Diplomats Set to Battle for Rupp Cup

Diplomats Set to Battle for Rupp Cup

Inside F&M Wrestling Week 11: Mike Rogers Interview 

The Week Ahead 

Friday, Feb. 21 – F&M vs. Millersville – 7:30 p.m. 

Live Results | Video (HD) 

A Look at Millersville 

F&M (6-6) and Millersville (4-7) are set to meet for the 21st time on Friday in a series that dates back to 1994. The Marauders lead all-time at 15-6, however the Diplomats have won two-straight contests including a 25-12 win on Feb. 15, of last season.  

F&M won seven of the 10 bouts in the contest that included a pin by Robert Ruiz at 133 and a 12-2 major decision from Richard Durso at 141. 

The last time the Diplomats took down Millersville at home was on Feb. 17 2012, with a 29-13 victory at the Mayser Center. 

History of the Rupp Cup

The Diplomats and Marauders will meet for the fifth time since establishing the Rupp Cup in honor of Lancaster County's wrestling patriarch, Ted Rupp. A student at the F&M Academy and Franklin & Marshall, Rupp maintained strong ties to both his alma mater and Millersville University. In 1948-49, Rupp coached both Millersville and F&M, finishing with a 20-2 combined record. 

That is believed to have been the only time in collegiate wrestling history when one man coached two colleges concurrently. In honor of his distinguished service to both institutions, the Rupp Cup is now awarded to the winner of the annual meeting between Franklin & Marshall and Millersville. 

Last Time Out 

A mixture of clutch performances throughout the lineup and savvy coaching strategy from the Franklin & Marshall staff, propelled the Diplomats to a thrilling 23-21 victory over Bucknell on Friday evening at the Mayser Center. The win snapped a four-match losing streak in the all-time series. 

Ruiz earned a decisive 11-1 major at 133, while No. 11 Durso overpowered Victor Lopez at 149, who came in a winner of seven straight, with a match-changing 13-6 major. 

Andrew Murano followed at 157 by holding off his opponent for a 5-4 decision to extend the Diplomats advantage to 17-6. The Diplomats extended the lead further with a timely 5-2 decision from Colin Gironda at 174, before the Bison's responded with a decision of their own at 184 as F&M nursed a 20-15 lead. 

Chuckie Kerkesner stepped to the mat at 197 and delivered the match-clinching 8-6 decision to seal the contest for the Diplomats. The bout featured a back-and-fourth, high-scoring first period that saw Kerkesner enter the second with an 8-5 lead. The pace slowed down from there on out as F&M's sophomore grappler held on for the win. 

F&M head wrestling coach Mike Rogers offers a recap of this event, which can be found here. 

For complete results of this competition, click here. 

In the Rankings 

The NCAA released the second of three coaches' panel rankings and the first Rating Percentage Index (RPI) for the 2013-14 wrestling season. The final rankings and RPI will be two of the tools used as part of the selection process to determine the qualifiers for the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.This year's event is March 20-22 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Junior 141-pounder Durso remains at the No. 11 spot in the rankings, while entering at No. 10 in the RPI Ranking. Wrestlers in each weight class are measured by winning percentage, rating percentage index (RPI) and coaches' rankings to earn spots in their qualifying tournaments for the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. 

To view the NCAA Rankings, click here. To view the RPI Rankings, click here.

In the InterMat NCAA Division I Rankings, Durso moved up three spots to No. 9.  He is now the highest-ranked EIWA grappler with Luke Vaith of Hofstra (No. 10) and Mike Nevinger of Cornell (No. 11) both dropping positions this week.

Durso sits at No. 2 in the EIWA Rankings, placing behind Nevinger who remains in the top spot. 

Climbing the Charts

With an impressive 28-2 mark on the season, Durso now has 97 victories for his career, which gives him sole possession of 3rd place on F&M's career win's list. The program record belongs to Craig Blackman '81, who accumulated 117 victories. 

Winning Records 

Six Diplomats sit with winning records for the 2013-14 season. Durso leads the way with a 28-2 mark that includes an 21-2 record in EIWA competition. Murano follows with a 22-10 record, while Jason Bing sits at 19-14. Alex Henry is 17-15 on the year, while Scott Stevens is 12-11 and Ruiz is 16-11. For complete team records, click here

Mike Rogers Podcast 

Head coach Mike Rogers will participate in "On the Mat", a live internet podcast that will take place tonight at 6:oo p.m. Fans can hear the show at 1650thefan.com and a podcast is available on theopenmat.com.