PHILADELPHIA – For the first time in program history, Penn will compete at Madison Square Garden as the Quakers wrestle in the second Grapple at the Garden event on Sunday. The Red and Blue will take part in two duals, wrestling new EIWA foe Boston University (10 a.m.) before a noon match with Bloomsburg.
The Quakers are 1-0 in dual meets this season, posting a 19-13 win over Maryland on Nov. 22 in College Park. Both opponents on Sunday are not regular fixtures on the Penn schedule in terms of dual meets. Penn has wrestled Boston University in a dual just once, a 24-14 loss in 1991. Against Bloomsburg, Penn is 4-1 all-time. The last meeting with the Huskies was a 26-12 Penn win on the road in December of 2011. There are no scheduled rematches from that dual on the docket for Sunday.
There likely will be some rematches from this past weekend’s Keystone Classic however, as both of Penn’s opponents competed at The Palestra. Bloomsburg had the best day of the three teams, riding bonus points to the team title while Penn was seventh and the Terriers were eighth.
Against the Terriers in the first dual, a marquee match will come at 157 pounds. Penn’s Ray Bethea has had a great start to his sophomore campaign, posting a 10-1 record with a title at the East Stroudsburg Open and a runner-up finish at the Keystone Classic. En route to the final last weekend, he defeated No. 13 Nestor Taffur of Boston University, 7-4. That loss is the only one of Taffur’s season as he enters with an 11-1 record.
Penn’s second dual of the day will also have potential rematches from a week ago, highlighted by the battle at 165 pounds. No. 19 Casey Kent gave No. 7 Josh Veltre all he could handle last weekend in the semifinals of the Keystone Classic, falling by a 3-2 decision. Kent enters the weekend with a 5-1 record, while Veltre is 10-0.
No. 19 Frank Mattiace enters the weekend with a 9-2 record, and a 2-2 mark against wrestlers ranked inside the Top 20. He will have another shot at a Top-20 wrestler when he takes on No. 10 Richard Perry from Bloomsburg. Perry is 8-1 this season, his lone defeat coming to No. 5 Travis Rutt of Oklahoma.
Penn’s Probable Lineup
125: Caleb Richardson (Fr.), 4-2
133: Ken Bade (Fr.), 3-4
141: No. 10 C.J. Cobb (Jr.), 0-0 or Jeff Canfora (Jr.), 6-4
149: Andrew Lenzi (Sr.), 7-2
157: Ray Bethea (So.), 10-1 or Steve Robertson (Jr.), 8-3
165: No. 19 Casey Kent (So.), 5-1
174: Brad Wukie (Sr.), 7-3 or Zach Agostino (Sr.), 6-4
184: No 9 Lorenzo Thomas (Jr.), 8-2
197: No. 19 Frank Mattiace (Fr.), 9-2 or Harrison Cook (Sr.), 4-3
285: Steven Graziano (Sr.), 5-3 or Anthony DiLonardo (Jr.), 1-4
No. 22 Bloomsburg Probables
125: Sean Boylan (Sr.), 2-6
133: #12 Nick Wilcox (Sr.), 6-4
141: Matt Rappo (So.), 7-7
149: #5 Bryce Busler (Sr.), 10-1
157: Kevin Hartnett (Jr.), 7-5
165: #8 Josh Veltre (Sr.), 5-0
174: #20 Mike Dessino (Sr.), 8-4
184: Sam Shirey (Sr.), 5-6
197: #10 Richard Perry (Sr.), 8-1
285: Justin Grant (Sr.), 8-3
Boston University Probables
125: Bubba McGinley (Sr.), 7-4
133: Dane Harlowe (So.), 6-5
141: Tyler Scotton (Jr.), 7-3 or Peter Ishiguro (Jr.), 2-3
149: Nick Tourville (Sr.), 5-4
157: #13 Nestor Taffur (Sr.), 11-1
165: Mitchell Wightman (Jr.), 8-4
174: Andrew Maksimovic (Jr.), 3-6 or Eric Des Lauriers (Sr.), 1-4
184: Aaron Conrad (Fr.), 2-5
197: Kristian Meyer (Sr.), 0-4
285: Kevin Innis (Sr.), 2-3