February 23, 2004

Grapplers Sweep Up at Duals

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Five wrestlers went undefeated this weekend and junior Joe Mazzurco returned to the lineup after a six-week medical hiatus to help the Red beat the Citadel, James Madison, and host Virginia at the Virginia Duals. Cornell, currently ranked 15th in the country, beat the Citadel, 33-6, and James Madison, 48-0, before wringing out the Cavaliers, 33-10, for the clean sweep.

Mazzurco, making his first start since breaking his jaw in a tournament over winter break, looked as though he had not missed a step. In his first bout, he dropped the Citadel’s Mike Martinez, 20-7, for a major. JMU’s Matt Yonkoski fared even worse, losing to Mazzurco, 24-8.

“I’m really happy to be back in the lineup. Being gone really makes you appreciate being on the team,” said Mazzurco. “I felt pretty good and I was pretty happy with how I wrestled, but my conditioning could be a be better. But, all-in-all, it was a successful day.”

Four other Red grapplers had similar feelings following their matches. Junior Travis Lee, senior Scott Roth, and freshman Jerry Rinaldi all finished the quad with perfect 3-0 records, while Mazzurco and senior Matt Greenberg each ended the day with deuces and doughnuts, 2-0.

In addition to capturing each weight class in its match against James Madison, the highlight of the tournament for the Red was back-to-back falls against the Citadel from Lee and freshman Ryan Bridge, who put their Bulldog opponents on their backs in the 133- and 141-pound bouts, respectively.

“The competition wasn’t really the greatest but we wrestled well. it seems like everybody’s peaking at the right time,” Mazzurco added.

Though the other three teams competing failed to give the Red much to sweat over, the matches were good for Cornell, which will enter the EIWA championships next weekend with an 11-6 overall record.

“It was really nice to get back out there and get some matches in,” concluded Mazzurco. “Especially before the conference tournament.”

Archived article by Everett Hullverson