Wrestling drops two contests to Penn and Columbia

Anslee Krouch, Senior Writer

The Bison men’s wrestling team participated in two competitions on Jan. 27, losing 24-14 to Penn and 22-17 to Columbia. The Bison are now 2-11 overall and 1-5 in Eastern Intecollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) competition.

Facing off against Penn at the Palestra in Philadelphia, Tyler Smith ’18, along with fellow teammate Nick Stephani ’19, overcame their opponents to win the bouts. They were the only two Bison to win that morning.

After 12 takedowns and two back points, Smith finished his match winning 26-11. Stephani defeated Penn’s Quinton Hiles, 11-4. The Quakers won the following three bouts, bringing them to a 15-3 advantage over the Orange and Blue. They took down the Bison by a final score of 24-14.

Later that afternoon, the Bison traveled to New York to face the Columbia Lions. DJ Hollingshead ’19 and Drew Phipps ’20 led the Orange and Blue to an early lead. Winning by major decision, Hollingshead defeated Columbia’s Max Elling 10-2. Shortly after, Phipps blanked his opponent 15-0.

Geo Barzona ’21 picked up his first career dual competition win against his opponent. With this victory, the Orange and the Blue regained the lead.

Smith continued his streak of performances, as he improved his 2017-2018 dual competition record to 12-0. Taking down Columbia’s J.P. Ascolese, he now has won 22 straight dual bouts.

Fighting until the very end, the Lions were ultimately able to overcome the Bison 22-17, concluding a long day of competition.

“This season has been a rough one with all of the injuries we’ve had. A lot of guys have stepped up, even the younger guys. We will continue to learn from our experiences. We’re going to try to finish the season strong and get ready for the postseason in March,” Stephani said.

The Bison will be back on the mat this weekend when they face Franklin & Marshall on Feb. 2 and American on Feb. 4.

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