Facing a top-10 opponent, the Binghamton men’s wrestling team was defeated on Saturday night by North Carolina State. The Bearcats (1-1) picked up a decision and a win by fall in the 28-9 defeat to the Wolfpack (6-0) but finished with a premier matchup between two ranked wrestlers in the 184-pound weight class.
“As a team, we got beat offensively,” said BU head coach Kyle Borshoff. “If we’re not willing to go out and attack we’re not going to win a lot of matches against good teams. I think that everyone can see that we wrestle hard and our guys fight really hard, but it doesn’t matter how hard you fight if you’re not willing to be offensive.”
The match started in the 197-pound weight class, with NC State earning a decision and was followed by the quickest bout of the day in the heavyweight matchup. Just 22 seconds in, redshirt sophomore Joe Doyle pinned his opponent to score Binghamton’s first points of the day.
“Doyle’s always ready to scrap,” Borshoff said. “I think he’s got more technique and knows more wrestling moves than maybe any heavyweight in the country. No matter what his opponent tries to do to him, Joe usually has an answer, and tonight he was able to find one pretty quick and secure a fall.”
With redshirt junior Audey Ashkar not competing, freshman Tomasso Frezza battled against the 15th-ranked wrestler in the 125-pound bout, falling 9-2 but preventing him from earning a major decision or a fall.
Redshirt sophomore Zack Trampe earned a 3-1 decision in the 133-pound bout, defeating the 14th-ranked wrestler and drawing praise from Borshoff for his tactics.
“He wrestled one of the best matches I’ve ever seen him wrestle,” Borshoff said. “It was close — that guy wanted to make it a chess match. He tried to slow Zack down which people usually can’t do. Zack didn’t let that frustrate him or bother him, which is different than last year, and that’s something Zack has improved on.”
With BU leading the team score 9-6, Wolfpack wrestlers won the final six bouts of the day. The final bout, however, was the most anticipated matchup of the day, and its competitiveness did not disappoint.
In the 184-pound weight class, redshirt sophomore Lou DePrez, ranked No. 4 nationally, competed against 12th-ranked redshirt freshman Trent Hidlay of NC State. The bout went into sudden-death overtime tied at one, and the stalemate lasted through the initial 60-second period and the first 30-second period, but Hidlay earned an escape to end the match.
“He had a good game plan for Lou and we’ve got some adjustments to make, but that’s certainly a match that I think we’ll win in the future,” Borshoff said.
The Wolfpack are led by former Binghamton head coach Pat Popolizio, and he and Borshoff agreed to finish the match with the premier bout of the night.
“We talked before the match, we texted about starting at 197 so that the 184-pound match could be the last match of the night,” Borshoff said. “As many matches like that [one] that Lou DePrez and Zack Trampe and Joe Doyle can wrestle, the better our chances of getting on the podium in March, the better our chances of being a national champion.”
Earlier in the day, NC State wrestled No. 15 Cornell in Ithaca, New York. The Big Red, a higher-ranked program than Binghamton, scored the same number of points against the Wolfpack as the Bearcats did.
Binghamton will continue to face challenging opponents in two weeks as they compete in one of the toughest tournaments in the country, the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. The event will take place from Friday, Dec. 6 to Saturday, Dec. 7 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.