Following a disappointing start to the season, dropping three straight matches by a combined score of 95-23, it all came together for the Binghamton wrestling team this weekend. After being hampered by injuries early on, the Bearcats proved to be a different team when healthy, capturing two straight dual meets. Binghamton (2-3, 2-1 EIWA) defeated Penn 24-12 and Columbia 23-12.
“We started off with one of the best teams in the country in Cornell and then had a couple tough duals after that where we had a few guys injured,” said BU head coach Kyle Borshoff. “These last two duals that we’ve just had was the first time we’ve been healthy all season and that really helped us.”
In the match against Penn (1-5, 0-3 EIWA), four BU wrestlers picked up their first dual victories of the season, including redshirt freshman Zack Trampe, who recorded his first career win. Redshirt freshman Aidan Monteverdi also secured his first dual win of the season in a thrilling overtime victory in a 165-pound match.
Binghamton’s young wrestlers continue to prove their value to the team, and Borshoff recognized the importance of establishing a winning attitude for the program as a whole.
“Winning is a skill in itself,” Borshoff said. “Every time you get a win, the next one gets easier and until you get that first win, it’s hard. But once you do, you start rolling and everything gets easier as you go. We had a couple guys beat opponents ranked higher than them in the conference, which we love to see.”
Following their first victory of the season over Penn, the Bearcats traveled to Columbia (4-3, 0-3 EIWA), where they took down the Lions by a score of 23-12. Monteverdi registered his second straight victory with a revenge victory, and redshirt freshman Lou DePrez recorded his fourth straight outing at 184 pounds. DePrez boasts a 19-4 record on the season and currently sits at No. 8 in the country.
Borshoff emphasized the significance of building a winning culture and how the veterans in the locker room are just as vital as the coaching staff.
“Our coaching staff believes in our wrestlers and what they’re capable of, but it’s just as important, if not more important, to have guys on the team talking to each other that way,” Borshoff said. “Lou’s done it and a few other guys are on winning streaks so we hope to continue this success.”
Since the slow start to the season, BU has caught fire, and several wrestlers are riding streaks heading into their next match. In addition to DePrez and Monteverdi, redshirt freshman Joe Doyle has won two straight matches while junior Anthony Sparacio has picked up four consecutive victories.
“After the Army dual, we were able to focus on some technical things and do some talk on mindset,” Borshoff said. “The effort we put out today is the effort we’re looking for for the rest of the season. I’m pretty excited about where we’re at as a team.”
Although the next three matches will be on the road for Binghamton, the Bearcats will look to keep up the momentum. Regardless of where the team needs to travel, Borshoff is confident in his team’s abilities.
“Wrestling at home or away, it doesn’t bother us or make a difference,” Borshoff said. “Wrestling is the same wherever you go — you step on the mat, wrestle the guy across from you and once your job is done, your teammate gets to go.”
The Bearcats will travel to Cambridge, Massachusetts on Jan. 26 to face off against Harvard University. The dual at the Malkin Athletic Center is expected to begin at 1 p.m.