NYU men’s wrestling team looks to build on last season’s success in its 20th year under head coach Bruce Haberli.
At the end of last season, the Violets had a record of 10-9 in dual matches, won their third straight UAA Championship and finished 27th in Division III.
The Violets will be anchored by their four co-captains: seniors DJ Albonico, Patrick Sheehan, Matthew DiGiovanni and Brandon Jones. Last year, Jones tied for third place in the highest individual finish at the NCAA DIII Championships.
Junior Matt Eulau said the large team size of over 30 wrestlers has caused more competition for the starting positions.
“I think this team has the potential to be the best I’ve been a part of in my three years at NYU,” Eulau said. “Many returners put in a lot of work this offseason and, even in the first few weeks, the improvements are obvious … Almost every starter has a guy, or even two, threatening his spot every day and having that constant competition is going to push this team to the next level.”
The team is in its last days of preparation before the first tournament, the Monarch Invitational in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. With the first match looming, the team has stepped up training with more twice-a-day practices. The team’s fitness for the season will be tested. While dual matches are more significant because they determine the team’s record, the Monarch Invitational will gauge individual abilities right off the bat.
“We’ve been really working hard in both the wrestling room and the weight room,” sophomore Nathan Pike said. “We just had our wrestle-offs last Friday and everyone is looking in pretty good shape, but there is always room for improvement and that’s where the coaching comes in. We have a great set of trainers and coaching staff, and I think that is going to help us out a lot as well.”
Freshman Jake Legotte expressed his excitement to work with the other new freshmen on the team.
“We have a good recruiting class and the coaches and team are all excited about our chances this year,” he said.
Junior Brian Anderson emphasized the team dynamic as a potential catalyst for success.
“My expectations are very high,” Anderson said. “We have a great team dynamic this year, whether we’re all at Downstein joking and laughing or getting after it on the mat, there’s a lot of natural chemistry, and that makes for a great general vibe. As long as we all stay healthy, I foresee us having a really impressive season.”
The Violets will begin their dual matches on Nov. 15 in Wilkes-Barre at the Metro vs. PA Duals.
A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Oct. 31 print edition. Email Kyle Luther at [email protected]