Grapplers Dominate Old Dominion, Bernstein Moves into All-Time Top-Ten Wins List
NORFOLK, Va. — The Navy wrestling team (7-2, 3-1 EIWA) snapped a three-match losing streak in its series against Old Dominion (7-7, 3-1 MAC) on Friday night, defeating the Monarchs in dominating fashion at Ted Constant Center in Norfolk, Va. The Mids won eight consecutive matches, including a historic victory at 174 pounds by senior Jadaen Bernstein (Glen Gardner, N.J.), en route to the 26-8 win.
“It was a special opportunity to compete in front of this crowd tonight,” said fourth-year Navy head coach Joel Sharratt. “We had a strong Navy presence and it really energized the team to have Gold Star Families, active Duty SEALs and retired admirals there pulling for tonight’s win.
“The score tonight was in Navy’s favor because in most of the matches we competed the NAVY way. It was a match that allowed us to see this team stretch our distance against a historically strong program and we need to put this in our ruck and keep climbing.”
Rookie 125-pound Michael McGee improved to 21-8 on the year, including 10-4 in dual action, after scoring a 17-0 tech fall over Navy freshman Aslan Kilic (Marietta, Ga.) in the night’s opening match.
Navy answered by winning eight consecutive matches, including a 6-5 victory by freshman Cody Trybus (Elkton, Md.) at 133 pounds to spark the run.
“I have never stopped believing in Cody Trybus and with the help of strong team leadership, he broke through a big wall tonight,” said Sharratt. “His determination has never wavered and his skills are getting sharper every week as he has worked through the adversity and tonight put himself in the hunt for a national qualifier criteria via his RPI and Coaches Ranking.”
The feature bout of the night was at 141 pounds between 17th-ranked Alex Madrigal of ODU and 20th-ranked Nicholas Gil (Jr. / Crystal Lake, Ill.) of Navy. Gil defeated Madrigal in the finals of the Navy Classic in November by way of a major decision, however, Madrigal would put up a stronger fight in Friday night’s dual. Gil stayed the course and pulled through with his 26th victory of the season, a 5-3 decision. The win gave the Mids their first lead of the night, one they would not relinquish.
“Gil was another Navy wrestler people on the outside did not necessarily believe was the favorite, despite a head-to-head win in November,” pointed out Sharratt. “Nic is so strong and has diversified his attacks, allowing him to score in a variety of ways That helps his deep penetration attacks be even more effective.”
Team captain Corey Wilding (Sr. / Pittsburgh, Pa.) dominated ODU freshman 149-pound Jake DiBenedetto in a 24-9 tech fall, while a last second reversal led Navy senior Zack Davis (Granger, Ind.) to an 11-10 win over redshirt sophomore Larry Early in what was Davis’ 98th career victory.
“Wilding pushed a great pace and secured the tech fall at the buzzer,” said Sharratt. “That was a nice way to set the table with momentum going into the Davis match. One hundred percent every time is what you get in this student athlete.
“Zack Davis was one of our team leaders who never let Cody stop believing that hard work would hone his talent,” added Sharratt. “Leading by example, Davis also solidified what must certainly put him well into the the top 25 among all 157-pounders nationally. His opponent tonight was highly ranked and struggled to keep the pace in a bout that saw multiple video reviews. We have room to improve, but I am very happy for this additional step taken by Zack to climb into the coaches poll.”
Senior 165-pound Drew Daniels (Overland Park, Kan.) pushed his season dual mark to 7-1 behind a 5-2 decision over sophomore Luke Drugac to give the Mids a 17-5 lead.
Wrestling in his first dual since Dec. 8 against Drexel, eighth-ranked Bernstein won a hard-fought match against ODU junior Seldon Wright, who has jumped in and out of the top 25, 7-3. The victory marked the 108th of Bernstein’s career, as he moved into a tie for 10th on Navy’s all-time wins list alongside former teammate Peyton Walsh (2012-15). He trails ninth-place Scott Schleicher (1987-90) by three.
“Bernstein really had a nice bout tonight,” said Sharratt. “His maturity warded off some questionable tactics and eventually when the roughness put him into harms way, he protected himself. Wrestling can get your blood pressure up and he did a very sound job of not allowing his opponent’s tactics to affect the outcome of the match. He set the pace, he won the ties and he scored the points.”
Navy clinched the team victory following Michael Coleman’s (Sr. / Hudson, Ohio) 9-3 decision over Monarch sophomore Antonio Agee at 184 pounds. Coleman, who owns a team-best nine-match winning streak, is now 26-5 on the year, including a flawless 7-0 dual record.
Getting back in the win column on Friday was senior Steban Cervantes (Poway, Calif.) who has battled injury this season. He picked up a much-needed 6-2 victory over redshirt junior John D’Agostino.
Redshirt freshman Ali Wahab took the final match of the evening, taking down Navy sophomore Andrew Piehl (Rogers, Minn.) in sudden victory to earn the 3-1 decision.
The Midshipmen will be back in action on Tuesday when they play host to George Mason at Alumni Hall. Action is slated to begin at 7:30 pm.
Navy 26, Old Dominion 8
125 | TMichael McGee tech fall Aslan Kilic (NAVY), 17-0
133 | Cody Trybus (NAVY) dec Caleb Richardson, 6-5
141 | #20 Nicholas Gil (NAVY) dec #17 Alex Madrigal, 5-3
149 | Corey Wilding (NAVY) tech fall Jake DiBenedetto, 24-9
157 | Zack Davis (NAVY) dec Larry Early, 11-10
165 | #20 Drew Daniels (NAVY) dec Luke Drugac, 5-2
174 | Jadaen Bernstein (NAVY) dec Seldon Wright, 7-3
184 | #18 Michael Coleman (NAVY) dec Antonio Agee, 9-3
197 | Steban Cervantes (NAVY) dec John D’Agostino, 6-2
285 | Ali Wahab dec Andrew Piehl (NAVY), 3-1 SV
### Go Navy ###