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Stephen West has a team-high 27 wins this season and could go for 30 this weekend against Brown, Harvard and No. 20 Hofstra.
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Mike McLaughlin

Wrestling To Host Brown, Harvard and No. 24 Hofstra and Honor Seniors This Weekend

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 02/16/2012
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NEW YORK – The Columbia wrestling team closes out its Ivy League and dual seasons this weekend with three big matches at University Gymnasium. On Saturday, the Lions host conference foes Brown and Harvard at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively. Columbia wraps its 2011-12 dual schedule on Sunday when it hosts No. 24 Hofstra.

All three matches will feature a live blog here at GoColumbiaLions.com. Click here for the link to Saturday’s two-match live blog. Click here for the link to Sunday’s live blog.

On Sunday, the Lions will also take a moment to honor the contributions of seniors Eren Civan, Kyle Gilchrist, Kevin Lester, Shane Strumwasser and Jonathan Weibel.

Columbia (6-4, 1-2 Ivy League, 2-3 EIWA) returns to University Gymnasium for the first time on over a month. The Lions took third place in the New York State Collegiate Wrestling Championship and have gone 3-2 in duals since their last home match against Army on Jan. 14. Last weekend, Columbia went 2-1 with wins at Princeton and Rider and a narrow 19-18 defeat at Penn.

Brown (9-10, 2-2 Ivy League) is coming off a 4-1 weekend with home wins over Boston University, Roger Williams and Harvard. The Bears only loss last week was a 35-3 drubbing against Lehigh.

Harvard (5-9, 1-3 Ivy League) has lost its last four matches, including a 40-6 setback against Lehigh its last time out. The Crimson’s last win was on Feb. 4 when it edged Penn at home, 23-19.

No. 24 Hofstra (11-3, 5-1 CAA) will face Rider tonight before facing Columbia this weekend. The Pride is coming off three-straight losses to ranked opponents Cornell, Pittsburgh and Binghamton.

Here are the projected lineups for this weekend:

Wt Columbia Brown Harvard No. 24 Hofstra
125 Robert Dyar Billy Watterson Max Mejia No. 14 Steve Bonnano
133 Kyle Gilchrist

TJ Popolizio

or Beau Martino

No. 12 Steven Keith or

Ryan Osleeb

Jamie Franco
141

Matt Bystol

or Ryan Ponte

Grant Overcashier

or Zack Tanenbaum

Shay Warren Luke Vaith
149 Steve Santos Ricky Bailey Patrick Hogan Justin Accordino
157 Jake O'Hara

Zack Kuczycki

or Max Lewin

No. 7 Walter Peppelman Tyler Banks
165

Eren Civan

or Adam Fondale

Jeff Lemmer Ian Roy No. 19 P.J. Gillespie
174 Stephen West

David Foxen

or Ricky McDonald

Bryan Panzano Jermaine John
184 Shane Hughes

Ophir Bernstein

or Brandon Vorrius

Cameron Croy Ben Clymer
197 Nick Mills

Sterling Hecox

or Marcos Aranda

James Fox Tim Murphy
285 Kevin Lester forfeit David Ng Paul Snyder

125: Robert Dyar (14-15) vs.
Brown’s Billy Watterson
Harvard’s Max Mejia (2-7)
Hofstra’s No. 14 Steve Bonanno (24-6)
Dyar has turned his season around since the last time he wrestled in University Gymnasium, going 7-4 in his 11 bouts since Jan. 14. Last Saturday, Watterson defeated Mejia by major decision, 14-3. Bonanno is on a hot streak with a 10-1 record over his last 11 bouts, a stretch that includes three technical falls and two major decisions.

133: Kyle Gilchrist (23-10) vs.
Brown’s TJ Popolizio or Beau Martino
Harvard’s No. 12 Steven Keith or Ryan Osleeb
Hofstra’s Jamie Franco (18-10)

Gilchrist is 6-2 since his last home bout and will have a chance to set a new personal best in wins (24 in 2009-10). The senior captain notched his first win over a ranked opponent this season last week when he beat then-No. 14 Bryan Ortenzio of Penn, 6-1. Gilchrist was 3-0 against wrestlers from Brown and Harvard last year, but has not faced any of his probable opponents for Saturday. When the Crimson and Bears went head-to-head last week, Keith defeated Popolizio, 12-7. Keith has gone 10-2 in dual bouts this season. Martino lost by major decision, 20-7, to Lehigh’s Mason Beckman his last time out. Franco has had mixed results his last six bouts, going 3-3. But a 6-5 tb2 victory over then-No. 19 Shelton Mack of Pitt on Feb. 10 was Franco’s signature win of the season.

141: Matt Bystol (18-14) or Ryan Ponte (9-6) vs.
Brown’s Grant Overcashier or Zack Tenenbaum
Harvard’s Shay Warren (3-9)
Hofstra’s Luke Vaith (18-8)

Bystol is looking to snap a four-bout losing streak and get back to the momentum that put him on pace for a 20-win season. Ponte hopes to bounce back from a pair of major decision losses last weekend at Penn and Rider. Last week, Overcashier beat Warren, 4-1, and Bailey lost to Lehigh’s Shane Welsh, 11-6. Vaith is on cold streak going 1-6 in his last seven bouts. Three of those losses were by pin and one was a medical forfeit.

149: Steve Santos (17-6) vs.
Brown’s Ricky Bailey
Harvard’s Patrick Hogan (2-16)
Hofstra’s Justin Accordino (20-10, 18-8 at 149)

Santos continues to be one of the Lion’s most impressive wrestlers. He is 9-1 over his last 10 bouts and on the season has two wins over ranked opponents. Santos went 2-1 last weekend with one major decision. Bailey defeated Hogan convincingly, 13-6, last week, but lost to Lehigh’s Shane Welsh, 11-6, later that day. A pair of losses to ranked opponents from Pitt and Binghamton ended Accordino’s nine-match hot streak last weekend.

157: Jake O’Hara (24-10) vs.
Brown’s Zack Kulczycki or Max Lewin
Harvard’s No. 7 Walter Peppelman (21-4)
Hofstra’s Tyler Banks (11-11)

O’Hara’s breakout season continued last week when he went 3-0 against Princeton, Penn and Rider with two major decisions. O’Hara is 8-1 in his last nine bouts. Neither Kulczycki or Lewin performed well last weekend. Kulczycki lost by major decision to Peppelman, 17-0, and Lewin lost by major decision to Lehigh’s Brian Tanen, 12-3. Peppelman owns a 13-1 dual record that includes seven pins, one technical fall and two major decisions. Banks is 0-3 over his last three bouts, though two of his losses were to ranked opponents from Cornell and Binghamton.

165: Eren Civan (6-9) or Adam Fondale (19-9)
Brown’s Jeff Lemmer
Harvard’s Ian Roy (3-11)
Hofstra’s No. 19 P.J. Gillespie (24-5, 23-5 at 165)

Civan looks to get back to his dominant ways and end a six-match losing streak in which injuries have plagued him. Fondale is quietly enjoying a fine season and may have a chance for a 20-victory year. Lemmer dropped two matches last weekend, including a 7-3 loss to Roy. All three of Roy’s wins this year have come against Ivy League opponents. Gillespie has been dominant over the past month, winning is last seven bouts, including a 2-0 win over then-No. 9 Scott Winston of Rutgers on Jan. 27.

174: Stephen West (27-10) vs.
Brown’s David Foxen or Ricky McDonald
Harvard’s Bryan Panzano (1-7)
Hofstra’s Jermaine John (7-14)

West, whose 27 wins leads the Lions, will have his shot at 30 wins this weekend. He has been nothing short of consistent, winning his last six and 11 of his last 13. Foxen went 1-1 last week with an 11-5 win over Harvard’s Josh Popple and a 3-1 sudden victory loss to Lehigh’s Nate Brown. Panzano’s lone win this season was in the Keystone Classic on Nov. 20. John has lost his last four, ending a brief hot stretch in January in which he went 4-1.

184: Shane Hughes (18-9, 10-5 at 184) vs.
Brown’s Ophir Bernstein or Brandon Vorrius
Harvard’s Cameron Croy (16-12)
Hofstra’s Ben Clymer (25-6)

Hughes continued to shine at 184 last week, going 3-0 against Princeton, Penn and Rider with a pair of pins. Hughes, whose eight pins ranks second on the team, will have his shot for a 20-win season this weekend. Bernstein defeated Croy, 9-3, last week before falling to Lehigh’s Robert Hamlin, 10-4. Croy and Berstein were evenly matched as they had faced twice before this season splitting those meetings, 1-1. Clymer should be a tough test for Hughes as he has won 10 of his past 11, a stretch that includes a 2-1 win over then-No. 3 Steve Bosak of Cornell, two technical falls and three major decisions.

197: Nick Mills (10-12, 2-4 at 197) vs.
Brown’s Sterling Hecox or Marcos Aranda
Harvard’s James Fox (18-10)
Hofstra’s Tim Murphy (10-19)

Both of Mills’ wins at 197 this year were pins, one of which was against Rider’s Donald McNeal last week. Hecox pinned Harvard’s Bryan Panzano in 1:48 his last time out while Aranda lost by major decision Lehigh’s Joe Kennedy, 16-5, in his last showing. Murphy has struggled mightily over the past month. Since Jan. 1, Murphy is 2-10 and has lost his last five bouts by fall or major decision.

285: Kevin Lester (25-9) vs.
Brown: forfeit
Harvard’s David Ng (9-15)
Hofstra’s Paul Snyder (16-11)

Lester won’t have a shot to tie his career high in victories (28, 2011-10), but he will look to get back on track after having mixed results so far in February. Since his 13-bout winning streak ended in January, Lester has gone 2-2. Ng has struggled as of late, going just 2-8 in his last 10 matches. Snyder has lost his last four and scored just six combined points in those bouts.

Following this weekend’s matches, Columbia will next set its sights on the EIWA Championships at Princeton March 3-4.

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