Wrestling Heads to No. 6 Cornell, Sacred Heart This Weekend

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Brown wrestling seeks its first dual meet victory of the season when the Bears head to No. 6 Cornell on Saturday and Sacred Heart on Sunday. Both events are slated to begin at 2 p.m.

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BERNSTEIN RANKED NO. 9 AT 184

Junior captain Ophir Bernstein (Allen, Texas) ranks ninth in the country in the 184-pound weight class according to the latest Amateur Wrestling News poll. Bernstein also stands 10th and 13th in the most recent Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine and InterMat rankings, respectively, after going 2-0 with a pair of pins at last weekend's dual meet at Bucknell. Brown's winningest grappler this season, Bernstein is 23-7 overall and a spotless 5-0 in dual meet competition.

SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION

The undefeated Big Red of Cornell is ranked sixth in the country according to the latest InterMat team rankings. Winners of 59 consecutive Ivy League dual meets, the Big Red wrestlers look to improve upon their 5-0 overall mark this season, while the Bears aim to take down Cornell for the first time since Feb. 15, 1997.

The Big Red boasts no less than seven nationally-ranked wrestlers according to the InterMat polls, led by the country's top grappler at 125 in NCAA All-American Nahshon Garrett, who will likely square off against Brown senior Vincent Moita (Clayton, Calif.). Freshman Gabe Dean sits third at 184 according to InterMat and second in the AWN polls, and presents perhaps the biggest challenge to Bernstein in dual meet action so far this season.

Sacred Heart opens its EIWA slate this weekend after starting the year at 1-4. The Pioneers debuted in dual meet action with a 22-19 win over Davidson on Dec. 7, but have since dropped decisions to Virginia Military Institute (33-9), Franklin & Marshall (43-0), Shorter (30-10) and Shippensburg (27-21). Andrew Polidore (141), Alex Harnsberger (149) and Casey Mitchell (157) provided bright spots for Sacred Heart and each went 3-0 at Millersville last Saturday.

EIWA CHAMPIONSHIP TICKETS ON SALE

The 2014 EIWA Wrestling Championships will take place March 8-9 at The Palestra on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. The two-day qualifying tournament for the 2014 NCAA Championships in Oklahoma City will be the largest EIWA Championships ever held, with 18 programs looking to lock up berths to the national tournament.

Tickets for the tournament are now on sale via PennAthletics.com or by calling 215-898-6151.

LAST TIME OUT

Juniors Ricky McDonald (Carson City, Nev.) and Ophir Bernstein (Allen, Texas) went unbeaten in the 174- and 184-pound weight classes, respectively, as the Brown wrestling team fell to Bucknell (22-19) and Clarion (24-16) in dual meet action at Davis Gym on Saturday, Jan. 18.

"This was a tough day," said Head Coach Todd Beckerman. "It came down to the end on each match. We competed hard but we got beat in the technical areas today. The good part of the day is that those technical areas we can fix."

Against the Bison, McDonald defeated Joey Krulock, 4-1, and Bernstein followed with a pin of Rory Bonner in 1:39 to put the Bears up 19-10. The hosts unleashed some comeback magic, however, and used back-to-back falls at 197 and 285 to seal the come-from-behind victory.

Clarion built an early lead against Brown until McDonald snapped the skid with a 12-4 major decision over Ryan Darch. Bernstein then posted his second fall of the day in 4:12 and sophomore Augustus Marker (Castle Rock, Colo.) pinned Daniel Sutherland in 2:04 at 197, but Clarion held on to beat the Bears, 24-16.

UP NEXT

The Bears make their 2014 Pizzitola Sports Center debut when they host Penn, Princeton and Johnson & Wales on Feb. 8-9 for Alumni Weekend.