#25 Wrestling Defeats Columbia, 31-10

PHILADELPHIA – An important weekend of Ivy League wrestling began on Friday with a 31-10 win for Penn over visiting Columbia at The Palestra. With the win, Penn’s record now stands at 11-4, while the Lions are now 4-6.

The Quakers picked up bonus points in five of their seven wins. Lior Zamir scored a five-point technical fall at 184 pounds, while #17 Zack Shanaman (165 lbs.) and Jeff Zannetti (174 lbs.) each picked up major decisions. In addition, Bryan Ortenzio and Rick Rappo were credited with forfeit wins at 133 lbs. and 141 lbs., respectively.

#8 Rollie Peterkin got things started for Penn with a 3-0 win at 125 lbs. over Brandon Kinney. The win was not of the usual variety, as Peterkin needed a combination of an escape, riding time and a stalling penalty to get the shutout win. Kinney worked hard to escape in the third, but appeared to be frustrated by Peterkin’s ability to keep bringing him back down to the mat.

After the forfeits at 133 lbs. and 149 lbs. extended Penn’s lead to 15-0, live wrestling resumed at 149 lbs. with #13 Cesar Grajales taking on Columbia’s Anthony Constantino. Grajales opened the scoring with a takedown 1:40 into the opening period. Constantino was able to get the two points back via a reversal with 35 seconds left in the first. Grajales re-took the lead by escaping 15 seconds later. Constantino’s decision to start the second period on bottom paid off as he quickly escaped ten seconds into the middle period to tie the bout at 3-3. Grajales followed suit to open the third period, choosing bottom and escaping ten seconds in to secure the 4-3 win for Penn and up the lead to 18-0.

At 157 pounds, Vincent Cina wrestled Matt Dunn. Both men had chances to score in the first period, but their opponent held off each shot. Dunn scored the bout’s first points with an escape 45 seconds into the second period. Cina elected to start the final period from the neutral position, but it was Dunn who scored the two points with a takedown near the edge of the mat with 1:20 left in the bout. The Lions got on the board with the 3-0 win.

The run of bonus points really started at 165 pounds when Shanaman score a major decision with a 12-2 win over Victor Mocco. A takedown and two-point near-fall gave Shanaman a 4-0 lead after one period. He added three points in the second period with an escape only eight seconds into the period. He followed that with a takedown by sweeping Mocco’s leg with 31 seconds remaining in the frame. Shanaman again scored a takedown by sweeping at Mocco’s leg while he had one in his hands. He finished the major with a takedown one second before the final buzzer. His 1:46 of riding time completed the scoring and upped Penn’s lead to 22-3.

At 174 pounds, Zannetti shutout Travis Creagan, 9-0. The senior started the scoring with a takedown 35 seconds into the bout. He rode him out for the remainder of the period, scoring a two-point near-fall with 15 seconds left in the period. Zannetti added two points with a reversal 45 seconds into the second period. He added a takedown with 52 seconds remaining in the match to go with his 4:08 of riding time for the major decision.

Zamir continued his strong senior season with a tech fall over Kenji Porter, 19-2. Zamir needed 12 seconds to score the first points of the match with a takedown. After Porter escaped, Zamir took him down again with 1:26 left in the first after the two battled for the points for nearly 20 seconds. Zamir tilted him to score the three-point near-fall, holding him on tilt for almost 30 seconds, but unable to score the pin. He added another three-point near fall at the end of the period. Sensing the ability to score points, Zamir chose neutral to start the second. The strategy was a wise move as he took Porter down 25 seconds into the period. He followed that with three more points on a near-fall. After a Porter escape, it was another takedown for Zamir. He quickly added two-points on a near-fall for the tech.

“Lior continues to show tremendous senior leadership,” head coach Zeke Jones said after the match. “He is really rounding into top form at the perfect time.”

Dan Zander fed off the team’s momentum early in his 197 pound match with Nick Sommerfield. Zander reversed a Sommerfield shot mid-attack into his own takedown for two points with 1:23 left in the first period. Sommerfield escaped with 20 seconds left in the frame. Sommerfield rode Zander the whole second period, erasing Zander’s advantage. He followed with an escape 13 seconds into the third period. A takedown with 30 seconds left sealed the 4-2 win for Sommerfield, making the score 31-6 in favor of Penn.

At heavyweight, Ryan Flores scored a 10-1 major decision over Tyler Blakely. Flores countered a Blakely shot into a takedown of his own with 1:10 left in the first period. He added an escape nine seconds into the second and a takedown with just over a minute remaining in the middle stanza to have a 5-0 lead entering the final period. Two more takedowns in the third period plus 3:03 in riding time resulted in the major.

In a 184 pound exhibition match, Penn’s Colin Hitschler defeated Cary Aldrich, 12-5. Hitschler scored five takedowns on his way to the win.

Jones was pleased with the way his team rallied in the middle of the match.

“I think we started a little sluggish, but those guys in the middle picked us up with the bonus points,” he said. “Maybe we were looking ahead to Cornell a little, but we quickly gathered ourselves and put the match out of reach with those extra points in the middle weights.”

Up next for the Quakers is a showdown with #15 Cornell at The Palestra on Saturday. The Quakers will enter the bout with a 3-0 record in Ivy duals, and a win against the Big Red gives Penn an inside track to the Ivy crown. In addition to the big match with Cornell, Saturday will be a celebration of 70 years of the Grapplers Club, the support group of Penn wrestling for the last seven decades. All the action will be filmed by CSTV for airing on Monday, February 18 at 8 p.m.

#25 Penn def. Columbia, 31-10

125 lbs. - #8 Rollie Peterkin (Penn) def Brandon Kinney (Columbia), 3-0; Penn leads 3-0

133 lbs. - Bryan Ortenzio (Penn) wins via forfeit; Penn leads 9-0

141 lbs. - Rick Rappo (Penn0 wins via forfeit; Penn leads 15-0

149 lbs. - #13 Cesar Grajales def. Anthony Constantino (Columbia), 4-3; Penn leads 18-0

157 lbs. - Matt Dunn (Columbia) def. Vincent Cina (Penn), 3-0; Penn leads 18-3

165 lbs. - #17 Zack Shanaman (Penn) def. Victor Mocco (Columbia), 12-2; Penn leads 22-3

174 lbs. - Jeff Zannetti (Penn) def. Travis Creagan (Columbia), 9-0; Penn leads 26-3

184 lbs. - Lior Zamir (Penn) def. Kenji Porter (Columbia), 19-2; Penn leads 31-3

197 lbs. - Nick Sommerfield (Columbia) def. Dan Zander (Penn), 4-2; Penn leads 31-6

Hwt. - Ryan Flores (Columbia) def. Tyler Blakely (Penn), 10-2; Penn wins 31-10