Coming off two impressive home wins against Cal State Bakersfield and Menlo College this past weekend, the Cardinal wrestling team will travel to Chattanooga, Tenn. this Sunday to take on the Central Michigan Chippewas, then do battle with the Mocs from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Both Central Michigan and Chattanooga (1-1) have had exceptional programs for at least the past decade. Under head coach Tom Borrelli, the Chippewas have won twelve Mid-American Conference (MAC) regular season titles and thirteen MAC Tournament championships. Meanwhile, the Mocs haven’t lost a Southern Conference dual since 2004 and haven’t lost a conference dual at home since 2003.
The Card has a recent history with both of these schools. Last season, Chattanooga came to the Farm, and Stanford was able to pull out a close victory. The Mocs will surely be looking for revenge.
The last time the Cardinal wrestled the Chippewas, the outcome was not so positive. Central Michigan destroyed Stanford, and while the Cardinal wrestlers would love to repay the favor, the task won’t be easy.
“This is going to be a real good test for us,” said Stanford head coach Jason Borrelli. “Both those teams are very well coached. Chattanooga always wrestles hard and will come out ready to wrestle, and CMU is a top-fifteen [team], year-in and year-out. These should be two good dual meets.”
Chattanooga is returning three wrestlers who have won the Southern Conference championship–senior Brandon Wright at 165 pounds, junior Josh Condon at 174 pounds and junior Robert Prigmore at 184 pounds. Those will be tough matches for redshirt freshman Matt Schneider (1-3), redshirt senior Nick Amuchastegui (5-0) and redshirt junior Spence Patrick (4-1).
Central Michigan’s team is full of new faces with twenty-four freshmen on the Chippewas’ roster. Despite its youth, the team cannot be taken lightly. Senior 133-pounder Scotti Sentes is a two time All-American, as is 184-pounder Ben Bennett. Meanwhile, true freshman Nick Hodgkins came into this season as the nation’s top-ranked recruit at 149 pounds and won the Michigan State Open earlier this season. Sentes should give junior Ryan Mango (5-0), No. 6 in the nation, his first true test of the season. And Hodgkins and Bennett will be tough matchups for redshirt juniors Timmy Boone and Spence Patrick.
An interesting twist to this weekend’s matchup is that Stanford’s Jason Borrelli will be coaching not only against his alma mater Central Michigan, but also his father Tom, a legend for what he has done for the school’s wrestling program. After losing to his dad a couple of years ago in Saginaw, Borrelli is definitely fired up for this matchup.
“It’s an interesting dynamic. When the match isn’t going on, we’re father and son,” Borrelli said with a grin on his face. “But once we start, I’m competitive.”
The Cardinal will head to Chattanooga on Sunday, Nov. 20 to face Central Michigan at 9 a.m. and Chattanooga at 11 a.m.