UCF Wins Central Florida Open
UCF Wrestling capped off a competitive November campaign at home as the Knights played host to several teams last weekend. Friday saw UCF match up with long time rival The Apprentice School in a high octane affair that ended with a UCF victory, 31-22. The Knights started off strong with big wins by Alex Chiricosta, Stephen DeAugustino, and CJ Cook, and then fended off a small Shipbuilder comeback by stringing together four consecutive wins sparked by 165-pound freshmen prospect Kyle Brooks. However, emotions may have gotten the best of the home team as UCF fell decisively in its second match, 37-12, to California Junior College champions Sierra College. "We just lost focus after that first big win," says head coach Jason Balma. "We're better than what we showed in that second match and I think we can make it up tomorrow. We did last year."
Balma's prediction would come to fruition as the Knights put together an impressive Saturday performance at the Central Florida Open, winning the tournament by a decisive margin over second place Sierra and rivals Marion Military and Apprentice. UCF claimed 14 placers to score 162 points to Sierra's 126, while rivals Marion Military and Apprentice managed 119 points and 93 points, respectively. UCF's performance on the day could best be personified through 125 pound Alex Chiricosta, who defeated Eric Dowd of Sierra in the finals, 10-5. Chiricosta had lost to Dowd the previous night by way of fall. "It's been that kind of weekend." said senior captain Stephen DeAugustino. "We had a lot of guys step up from yesterday and accomplish things they couldn't last night. I think things like that just speak about what kind of team we are. It takes a lot to keep us down." DeAugustino also put an impressive end the 133 lbs. bracket as he defeated returning NCWA national finalist, Marcus Chevres of Apprentice, 7-2 in the finals.
The Knight's resilience will be tested again as the team looks to start another busy month of competition, kicking December off with the Darton Duals this weekend.