BOXING: Taylor Varner decisions Sarah Gold, Collegiate Boxing at Penn State University

Cage Nation Patch STATE COLLEGE 2By: Albert Cameron; Cage Nation TV

University Park – The sweet science was in full swing tonight at the Mary B. White building on the Penn State University campus in University Park, Pennsylvania. Fighters representing the boxing clubs of Penn State University (PSU), Army, Navy, University of Connecticut (UConn), Trinity College, University of Massachusetts (UMass), Lock Haven University (LHU), and Shippensburg University descended upon the gymnasium in an event organized and promoted by Osahon Omo-Osagie; LHU boxing alum, PSU Boxing coach, and multiple organization veteran of Mixed Martial Arts. Cage Nation TV was on hand for the evening portion of the card, reporting for the first boxing outing to come to University Park in over a year. All of the bouts were contested under amateur rules as set forth by collegiate boxing sanctioning bodies.

Taylor Varner (PSU) gets decision victory over Sarah Gold (Army) – In the opening round of the contest, Gold and Varner came out strong and looking to impose their respective wills on each other. Gold displayed skilled head and foot movement, mixing solid body shots with jab and hook combinations. As the round came to its apex, Varner turned up the heat, becoming the clear aggressor by the end of the round. Round two saw Gold suffering an accidental head collision from Varner and the two began a heavy handed exchange, Varner continued her aggressive momentum to the bell. The third round, kept in the tradition of rounds prior in terms of action and pressure, Taylor Varner ended the round with a flurry to capstone the fight. The judges’ decision: Taylor Varner victorious over Sarah Gold in the main event of the evening.

Marquise Craig (PSU) defeats Josh Huribut (Army) – In round one, Craig employed a series of strikes that could only be described as “punches in bunches,” keeping Huribut on the defensive to the end of the round. Round two was an exchange of punches between the pugilists, with neither fighter seizing an obvious advantage. To close out the fight, Marquise Craig imposed pressure and aggression; the presiding judges scored in favor of Marquise Craig.

Briana Dorsey (Army) earns victory over Qian Goh (PSU) – There really isn’t a graceful way to describe round one other than “slugfest.” To elaborate, Dorsey and Goh were eager to compete and it showed. Dorsey was able to triumph over the potential danger of Goh being a south paw striker and adapted accordingly. Despite Goh slipping in the round, punches were exchanged eagerly. Between the rounds, I had a chance to ask teammates of Dorsey’s about what appeared to be a rivalry between PSU and Army; there was no acknowledgement of a rivalry, perhaps non-verbal confirmation that both clubs thoroughly enjoy competition. Dorsey engaged round two as the aggressor, pursuing Goh and maintaining pressure. The aforementioned slugfest of round one found its way to round three; after the bell Briana Dorsey secured the decision victory over Qian Goh.

Jackie Yip (PSU) out-boxes Shaina Forte (UConn) – In combat sports, the best way to decide the outcome of a fight is to stop the fight definitively, traditionally by knock out. If the knock out finish is not available to you, you leave the best possible impression in the mind of the judges. Jackie Yip’s waxing aggression, apexing at the end of the round was an excellent strategy to do just that. In round one Forte employed technical boxing, mixing varieties of strikes with fundamental head and body movements. Jackie Yip countered, pressuring Forte at the end of the first, and subsequent rounds to follow. In rounds two and three, Forte stuck to her fundamental boxing, trying to gain advantage on Yip when she could. After the bell, the judges decided in favor of Penn State’s Jackie Yip.

Seth Kreider (PSU) wins exchange with Evan Ousley (Army) – Kreider vs. Ousley was the first fight in a series of bouts between PSU and Army (remember the question I asked the Army boxing team about a perceived rivalry?) and the opening round was packed with stiff exchanges, fundamental combinations, with Kreider securing something of an upper hand at the end of the round. Rounds two and three were similar; blows being traded and two athletes competing for advantage. Though Kreider did get the decision victory, it was apparent that both Kreider and Ousley had emptied their tanks in the bout and given their all.

Benny Ogando (Army) stops Andrew Green (UConn) in the second round – Ogando opened the first round with Green with a slew of technically sound combinations, pressuring the UConn boxer and imposing his strategy to the bell. In the second round of the bout, the referee stopped the bout, believing that Andrew Green could no longer intelligently defend himself in the contest.

Zack Rice (LHU) decisions Sam Counter (UConn) – In round one, Zack Rice put his southpaw stance to work with combinations and Sam Counter responded with fundamental boxing movements, trying to get any sort of positional advantage over the Lock Haven fighter. Rice was consistent through the bout, maintaining pressure and dominance, slugging his way to a decision victory over UConn’s Sam Counter.

Ali Milbry (UMass) gets TKO victory over Matt Dizon (PSU) – Matt Dizon had the distinction of being the first “home team” fighter to step in the ring, he drew University of Massachusetts’ own Ali Milbry. The opening round of the bout was anyone’s game, Milbry and Dizon exchanging referee interventions (by knock down or otherwise). Milbry made effective use of his range advantage over Dizon, Dizon answering by getting inside of that range and throwing head shots when the opportunity presented itself. In the second round of the bout, the referee stopped the bout when Dizon appeared to be in a condition of defeat.

Jonah Hershman (Navy) decisions Alfonso Hidalgo (UMass) – In the opening round of the bout, Hershman used combinations to try and obtain the upper hand over Hidalgo. Hidalgo displayed an adeptness at counter punching in response. After a flurry of Hershman combinations, Hidalgo seemed to be timing the punches and responding with his own looping rights and lefts after the offense had been spent. Round two appeared to be Hershman’s round, pressuring Hidalgo around the ring and trying to stop Hidalgo’s counter punches. The third round commenced with Hershman throwing combinations and keeping range, not before having his nose running red with Hidalgo’s counter striking. The judges ruled in favor of Navy’s Jonah Hershman.

Tyler Long (LHU) gets decision victory over Brian Morganti (UConn) – Morganti opened the round as the aggressor and Long answered with good head movement and sticking to his fundamentals. The bout is best described as a brawling style (Morganti) vs. a technical striker (Long). Round two saw Morganti continuing with his aggressive forward movement and Long responding with thought-out calculated strikes. In the third round, Morganti employed the “punches in bunches” method and Tyler Long adhered to the time honored technique of stick-and-move. Lock Haven University’s Tyler Long got the judge’s nod to victory over Brian Morganti.

Afternoon Card Results:

  • John Makling (Navy) defeats Matt DeSanto (PSU)
  • James Early (LHU) defeats Nick Tulenko (PSU)
  • Thomas Traxler (LHU) defeats Tony Blanker (PSU)
  • Ian Vernon (PSU) defeats Taras Klymuk (Navy)
  • Eva Markosky (PSU) defeats Soumya Sreerama (Army)
  • Gabriel LaBella (PSU) defeats Brendan Murray (Shippensburg)
  • Nathaniel Okyere (Army) defeats Demetrius Harris (PSU)
  • Josh Gray (Navy) defeats Tafari Gravesande (LHU)
  • Noah Van Blarcom (PSU) defeats Carlan Ivey (Army)
  • Jenifer Beers (LHU) defeats Michelle Lopez (Army)
  • Jordan Davis (Navy) defeats Curtis Estes (Army)
  • Jimmy Wang (PSU) Defeats Shaheim Mitchell (LHU)
  • Eric Behringer (PSU) defeats Shiloh Begley (Army)

Team Scores (Win-Loss-Win Ratio):

  • Navy: 5-1 (83%)
  • Trinity: 0-1 (0%)
  • University of Massachusetts: 1-1 (50%)
  • Penn State University: 10-6 (63%)
  • Lock Haven University: 5-2 (71%)
  • University of Connecticut: 0-4 (0%)
  • Army: 3-8 (27%)
  • Shippensburg: 0-1 (0%)