#21 Navy wrestlers host Delaware and American

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The 21st-ranked Navy wrestling team will close out its home portion of the season with a pair of duals against EIWA rival American and Delaware State on Saturday night in Halsey Field House. The meets, which will run side-by-side on two meets, will start at 7:00 p.m., and are the last home dual meets for six seniors on the Navy roster.

"We are happy to be home this weekend," said Navy head coach Bruce Burnett. "This is a great opportunity for us to recognize our seniors and their accomplishments over the last four years."

The Navy seniors hold an 87-30 match record this season and over the last four years, have posted a 43-19 dual-meet record.

The Mids should be favored in both meets, but American has a trio of wrestlers that are as good as anyone in the league. The best is transfer Muzaffar Abdurakhmanov, who is ranked sixth in the country and first in the EIWA at 157 pounds. Abdurakhmanov won two junior-college national titles at Colby CC (Kansas). Daniel Waters is ranked 17th in the country and fourth in the EIWA at 174 pounds and 184-pounder Josh Glenn, a freshman, is ranked second in the EIWA. That means that senior Pat Lukanich (LaGrange, Ill.), freshman Matt Stolpinski (Westfield, Mass.) and junior Jon Kane (Portland, Maine) will all have their hands full. Burnett stresses all three matches could go a long way towards seeding at the EIWA Tournament.

"They have some very talented wrestlers, obviously," said Burnett. "We are just trying to prepare for the EIWA Tournament. Everything is practice up until that point. We want to win, but we are striving to get better and peak come tournament time.

"Delaware State is in a rebuilding mode, but its coach, Darren Archangelo has done a really good job there. They have some talent there as well," said Burnett.

The Mids are getting healthier, but still not at full-strength. Burnett says that is to be expected.

"We are getting healthier, but still have some guys dinged up that we will rest this weekend," said Burnett. "That's the nature of the beast. Everyone goes through it. We are hoping we can be full-speed soon."

The Mids will wrestle 24th-ranked Army next Sunday at 4:00 p.m., at West Point, in the two schools' annual Star Match. The match will be televised on a tape-delayed basis on Feb. 27, on CN8 at 9:00 a.m. Navy holds a 38-5-5 all-time advantage against the Black Knights. The dual against Army will be Navy's last dual meet of the season, before hosting the 101st EIWA Championship on March 4-5.


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