February 6, 2004

Grapplers Host Columbia

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The wrestling team (5-6, 2-0 ivy league) will look for its third win in Ivy League play as it hosts rival Columbia (2-5, 1-1 ivy league) tomorrow at 1pm at the Friedman Wrestling Center. The Red is coming off two huge wins last week, when it defeated Penn, 17-15, and Princeton, 34-5, on the road. The victories, especially the one over Penn, give the Red the inside track to defending its Ivy crown of a year ago. Since 1986 either Cornell or Penn has won the Ivy title with the exception in 2000-2001 where it was shared three ways between Cornell, Penn and Harvard.

Columbia faced the same twoIivy teams last weekend, with a 26-14 victory over the Tigers and a 32-9 loss against the Quakers. Columbia’s only other victory this season came against UC-Davis.

“We should match up against Columbia really well,” said junior captain Tyler Baier, “we could go in and shut them out, winning every match. Our team is getting to a different level all up and down the line-up. They are not.”

Senior Scott Roth added, “Columbia has a couple of good guys, but we are on a different level. We have lost close matches to top teams in the country. We don’t really have any weaknesses right now.”

The 125 pound weight class features two wrestlers who are evenly matched. Cornell’s Mike Mormile, ranked third in EiWA standings while Columbia’s Jeff Sato is ranked fourth in the same poll. Mormile who has been ranked in the top 20 nationally this season, spilt his matches last weekend with his loss coming against Penn’s Matt Valenti, who has been ranked as high as eighth in the nation. Sato also spilt his matches last weekend but did not have to face Valenti.

The Red holds a distinct advantage in the 133 pound weight class. All-American Travis Lee, the team’s best grappler, is currently Ranked No. 1 in the nation in every major poll. Lee came up big last weekend with a major decision against Penn’s Matt Eveleth. He will likely face Steve Sutton, who upset Princeton’s Brian Kirschbaum by pinning him last weekend. Sutton, however, was pinned by Eveleth.

Freshman Keith Dickey will continue to wrestle hard for the Red in the 141-pound weight class. He will likely face Anthony Constantino of the Lions. Both wrestlers split their matches last weekend, though they faced different opponents on Penn’s squad.

In the 149 pound weight class Cornell is at its strongest with Dustin Manotti ranked as high as fifth in the nation in certain polls. Last week Manotti, like Lee, earned a major decision against Penn that helped to secure Cornell’s victory. He also secured a 17-1 victory over Matthew Piselli of Princeton. Against Columbia, he will likely face Erik Norgaard, one of the few wrestlers for he lions to get two victories last weekend.

The 157-pound weight class might provide another close match with Cornell’s Scott Roth facing off against Columbia’s Devin Mesanko. Roth who is ranked third in the EIWA poll, had a strong weekend for the squad with victories in both his matches. Mesanko, ranked sixth in the EIWA poll, also had two tallies against the same wrestlers.

With junior Joe Mazzurco still recovering from a broken jaw, freshman Dan Miracola will continue to start in the 165-pound weight class after going 1-1 last week. The Lions’ Golden Baker dropped both of his matches while facing the same wrestlers.

Junior Tyler Baier will look to get back on track against the lions after being upset by Greg Hallahan of Penn. He will be matching up against either Columbia’s Sam Kuntz or Sven Hafemeister in the 174-pound weight class.

Last weekend Jerry Rindali won his 184-pound match 2-1 on riding time, giving Cornell the 17-15 victory over Penn. This weekend Rindali will look to continue his success when he faces freshman Justin Barent.

In the 197 pound weight class senior Matt Greenberg, ranked eighth nationally, will face off against freshman John Grando of Columbia.

In the heavy weight division, Junior Matt Bogumil will look to rebound after two tough losses last weekend. He will be facing Bart Seeman.

The Red will be donating five dollars to Hospicare for every person in attendance. This is the fourth year the wrestling team has donated to the ithaca Hospicare. The team has raised over $8,000 dollars for the Hospicare cause over the past three years. Admission to the match for Cornell students is free.

Archived article by Chris Callanan