The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

March 10, 2014

College wrestling: Bucknell junior makes school history

PHILADELPHIA — Bucknell grappler Joe Stolfi made history this weekend at the EIWA championships. Not once, but twice.

The 285-pound wrestler moved into first place on Bucknell’s single-season pins list with 22 this season. In addition, he became just the third Bison wrestler to claim an individual EIWA title.

Stolfi advanced to the semifinals with two wins on Saturday before posting two more victories on Sunday, including a 9-7 decision over top-seeded Billy Smith, of Rutgers, in the title bout. Stolfi joins Andy Rendos (2010, 165 pounds) and Kevin LeValley (2011, 149 pounds) as Bucknell wrestlers to earn EIWA titles.

Stolfi also secured his second consecutive automatic berth to the NCAA Championships. Last season, the Bison finished in the top 12 in the 285-pound bracket, one win shy of earning All-America honors.

The Bucknell junior also has been an EIWA placewinner in two straight years. He was third in 285 pounds last year.

Paul Petrov advanced to the semifinals in his bracket at 125 pounds, but the sophomore didn’t wrestle on Sunday due to an injury. He finished sixth.

At the EIWA Championships, Bucknell finished 15th in the team standings with 42.5 points. Cornell ended in first with 165.5 points.

Victor Lopez, a freshman at 149 pounds, was Bucknell’s only other placewinner. Lopez lost in the consolation round to Navy’s Alex Johnson by decision, 4-2, before losing the seventh-place match to Noel Blanco, of Drexel, by injury default to finish in eighth place.

The NCAA Championships, in which both Petrov and Stolfi will compete in, take place in Oklahoma City, Okla., from March 20-22.

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