January 20, 2006

Wrestlers to Host Lehigh

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After an injury-plagued winter break, the No. 14 wrestling team will return with a healthy squad to Ithaca this Sunday, taking on perennial rival No. 12 Lehigh at Newman Arena at 1 p.m.

“It’s been a while since we beat Lehigh,” said head coach Rob Koll. “If we can finally put our full team out there, we’ll be okay.”

All of the Red’s winter break matches were contested on the road – including three matches at the National Duals in Iowa this past Sunday. Cornell (2-4) beat Northern Iowa at the Duals, but lost to No. 4 Michigan and No. 8 Oklahoma. Cornell defeated Lock Haven on Jan. 8, but the Red lost dual meets against No. 10 Penn State and another contest against Michigan early in January at the New York Athletic Club.

The Red was without senior co-captains Dustin Manotti and Joe Mazzurco for much of the trip, as Manotti was injured against Lock Haven, and Mazzurco missed the first three dual meets of the break. However, both wrestlers will be back in action for Cornell on Sunday.

Sunday’s match is also the feature of the team’s annual charity weekend. Three dollars will be donated to Hospicare of Ithaca, a local hospice, for every person in attendance, and admission remains free to students.

In addition to the return of two of the Red’s key wrestlers, Koll also noted the importance of returning to Ithaca after a month of road matches.

“We’re finally home – all we did was travel,” Koll said. “[Being home] is an enormous competitive advantage