Wrestling takes four of five for the week

The College’s wrestling team rode its depth to four wins last week, including a momentous victory over fellow Metro Conference heavyweight No. 23 Delaware Valley College, before falling to No. 10 Springfield College on Sunday amidst an injury epidemic.

Denver has been a force so far this season. (Lauren Del Turco / Staff Photographer)

“We had a pretty solid week,” head coach Joe Galante said. “I think it’s great what our guys are doing for us … It’s encouraging to watch how they’re handling (adversity).”

The 30th-ranked Lions (11-5) narrowly edged Delaware Valley at home, 20-19, before routing Williams College, Roger Williams University and United States Coast Guard Academy in the New England/MET Duals by a combined score of 98-30.

The wrestlers were just minutes away from going 5-0 on the week in Springfield MA, but they had a slim lead erased in the final two bouts of a 24-18 defeat.

“After the match we talked about how even though we were banged-up and a little hurt, we were a match (away from winning) … about how we’re going to use our skills and strategy to beat any opposition,” Galante said.

During the meets, second-stringers stepped up and several starters wrestled in unfamiliar weight classes to help cover holes in a team still recovering from injury losses.

“Our health is key, and we’re still trying to get guys back,” said Galante, who started 15 different wrestlers during the week.

Three of these Lions won at every opportunity, including senior Mike Denver (184, 197), who is ranked No. 1 in Division III in the 184-pound weight class.

Denver won five of five bouts, including the meet-winner against Delaware Valley where he wrestled in the 197-pound weight class, en route to extending his win streak to 25 and scoring a team-high 26 points in the process.

Junior John Darling (157) also earned his 25th win after going 5-0 on the week, and freshman P.J. Schmidt’s (133) five wins improved his stellar rookie record to 24-3.

Other big contributions included freshman Joey Dicarlo (125) picking up a pair of wins, senior Brian Bollette (141) winning three bouts, junior Dan Herr (141, 149) going 3-2, sophomore KC Murphy (165) taking four of five and junior Dan Brill (197) doubling his season win total by finishing the week 3-1.

The Lions hope to continue their good form and grind out another victory on Friday, when they end their home season against Wilkes University at 7 p.m. in Packer Hall.

“As I always tell our guys: ‘We’re Lion Strong’,” Galante said. “Even after the loss (to Springfield), we’re looking forward to Wilkes on Friday.”