Will Simonson - The Bucknellian
Orange defeats Blue: Wrestling prepares for winter season
With the winter season just around the corner, many new Bison teams are just starting their 2014-15 schedules. One of those teams is the wrestling squad, who just started its season with its annual Intrasquad Match on Oct. 24.
“The Intrasquad match is a great event because it allows new wrestlers to get a match under their belt and feel more comfortable in a bigger gymnasium with many different fans watching them. The first match is always the most nerve-wracking, so with this Intrasquad Match, it allows you to get the early season nerves out,” Tom Sleigh ’18 said.
Many new faces entered the program and received a taste of what the collegiate competition will look like, while many veterans also had the chance to get back into the rhythm of things with this friendly event in Davis Gym. This year’s team features just three returning seniors in addition to eight first-years entering the program.
In a competition that doesn’t affect the team’s standings, the Orange team squeaked by the Blue team 18-16. Ten total matches took place, with Joe Stolfi ’15 gaining the sole pin of the night over Chuck Boddy ’16 in 2:38.
Four other wrestlers earned decisions for the Orange side–Rustin Barrick ’16 (8-1), Austin Wetterau ’17 (13-11), Tyler Smith ’18 (7-1), and Sleigh (5-1). The Blue side posted five decisions of their own–Tyler Lyster ’15 (4-0), Paul Petrov ’16 (9-4), Robert Schlitt ’16 (6-2), Victor Lopez ’17 (12-2), and John Faugno ’18 (8-4). However, Stolfi’s pin gave the ultimate edge to the Orange side.
A year after finishing 10-11 overall and 5-4 in EIWA play, the Bison are hoping to build off of last season’s performance. They finished in 15th place out of 18 teams in the EIWA Championships and tied for 53rd out of 72 teams in the NCAA Championships.
This winter season features nine matches against conference opponents and three tournaments before the EIWA Championships begin in March. To start things off, the Orange and Blue will travel to Pittsburgh on Nov. 8, looking to avenge a 30-12 defeat against the Panthers a year ago.
“The team has been working extremely hard, and as long as we keep these efforts going through the next two weeks, we will be ready for Pittsburgh. Our coaches have us on a great workout plan, and if we stick to this plan, we will be ready to compete with any team or athlete,” Sleigh said.