published Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Wrestling Mocs host Cleveland State University

Home is coming to Rocco Mansueto.

Mansueto will be on the other side when Cleveland State University wrestles the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga at 2 p.m. today at Maclellan Gym.

A four-time Eastern Wrestling league place-winner for the Vikings, Mansueto is in his second season as UTC head coach Heath Eslinger's top assistant.

"It will be nice reconnecting with some of their staff, but I'm pretty competitive and I'd love to take it those guys," Mansueto said.

Both teams have been limited to practice since competing in the Southern Scuffle last Sunday and Monday at UTC's McKenzie Arena, when the Mocs finished seventh and the Vikings 20th. That was the Ohio school's first visit to Chattanooga.

The Vikings lead the series 4-0, including a 34-10 victory in 2003.

"This is going to be a good test for us," Eslinger said. "We're coming off an emotion-driven weekend and we have to bounce back and be ready to wrestle. They have a good team."

The Vikings, coached by Ben Stehura, are 3-6 overall and today is their first stop on a three-match swing through the Southern Conference. They'll wrestle Monday afternoon at Appalachian State and that night at Campbell. They defeated The Citadel 22-12 earlier this season.

No changes are expected in the Mocs' lineup although Eslinger listed two 125-pounders -- Cole Gallagher and Blake Thomas. Scuffle runner-up Nick Soto will be at 133 and Shawn Greevy at 141. Following an overtime challenge match victory Friday, Kelly Felix will remain in the lineup at 149 ahead of Dean Pavlou, who finished sixth in the Scuffle.

Dan Waddell will be at 157, Brandon Wright at 165, Levin Clemons at 174, Robert Prigmore at 184, Niko Brown at 197 and Kevin Malone at 285.

Waddell (fourth), Wright (eighth) and Brown (seventh) also placed in the Scuffle.

Although both teams were in the tournament, it doesn't appear that there will be any rematches from the tournament today.

After today the Mocs will be on the road for the next three weeks. They'll compete in the Lonestar Duals in Dallas on Saturday and make a three-team conference swing at Campbell on Jan. 20, at Davidson on Jan. 22 and at The Citadel on Jan 29. Their next home meet is Feb. 5 against Appalachian State.

about Ward Gossett...

Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...

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