Bison Wrestling goes 1-1 after a challenging weekend on the road

Roger Mellado, Contributing Writer

The Bison wrestling team had another action-packed weekend on the mat, taking on league opponent Franklin & Marshall in Lancaster, Pa., on Jan. 30 before heading down to Chapel Hill, N.C. to face the No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels on Feb. 1.

The team started off their weekend with a strong victory over Franklin & Marshall, finishing the dual 36-3. This win extended the team’s winning streak to five and improved their in league record to 6-1 (7-3 on the season).

Brandon Seidman ’22 led the Bison at 125 lb., beating Franklin & Marshall by two points in a tight 7-5 battle.

Following Seidman’s win came two consecutive pins by the Bison, coming from Darren Miller ’23 at 133 lb. and Matt Kolonia ’21 at 149 lb. Their back-to-back bouts of dominance improved their league records to 7-0 and 6-0, respectfully.

The Bison’s NCAA qualifier at 165 lb., Zach Hartman ’22, made his return to the mat this past Friday after a brief hiatus and it appeared as though he hadn’t missed a beat. Z. Hartman pulled out a dominant victory and earned bonus points over Franklin & Marshall in a 12-3 major decision. This win also brought Hartman’s league record to an unblemished 5-0.

Following Zach Hartman’s major, two more Bison followed suit. These included Zach’s older brother Mitch Hartman ’20 at 174 lb. (10-2) and team captain Drew Phipps ’20 at 197 lb. (11-3).

Brandon Stokes ’20 closed out the day at heavyweight (285), bringing the Bison their ninth win out of 10 matches. Stokes beat Franklin and Marshall 5-4.

Immediately after the Bison steamrolled Franklin & Marshall, they hit the road driving to meet one of their strongest tests of the year, the North Carolina Tarheels.

The Bison’s dominant dual meet run came to an end at the conclusion of the match. The Tar Heels managed to win eight out of 10 matches. But when adversity hit, the Bison did not roll over and quit.

The day was highlighted with two victories by the NCAA qualifying pair Zach Hartman at 165 lb. and Phipps at 197 lb.

Zach Hartman shook up the national rankings, pinning North Carolina’s Kennedy Monday in under three minutes. Monday, prior to the match, Kennedy had been ranked seven places above Hartman at No. 11 while Hartman sat at No. 18. Bison Nation looks forward to the next release of the National rankings after this “upset.”

Phipps made a statement of his own a few matches later when he bested North Carolina in an evenly matched 3-2 decision. This win brought Phipp’s record to 22-5 overall on the season.

The Bison had three more strong performances in Geo Barzona ’21 (125 lb.), Jaden Fisher ’23 (157 lb.), and Stokes.

Barzona started the meet for the Bison but came up just short losing to North Carolina 5-3.

Fisher went toe to toe with North Carolina’s 17th ranked A.C. Headlee. Fisher forced overtime in the final seconds of regulation but fell to Headlee 3-1 after a well-timed takedown in the first overtime.

Stokes closed out the day with a thriller of his own, barely falling to North Carolina 3-2.

This 25-9 loss to the North Carolina Tarheels (11-1, 2-0 ACC) brought the Bison’s record to 7-4 overall. The Bison will return to the mat this weekend, which will be packed in with league action. The first bout will begin at 12 p.m. at home against Binghamton on Feb. 8, and then the Bison will travel to Washington, D.C. to take on American University on Feb. 9.

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