NYU, Case Western stand in the way of elusive title

After settling for second place for three consecutive years, the wrestling team is determined to finish first at this year’s UAA Championships.

By Eirene Kim

The Maroons look to take down No. 24 NYU and Case Western this weekend as they fight for the UAA championship title.

Chicago knows that to get to a UAA championship, it cannot take any match lightly, especially with a nationally ranked team such as NYU in its way.

“This weekend we are going in with the mentality that every single match is important, even more so than it was against Augustana. NYU is a ranked team so we can’t take them lightly,” said first-year Devan Richter.

NYU may be ranked, but after last weekend’s victory over No. 29 Augustana, Chicago feels optimistic going into the UAA championship weekend. Despite several injuries during the Augustana dual, the Maroons were still able to pull out a win.

“We should have a more complete lineup this time which is a definite plus. Some of our main guys were out with injuries for the dual with Augustana, so now that they are back, we definitely have a little bit of an edge and a bit of pressure taken off as well,” Richter said. 

Now that Chicago is at full strength with its complete lineup, the Maroons feel confident going into this weekend.

“NYU is ranked 24th, but Augustana was ranked 28th. So if everybody shows up and wrestles their best, I think we have a good shot at winning,” Richter said.

The Maroons have prepared all season for this weekend, and a huge win can help the Maroons prepare for the NCAAs.

“A lot of our preparation throughout the season has been for the UAA title. It is really important to our coach to win this. He has put quite a bit of pressure on us to do our best, and has been pushing us. But if the end result is a UAA title then I’d say it is worth it. If we can win a UAA title as a team, I feel as though it would give us a nice momentum going into the NCAA regional tournament, and help with the team confidence,” Richter said.

A UAA title would be a breakthrough for the coach and the team after having been runner-ups for the past three years.

“The team has come in second place at the UAAs for three years in a row, and it would mean a lot if we could finally take first,” Richter said.

A UAA championship would further reflect Chicago’s growth as a wrestling program, as it would “definitely illustrate how not only the upperclassman are improving, but that the coach is bringing in solid new talent to fill gaps in the lineup to make a stronger team,” Richter said. 

The Maroons take on NYU this Saturday at 10 a.m. in Cleveland, and face Case Western shortly after at either 11:30 a.m. or 1 p.m.