With a victory over Buffalo two weeks ago signaling the conclusion of the regular season, the Binghamton wrestling team looks ahead to the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) Championships this upcoming weekend.
After an impressive season, the Bearcats (12-5, 6-1 EIWA) will vie for some of the 47 spots available to the EIWA Conference in the NCAA Tournament during the EIWA Championships this weekend. BU head coach Kyle Borshoff, who stepped into his role just a couple of short months ago, expressed optimism over the NCAA prospects.
“We wrestle in a challenging conference,” Borshoff said. “Our conference is the second-deepest conference in the country. We have the second-most qualifiers behind the Big Ten Conference and that’s something that is unique to our sport here. There’s 15 other teams in our conference, it’s a tough tournament. I’m hoping to get through four or six guys. I know there’s a lot of spots out there, but we’re going to have to go and wrestle and win those spots to get there.”
Before the championships this weekend, a number of wrestlers received ranks in the NCAA Coaches’ Poll. Notably, senior Steve Schneider was ranked No. 14, and ranked No. 13 nationally in a TrackWrestling poll. He finished out the season with a 16-4 record and a career record of 101-42 in the 184-pound weight class.
The Binghamton wrestling team itself earned a No. 10 ranking in the National Wrestling Coaches Association Mid-Major Top 20 Poll released last week. Borshoff was excited about the results, but was reluctant to let recognition get to the team’s head.
“I think it’s a notable thing for us to be mentioned in that poll,” Borshoff said. “My goal is to be a top-10 program, regardless of conference, so it’s nice to be mentioned in the mid-major poll and it’s a good steppingstone toward where we want to be, but at the end of the day, we want to compete with the best teams in the country, regardless of conference affiliation.”
Having lost just one match in the EIWA meets this season, Borshoff felt encouraged about how these results would impact their chances of victory over the weekend.
“That’s [only one loss in the EIWAs] really encouraging,” Borshoff said. “It’s great that we’ve gotten to wrestle so many conference duals. We’ve seen our conference opponents not only in dual meets but in some of the tournaments we’ve wrestled throughout the year, and in those tournaments we’ve done really well with the conference competitors as well, so that mark is really encouraging. It shows the guys on our team, and everybody within our conference that we’re coming to compete, we’re coming to win and we’ve been doing it all year, so I don’t see why anything is going to change this weekend.”
Borshoff said the team is excited about the prospect of a landing an NCAA Championship spot as well.
“The team’s really fired up right now to get into the postseason,” Borshoff said. “We’ve been putting in a lot of work this year, coming off a great regular season, getting votes in the top-25 national poll for the first time in six years, and that’s creating an energy within the team where the guys are feeling good about what we’ve done. We’ve won a lot of conference dual meets, now we’re just going to make sure the guys are healthy and ready to go this weekend, and as long as we show up and wrestle hard, good things are going to happen.”
The Bearcats are set to travel to the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex on in Hempstead, New York on for the EIWA Championships on March 3 and 4.