Neighbors can be a blessing as much as they can be a curse. They can share their tools, utensils and ingredients with you when you’re in need; and they can bring you cupcakes when you’re feeling down. On the other hand, they can blast their radio to drown out your constant vacuuming; or they could embezzle a few extra inches of yard while mowing their lawn.
The Diplomats of Franklin & Marshall (F&M) College, unfortunately played the role as a curse on Friday as they served a very undiplomatic defeat to Millersville’s wresting team, 25-12. F&M, who share Lancaster County with Millersville and are mere minutes away from the Marauders’ home, came out on top for the third consecutive year and returned to their abode with the Rupp Cup once again.
What started out as a bright outlook, with 125-pound freshman Sam Oberlander submitting Aaron Moldoff in just 49 seconds, turned into a grim realization, as F&M quickly stole the ensuing matches – seven consecutive, no less.
Robert Ruiz of the Diplomats returned the favor against a 133-pound Kyle Loeb with a pin in 4:15. After a 12-2 major decision victory for Richard Durso against Millersville’s freshman, David Charles, in the 141-pound bout, it was a competitive five matches that followed.
Brock Thompson, a 149-pounder for Millersville, came up short against F&M’s Andrew Murano despite leading with 33 seconds to go. A pin with less than 20 seconds left, plus an extra point for holding time, solidified a victory for Murano.
Riding time also tipped the favor onto F&M’s side of the scale twice more at 157 and 174 pounds. Zac Wawrzyniak-Bush got beaten by F&M’s Eric Norgard in a tight battle, 3-2. Then, after a one-sided victory went to the Diplomats at 165 pounds, Millersville’s Tyler Hoover, pitted up against Colin Gironda at the 174 pound-level, lost 8-7, though he maintained a 7-3 lead throughout most of the match.
Once again, Millersville sprung out ahead in the scrum between 184-pounders. Daniel Cox glued a lead together until 47 seconds remained in the match. With the adhesive sticking by a thread, the match was tied at 7-7 – until the last 13 seconds came around. Cox’s opponent, Paul Alessandrini, reversed him and held him for another minute, allowing Alessandrini come out victorious, 10-7.
Once Millersville was too far from victory’s reach, 6-3, 197-pound Joel Suter and senior Brad Ladd won the last two matches for the Marauders. Ladd, who was recognized prior to the competition, ended his last match at Pucillo Gymnasium on a good note – and a nerve-wracking note as well.
After tying up 1-1 and spiraling into overtime, only 30 seconds came in between Ladd and finishing his home career with a good taste in his mouth. He rode out his F&M foe, Alexander Henry, for the remaining time. After some struggles from Henry, who almost escaped Ladd’s hold ten seconds in, Ladd torpedoed his opponent onto the mat and firmly kept him there until the final buzzer.
Although his final home match at Millersville University didn’t wind up with a W team-wise, Ladd fittingly finished his regular season with 17 wins, the most of any Marauder. He also has the postseason to look forward to, as he will lead his team to the NCAA Super Region 1 Championships in Kutztown, PA on February 21st.