Hofstra wrestling begins competition in the 2019 EIWA Tournament
As one of the most competitive and oldest wrestling conferences, the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) will kick off its 115th annual conference tournament to determine which wrestlers will represent their schools at the NCAA tournament in Pittsburgh.
The tournament will run from Friday, March 8, to Saturday, March 9, and is hosted by Binghamton University.
Hofstra will only suit up nine wrestlers for the tournament due to the injury bug that has plagued the team all season. Senior Ryan Burkert will not be competing over the weekend, which leaves the 165-pound weight class vacant for the Pride.
All eyes will be on Hofstra freshman Dylan Ryder, who will be returning from injury to compete in the 125-pound weight class.
“[Ryder] can beat anybody he wrestles,” said Hofstra head coach Dennis Papadatos. “[We have] high expectations for him.”
Ryder isn’t the only wrestler that the Hofstra coaching staff has high expectations for.
“Ricky [Stamm] has a real, legitimate shot,” Papadatos said. “Holden [Heller] has proved that he can beat anybody.”
“We’re supposed to be high on everybody and we are,” he said.
125 pounds (Four automatic qualifiers (AQ))
The lightweight bracket will feature two top-10 wrestlers in Vitali Arujau of Cornell University and Patrick Glory of Princeton University. Arujau is ranked No. 7 and Glory is ranked No. 10 in the nation.
Those two will likely come away with the first two spots in the conference, but the rest of the field is wide open, which gives Ryder an opportunity to earn a top-four finish and an automatic bid to Pittsburgh. Ryder comes into the tournament ranked No. 6 in the conference.
133 pounds (Four AQ)
Chas Tucker of Cornell will likely run away with this bracket, as he is the only top-10 wrestler at this weight class. Tucker comes into the tournament in the No. 10 spot in the nation. The next highest is Josh Terao of American University, who is placed at No. 18.
The Terao family has a habit of shaking up brackets, so keep an eye on the younger Terao brother throughout the weekend.
Jacob Martin will be competing at this weight class for Hofstra, coming in with the No. 11 seed in the bracket.
141 pounds (3 AQ)
The 141 is settled before it even begins. Cornell phenom and reigning national champion Yianni Diakomihalis has a clear shot to the national tournament as not only the No. 1 seed in the tournament, but also the No. 1 seed in the entire NCAA.
Garrett Lambert will step on the mat for Hofstra at this class as the No. 12 seed in the tournament. With only three automatic qualifiers, Lambert will have a lot of work to do to get a bid to Pittsburgh, but Papadatos has his upset radar on when it comes to Lambert, who has been wrestling well down the stretch.
“I always like Lambert and he’s healthy,” Papadatos said.
149 pounds (Five AQ)
Another weight class whose champion is likely decided before wrestling even begins is 149 pounds, as Matthew Kolodzik of Princeton comes into the tournament as the No. 3 wrestler in the nation and will have his eyes set on potentially making a splash at the national level.
But with five automatic qualifiers, the rest of the class will be fighting tooth and nail for the final four spots. This includes Hofstra’s Heller, who comes in as the No. 9 seed in the tournament. The freshman came into the season late but has impressed during his time in a Hofstra singlet.
157 pounds (six AQ)
Josh Humphreys of Lehigh University and Zach Hartman of Bucknell University will be fighting for the top spot in the conference as the No. 11 and No. 13 wrestlers in the nation.
Chris Mauriello will compete for Hofstra at this weight class.
165 pounds (four AQ)
In a very competitive weight class, Ebed Jarrell from Drexel University and Jon Viruet of Brown University will likely emerge as two of the four automatic qualifiers for the national tournament as they are ranked No. 16 and No. 17 respectively.
Hofstra will not compete at 165 pounds.
174 pounds (Five AQ)
This weight class will be dominated by Jordan Kutler of Lehigh, the No. 5 wrestler in the nation. Ben Harvey from Army West Point comes into the tournament at No. 20.
Stamm will be taking the mat for Hofstra at this weight class and has his work cut out for him. With five automatic qualifiers at this weight class, Stamm will have to fight to squeeze into the crowded field.
184 pounds (Six AQ)
Fans will be looking for a repeat of last year’s EIWA championship between Ryan Preisch of Lehigh and Max Dean of Cornell, ranked No. 5 and No. 7 respectively in the nation. Preisch came away victorious last year, so Dean will be out to avenge the loss.
But don’t miss Lou DePrez of Binghamton, who comes into the tournament ranked No. 13 and has the potential to spoil the championship rematch.
Trey Rogers will be on the mat for Hofstra. With such a competitive weight class, Rogers has a lot of work to do in order to get a national bid.
197 pounds (six AQ)
Three of the six automatic qualifying spots will likely be held by three top-10 wrestlers in the nation in Patrick Brucki of Princeton (No. 3), Ben Honis of Cornell (No. 7) and Rocco Caywood of Army West Point (No. 8).
The other three spots are up for grabs.
Nezar Haddad will wrestle for Hofstra and comes into the tournament with the No. 9 seed in the bracket.
285 pounds (four AQ)
Jordan Wood from Lehigh is likely to run away with this weight class as he is the No. 5 ranked wrestler in the nation. Joey Goodhart of Drexel will also grab a spot in the national tournament as a hard-working, top-20 wrestler in the nation.
Omar Haddad comes into the tournament for Hofstra as the No. 9 seed.