PROVIDENCE, R.I. – In the final showdown of a six-meet homestand, the Brown wrestling team awaits No. 21 Lehigh for an EIWA dual meet on Saturday at 2 p.m. before heading to Columbia for an Ivy League tussle on Sunday at 3 p.m.
Prior to Saturday's opening bout, the Bears will honor their seven seniors as they prepare to wrestling in their final collegiate meet at the Pizzitola Sports Center: captain Cortlandt Choate (Orwigsburg, Pa.), CJ Howard (Pittsford, N.Y.), Patrick Labuz (Drums, Pa.), Giuseppi Lanzi (Amsterdam, N.Y.), Philip Marano (Northampton, Pa.), Vincent Moita (Clayton, Calif.) and Brandon Vorrius (Monmouth, N.J.).
This weekend's duals will be broadcast live on BrownBears.TV. Fans can subscribe and view games by purchasing yearly, monthly, weekly or daily packages.
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LAST TIME OUT
Junior captain Ophir Bernstein (Allen, Texas) went unbeaten with a fall while fellow captain Ricky McDonald (Carson City, Nev.) and freshman Steven Galiardo (Chicago, Ill.) each won twice as Brown fell to Harvard (30-10) and Boston University (23-15) in dual meet action at the Pizzitola Sports Center last Saturday.
The Crimson jumped out to an early 14-0 lead and never trailed, while the Bears fought back from a 16-point deficit but ultimately succumbed to the Terriers despite winning three of the final four bouts.
BERNSTEIN RANKED NO. 11 AT 184
Bernstein ranks 11th in the country in the 184-pound weight class according to the latest Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine poll. Brown's winningest wrestler this season, Bernstein stands among the nation's elite in a handful of major polls, including InterMat (12th), Amateur Wrestling News (12th) and FloWrestling (13th).
Brown's top grappler at 27-7, Bernstein held tight to his poll positions with two wins last Saturday. The junior captain defeated Cameron Croy of Harvard in the opener, 8-1, then pinned Aaron Conrad of BU in 3:35 to improve to 11-1 in matches decided by fall.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Lehigh is ranked 21st in the nation in the latest USA Today/NWCA/AWN Coaches Poll with an 8-6 dual meet record and 4-2 mark in EIWA competition. The Mountain Hawks had won three of their last four outings before dropping a 31-6 decision to No. 3 Iowa on Feb. 14. Lehigh is led by sophomore Lake Gardner, who is ranked fourth in the 141-pound weight class RPI. Classmate Mason Beckman clocks in at No. 5 at 133.
The Lions of Columbia own a 6-6 dual meet record and are 3-5 in EIWA meets. Josh Houldsworth paces the Lions with a 19-10 mark at 165, while 174-pounder Shane Hughes is Columbia's highest-ranked grappler at No. 16 in the RPI poll. Columbia looks to snap a three-match losing streak after dropping dual meets to Ivy League rivals No. 4 Cornell (22-15), Princeton (18-16) and Penn (24-10).
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.
The Bears will compete at the NCAA-qualifying EIWA Championships, hosted by Penn on March 8-9.