5 decision loss.
The loss solidified the Falcons’ 2017-18 season in the history books. Air Force wrestling will reconvene for the annual team banquet, Friday, April 13, at the Blue and Silver Club of Falcon Stadium, USAFA. Those wishing to RSVP can do so here.
Round of 32
Jason Tsirtsis (ASU) Dec. Dane Robbins (AFA) - 2-1 TB1
Consolation First Round
Frank Garcia (BU) Dec. Dane Robbins (AFA) - 7-5 SV1