Wrestling Opens Home Slate with Franklin & Marshall, Bucknell

Harvard opened its dual slate at Pitt a week ago (Robert Preston). 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Unrolling the mats at the Malkin Athletic Center for the first time this season, Harvard wrestling is set to face EIWA foes Franklin & Marshall and Bucknell on Saturday, Jan. 21 at noon and 2 p.m., respectively. The full action for both contests will be broadcast on the Ivy League Digital Network.

Last Time Out
Competing in dual action for the first time this season, Harvard wrestling went 0-3 against No. 8 North Carolina State, Binghamton and West Virginia at the Pitt Duals on Saturday, Jan. 14. The Crimson combined to win 10 bouts through the three matchups.

Freshman A.J. Jaffe led the Crimson with a 3-0 record at 141 pounds, winning one bout by major decision and two by decision. He opened the action against the Wolfpack with an 8-0 shutout over Robbie Rizzolino, and closed with triumphs on the mat against Joe Caruana (Binghamton) and Joe Wheeling (West Virginia).

Full Release: Jaffe Goes Undefeated to Lead Wrestling at Pitt Duals 

Scouting Harvard
Harvard has combined for 107 wins with 16 pins over five tournaments and three duals, led by a 20-6 mark from Josef Johnson and double-digit wins from freshmen Hunter Ladnier and A.J. Jaffe and seniors Nicholas Gajdzik and Jeffrey Ott. Johnson placed in every tournament he has appeared in, including top-three performances at the Jonathan Kaloust Open, Keystone Classic and Franklin & Marshall Open.

Scouting Franklin & Marshall
The Diplomats opened its dual slate at 2-3 overall, including a 0-2 mark against EIWA opponents. Victorious over VMI and Davidson, Franklin & Marshall is led by 17-win totals by Anthony Mancini (184) and Paddy Quinlan (141).

Scouting Bucknell
Bucknell is 3-4 in dual contests with a 1-1 mark in the EIWA. Picking up wins over Franklin & Marshall, Campbell and Chattanooga, the Bison are led by a 17-4 mark from Tom Sleigh (197) and a 16-6 record by Tyler Smith (141).

Inside the Series
Harvard has won seven straight outings against Franklin & Marshall, including a 32-18 victory a year ago. The all-time series is tied, 13-13.

The all-time series with Bucknell tilts in the Crimson's favor, 3-1-1. Harvard picked up a 26-21 victory last season in Lewisburg.

Probable Lineups




125 Matthew Rodriguez, Connor Sakmar
133 Jeffrey Ott, Samuel Goldman
141 A.J. Jaffe, Ryan Friedman
149 Hunter Ladnier, Aaron Kruk
157 Zeth Dean, Colby Knight
165 Kyle Bierdumpfel, Peter Bearse
174 Josef Johnson, Rico Stormer
184 Kanon Dean
197 Logan Kirby, L.J. Barlow
285 Nicholas Gajdzik, Angus Cowell

125 Edgar Garcia
133 Dan Martoccio
141 Paddy Quinlan
149 Nick Maher, Sam Butler
157 Emmett LiCastri, Mike Berkowitz
165 Robbie King
174 Jimmy Stillerman, Reid Robilotto
184 Anthony Mancini
197 Jack Argast
285 Corey Kerkesner

125 Jordan Gessner
133 Joey Gould, Ben Bliss
141 Tyler Smith
149 Seth Hogue
157 Victor Lopez
165 Logan Kerin, D.J. Hollingshead
174 Chad Reese
184 Garrett Hoffman, Drew Phipps
197 Tom Sleigh
285 Tyler Greene

Ivy League Digital Network
The Ivy League Digital Network returns for a fourth season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Digital Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.

Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. The ILDN is also available on Apple TV and Roku. To learn more about the Ivy League Digital Network or to sign-up today, click here.

Success at 174
Johnson has posted a 20-6 record in 2016-17 to lead the team. An NCAA qualifier a year ago, Johnson rattled off six wins in a row to close the Keystone Classic and start the Midlands Championships, and five-straight at the Franklin & Marshall Open. The Piscataway, New Jersey native podiumed in each of his four tournaments, and is 53-36 in his career.

Oh Captain, My Captain
Harvard wrestling will be led by a trio of captains this season: seniors Nicholas Gajdzik and Jeffrey Ott and junior Josef Johnson. All three are in their first season in the leadership role.

In the Classroom
Excelling in the classroom as well as on the mat, the 2015-16 Harvard wrestling team posted the highest GPA in the nation, as announced by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. The honor marked the 14th time Harvard landed in the top-10 since the award's inception.

At the Helm
Jay Weiss is in his 23rd season as the David G. Bunning '88 Head Coach for Harvard Wrestling. Weiss is a two-time EIWA Coach of the Year, and mentored a pair of national champions in Jesse Jantzen (2004) and JP O'Connor (2010). Under Weiss' watch, Harvard has tallied 17 EIWA champions and 19 All-Americans.

What's Next?
Harvard opens EIWA action at home against Franklin & Marshall and Bucknell, at noon and 2 p.m., respectively. The home openers will be broadcast on the Ivy League Digital Network.