Over the weekend, the Binghamton wrestling team traveled to Newark, New Jersey to compete at the Garden State Grapple. At the event, BU competed against both Michigan State and Indiana but was unable to earn a victory against either school. The Bearcats lost to the Spartans 29-6 and fell to the Hoosiers 25-16.
“It was a good experience,” said Binghamton head coach Kyle Borshoff. “We wrestled a couple Big 10 teams, and we won’t see those guys most likely until the NCAA championships. It was good to get that feel today.”
Despite losing both duals on Sunday, the Bearcats posted multiple individual victories against the Hoosiers, including back-to-back wins by fall from redshirt junior Jacob Nolan and graduate student Lou DePrez in the 184-pound and 197-pound weight class, respectively. The Bearcats struggled against Michigan State, managing just two dual victories over the Big 10 school.
“We had some good individual wins, but as a team we left a lot on the mat,” Borshoff said. “We left a lot of opportunities on the mat that we didn’t take advantage of, and our guys need to do a better job as a team of just building off of each other.”
BU struggled to find early points against the Spartans, dropping its first six bouts and trailing 23-0 heading into redshirt junior Sam DePrez’s 174-pound bout. The redshirt junior’s 6-3 victory by decision earned the Bearcats their first points on the day. Despite this victory, Binghamton’s performance did not rebound as it dropped its next two bouts.
“We have a lot of individual efforts we’re seeing every week that are good,” Borshoff said. “But in a dual meet setting we gotta find some ways to pick up wins in some of those first few weight classes that we’ve been struggling at.”
In the final 285-pound bout against the Spartans, redshirt junior Cory Day continued his undefeated steak with an 8-4 decision. In its next match against Indiana, BU again started off slow, dropping its first five bouts to the Hoosiers. The start put the Bearcats behind 15-0 entering the back half of the meet.
“[Day] got a nice win over the Michigan State guy who beat the nationally ranked Princeton kid his next bout, so that’ll be another good win,” Borshoff said. “And then [Day] had a lot of pressure on him in that next match, and that’s what I’m talking about with individual efforts.”
Sophomore Dimitri Gamkrelidze earned Binghamton’s first points against Indiana, taking a 13-4 decision victory in the 165-pound class. Despite losing the next bout via major decision, BU gained points back after Nolan and L. DePrez earned back-to-back victories by fall. After trailing early to the Hoosiers, the consecutive victories narrowed the team’s deficit to just three points entering the heavyweight bout.
“We needed to be better as a team,” Borshoff said. “[Day] shouldn’t have felt pressure in that match to try to score a bunch of points and really should’ve just been able to focus on himself. I think he was put in a situation where he was trying to do too much, and he made a mistake and got caught. But [Day] continues to wrestle well, our upper weights continue to put the team on their backs.”
Day was unable to replicate his victory against Michigan State earlier in the day as the redshirt junior dropped the 285-pound bout against Indiana. The result secured a 25-16 Hoosier victory as BU exited the weekend without a win.
“[Nolan] goes out and gets a pin against Indiana, [L. DePrez] follows up with a win and now the pressure is on [Day],” Borshoff said. “It’s not a fair situation to put [Day] into. I’d love to see him win that bout. I think in a different setting or a different scenario we’re gonna see a much different outcome in that match.”
Binghamton will return home for its next dual meet against LIU on Saturday, Dec. 10. First bout begins at 1 p.m. at the Events Center in Vestal, New York.