NEW YORK, N.Y. - Maryland split its matches at the Fifth Annual Grapple at the Garden Sunday, dropping its opening dual to Princeton before ending the day with a 30-9 victory over Columbia. The Terps turned in several standout performances, highlighted by a pair of wins from 13th-ranked Alfred Bannister (149) to remain undefeated (9-0) on the year.
Maryland went 1-1 for the second straight year at Madison Square Garden, and now stand at 1-3 on the season. The Terps will head back to the DMV for a pair of matches vs. North Dakota State and George Mason in Fairfax, Va. on Friday, December 9.
Match #1 -- Maryland won three of the first five bouts, but Princeton swept the final five to upend Maryland 25-9 in the morning session. Freshman Alex Vargas secured his first career dual meet victory for the Terps, taking out Ty Agaisse 3-2 to start the day off at 125 pounds. Redshirt junior Justin Alexander (157) also sealed a one-point win in his first match of the season, holding off Mike D’Angelo 8-6 to put Maryland ahead 9-6 at the halfway point.
The marquee match featured a head-to-head bout between #13 Bannister and 18th-ranked 2016 NCAA qualifier Jordan Laster at 149 pounds. After trading takedowns and escapes through the first three periods, the duo headed to overtime for a winner. It was Bannister’s third overtime match of the season, and the La Plata, Md. native came through clutch again taking Laster to the mat before the buzzer for the sudden victory decision.
Maryland then faced a gauntlet of ranked opponents in the upper weights, as the Tigers rattled off five straight wins including two by bonus to wrap up the team victory. Princeton notched another win vs. Buffalo in its second match of the day to move to 2-1 on the season.
Match #2 -- Maryland posted its first team victory of the year in its afternoon slate at Grapple at the Garden, knocking off Columbia 30-9 with eight victories. Maryland won seven straight matches between 141 and 197 pounds, which included three bonus point wins to bring home the team decision.
After facing three straight ranked opponents to open the year in duals, redshirt senior Billy Rappo (141) got in the win column with a 14-2 major decision over Jacob Macalolooy. After the match remained tied into the second period, Rappo opened up the Lions’ grappler with a takedown and near fall to build his lead and eventually secure the win.
Bannister grinded out another close victory in the 149-pound match, forcing a stall call on Brock Morgan late for a 5-4 decision. Redshirt freshman Danny Boychuck (157) poured the points on early against Max Elling, and kept the pressure on for an eventual 12-3 major decision. The Haddonfield, N.J. native continues to lead Maryland in victories (11) and bonus point victories (7) on the year.
The next three matches saw a trio of redshirt freshmen in Josh Ugalde (165), Sam Rowell (174) and Idris White (184) all win their first collegiate dual matches. Ugalde’s match was perhaps the most exciting of the dual, as he came from behind 4-2 with a slick six-point takedown/near fall combo to nearly pin Tyrel White in the second period.
White was saved by the bell and kept it close in the third, but Ugalde outlasted him for the 10-6 decision in his first day of competition this season.
UMD’s final win of the day came in the 197-pound match, where redshirt freshman David-Brian Whisler dispatched of Matt Doggett by major decision, 14-4.