Sita Advances to NCAA Division II Nationals With Fourth Place Finish at Super Region I Tournament
February 24, 2018
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — Alderson Broaddus freshman Gino Sita became the second wrestler in school history to qualify for the NCAA Division II National Tournament as he led the team to an 11th place finish on day two of the NCAA Super Region I Championships at Pitt-Johnstown.
"My feelings are mixed right now," said head coach Sam Gardner. "On one hand I'm heart broken for Curtis not being able to qualify for nationals this year, and for a few of the guys who I thought might get a couple more wins. On the other we've shown improvement. Most guys to the second day of the regional, most place winners, most team wins at the event, etc. Eight of the nine guys we had wrestle are returning next year, including all three place winners, so the foundation going forward is in decent shape."
After a 1-1 record on Friday, Sita opened up competition on Saturday with a major decision victory and then a sudden death OT victory over No.2 seed Roberto Rivera from Notre Dame to advance to the third place match.
In the third-place match, Sita took on No.1 seed Dalton George of Ohio Valley. After a scoreless first, George took one point in the second with an escape. In the third, George rode Sita for the opening minute and a half of the period and picked up one riding time point after Sita escaped to win the match 2-1.
Sita joins 2017 AB graduate Cody Spinks as the only two wresters in school history to advance to the national tournament. Spinks placed third at the Super Region I Tournament in 2016.
"I'm happy for Gino," Gardner said. "He's our first freshman national qualifier and he is entering the national tournament with a 37-5 record. What I'm most impressed with was his toughness when it counted. He won his consolation semi-final match, the one that sends you to nationals, on one second of riding time in the tie breaker. To do that against a multiple time national qualifier and all-american shows you his great potential."
Also on Saturday, Curtis Cox wrestled for the Battlers at 133 pounds. In his semifinal match, Cox lost 7-0 Kelan McKenna 7-0 from Notre Dame. McKenna went on to finish in second place and lost 3-2 in the championship match.
In the consolation bracket, Cox dropped his opening match 9-6 before dropping one more in a tight 6-4 battle to finish in sixth place overall.
At 184 pounds, Cole Ritchie placed sixth as well for the Battlers as he went 0-2 in a pair of matches on Saturday. Breandan Coughlin also advanced to Saturday's competition as he fell in his lone match of the day.
"Cole Ritchie is going to be a guy who we can count on going forward I believe," said Gardner. "He had no idea fate would present him with the opportunity to wrestle, albeit up two weight classes, but he didn't flinch. He took advantage of the opportunity. Two win three bouts at a tournament as tough as our region says a lot for his abilities."
It was the first time in school history the Battlers had three wrestlers place inside the top-6 in the region.
Notre Dame College (Ohio) won the Tournament with 133.5 points edging out Pitt-Johnstown (111.5) and Wheeling Jesuit (101.5). The complete final results and brackets are available with the link at the top of the page.
In two weeks, Sita will compete in the NCAA Division II Championships on March 9th and 10th in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Return to the WV-Mat front page