Bristol, RI --- The WPI wrestling team kicked off its 54th season on Saturday by competing in the Roger Williams Invitational. The Engineers got podium performances by Stephen Jendritz (Rockford, MI) and Michael Curtis (Wells, ME) and amassed 53.5 total points en route to placing eighth overall.
Nine WPI wrestlers reached the quarterfinals in seven different weight classes at the 11-team event. Jendritz won four of six bouts and logged a fourth place showing at 133 pounds. The sophomore reached the quarters with a victory in TB 1 and later rattled of three straight decision triumphs in the consolation rounds. Curtis made a successful debut at 197 pounds, placing sixth. The freshman posted first period pins over wrestlers from Roger Williams and Cortland State among his four wins on the day.
Jack Nigro (Closter, NJ) and Justin Marsh (Upper Black Eddy, PA) each registered three victories for the Crimson and Gray at 141 and 174 pounds respectively. Nigro notched an injury default victory and a pin in the winner's bracket and SV 1 in the wrestle backs while Marsh began his day with a first period pin and a 12-6 decision before racking up a major decision in the consolation.
Brian Amato (Newington, CT) and Michael Aquino (Boston, MA) both reached the quarterfinals at 125 pounds. Amato outpointed wrestlers from Johnson & Wales and Norwich on the day while Aquino knocked off his opponent from Bridgewater State. Joe Pizzuto (Liverpool, NY) and Daniel Wensley (Wakefield, MA) gave the Engineers a pair of quarterfinalists at 184. Wensley won his first two collegiate bouts by major decision and a pin while Pizzuto doubled up his opponent from Messiah 8-4. Austin Shrewsbury (Westfield, MA) gave the Boynton Hillers yet another among the final eight as he began his college career with a 5-3 victory over a wrestler from Roger Williams.
Those that tallied first round victories for the Engineers included Benjamin Shaffer (Mercer, PA) at 141 pounds, Anton Libsch (Milton, MA) at 165 and Lucas Muntz (West Hartford, CT) by fall at 184. Andrew Ellis (Arlington, MA) and Rhaine Sziy (Catasauqua, PA) both collected a pair of consolation round triumphs at 133 and 184 respectively and Matt Assael (Bellmore, NY) and Constantine Galanis (Ipswich, MA) each saw their hands raised in wrestle backs at 157 and 165.
WPI returns to the mat next Saturday, hosting Norwich, Roger Williams and Ursinus in a quadrangle meet beginning at noon.