LANCASTER, Pa. – Two top Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) opponents line Franklin & Marshall's slate of contests this week and signify the beginning of the Diplomats' second-half dual schedule when F&M travels to Drexel on Thursday and Princeton on Saturday.
The Week Ahead
Thursday, Jan. 11 – at Drexel – 7:00 PM
Saturday, Jan. 13 – at Princeton – 5:00 PM
Scouting Drexel: The Dragons, who received votes in the latest USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll, enter Thursday with a 4-2, 0-2 EIWA dual record and are coming off a narrow 20-20 loss by criteria against No. 5 Lehigh on Dec. 10. Drexel also takes on DIII Keystone at the Daskalakis Athletic Center on Thursday, immediately before facing a Diplomats' (1-5, 0-2 EIWA) squad that trails the all-time series at 16-2, dating back to 1979.
Drexel features a deep and potent lineup that is headlined by 133-pounder Austin DeSanto who heads into the week ranked No. 5 by Intermat Wrestling. Felix Bulga (157 pounds) and Alex DeCiantis (184) are fresh off of second- and third-place finishes, respectively, at last weekend's David H. Lehman F&M Open.
Scouting Princeton: The Tigers head into Saturday seeking their first dual win of the season as Princeton has recorded a 0-5 record on the year. However, the winless mark is misleading for a dual lineup that features five grapplers that have been ranked in the top-20 of their weight class during the year. Each of the Tigers five dual opponents on the season place in the top-25 of the nation, including a 39-0 loss to No. 1 Ohio State on Dec. 15. The road doesn't get any easier as Princeton takes on No. 21 Rider immediately before its contest with F&M on Saturday.
Mike Kolodzik (149 pounds) is ranked at No. 7 by The Open Mat (TOM), while Mike D'Angelo (157) sits at No. 12, and Jonathan Schleifer (165) places at No. 15.
Lehman F&M Open Recap: Antonio Pelusi secured the highest-ever finish for a Diplomat wrestler at the David H. Lehman F&M Open with a second-place showing at 285 pounds to lead a group of Diplomat competitors on Saturday afternoon in Lancaster.
Competing unattached, Paddy Quinlan (141 pounds) also found success for F&M by taking third – good for his career-best performance at the tournament and the fourth straight year he placed in the top five.
Circle Your Calendars: The Diplomats first home dual of the season is set for Saturday, Jan. 20 when F&M hosts a pair of EIWA opponents in the Mayser Center, taking on Brown at 12:00 p.m. and Harvard at 2:00 p.m.
Wins Leaders: Antonio Pelusi, a 2016 NCAA Qualifier at 285 pounds, paces the Diplomats with a 14-5 record, including a 4-1 mark in duals. Following a 4-0 December, Pelusi went 4-1 at last weekend's home Lehman F&M Open Tournament to continue his strongest stretch of the year.
Anthony Mancini holds a 15-8 record this season, competing unattached at 184 pounds.