LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall wrestling opens its dual-meet season on Friday with its first home competition of the season, welcoming VMI to Mayser Gym for an 8:00 p.m. tilt.
The Week Ahead
Friday, Dec. 2 – VMI | Mayser Gym | 8:00 PM
A Look at VMI: The Keydets enter action with a 0-2 record after a gauntlet of ranked opponents to open their season. VMI fell to No. 6 Virginia Tech. by a 39-6 score on Nov. 5 and followed with a 41-5 loss to No. 23 Chattanooga on Nov. 10.
These teams last squared off on Nov. 15, 2015, with the Diplomats falling by a 27-9 score on the road. In the all-time series, VMI leads by a 12-7-1 margin, dating back to the 1927 season.
Matchup to Watch: The Keydets are led by sophomore 157-pounder Neal Richards (8-2) who is a returning NCAA Qualifier and was ranked as high as No. 20 so far this season. He will prove to be an early-season test for either freshman Emmett LiCastri (8-8), freshman Mike Berkowitz (4-6) or senior Michael Marano (1-6).
Alumni Night: Friday's contest also marks Alumni Night for the program, which is meant for former wrestlers and current supporters of F&M wrestling to reconnect. Diplomat wrestling alumni are encouraged to attend and will be recognized during the contest.
Last Week: Anthony Mancini went 3-0 in the 184-pound bracket to take first place at the Mat-Town Open, hosted by Lock Haven, to lead a strong showing of F&M grapplers on Sunday.
Philip Robilotto, who competed unattached, was also impressive for the Diplomats, registering a third-place showing at 197.
King Moving Up the Charts: Standing at 12-6 on the season after a string of successful tournament showings, King now holds a 65-55 career record, which is good for the 16th most wins in program history.
Season Leaders: Mancini leads the way with a 13-5 overall record, including a standout 5-3 mark in EIWA competition. King is next at 12-6, while Paddy Quinlan has accumulated a 7-6 record and a team-leading five pins. Competing unattached this year on a redshirt, Antonio Pelusi holds an 8-5 overall record.