Phipps defeats No. 4 in the nation, but wrestling loses two close duals

Jack Donovan, Contributing Writer  

The Bison wrestling team was dealt a pair of losses by American University in Davis Gym on Feb. 8 and by Army at West Point on Feb. 10. With match scores of 21-22 and 19-22, respectively, the contests proved to be narrowly won. The team now stands at a 6-9 overall record and 4-5 in conference play for the season.


The Bison led early during their dual against American, thanks in part to a pin by D.J. Hollingshead ’19 at 165 pounds in the second period. Nick Stephani ’19 at 174 pounds stretched the team’s lead to 14-5 with a technical fall over his opponent one bout later.


With a 21-19 lead heading into the final bout, the Bison were looking to hold on and record another victory. Brett Rezendes ’22, who was wrestling one weight class above his standard 133 pounds, was taken down at 141 pounds. The three points proved to be all that American needed to defeat the Bison.


During the match against Army, a back-and-forth endeavor displayed four lead changes. The Orange and Blue started off strong against the Black Knights, with David Campbell ’21 at 133 pounds and Matt Kolonia ’21 at 149 pounds scoring pins. The biggest story of the afternoon came from team captain Drew Phipps ’20 at 197 pounds, who took down Army’s Rocco Caywood, who is ranked fourth nationally and had a 21-3 record entering the bout with Phipps. Phipps was named Bison Athlete of the Week for his upset performance.


It felt great to finally beat a highly ranked opponent,” Phipps said. “I knew that our styles of wrestling matched up well for me, and that I could get the win if I slowed him down and forced him into scrambles that favored me. Luckily, I executed the game plan that me and my coach talked about, and I was able to get the win. Hopefully I can use this as momentum into EIWAs and Nationals.”


Zach Hartman ’22 strengthened his undefeated record in EIWA dual action to 9-0 with his major decision on ranked opponent Lucas Weiland, helping the Bison lead 16-7 at the halfway point. The lead slipped away after the break, though, as Army sent three more ranked wrestlers to the mat, who were able to take four of the final five bouts.


The team looks to get back in the win column this weekend as they take on Binghamton on Feb. 15 at 7 p.m.


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