The Mercyhurst men’s wrestling team has had another successful weekend with redshirt freshman Francis Mizia leading his team to a pair of convincing victories during the week — a 31-9 victory at West Liberty last Wednesday and a 24-12 home win over No. 16 Lake Erie College on Saturday.
With the victories, the Lakers improved to 9-1 overall and remained 2-0 in the PSAC (Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) Division II standings.
Mizia was named the (PSAC) Wrestler of the Week as announced on Monday, Jan 20, and is the first Laker to receive this award this season.
Another wrestler that has been stepping up on and off the mat for the Lakers is sophomore Dylan D’Urso with 17 victories, just ahead of Mizia with 15.
“The team is doing very well, and receiving national recognition as is due for the talent we have. We have several matches coming up with ranked opponents so we will see how high we can finish in the polls but I would project a 10 ranking by the end of the year,” D’Urso said.
D’Urso was the only Mercyhurst grappler ranked in the top eight of a particular weight class, earning a seventh-place spot in the country at 141 pounds.
“I don’t know if I’d say one person is stepping up more so than others. We all know how good we can be and it’s more about doing what is expected of us as a team. If we all wrestle to our ability, success will follow and that’s been the case for most of our matches,” D’Urso said.
With the addition of six new freshman wrestlers and one redshirt freshman, the Lakers are working and practicing hard to make this season one to remember.
“It’s always difficult coming in as a freshman and trying to compete the same way you did in high school. Some of them hadn’t lost many matches in high school and so it was potentially difficult. But, they have responded well and we don’t see them as freshmen once they are in the lineup and we have the same expectations for them as we would the veterans, and I’m sure you would find out they have the same view,” D’Urso said.
Mercyhurst, which won the ir first-ever Division II regular season dual championship in the PSAC last season, will hit the mat this weekend against a pair of PSAC rivals this Friday and Saturday.
“I think we are more than capable of winning the rest of our duals throughout the year as well as another PSAC title. I would also not be surprised at all if we were to qualify all 10 of our guys for nationals, but a lot of things have to go our way for that to happen. Qualifying for nationals is such an unpredictable event that it’s hard to put an exact number on it but if we compete well at the end of the year great things will happen,” D’Urso said.
The Lakers will travel to No. 7 Kutztown on Friday. and match up at 7 p.m. Then will square off with East Stroudsburg on Saturday at 3 p.m.