The wrestling team sustained three losses this weekend, as it competed against Penn and Princeton Saturday and Lehigh Sunday.
“Despite suffering losses to conference teams, I think this weekend was a great learning experience for us,” said Justin Staudenmayer ’17. “We will see all of these guys again at the conference tournament, so now we know what to expect from them. For me personally, this weekend really proved to me that I need to pick up the offense on my feet and really push the pace in the first period to score more points.”
The Bears (3-7, 2-4 EIWA) traveled to New Jersey Saturday to compete in a pair of Ivy League and EIWA contests. Bruno dropped its first meet of the day against the Quakers (6-4, 2-1) in a 29-6 loss. Against Penn, Bruno struck first with a victory from Billy Watterson ’15 at the 125-pound weight class. Watterson tallied three takedowns en route to an 11-4 win via decision.
The Quakers quickly countered, and the Bears dropped the next four bouts. The squad then achieved its second victory of the meet with help from Richard Muniz ’17. Muniz was back in action for the first time in over a month but picked up his 11th victory of the season through a 3-1 win via decision to get the Bears to a 13-6 deficit. But Penn did not allow the Bears to gain another point and took home the 29-6 victory.
That day’s second meet featured a much more even-keeled contest against the Tigers (8-5, 2-1) with a narrow loss of 17-16. Bruno came out of the gate strong with two victories from Watterson and Zeke Salvo ’18, but the Tigers quickly responded with two victories of their own. The meet’s fifth matchup in the 157-pound weight class featured Staudenmayer — ranked 20th in the nation according to Intermat — who successfully shut out his opponent 3-0 with a takedown and an escape. After the first five bouts of the meet, the squad was ahead 9-6.
The Bears lost the lead after the next bout, but regained it after Ricky McDonald ’15 surged ahead with a 12-3 major decision win at 174 pounds. Bruno then lost the following two matches and went down 17-13. With the final bout at the 285-pound weight class, the squad needed a major decision win to tie up the score or a win via fall in order to take home the victory. Though Augustus Marker ’16 won the bout via a 5-1 decision, it gave the Bears only three points and not enough for the victory. This marked the Bears’ third loss of the season in Ivy League contests.
On Sunday, the Bears faced off against Lehigh (12-4, 8-1), resulting in a 33-6 Bears loss. Watterson earned his third victory of the weekend by way of forfeit to give the Bears an early 6-0 lead. But the Bears were unable to earn another victory, though three bouts came down to a margin of two points or less. At 149 pounds, William McDonald ’17 suffered a 3-2 defeat only after his opponent earned a point for an escape in the third and final frame. At 174 pounds, Ricky McDonald earned two points for a pair of escapes, but lost his bout 3-2.
“I absolutely believe that wrestling against these nationally ranked teams does more good than harm,” Staudenmayer said. “It provides our team with great exposure and allows us to see where we need to be come March.”
Up next, the Bears will travel to Cambridge Saturday to take on Harvard (1-7, 0-6) at noon and Johnson and Wales (18-5, 1-0) at 2 p.m. in back-to-back meets.
“Heading into the postseason I am most looking forward to the atmosphere it provides. Once March rolls around ,things get even more serious and competitive, and I really enjoy that type of environment,” Staudenmayer said. “The postseason is a great time to just work even harder in hopes of positive results.”