By Todd Merriett
Bucknell Sports Information
LEWISBURG, Pa. – Freshman 149-pounder Victor Lopez (Poway, Calif./Poway) was named both the Bison Athlete of the Week and the EIWA Wrestler of the Week on Monday after a strong 3-0 weekend performance to help the Bucknell wrestling team to a 2-1 mark against difficult opponents American, George Mason and No. 13 Virginia.
Lopez was named the Bison Athlete of the Week for the second time this season, while it is his first career EIWA honor. Teammate Joe Stolfi earned EIWA Wrestler of the Week honors two weeks ago, giving the Bison two of the last three honorees.
Lopez concluded his unblemished weekend with what Bison head coach Dan Wirnsberger said was the biggest win of the year by a Bucknell (7-9, 3-2 EIWA) wrestler with a 7-6 victory over No. 9 Gus Sako of Virginia. Sako entered the bout with an impressive 15-1 mark. The win over Sako was Lopez’s third this season over a ranked opponent as he upended top-20 foes from Oklahoma State and Oklahoma on the same day in mid-November.
Ranked tied for third on the team with 17 wins this season, Lopez also posted a 9-5 decision against American’s Mark Cirello and he pinned George Mason’s Ryan Hunsberger in 5:20 this weekend. Both of those individual outcomes helped propel the Bison to team victories.
One of five freshmen in Bucknell’s regular starting lineup, Lopez is 17-15 this year with a 9-7 mark in duals. He has 13 wins by decision and three by fall and his three victories against ranked opponents is a team-best. Lopez has won five consecutive bouts and has posted three winning streaks of at least three bouts this season.
Lopez and his Bison teammates will be back in action Sunday, Feb. 9, when they travel to West Point, N.Y., and Fairfield, Conn., to square off against Army (2 p.m.) and Sacred Heart (7 p.m.), respectively.