Wrestling continues win streak while chasing championship title

Becky Chambers, Staff Writer

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Bison wrestling had a busy weekend racking up wins against the University of Pennsylvania on Jan. 27 and Bloomsburg University on Jan. 29. The team’s winning streak expanded to five matches, giving the Bison momentum as they look to add more in the upcoming weeks.

The weekend began as the team competed against the University of Pennsylvania at home in Davis Gym. Penn won the first three bouts of the evening at the 149, 157, and 165 weight classes, but the tables began to turn when D.J. Hollingshead ’19 took the mat at 174 pounds. Hollingshead won with a 9-1 major decision in a match that drew all spectators in. After one last loss at the 184 weight class, the Orange and Blue did not concede another bout for the rest of the night. Tom Sleigh ’18, ranked 16/11/17, racked up a win against his Penn opponent, ranked 15/20/13.

Tyler Greene ’17 took the mat next to add to the scoreboard with an 8-4 decision. Jordan Gessner ’20 tied the team scores at 13-13 with a close 6-5 decision. The first lead came for the Bison when Joey Gould ’20 took the mat and won 7-2. With only one bout left, the atmosphere in Davis Gym was tense. Tyler Smith ’18 decided to clinch the win in a dramatic fashion, leading 19-5 before getting a pin in the last period with 38 seconds left on the clock. The Bison won 22-13.

“The win over Penn was a big step for our team and a good measuring stick for the rest of the season. We are looking forward to finishing the regular season strong and competing in the postseason at EIWAs which is held at Bucknell and the national tournament in Missouri,” Sleigh said.

On Jan. 29, the Orange and Blue traveled to Bloomsburg, Pa. Gessner (125) was the first on the mat and started the team off with their first win of the afternoon. Gould and Smith followed with wins of their own at the 133 and 141 weight classes, respectively, putting the Bison at a 12-0 advantage. After a loss at 149, Victor Lopez ’17 pinned his opponent in 1:34, pushing the team score to 18-3. Collin Boylan ’18, Drew Phipps ’20, Sleigh, and Greene all recorded wins to end with a team score of 33-6.

This has been the Bison’s longest winning streak since the 2014-2015 season.

“Our team and especially our young guys are competing very well, which is evident with our recent wins,” head coach Dan Wirnsberger said. “Our individuals are gaining more and more experience which provides them the necessary confidence to perform at a high level. We are in the final stretch of the season so staying healthy and being fresh becomes essential as we prepare for our conference tournament and NCAAs in March where we plan to have our best results.”

The Bison will be back in action to host American on Feb. 3 and Sacred Heart on Feb. 4.

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