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Buffalo Bulls Olympic Sports Spotlight: Weekend Banter Edition

Matt Gritzmacher

Enough sports are in action now that John and I will be reviving our Sunday night Olympic Spotlight, in order to wrap up the weekend in sports not enough of you pay attention to. (Love you anyway!)

Unfortunately, for reasons I'd rather not get into, we can't do a video show right now. What we can do though, is chat about Olympic sports all weekend and bring that to you here. Instead of a video created entirely after the fact, we've got a real time look at how we felt about UB over the weekend.

It is long, but you'll live. If you want short and just information, catch the recaps from each team posted earlier. If you want some personality like we had on the videos, here you go.


John McWhinnie:

So I looked ahead to wrestling's next meet against Old Dominion and its gonna be another tough one. The coaches' panel did their first rankings and OD has 8 guys ranked including the #3 wrestler at 184.

We didn't have anyone ranked, which I didn't expect with Soria's string of losses lately. It looks like Danny Graham is starting at 157 instead of Alex Smythe. Graham is 6-6 on the year in the tournaments and hasn't wrestled in any duals yet. I'm fully expecting that Tommy Forte will come in and start at 157 next year though.

Then there's Ohio on Sunday. They had similar results against Kent and CMU to us, but they were close to beating Missouri which is ranked #2 or 3 in the nation right now and the only team to score more points on Missouri was Ohio State. So that one won't be a cakewalk either.

Also did a little reading on recruit Nate Rose from NYC and apparently he started wrestling in 8th grade, that was his first year ever wrestling. Then the next year he goes to the state tournament, and the same the year after, and his junior year he won a state title. He could be really good for us if he keeps developing the way he is.

Matt Gritzmacher:

Good to know. I just want us to pull off an "everyone wrestles good on the same day" win. Combine Columbia with CMU and we've got a win against either

JM: Best case scenarios for that happening are our last 3 duals against Bingo (who we should've beat last year), NIU and EMU, both of which are the other weakest teams in the MAC.

MG: That would be a nice narrative. Without postseason play we end on a run

JM: Yeah, lots of positive momentum heading into next season. This year was really a trial by fire.

MG: I didn't realize Forte would be at 157. That's good.

Hollister I don't know much about but he seems the #2 at 125

We could frequently have 4 decisions before half.

Then Rrok?

Not the strongest but it's a bunch of guys getting time now

Not sure where the other recruits would slot in if at all as freshmen

JM: Kyle Akins at 125 will be the likely starter. Won multiple Illinois state titles and was ranked in the top 10 in the country in his weight.

Rrok will probably stay at 165. The kid from NYC is 197, not sure about the others off the top of my head.

I do think Jake Gunning challenges for time at 285 next season, Silvis is meh and I haven't watched Ian James but Gunning is from a PA and has 22 wins as a redshirt this year and won a title at the NYS championships.

If Lock is healthy then he's starting at 184, he's really good and we're missing him this year because he's been hurt.

MG: I forgot about Gunning. Didn't know about Akins other than seeing him on the roster and picking Hollister. Maybe it's a heavyweight thing, but I do not enjoy watching Silvis wrestle. Forgot Lock had been hurt

JM: If you watched the top ranked heavyweights they are pretty fun, Silvis is just kinda short and not a top ranked heavyweight. Like if you see some of the heavyweights that are like 265-280 pounds of pure muscle they're scary, Silvis ... isn't going to match that lol

MG: I do find myself wishing more wrestling was on ESPN3. It's a nicely paced sport to watch, and I need to see more to learn more.

Looking at other sports, Women's Tennis starting the season Sunday at Bona; Men's Tennis two more matches this weekend, Yale and Colgate with maybe some singles against Monmouth (1 lopsided loss, 1 decent win last week); Swimming and Diving at EMU should be a big test - coming off men win women loss at Miami; Track and Field is in Ithaca - we probably don't have much to say until results come in there


On wrestling, Are we deep enough into the MAC schedule to learn anything from other matchups? You pointed out Ohio there vs KSU and CMU, and we know the very top. Are there clear tiers right now you think?

JM: Yeah I think there's some definite tiers in the MAC.
-Missouri is in a tier of their own, they're one of the best in the nation from top to bottom.
-Then there's UNI, Old Dominion, Kent, CMU and Ohio. Kent, CMU and Ohio are pretty close But all of these teams are solid.
-Finally, there's NIU, EMU and Buffalo.

The difference between UB and every other team is that 90% of our lineup are underclassmen.

MG: That makes me feel a little better. We looked good against CMU. I know in the men's soccer world UB doesn't have the "young improving team" category to themselves, but Kent specifically we generally hung with despite all their older guys on the mat.

JM: And one of our best has been out of the lineup for a majority of the season as well.

And for recruiting wrestling is one of the most attractive sports that UB offers. The MAC is the 2nd best conference in the nation behind the B1G, and you face the best of the best all season long.

MG: Who's that one of the best? Cotten?

Speak of the devil with this Herringshaw. He looks awesome. Hopefully he signs in the fall period next year so we lock him up.

I'm working on women's tennis preview right now and I don't know what to think for this year. Four seniors gone but the newcomers have serious international cred and looked good in the fall. I guess we'll see how this weekend goes.

JM: I was referring to Lock, but now that you mention it, Cotten too.

Yeah, Herringshaw has already been to the state tourney 3 times. Placed 6th as an 8th grader, didn't place as a freshman and then wins a title as a sophomore. Stutzman and Hasseman are doing a great job on the recruiting trail.

I'm really hoping both Tennis programs do well this season. The Women's program was fairly successful under Kathy Twist before she was promoted, no? Admittedly, I don't know too much about the programs, but with a lot of international talent on the rosters it seems like they are built for success.


MG: I would argue that Kathy Twist was the most successful UB coach of the 2000's, to be honest. Won a MAC title and her run from 2005-2009 was as good as any at the school.

I don't know if all of NCAA tennis is international or what, but yea. The men are loaded to win right now, and I'll be sad - though not mutinous - with anything less than another MAC final appearance. The women seem talented, but young. Four seniors gone, but the newbies were the best of the fall. 28-11 over the last two years is good for the third-best two-year stretch ever (after 2005-2007 and 2006-2008), so hopefully the base talent level is raised.

Men's Tennis I think lost today, not sure yet. They were at 3-3 with the last match going and of course it was the new guy Amar Hromic. I'm pretty sure he went down but the Yale livestream didn't have any scoreboard widgets or anything. Still after the go against Dartmouth, glad to see them go toe to toe with an Ivy.

Swimming and Diving had a tough day. I don't know the exact team scores, but the men only won 4 events, the women 6 (of 16). Usual suspects won for us, which we can detail for the post or we can build some more banter around. Kind of a bummer, since EMU is at the class of the MAC, I was hoping for a strong showing to give us an idea of how we stack up.

JM: As far as olympic stuff goes, I think that we could potentially have 2 All-Americans in throwing. I'm not too well versed in who's the best in the running events.

The tennis losses are kinda rough, but we've got some new people in and I'm willing to give it some time to let everyone get adjusted. The teams should be just fine, even if Ivy League snobs think we're the Buffalo buffalos.

MG: Yea I mean. Jon Jones is going to be an All-American, barring injury. Devon Patterson is already capable of putting up Evan Palmer's numbers from last year. It could happen. Indoors we have the weight throw, too.

Good point on the newcomers. I'm eager to see the writeup to see where in the lineup we got our 3 points. I think Yale got the doubles point, and Hromic was in the 4 slot. I'd feel better if 2 of the top 3 got wins than 2 of the bottom three (would be 5 and 6)

It is nice that Tennis is mostly invdividual so Hromic can step in into the lines at least. Of course if you're comfortable off the court you'll be more comfortable on it.

Back to TF, I notice that Camaria Long and Darien Johnson are killing it in the short sprints. We have little depth, but we might have top-end MAC talent in those two

JM: And we shouldn't forget that the diamond sports will be starting soon as well. I'm particularly excited for Softball, Trena Peel did an outstanding job last year, but having to endure the loss of Tori Speckman is huge.

For wrestling, I'm even more excited about Sean Peacock than I was before. He is proof that you don't ned to get guys from big schools to get quality wrestlers. Mark my words, this kid will be an NCAA qualifier.

MG: Without knowing about wrestling too much, I just love Peacock's demeanor. Hard to explain when it's not happening right in front of you, and I know you've told me there's less of a HS-to-college learning curve in wrestling, but he just doesn't look like a freshman.

Diamond sports.... we thankfully have a touch of time before they start, though I should have their season previews up during this week.

This year will be a big one for the softball program. Trena Peel is AWESOME, and I saw her at a few different games while I was still in Buffalo. But in addition to Speckman, Holly Luciano, Tori Pettine, and Sammi Gallardo are gone too. After last year, they're all over the record books.

It's actually not too different from the coming Women's Soccer turnover. Lots of talented underclassmen with NCAA experience now, and you hope the base level of the program has been raised, but we'll see. Look for Alexis Curtiss and Karly Nevez to lead things offensively this season.

JM: I totally get what you're saying about the way he wrestles even Stutzman said it after the match:

""Sean Peacock wrestled hard, the Buffalo way, as he earned a huge fall."

He wrestles the way you should wrestle: whistle to whistle, with a ton of energy, and with no fear. If we get a team full of guys like him then this program is really going places. Also, even though he lost, Colt Cotten ended regulation tied 4-4 to the #9 ranked wrestler in the nation and only lost because of the riding time point, he and Peacock are going to be the building blocks for the next 3 years..

It sucks that Tony Lock basically has a lost year because he's been hurt, last year he was the bright spot on the team for sure.

MG: Fortunately none of the injuries really concern me as they do in WBB. everyone save Soria and Wally is coming back and it's not like we're built to win this year and being Lock-less is killing us at ... 184?.

JM: Yes, 184, though I should say that Brett Perry has done an admirable job. He took the #3 wrestler the full distance last night which is very impressive. I didn't catch much of the WBB game today, but yeah, no Loesing is going to hurt if she's out an extended amount of time.

And how about Stephanie Reid? I caught her block, and it was pure awesome. She's gonna be great.

MG: I'm watching WBB on the replay now. Seriously jazzed for the second half. But I've got to watch 11 points in the first half, first.

JM: Glad I missed that lol. But, we're seriously going to miss Sharkey next year...

MG: Yea, this is the year for WBB and so much bad is happening. Oh well.

JM: Anywho, back to Olympic stuff:

Women's Tennis plays Bona tomorrow, how does UB stack up against the rest of the Big 4?

MG: Well the rest of the Big 4 is just Niagara and Bona because Canisius despite being the preppy whitebread school of the four does not have tennis*. Also we generally have a stronger rowing program than them (though this year it depends on the boat), and rowing is the third most whitebread-iest sport**

Just looking at old massey ratings, UB was at 130 end of last year, Bona 268, NU not even listed strangely. But the entire MAAC was awful and NU fell in the conference semifinals last year, picked to finish 3rd in the MAAC this year.

Bonaventure's top returners are a pair of seniors who were second-team all A 10 last year. Classic young talent vs experience matchup for whoever's our 1-2 (kotok (SO) and stojanovska (FR) I'd imagine). Can't find right now a preseason poll for A-10 women's tennis.

*Please note that I am the preppiest whitebread guy of the Bull Run staff. *But*, I am a lefty bleeding heart save the world whitebread, not an upturned nose libertarian Clive Bundy whitebread. It's not a big difference, but I'm going to draw that line.

** 1. squash and 2. fencing

JM: Yeah, I'm one of the good ol' boys from the sticks lol. Tennis was one of those sports that I never really payed much attention to. It was all football, and wrestling for me.

MG: I was a runner lol. Cheap and I didn't have to get along with anyone. Also in Cross Country no one can take advantage of your inability to see a curve out of the pitcher's hand

News just came in from TF that Devon Patterson took 2nd in the shot with a throw of 57'2". PR and would have been 5th at the 2014 MAC champs. He's a freshman. F yea.

Also Cornell has a banked track. I was never good enough to compete at a meet with a banked track, but if I was I think I would have enjoyed track more.

JM: I ran track for a couple years. Pole Vault was my best event, I regret not sticking with it for all of high school because I was really good at it. Oh well lol

And I ran distance because I could never sprint to save my life

MG: You couldn't pay me to do pole vault. I wasn't a sprinter at all for years. Then during junior year I grew 8 inches and after it became apparent I wasn't going to crack a 5 minute mile senior year I asked to switch to 400s, where I had put up good times with my new size when forced into a JV relay or DMR. Coach said no and I was bored of running in circles, so I spent a few months on the rugby team to end high school.

Back on topic, we just got a little more news on the other Saturday goings-on. Men's tennis indeed lost 4-3 (3-3 in singles) Tough breaks, and Coach Nails identified the doubles point as critical, but the wins came from Alvarez, Ionescu, and Arevalillo at #2, 3, and 5. Hromic was the only guy to go 3 and fell 6-3 in the critical set, which is really only the difference of one break if his opponent got first serve. I'm eager to see them tomorrow against Colgate and a bit of Monmouth, Just like last weekend, the easier opponent comes second.

JM: So by all accounts Hromic was solid? I'll be honest the only tennis i know is from playing Wii Sports so most of it just went over my head lol.

Tim Riordan, unknowingly joining our banter post: Email titled "Horrible weekend": Men BB lose, hockey loses, tennis loses, wrestling loses, and now Swimming gets swept at EMU...

No place to go but up?


MG: Alright with a night's sleep... Saturday still sucked. Not in our normal discussion but if you get half an hour and Espn3 access watch the second half of the WBB game on replay to cheer you up

I do have some good numbers from Track and Field, if not full results. Second weekend of the season and two school records went down: Camaria Long in the 60m dash and Mike Morgan in the heptathlon. That dude is a beast. Holds the MAC record, 200 points above anyone else in the history of the conference, and currently has the third highest pentathlon score nationally. He's only a junior and - seriously - could bring a national championship home before he leaves.

Devon Patterson, new PR in the shot, would have been good for 5th at last year's MACs ho hum. He's a freshman.

Two meets next weekend for a split Bulls squad... a Midwest Invitational at the SPIRE Institute in Ohio and the PSU National Meet at... PSU.

As today goes on we've got two tennis matches and wrestling to close out the weekend

JM: But, UB lost 24-13 to Ohio today. Max Soria won 10-3. Sean Peacock won 16-2, and Colt Cotten won by pinfall in the 1st period. A solid day. I'll work on a recap and have up later tonight.

MG: So a 13 0 lead. Then either 6 majors or 2 pins and 4 decisions?

How do you get 16 with only 2? Back points?

JM: Well the match started at 149, so it was 24-0 heading into the final 3 matches. Sean probably get a lot of back points thats why the score was ran up the way it was. Ohio had a combination of major decisions and regular decisions. Wally Maziarz almost beat the #8 or 9 guy in the nation at 174.

Ohio had a bunch of ranked guys from 149 - 197 I think, so those were tough matches. Ohio is always a tough out, they've been the MAC power along with CMU forever. Well, at least until Missouri joined the MAC.

Speaking of which, our next match is at home against Missouri, who are currently 16-0 on the season and ranked in the top 3 in the nation.

MG: Yes. So that will be fun.

Looking at tennis racketeers...

Men won 7 0 so theres not much to say but hell yes. Women won 6 1 so thats snazzy too. Easy in those lopsided wins just to say good job, no analysis necessary.

If you've got something more to say lets have it but I think we're good for this week.

And I never heard from John again, but both Tennis teams did have a strong Sunday. Catch the recap, published earlier this evening, for that.

We'll close you out with This Week in Bull:


Track and Field: @ SPIRE Midwest Invitational, Geneva, OH, @ Penn State National Meet, All Day
Men's Tennis: @ Army, TBA
Women's Tennis: vs New Mexico State (@ UTEP), TBA
Swimming and Diving: vs St. Bonaventure, 5:00 PM


Track and Field: @ SPIRE Midwest Invitational, Geneva, OH, @ Penn State National Meet, All Day
Swimming and Diving: vs Bowling Green, 1:00 PM
Men's Tennis: vs Central Florida (@ Army), TBA
Women's Tennis: vs Texas State (@ UTEP), TBA


Men's Tennis: vs Boston College (@ Army), TBA
Women's Tennis: @ UTEP, TBA