Broncs reach .500, sweep weekend matches

By Logan VanDine

Heading into Rider wrestling’s matches against Lock Haven and Bloomsburg, the Broncs were on a 12-day break, looking to come back strong. That time off did just that as the Broncs won handily in both home matches to improve to .500 on the season.  

‘Feeding off each other’

Despite a rusty start with their match against Lock Haven, the Broncs rallied to win the final six bouts of the night to defeat the Bald Eagles 27-11 on Jan. 26 in their first of two home matches.

It was not an ideal beginning  for Rider as they lost three of the first four matches to fall behind 11-3 with frustrations by the wrestlers, coaches and fans on full display. The one-bout win the Broncs earned in the first four came dramatically with graduate student Richie Koehler winning by sudden victory.

“I was just comfortable the entire time, we’re a very good in-shape team, probably one of the best in-shape teams in the whole entire nation,” Koehler said. 

With the score at 11-3 in favor of the Bald Eagles, Rider went on to win the final six bouts of the night with an impressive 16-point victory to get its fourth win of the season.

“You can see they come to win and they come to wrestle, but our kids did just that in return,” Head Coach John Hangey said. “That’s what we have been trying to get them to buy into: be stubborn with points, be stubborn in scoring points … fight everything and we can wrestle.” 

Hangey also spoke about his team’s comeback and how they were able to get it done against a Lock Haven team that they lost to by nine points a season ago.

“It’s that fight for each other, for your brother, and that’s really what got us there,” Hangey said.

Junior Isaac Dean talked about how he was able to “wrestle his tail off” in his bout that helped extend the Broncs’ lead to 16-11. 

“I’ve been trying to find my movements, find out to fight with toughness, and I feel like I was finally able to and I was confident in myself,” Dean said.

A Senior Day victory

Looking to build off their win over Lock Haven, the Broncs did that and then some as they cruised past Bloomsburg 42-3 on Senior Day to get the .500 mark on Jan. 28.

The first bout of the afternoon set the tone for the entire match with senior Tyler Klinsky winning his bout by fall, followed by Koehler again picking up his second bout win of the weekend, giving the Broncs a quick 11-0 lead over the Roongos. 

That afternoon, the Broncs won all but one bout, picking up the dominating win, which came as no surprise to Hangey.

“Bloomsburg has been struggling with a lot of injuries and stuff of that nature, but it’s always business as usual. It does not matter who you’re wrestling: if it’s Penn State or Bloomsburg, you have to go out to do your job from start to finish, and they did just that,” Hangey said.

One of those wrestlers who worked to win was 

senior Quinn Kinner. After his loss to Lock Haven, he was able to bounce back with a win by technical fall. 

“I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself last season and it’s no secret I’ve been in a slump and not the season I’ve envisioned,” Kinner said. “All that really matters at the end of the day is March to win an NCAA Title.” 

The Broncs now move to 5-5 on the season with their next matchup against Drexel on Feb. 3 at 2 p.m. 

“Together as a team, we’ll stay on track,” Hangey said.  

The Broncs now move to 5-5 on the season with their next matchup against Drexel on Feb. 3 at 2 p.m. 

The Broncs are 6-8 on the season and travel to Connecticut to play a conference game against Fairfield at 3 p.m. 

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