Another day, another win. That’s what life is like for the Binghamton wrestling team these days, as the Bearcats (8-3, 8-3 Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association) notched their eighth consecutive victory by defeating Bucknell with a score of 25-17 at home on Friday night. The dual meet against the Bison (6-10, 4-6 EIWA) closed out Binghamton’s regular-season EIWA schedule. The team finished with two more conference victories than it had last season.
“I was very impressed with our guys tonight,” said BU head coach Kyle Borshoff, per bubearcats.com. “I think we’re getting better every time we wrestle now; we just need to keep focusing on doing our job at the mat, and I think we’ll be in good shape for the post-season in a few weeks.”
The usual suspects on the Bearcats continued to churn out wins like clockwork, with Binghamton wrestlers prevailing in the first four bouts of the dual. Junior Anthony Sparacio edged out freshman Noah Levett in the 141-pound weight class to earn his tenth consecutive victory. Redshirt sophomore Audey Ashkar and redshirt freshman Zack Trampe continued their impressive seasons by triumphing in the 125-pound and 133-pound classes, respectively. (Trampe’s opponent withdrew due to injury). Meanwhile, redshirt freshman Joe Doyle ended his streak of defeat with a major decision over Bison sophomore Nate Feyrer.
On top of that, the DePrez brothers, Vincent and Lou, continued to dominate the mat. With Bucknell closing in on BU’s lead late in the dual, redshirt senior Vincent DePrez tallied his 90th career win by taking down sophomore Frankie Guida Jr. in a crucial major decision at 174. Redshirt freshman Lou DePrez followed that with a technical fall over junior Kyle Inlander at 184, sealing the deal for the Bearcats.
“Vincent and Lou DePrez back to back [is] a good one-two punch for us,” Borshoff said. “They’re scoring bonus points, they’re wrestling hard and they look scary when you’re standing across from them.”
Though these wins gave Binghamton enough team points to top Bucknell, the team points that the Bearcats denied the Bison toward the middle of the dual were nearly of equal importance. Facing gaps at 149, 157 and 165 pounds, Borshoff was forced to slide redshirt sophomore Kevin Kelly, freshman Christopher Barker and redshirt freshman Matt Swanson out of their normal weight classes to fill these holes and avoid forfeits. Though each of the three lost their respective bout, the three managed to save a combined four team points from going to Bucknell, preventing the Bison from jumping out into the lead.
“Luckily, we have some guys that stepped up,” Borshoff said. “Most of the guys were out there fighting for themselves to get the wins and fighting for the team, and those three guys, Chris, Matt and Kevin, all stepped in and they fought for the team [to make] sure that we’d be able to come away with the win tonight even though they did not win their individual matches.”
With the last EIWA dual of the regular season in the rearview mirror, only two-and-a-half weeks remain until the EIWA Championships, which, for the first time ever, will be hosted by Binghamton University. Borshoff believes that hosting the event will lend his team an advantage in the tournament.
“It’s the first time it’s ever here, which is a great opportunity for us,” Borshoff said. “We don’t have to worry about traveling, which is nice. We’re familiar with the university, we’re familiar with everything. I think that’s going to help us along the way. It’s a great opportunity; I’m excited to host the tournament.”
Before the EIWA Championships arrive, however, the Bearcats will travel to the Buckeye State to take on two nonconference opponents on Saturday, Feb. 23. The day starts with a 1 p.m. dual against Cleveland State in Cleveland and continues with a match versus Kent State at 6 p.m. from Kent, Ohio.