Wrestling wins fourth UAA title

Kyle Luther, Deputy Sports Editor

The NYU men’s wrestling team earned its fourth straight University Athletic Association Championship in Cleveland on Saturday defeating both University of Chicago and Case Western Reserve University in an impressive fashion.

The Grapplers improved their record to 20-3 in dual meets and extended their winning streak to 13. They dispatched University of Chicago 26-12 and then dominated host Case Western Reserve 47-6 to win
the championship.

Compared to last year’s 10-9 record at the end of the season, NYU has greatly improved to the point where they could easily defeat Chicago, who the Grapplers only narrowly defeated 21-18 last year. With four straight UAA championships, they appear to compete at their very best when the stakes are high. Going into the championship, the Grapplers had plenty of confidence, coming into the match on a 13 match winning streak that began in early January.

During the course of the championship, they achieved the highest one-season win total in team history. Senior Patrick Sheehan earned a 9-0 major victory by shutting out Chicago’s Nick Dinapoli. For his stellar performance, Sheehan was named UAA Most Outstanding Wrestler.

Along with Sheehan, five other NYU wrestlers competed and won their second matches, including senior co-captain Brandon Jones and junior Nathan Pike. Jones was able to record a fall only 1:34 seconds into the match and had a major decision of 15-6. Pike won both his matches with a major decision 15-6 and a technical fall awarding him a 15-0 outcome.

Sophomore John Messinger also won both his matches and recorded a 5-2 victory over Chicago’s Paul Papoutsis, who he lost to the previous year. The Grapplers were also helped by the efforts of sophomore Matthew Coppola and senior Matt DiGiovanni. Coppola earned a technical default 19-4 and a regular decision 9-7 while DiGiovanni’s wins came by major decision 9-0 and a forfeit.

“Going into each match I always just focus on wrestling my match and continue to push trying to outscore my opponent each period,” said DiGiovanni. “As the match continued I could feel my opponent breaking and knew it would be valuable if I could earn the major decision for our team. I think the one of the keys to our team’s win streak has been our confidence in ourselves.”

The Grapplers will compete again in the last meet of the regular season against Daniel Webster College in Nashua, New Hampshire, on Feb. 21.

A version of this article appeared in the Feb. 17 print edition. Email Kyle Luther at [email protected].