In addition, Smith and Phipps made the second of four NCAA Coaches’ Panel Rankings, which, in conjunction with the rating percentage index, are used in the selection process to determine the qualifiers for the 2018 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.
In the RPI, Smith, a three-time NCAA qualifier at 141 pounds, was slotted ninth while Hollingshead was 25th at 165 pounds and Phipps was 27th at 184 pounds. Smith was tied for 12th with Nebraska's Chad Red in the NCAA Coaches’ Panel Rankings while Phipps checked in at 32nd.
Smith boasts a 22-3 overall record, with two victories over ranked opponents. On Feb. 4, he edged American's Jack Mutchnik by a 4-0 decision to become the 10th Bison to reach the 100-win plateau; with a 100-34 career record (.746), he stands 10th in school history in winning percentage.
This season, Smith is a perfect 14-0 in dual action and owns team-best totals in victories by major decision (7) and technical fall (3). Dating back to Jan. 14, 2017, he has won 24-straight bouts in dual competition; over the course of his winning streak, he racked up bonus points in 16 bouts, winning four by fall, four by technical fall and eight by major decision. The senior placed third at the prestigious Ken Kraft Midlands Championships and went 3-0 at the Virginia Duals. He strung together a six-bout winning streak to open the 2017-18 campaign and will ride a 12-bout winning streak into this Sunday's dual against Army West Point.
Phipps is 18-9 on the season and stands behind only Smith in overall wins and dual wins (9). He is also 6-1 in EIWA action with his only loss coming to then No. 13 Michael Coleman of Navy. Phipps's signature victory came on Jan. 20; with 21 seconds left in sudden victory overtime, the sophomore scored a takedown to stun then No. 16 C.J. LaFragola of Brown by a 6-4 decision.
Phipps is tied with Hollingshead for second among Bison in victories by major decision (5). He, Smith and Matthew Kolonia (141/149) are the only Bison who have won by fall, technical fall and major decision during the 2017-18 campaign. Phipps, who placed third at Nov. 18's Navy Classic and Dec. 29's Lock Haven Classic, has won seven of his past 10 bouts.
Hollingshead owns a 16-10 record and a 5-3 mark in EIWA duals. He won an individual title at Dec. 29's Lock Haven Classic, outscoring his opponents by a combined margin of 29-6, and has twice strung together four-bout winning streaks. The junior has won five of his past six bouts, including two by major decision.
In the first NCAA Coaches’ Panel Rankings, Smith was slotted 13th. Garrett Hoffman, who earned an at-large bid to compete at the 2017 national tournament, was also ranked 30th at 197 pounds; he was dropped from the second list after missing Bucknell's past seven duals due to injury.
Wrestlers in each weight class are measured by winning percentage, RPI and coaches' rankings to earn spots in their qualifying tournaments for the 2018 NCAA Championships, slated for March 15-17 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The coaches' rankings are compiled by a vote of coaches representing each qualifying tournament. For ranking purposes, coaches could only consider a wrestler that was designated as a starter at a respective weight class. To be eligible for the rankings, wrestlers must have participated in at least five matches against Division I opponents in the weight class and have wrestled within the last 30 days.