ANNAPOLIS, MD – Rutgers seniors Andy Roy (Wall, NJ) and Chris Ressa (Andover, NJ) each qualified for the NCAA Championships in St. Louis, MO, March 17-20. The duo led Rutgers to an eighth-place finish out of 13 schools in the EIWA Championships, hosted by the United States Naval Academy, on Saturday.
The Scarlet Knights accumulated 40.5 points to place eighth. Lehigh won the team championship with 133.5 points.
Roy finished second at 174 pounds for the third-straight year, while Ressa placed third at 184 pounds in his first season in the weight class after bulking up from 165 pounds. Each wrestler earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships by finishing in the top-three of his respective weight bracket.
Roy, the top seed at 174 pounds, advanced to the title bout for the third-consecutive year with an 11-10 victory over fourth-seeded Daniel Waters of American. His bid to become Rutgers’ first EIWA Champion since Tom Tanis (184 pounds) in 2000 was denied as third-seeded Joe Mazzurco of Cornell, ranked ninth nationally earned an 11-3 major decision over Roy in the championship match. The loss snapped a 15-match winning streak for Roy. He becomes the first wrestler in school history to qualify for the NCAA Championships all four seasons. Roy enters the NCAA Championships with a 22-3 record on the season. He has 98 career victories which ties him with Tanis (1999-2002) for 10th on the Rutgers all-time wins list.
Ressa, the fifth seed at 184 pounds, rebounded from a 5-0 loss to top-seeded and seventh-ranked Tyler Baier of Cornell in the championship semifinals with two victories in the consolation bracket to place third in his weight class. He defeated Brown’s Dorian Heist, 3-1, to advance to the consolation championship where he posted a 7-3 victory over Lehigh’s Brian LaMay. It marked Ressa’s second victory over LaMay in the two-day tournament. He defeated LaMay in Friday’s quarterfinal round, 3-2. Ressa enters the NCAA Championships with 79 career victories which places him 21st on the Rutgers all-time wins list. The NCAA bid marks Ressa’s first appearance in the NCAA Championships.
Red-shirt sophomore Gene Zannetti (Edison, NJ) finished fourth at 157 pounds wining two of his three matches in consolation bracket on Saturday. He opened the day with a 6-0 victory over Penn’s Brock Wittmeyer and then advanced to the consolation finals with a 4-0 victory over Franklin & Marshall’s Mike Parziale. Zannetti dropped an 8-2 decision to Columbia’s Devin Mesarko to place fourth. He was denied a wildcard bid to the NCAA Championships.
Lehigh won the team championship, accumulating 133.5 points.
For complete result of the EIWA Championships, log on to www.navysports.com/livestats/eiwa/brackets.pdf.