Monarch Wrestling Set to Clash with #10 Missouri

January 07, 2002
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Jan. 7, 2002

Norfolk, VA-The Old Dominion wrestling squad will take on their biggest challenge of the 2001-2002 season when they host the tenth-ranked Missouri Tigers on Tuesday night. The match will be part of a double-header held at Cox High School in Virginia Beach, VA and will start at 6 p.m.

The Monarchs are currently 0-3 in dual meet competition but will be welcoming back several wrestlers who have been sidelined with injuries. Most recently,Old Dominion wrestlers took part in two major tournaments over the holidays, with sophomore heavyweight Derrell Lorthridge (Wilmington, DE) taking second place at the Wilkes Open and senior Jeff Rusak (Reading, PA) finishing third at the prestigious Midlands tournament.

Missouri enters the match with a perfect 5-0 record and six nationally-ranked wrestlers dotting their roster. The Mizzou have defeated two top-ten teams in dual meet competition and also won the Reno Tournament of Champions, which featured national powerhouses Oklahoma State and Arizona State.

The showcase match of the evening will feature a pair of nationally-ranked opponents at 174. ODU's Jeff Rusak will be taking on Missouri's John Kopnisky in a rematch of last year's Mat-Town championship final, where Kopnisky squeaked out a 3-2 victory.

Rusak, currently 15-1 and ranked fifth nationally, is undefeated in three years of dual meet competition. So far this season he has defeated three different nationally-ranked opponents on four separate occasions.

Kopnisky is ranked ninth and sports a 11-2 record.