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UAA wrestling champs look to repeat

NYU men’s wrestling went 12-9 in dual meets last year and won the University Athletic Association Championship for the first time since 2008.

The Violets beat the University of Chicago 19-14 and Case Western Reserve University 43-7 at the 2012 UAA Championship. This was the fifth time NYU captured the title in program history. All five titles have been during the tenure of head coach Bruce Haberli, who is now in his 18th year at NYU.

Last year, NYU was also a recipient of the 2012 National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III Scholar Team Award, with senior David Rice selected as a Scholar All-American.

At last year’s championship, Rice won both of his key matches, finishing the 2011-2012 season with a record of 31-2 in the 165-pounds weight class. Rice was named the UAA’s Most Outstanding Wrestler.

“In terms of my personal goals, I’m aiming to win nationals like I expected myself to do last year but also compete at the level of a [Division I] All-American,” Rice said.
Rice finished first at last year’s Ithaca and the Ted Reese invitationals.

“I want to set the bar even higher for myself and be at the level of a top Division I wrestler,” Rice said. “I’ll be going to a few tournaments this year, some on my own, where I can get that kind of competition.”

Sophomore Matt DiGiovanni, who had a great start to his freshman year, finished with UAA All-Association honors at 141 pounds. After recording a 20-10 record at 141 pounds, DiGiovanni will be returning to the mat in the 149 pound class.

“After having a strong freshman year, I’m looking to continue to build and improve as a wrestler,” DiGiovanni said. “I’ve moved up from 141 to 149, and I think this will help me stay stronger in the latter half of the season.”

Senior Jake Pawlowski was awarded UAA All-Association honors in the 184 pound class and finished last season with a record of 22-16.

“The coaching staff did an unprecedented job recruiting wrestlers,” Pawlowski said. “We have an above-average freshmen class combined with a talented returning class, which can only result in lots of victories.”

There are 10 freshmen on the team this year.

“We have a very talented and large group of newcomers, and while we’ve had a few significant losses from last year, I believe that there will be current team members that fill those holes just as well or even better,” Rice said.

For the third straight year, NYU had the most wrestlers named All-Association at the Championship. In addition to Rice, Pawlowski and DiGiovanni, senior Dan Gorman was awarded UAA All-Association honors in the 149 pound weight class.

The wrestling team also has a new addition in assistant coach Mike Torriero. Torriero graduated in 2005 from West Virginia University, where he was a starter and captain on the university’s NCAA Division I wrestling team.

“I’m excited to see how the team will do at Ithaca and look forward to a strong season,” DiGiovanni said.

The reigning UAA champions will return to the mat Friday, Nov. 2, at the Ithaca Invitational in Ithaca, N.Y.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Oct. 22 print edition. Mary Jane Dumankaya is a deputy sports editor. Email her at mdumankaya@nyunews.com.

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UAA wrestling champs look to repeat