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Mercyhurst Team & Wrestlers High in Rankings

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Mercyhurst Team & Wrestlers High in Rankings

Postby Allen Brown » Fri Oct 30, 2015 2:37 pm

Wrestling Ranked Fourth In Preseason Division II Poll; Eight Individuals Ranked

NEWBERRY, S.C. - Coming off an historic and unprecedented 2014-15 campaign, the Mercyhurst University wrestling team will enter the 2015-16 season ranked fourth in the country according to the NCAA Division II Wrestling Coaches Association poll released on Wednesday afternoon. In addition, eight individuals are ranked in the top eight in the country in their respective weight classes.

The Lakers received 142 points in the poll, three points behind Nebraska-Kearney and defending national champion, St. Cloud State, which are tied for second. Maryville is the preseason favorite, earning all eight first-place votes and a total of 160 points. Notre Dame College rounded out the top five.

Pitt-Johnstown, Newberry, Lake Erie, Augustana, and Ashland occupy spots six through ten respectively.

Reigning National Coach of the Year and Super Region I Coach of the Year, Mike Wehler, guided the Lakers to an 18-1 overall record and a perfect 7-0 mark against Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) opponents last season. Mercyhurst won its third consecutive PSAC Division II Regular Season Dual Championship with a league-clinching 24-15 victory over Pitt-Johnstown on February 14.

Dating back to the 2012-13 season, the first year in which the PSAC handed out the Division II Dual Championship, the Lakers are 51-5 overall and 19-0 against PSAC opponents en route to their three consecutive regular season titles. Meanwhile, the 18 victories last season tied the program record for most dual victories in a season, which was established in 2013-14. The team's .947 winning percentage a year ago also tied the program record, again set in 2013-14.

Mercyhurst ended last season with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Division II National Championships - the program's best-ever result. The 2005, 2008, and 2009 squads all finished ninth at nationals - the program's prior best finish. The Lakers also had a program-record six All-Americans a year ago - Willie Bohince (8th at 125), Jeremy Landowski (6th at 149), Francis Mizia (6th at 157), August Mizia (3rd at 174), Dakota DesLauriers (6th at 184), and Andrew Welton (5th at 285). The previous program record was four at the 2005 National Championships.

Angelo Bortoluzzi also qualified for nationals at 165 after winning the Super Region I Championship in his bracket. The seven national qualifiers marked the most the program had under Wehler and is tied for third-most in school history - the 2005-06 squad had seven advance while both the 2003-04 and 2004-05 teams had eight advance to the National Championships.

Individually, eight Laker grapplers are ranked in the top eight in the country entering the season - second-most in the country behind Maryville's nine.

Bohince, who went 33-7 a year ago and is a two-time All-American, enters the season ranked sixth in the country at 125 pounds. The redshirt junior from Level Green, Pa., is 67-14 in two seasons which includes a 34-2 record in dual competition.

Redshirt junior Dylan D'Urso returns to the lineup after redshirting last season. The Laker starter at 141 pounds enters the year ranked fourth in the country at that weight. A native of Greenville, Pa., D'Urso is 62-10 overall and 32-1 in dual competition. He finished third in the country, earning All-American status, in 2013-14.

Landowski, a redshirt senior from Lower Burrell, Pa., starts the season ranked fifth in the country at 149 pounds. The two-time national qualifier and two-time All-American sports a 71-26 overall record, including a 32-7 mark last season. He is 36-8 in dual action.

Redshirt junior Francis Mizia will begin the season ranked third in the country at 157 pounds. He earned All-American status for the first time in his career last season and posted a 31-7 overall record last season. The Bentleyville, Pa., native is 58-14 in his career.

Bortoluzzi, a redshirt senior from Irwin, Pa., became a full-time starter last season and was a national qualifier in his first year as a starter. He will begin the season ranked sixth in the country at 165 pounds. Bortoluzzi went 27-9 last season and is 58-32 in his career.

Redshirt senior August Mizia has the Lakers' highest ranking entering the season - second at 174 pounds. Mizia was the highest Laker finisher a year ago, placing third in the country. He went 33-6 last season and is 87-27 for his career - needing just 13 victories for 100 as a Laker. He is a two-time national qualifier and earned All-American status for the first time in his career last year.

Junior Dakota DesLauriers broke out last season and will begin the year ranked fifth at 184 pounds. A native of Lower Burrell, Pa., DesLauriers went 26-13 last season, qualified for nationals for the first time, and earned All-American status for the first time in his career. He is 36-23 over his first two seasons.

Finally, junior Andrew Welton will start the year ranked third in the country at 285. The Erie, Pa., native also earned All-American status for the first time in his career last season. A two-time national qualifier, Welton went 26-13 last season and is 50-22 over the course of his first two years.

The Laker grapplers will begin the 2015-16 season at the Mount Union Invitational on Saturday, November 14.
Allen Brown
 

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