Match of the Week: RWU at Stevens

It’s a light first weekend in Division III wrestling with a few teams kicking off with the Eastern Michigan Open and a few others having dual meets.  Most teams get going the following weekend, but tomorrow will be a dual between two teams ranked in the initial NWCA Top 30.  #27 Stevens Institute of Technology hosts #20 Roger Williams University.  Roger Williams comes to Hoboken with two national qualifiers in Jared Czarneski at 174 and Zach Weinrich at 285.  Weinrich was an NCAA qualifier at 184 in 2006 where he was 1-2 as a freshman.  In the interim, he has been wrestling for Ohio State before transferring back to Roger Williams this season.  Czarneski was 0-2 at the NCAA tournament after a 2nd place finish in the NEWA Championships in 2008.

Stevens comes in having lost All-American Brandon MacWhinnie to graduation but returning Centennial runner-up Charles Favia.  Two sets of brothers should be taking the mat for the Ducks with Charles Favia at 149, Leo Dormann at 157, NJ placer Joey Favia at 165, and National Prep runner-up Ryan Dormann at 174.  Charles Favia and Leo Dormann swap weights this year with their freshman brothers filling in above them.

Each team has a few wrestlers appearing in the initial rankings.  Czarneski is ranked 10th at 174, C. Favia appears in the Contenders section at 149.  Weinrich is 10th at 285 in the NWCA rankings.  The lower weights may end up deciding this one, as Stevens seems strong in the middle with Roger Williams having the advantage in the upper weights.  It’s hard to predict a winner this time of year without knowing the lineups, so we’ll hold off on doing so.

The next few weeks will tell the tale, but right now, it looks like the rankings for both of these teams may be overrating them a bit.  Neither team has a wrestler that would currently be favored to win their respective conference championships, but that could change as the season moves forward and the underclassmen get more experience.

UPDATE: Official Stevens Preview from their Sports Info Dept.