Simpson falls to Cornell, beats Graceland in terrible triangle of terror


by Erich Bogner, Sports Reporter & Sports Fashion Columnist

INDIANOLA, Iowa – Simpson wrestling fell to high-ranked Cornell 27-18, but bounced back to beat Graceland 25-18 in the first ever NCAA meet held in the Kent Campus Center Black Box on Tuesday night. 

Vs. Cornell 

The Rams (1-0) jumped out to a 20-0 lead and never looked back in the first half of the double-dip. Jacob Mize broke the streak of losses at 157 against Cornell and Shane Swank and Brett Roberts both earned pins, but it wasn’t enough to erase the deficit. 

Junior Colby Vlieger won his first match of the evening at 285, winning by decision (4-2) over Eric Tucker.

Vs. Graceland 

It looked like the same script against Graceland as the Yellow Jackets (0-1) stung Simpson early for a 12-0 advantage.

That’s when Jonathan Melton stopped Graceland’s momentum with a 9-5, spurring a 12-0 run that tied the two teams up. 

Clay Harris was pinned at 174, but Roberts turned his second pin of the night to even it up 18-18. That’s when freshman DeVaughn Scott overpowered Ryan Paige for a 16-5 win and Vlieger finished off the night with a grind-it-out, 2-1 win.

Despite losing his first match of the night, Scott, a freshman showed strength and athleticism at 197.

As he has been throughout his career, Roberts performed well, stepping up a weight class from last year with ease.

Storm wrestling gets creative

This isn’t the first time Simpson has wrestled in the Black Box, but it is the first time it has hosted an NCAA meet there. Last year it was used for the Black Box Brawl, a preview of Simpson’s lineup going into the conference season.

The match highlights the Simpson wrestling team’s entrepreneurial drive and creativity. 

The Black Box was packed for the event, having bleacher and balcony seating considerably full. Sitting on the balcony provided a bird’s eye view of the action lit by overhead spotlights.

Coming up 

Simpson wrestling is back in action on Saturday, Nov. 14 at the Luther Open in Decorah and the Harold Nichols Open in Ames.