Wrestling secures 32-11 victory over Bucknell
Two technical falls, two falls help Eagles dispatch Bison
Freshmen Gage Curry and Eric Hong earned comprehensive victories to lead the AU wrestling team to victory against Bucknell Sunday in Bender Arena. Hong followed up his major decision victory against Binghamton on Friday by earning a first period fall against Bucknell (3-12, 2-6). Curry earned a 15-1 technical fall victory to close out the meet for the Eagles.
Head coach Teague Moore highlighted Curry and Hong’s developing and said that their improved performances will help the team in the final dual meets of the regular season.
“Those freshmen are making a huge difference in our lineup. It’s great to see those guys doing that as freshmen,” Moore said. “It’s one thing to have Jeric Kasunic, Josh Terao and Bretty Dempsey pulling out the wins and doing what they’re doing, but now we’ve got freshman coming along, it looks for an exciting postseason.”
Redshirt junior Josh Terao, ranked 10th nationally at 133 pounds, began the dual meet for AU (6-5, 3-2) by earning a 10-1 major victory. Terao scored a takedown against the Bison’s David Campbell within the opening 30 seconds of the bout and never relinquished control, compiling over five minutes of riding time by the match’s completion.
After losing the 141-pound bout, the Eagles gained control of the dual meet with consecutive victories in the next two weight classes. Seventeenth ranked redshirt junior Michael Sprague muscled his way to 18-1 technical victory over Bucknell’s Matthew Kolonia at 149 pounds. The match started with a slow pace, as both wrestlers employing a cautious approach. Sprague made the first move, earning a 2-point takedown and followed with a succession of 2- and 4-point near falls over the ensuing five minutes of the bout. Hong followed up Sprague’s commanding victory with a decisive victory of his own. Hong pinned his opponent Christian Bassolino in less than 90 seconds, giving AU a 15-3 advantage in the team score.
Moore said success is cumulative for the Eagles, and results like Sprague’s technical fall victory serve as a catalyst for the rest of the team.
“When things start going your way, you start to open your eyes and see more positives that are around you,” Moore said. “The wins that we’ve started to accumulate, guys are seeing teammates do the little things and get their hand raised because of it, so they are willing to do a little extra and get their hand raised.”
Tenth ranked 197-pounder Jeric Kasunic extended his match winning streak to 18 with a fall 30 seconds into his bout. Redshirt senior Brett Dempsey, the 25th ranked heavyweight, earned a hard-fought 3-0 victory and Curry ended the match for the Eagles with his technical fall victory.
The Eagles had 12 days off following their Jan. 21 dual meet loss to Old Dominion and their dual meet victory against Binghamton Friday night. Moore said the time off allowed his athletes time to rest and recharge ahead of a pivotal stretch in their season.
“One weekend off can really re-energize these guys and that’s what we’re seeing right now, they see a light at the end of the tunnel with the postseason coming up,” Moore said. “When you see those guys on the fringes win, it’s changing what we can do as a team. “
The Eagles return to the mat Feb. 11 to face Drexel at Bender Arena at 2 p.m. AU will honor 2018 Hall of Fame inductee and 2007 national champion Josh Glenn at the meet.