Friday, January 7, 2022

Lehigh Vs Cornell (1-8-22)


Ironically enough, despite both being in the EIWA, there isn't a match on tomorrow night's card that has been wrestling yet.  All wrestlers will be meeting one another for the first time in their collegiate careers. While Cornell looks to holdfast to their #1 ranking within the EIWA conference, Lehigh looks to show the Big Red that they can be contended with. 

125 - Vitali Arujau Vs Jaret Lane 

Before Iowa's Spencer Lee announced his season ending injuries, many wrestling fans, especially those on the east coast were calling Arujau Lee's greatest threat. Now that Lee is out, Arujau is battling it out with Princeton's Patrick Glory as to who deserves that #1 ranking. With that said, Lehigh's Jaret Lane is no pushover. An EIWA champion in his own right, he has continued to prove himself a top 12 wrestler.  With this being the most important in-conference dual for both teams, Arujau will want to widen the gap with a major and Lane will want to prove that he can keep it close with one of the best wrestlers in the nation. 

133 - Dominic LaJoie Vs Malyke Hines 

This match is rather interesting. On paper we have a wrestler who went 16-21 his last varsity season Vs a wrestler who won an EIWA title last season. This highly favors Hines in this matchup. However, both have a similar record this season.  LaJoie is 7-7 with some notable wins against some ugly losses & Hines is 4-3, with some notable wins against some ugly losses. Lehigh takes the advantage in this matchup of lightweights, but this isn't out of reach for Cornell.  

141 - Cole Handlovic Vs Connor McGonagle 

With Handlovic at 5-6 on the season and McGonagle at 2-3, it's a safe bet to stay neither one of these guys are going to make a lot of noise at the EIWA tournament. This is what makes dual meets fun.  Guys that aren't going to be superstars in the post-season, having an opportunity to be heroes in important in-season rivalries. I would say this one might come down to a matter of timing.  Handlovic has dropped the last four matches in a row and that might bode well for McGonagle.  This matchup is at Lehigh, and that will bode well for McGonagle as well.

149 - Yianni Diakomihalis Vs Manzona Bryant 

I tell you what, there have been times this season where Manzona Bryant has looked extremely sharp. A 7-5 victory over Iowa's Max Murin & a 6-5 decision over Penn State's Beau Bartlett stick out in particularly.  Yet, now he's like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles back in 1990.  He's fought well, but now he faces the Shredder.  The experience of two time NCAA champion will show in this match up of Middleweights. 

157 - Colton Yapoujian Vs Josh Humphreys 

I would like to see Hunter Richard against Josh Humphreys, but I'm almost positive that Cornell will start Yapoujian. Despite the fact that Humphreys is a two time EIWA champion, with some impressive wins this season as well as in others, I still think Yapoujian will give him a decent match. Lehigh could use a major, but they aren't going to get it. 

165 - Julian Ramirez Vs Brian Meyer 

This is the most intriguing match of the night. Ramirez knocked off NCAA champion Shane Griffith of Stanford in a huge upset & Meyer scored a huge upset of his own by knocking off NCAA runner-up Jake Wentzel of Pittsburgh.  Two upset experts go head to head, what will happen?  

174 - Chris Foca Vs Jake Logan 

On paper this one heavily favors Cornell as Foca is currently listed as a top 10 wrestler Vs Logan who isn't even ranked at the moment.  However, Logan has proven that he can keep it close with quality wrestlers. He wrestled well against both Iowa's Nelson Brands and Missouri's Peyton Mocco.  I see no reason why he shouldn't be able to keep it close with Foca. No reason at all.  

184 - Jonathan Loew Vs AJ Burkhart 

This is where Cornell can gain a huge advantage over Lehigh.  As well as Loew's been wrestling this season, with a 3rd place finish at CKLV & a runner-up showing at Southern Scuffle, he should be able to pull out a major decision or better for the Big Red here. 

197 - Jacob Cardenas Vs J.T. Davis 

With Ben Darmstadt still out, Jacob Cardenas has done a pretty decent job of filling in the varsity position. He isn't going to put up the points or have the high finishes that Darmstadt did, but he'll be reliable win needed. In a dual like this every win counts, and he shouldn't have any problem taking care of Davis. 

HWT - Lewis Fernandes Vs Jordan Wood 

And now finally an opportunity for Lehigh to show its dominance. Jordan Wood, a four time EIWA champion, who looks to become the first (and probably only) five time EIWA champion.  A major? Not sure if he'll score 8 or > against Fernandes, but he'll win without the match ever being in question. 

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