CLEVELAND, Ohio – After having four of its past five days of competition take place in tournaments, the Cleveland State University wrestling team returns to dual action this week while also opening up Eastern Wrestling League action.
While CSU will face EWL foes on back-to-back days, the Vikings will begin the week with a non-conference opponent. CSU will face Columbia in a neutral-site matchup Thursday (4:00 p.m.) before following immediately with its EWL opener at George Mason (5:30 p.m.). The Vikings conclude the week at Rider Friday, Jan. 11, at 2:00 p.m.
Cleveland State is 3-3 in duals, but Thursday will be the first dual action for the Vikings in over a month. CSU most recently competed at the Lock Haven Classic in the final days of 2018. Seven Vikings placed at that event, including Nico O'Dor and Ben Smith taking home titles at 157 pounds and 197 pounds, respectively.
Redshirt senior Armando Torres owns a team-leading 22 wins and has a 4-1 mark in dual action at 133 pounds. He placed second at the Lock Haven Classic last time out and has an 8-2 record over CSU's past two events. O'Dor follows closely behind with 19 wins and has placed at each of the past three tournament events CSU has competed in.
Thursday's meeting will be the first in program history against Columbia.
The Lions will be competing in dual action for the first time in a month when they face the Vikings. They have won their only two duals this season, topping VMI and Northern Colorado. Columbia most recently competed in the Southern Scuffle where Dan Reed won four matches at 157 and Laurence Kosoy collected three wins at 165.
Cleveland State owns a 4-2 all-time mark against George Mason with all six meetings occurring in the past seven years. The Vikings claimed a 29-18 victory at home last season but dropped the most recent road meeting to fall to 2-2 in duals in the series that take place in Virginia.
George Mason is 4-2 on the season with wins over Bloomsburg, Davidson, Gardner-Webb and VMI. While it will be CSU's first EWL match, the Patriots will be participating in their third league dual as they lost to Lock Haven in addition to beating the Huskies. Redshirt senior Matthew Voss placed fourth at heavyweight at the Southern Scuffle in GMU's most recent action.
Rider has a 4-2 lead all-time against CSU and has a 3-2 edge in EWL matchups. Three of the previous six meetings were decided by six points or fewer.
Like Columbia, Rider has seen limited action in duals thus far this season, owning a 1-2 record. They beat Penn, fell to Big Ten foe Rutgers and had a two-point setback to Princeton. Junior Jesse Dellavecchia placed fourth at 165 pounds at the Southern Scuffle in Rider's most recent action and now has a team-high 13 wins.
Cleveland State will contest two more EWL matches next weekend, starting on the road and finishing at home.
CSU Projected Starters
125 - Cameron Lathem
133 - Armando Torres
141 - Mike Santillo
149 - Brady Barnett
157 - Nico O'Dor
165 - Ryan Ford OR John Vaughn
174 - Dimitri Williams OR Colton Carroll
184 - Chris Morrow
197 - Ben Smith
285 - Collin Kelly