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Lehigh's Big Weekend On The Road

Saturday and Sunday are packed with Lehigh sports to follow. Although the men's basketball team have been eliminated, the wrestling team is heading to Franklin & Marshall in nearby Lancaster, PA to wrestle in the EIWA championships. The games will be available with live audio from Lehighsports and live internet video from F&M, starting at 10:30AM Saturday with championship and consolation rounds starting 10:30AM Sunday morning.

Historically, Lehigh has been a national power in wrestling and has won a whopping 34 team championships. Lehigh's team, loaded with underclassmen, could be a dark horse for the championship this year, but with daunting Penn and Navy teams in their way it will be a tough go.

As important as the championships will be the opportunity to have Lehigh wrestlers qualify individually for the NCAA Championships in St. Louis, MO later in March. Last year Lehigh qualified seven wrestlers and hope to do so again. This year, Lehigh is hoping to get (most likely) a maximum of six: 133 lb Seth Ciasulli, 149 lb Trevor Chinn, 157 lb Dave Nakasone, 165 lb Mike Galante, 174 lb Alex Caruso, and heavyweight Justin Allen. The only senior here is Nakasone, which bodes well for the future.

The #3 seeded Lady Hawks (17-12, 9-5) hope to emerge from West Point, NY with a chance at the automatic bid to the NCAA Women's Basketball tournament. To do so, they'll have to beat the same Lafayette (14-15, 6-8) team that beat us twice earlier in the season, even though they're the #6 seed. A 7:30PM Saturday start for this Lehigh revenge match will be available on audio from LehighSports and on video through Patriot League all-Access.

With only one senior starter, the key of this game appears to be senior G Kaela Pearce and how she keeps the young team together in this tournament game. She has the experience to settle things down and beat these pesky Leopards. On Sue Troyan's blog she said that the Lady Hawks were uncharacteristic in making mistakes with a whopping 26 turnovers and 35% free throw shooting in their last game against the Leopards, a 59-43 loss. You've got to believe that they'll do a better job tomorrow night.

The key to this game will be defense: the last time out, Lehigh allowed G Cristin Zavocki to run wild on the outside and F Vanessa Van Der Venter to kill them underneath, on the way to having three Leopards scoring in double figures. Keeping the score down (and the turnovers down) will be the key to this game, I think, for the Lady Hawks.

The winner won't have much time to celebrate: should they win, they'll face the winner of the Holy Cross/Navy game at 3:30 Sunday. If Lehigh and Holy Cross both win, it would set up a very interesting second "revenge" matchup for the Lady Hawks who fell twice to the Crusaders during the regular season.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Six qualifiers for Nationals would be miraculous. Four is likely and five possible. Six or more would require some major upsets by us and others. Will certainly be cheering hard for that to occur, but don't get the hopes too high...
Anonymous said…
You neglected to mention Cornell who is the heavy favorite to win.

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