Confident after their narrow 20-17 victory over Springfield on Wednesday, the Harvard wrestling team hopes to pick up three straight wins when they confront Penn, Rutgers and Franklin and Marshall today at 11 a.m. in the IAB.
A clean sweep today and a win over Yale next week will even the Crimson's record at 8-8 and salvage the squad's roughest season. "The guys are really up for this meet," Harvard coach John Lee said yesterday. "But the meet will be no picnic."
Penn and Harvard square off in the opener, which could catapult the Crimson into good position in a tight Ivy League race. Harvard, currently fifth in the Ivies with a 1-3 record, can hope for a second or third place finish if it gets by Penn and Yale.
The usually weak Quakers (0-4 in the Ivies) could surprise Harvard. Dave Groverman (126), Len Pruzanski (142) and Ray Sarinelli (150) could take Crimson regulars Bill Haley, George Baker and Mike Dee, all of whom are prone to committing mistakes on the mat. Penn's strongman Rick Zweig meets Crimson captain Richie Starr, in an evenly-matched bout at 190.
Both F&M and Rutgers will threaten in the lightweights.
Rutgers' standouts, Jerry Nisivochia (126) and Bob Ciarocki (134), will duel Harvard's Bill Haley and Carl Biello. "That Nisivochia is damn tough." Lee said. "He's going to give Haley a good match, believe me." Lee described Ciarocki as "scappy" and said Biello might have the edge in the 134 meeting. F&M's best grappler, Ed, Baxter, battles Harvard's Dan Blakinger at 118.
Lee hopes to use his regular starting lineup in all three meets to assure a clean sweep. "I hope our guys don't suffer any injuries or tire out because these wins are important," he said. "Rutgers is good and we wrestle them last. I can't name a definite favorite because anything can happen that late in the day."
Backing up Crimson regulars Blakinger, Haley, Biello, John Keough (158), and Jim Strathmeyer (177) will be Gary Walls, Mitch Silverman, Rock Hinkel and Phil Gardner. "These guys have impressed me in practices," Lee said