February 14, 2014

Grapple in the Big Apple

“The toughest thing about these duals is that during your match all eyes are on you.”

Chicago’s season is nearly over. Yet the sentiment voiced by fourth-year Jeff Tyburski will certainly hold true again this year as the team is preparing for one of its most important duals of the year.

This Saturday, the Maroons will travel to New York, where the NYU Violets will be hosting the South Siders and the Case Western Spartans in the 2014 UAA Championships.

The three-way matchup has historically been a close contest, especially between Chicago and NYU.

“NYU beat us last year by a match. The same goes for the season before that. And three seasons ago we beat them by one match—one point actually. It is always close,” Tyburski said. “In my experience, our best yearly performance tends to be against NYU.”

The duals matchup this year between Chicago and NYU will largely be similar to last year’s.

“Although Case Western has some good wrestlers, the UAA has, for the last few years, been won by Chicago or NYU. Focusing on our matchup with NYU, out of the 10 weight classes at last year’s UAA meet, Chicago will return four starters—NYU returns six. They [NYU] will have some experience on us. There should only be two rematches from 2013 which we split last year,” head coach Leo Kocher (M.B.A. '87) said.

With a large majority of NYU’s core returning, the Maroons anticipate a long, contested lineup of matches against the Violets.

“We are in a position where we have to win the majority of the close bouts—that means maintaining a super focus and discipline,” Kocher said.

As the hosts of last year’s tournament, the Maroons finished in second place, beating the Spartans 40–9 while dropping their matchup against the Violets 24–15, losing by a margin of one loss and a forfeit. The forfeit came at the top of the lineup, followed up with one NYU victory and three straight Chicago victories. Of the remaining five matchups, NYU won the next four consecutively, while Tyburski closed the duals with a 3–2 decision in his weight class. Current third-years Joe Ellis and Devon Range were named to the All-Association Team.

This year, the Maroons have been training hard since their match against Augustana College.

“In my opinion, we have great practices leading up to the UAA tri-meet. That was true last year, and I feel it is true this year too. The enthusiasm in the room is higher leading up to UAA,” Tyburski said.

The Championships kick off for the Maroons at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday, where the Maroons will face the Spartans. Chicago will then face the Violets at either 12:45 p.m. or 2:30 p.m. ET, depending on how quickly the matches progress.