Cowan Pushes Wrestling to Pair of Wins in Virginia

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Freshman Kyle Cowan made his mark on Penn Wrestling this weekend in a big way. All the heavyweight did was down a nationally-ranked wrestler against VMI and then score the decisive win in a tied match against Virginia.
Cowan's 2-1 win over No. 14 Josh Wine of VMI was the final win in a 33-6 victory for Penn over the Keydets. Later, against Virginia, Cowan took the mat with the two teams tied, 15-15. Against veteran Jack Danilkowicz, Cowan won via a 5-1 decision to break the deadlock in favor of the Red and Blue, 18-15.

Against Virginia, Mark Rappo came out with a quick takedown on Matt Snyder, scoring the first points 25 seconds in. With a minute to go in the period, Rappo again scored a takedown. The takedown was a close one, and the Virginia bench argued the call and was called for unsportsmanlike conduct, with a team point deducted from UVA's team total. Snyder chose top position for the second period, but couldn't turn Rappo. He was close, with two one-counts, but Rappo held ground and took a 4-2 lead into the third period. In the third period, Rappo came in on a shot and the two wrestled in a scramble for a good 45 seconds before the stalemate was called. With 14 seconds left, Rappo shot off the restart and controlled the final seconds. Snyder had 1:37 of riding time, but the score was still 4-3 in favor of Rappo.

Rollie Peterkin followed with a takedown in the first 30 seconds at 133 pounds, riding Joe Spisak out for the remainder of the opening period. In the second, Peterkin chose bottom looking to build his lead. It took him a while, but with 30 seconds left in the middle stanza, Peterkin slipped out the back and came out on top for a reversal to take a 4-0 lead into the third period. Spisak went back to top in the third on his choice, and this time Peterkin reversed in the first 20 seconds to give himself a 6-0 lead. Peterkin countered a Spisak underhook with a go-behind with 29 seconds left in the match, but Spisak was able to reverse right before the buzzer to take away bonus points for Penn as Peterkin won, 9-3 on his 2:18 of riding time.

Midway through the first period at 141, Zack Kemmerer was able to score on a double, but Sako escaped 10 seconds later before Kemmerer could accumulate riding time. With two seconds left in the period, the referee called fleeing the mat on Kemmerer, tying the bout at 2-2 entering the second. Sako chose bottom in the second, escaping 13 seconds into the period to take a one-point lead. Kemmerer shot a single to the right leg just past the midway mark of the second period, lifting Sako's leg to the shelf and taking his time to trip Sako down for the takedown and a 4-3 lead. Kemmerer, with 58 seconds of riding time chose neutral for the third. He was called for stalling a second time, giving Sako a point to momentarily tie the match. However, right after the stall call, Kemmerer shot in again and took a 6-4 lead with another single. In the process, Kemmerer rose over 1:00 in riding time to essentially have a three-point lead. Sako escaped with just under a minute remaining, closing the gap. A mad scramble in the last 15 seconds had things in doubt, but Kemmerer held on and his 1:18 of riding time gave him a 7-5 win.

At 149, Andrew Lenzi and Derek Valenti were scoreless in the first period despite three good scrambles. In the second, Lenzi chose neutral, with both wrestlers looking for the first points of the bout. Again, the two went scoreless. In the third, Valenti chose bottom to start. He escaped 18 seconds into the period, taking the first lead of the bout, 1-0. Lenzi couldn't get inside the rest of the period, and Valenti took a 1-0 decision.

After UVA scored a tech fall at 157 from Nicky Gordon with a 20-5 win over Jordan Michelson, Jedd Moore came right back for UVA at 165 pounds with the first takedown against No. 20 Gabriel Burak. Burak escaped in 17 seconds, getting his first point of the match. The first period was contested in tight, with both wrestlers looking for Russian ties and headlock. Burak was close at the end of the period, but could not secure sole control. Burak elected top position in the second period, looking for nearfall. The nearfall didn't come, but Burak rode for the full two minutes, accumulating 1:42 of riding time entering the third period. In the third, Burak countered a Moore shot and came out of the scramble on top with just under a minute remaining in the bout to take a 3-2 lead. Burak rode out the remainder, staving off Moore roll-throughs for a 4-2 win.

At 174, Canaan Bethea was defeated by two-time All-American and No. 4 in the nation, Chris Henrich, 14-6. Riding time for Henrich throughout the match was the deciding factor in the bonus point to bring the team score to 12-11.

Erich Smith was out at 184 for Penn, wrestling No. 20 Jon Fausey. After Smith defended the first two shots of the match, Fausey was able to score on a low single with 1:18 to go in the opening period. Smith was close to an escape on the edge, but in the flow, both wrestlers went out of bounds. Fausey chose bottom for the second and escaped 11 seconds into the period, upping his lead to 3-0. With 15 seconds to go in the second, Fausey rolled right through a Smith shot, coming out for a takedown and a 5-0 lead entering the third. Smith escaped with just under a minute to go in the final period. Fausey scored again on a low single, cutting Smith to try and get the major. He scored that important takedown with five seconds to go, adding 2:34 of riding time for a 10-2 win and giving UVA its first lead of the day, 15-12.

No. 7 Micah Burak scored first at 197 against former ACC champion, Mike Salopek, ducking under and behind for a score with a little over one minute left in the first period of a physical bout. With five seconds left, while trying to return Salopek to the mat, Burak was hit for locked hands, giving UVA a point. In the second, Burak added to his lead with an escape from his choice of bottom and then a second takedown, bringing Salopek to the mat in the same fashion he did in the first period. Entering the third, Burak held a 5-1 lead and 1:45 of riding time. Salopek escaped quickly to close within three. With 1:10 to go, Burak was able to stuff a single from Salopek and circle to his right and score another takedown. Salopek escaped again, but Burak held on for an 8-3 decision with 1:57 of riding time.

Kyle Cowan took down Jack Danilkowicz down with two seconds left in the first period, giving him a 2-0 lead in the deciding match. In the second period, Cowan escaped in 15 seconds, building his lead. That was all the scoring in the second, as Cowan took a 3-0 lead into the third period. Cowan held Danilkowicz down for a bit, but the escape came with 1:13 to go, bringing the score to 3-1. Danilkowicz shot with 10 seconds left, but Cowan shugged him off the hip and circled around for a final takedown and a 5-1 decision to clinch the match for Penn, 18-15.

Penn's first dual of the day was a dominating 33-6 win over Virginia Military Institute. As has been the case of late, the Quakers jumped out to an early lead, with wins at the first four weights giving Penn a 16-0 lead. No. 4 Rollie Peterkin had the first of Penn's two pins in the dual at 133, sticking Luke Todd at 6:25, working a reversal into a pinning situation. Two bouts later, freshman Andrew Lenzi put up his best effort as a collegiate wrestler, defeating Ryan Goodsell, 13-2, at 149 pounds. Lenzi had a 7-1 lead after the first period, with two takedowns and three nearfall points. After VMI got on the board with a 6-0 win at 157, No. 20 Gabriel Burak posted a 15-0 tech fall at 165. Burak dominated, with an early takedown followed by 13 nearfall points over the period and a half of action. At 184, Erich Smith picked up a win in his first match as a Quaker, downing John Dommert, 6-2. Seventh-ranked Micah Burak recorded Penn's second pin of the dual, waiting till the last possible second to stick Chris Gill at 6:59. Burak led 10-0 at the time of the fall. Cowan after tough matches against ranked opponents earlier this season, picked up a win over a ranked foe with his 2-1 win over Wine. The winning points were a reversal in the second period, countering Wine's attempt to accumulate riding time.

Penn defeats Virginia, 18-15
125 - No. 19 Mark Rappo (Penn) def. Matt Snyder (UVA), 4-3 (Penn leads, 3 to -1)*
133 - No. 4 Rollie Peterkin (Penn) def. Joe Spisak (UVA), 9-3 (Penn leads, 6 to -1)
141 - No. 9 Zack Kemmerer (Penn) def. Gus Sako (UVA), 7-5 (Penn leads, 9 to -1)
149 - Derek Valenti (UVA) def. Andrew Lenzi (Penn), 1-0 (Penn leads, 9-2)
157 - Nicky Gordon (UVA) def. Jordan Michelson (Penn). 20-5 (5:14) (Penn leads, 9-7)
165 - No. 20 Gabriel Burak (Penn) def. Jedd Moore (UVA), 4-2 (Penn leads, 12-7)
174 - No. 4 Chris Henrich (UVA) def. Canaan Bethea (Penn), 14-6 (Penn leads, 12-11)
184 - No. 20 Jon Fausey (UVA) def. Erich Smith (Penn), 10-2 (UVA leads, 15-12)
197 - No. 7 Micah Burak (Penn) def. Mike Salopek (UVA), 8-3 (Match tied, 15-15)
285 - Kyle Cowan (Penn) def. Jack Danilkowicz (UVA), 5-1 (Penn leads, 18-15)
* UVA bench called for Unsportsmanlike Conduct in 1st period, resulting in a deduction of one team point

Penn defeats VMI, 33-6
125 - No. 19 Mark Rappo (Penn) def. Jon Pope (VMI), 11-4 (Penn leads, 3-0)
133 - No. 4 Rollie Peterkin (Penn) def. Luke Todd (VMI), FALL 6:25 (Penn leads, 9-0)
141 - No. 9 Zack Kemmerer (Penn) def. David Yost (VMI), 6-1 (Penn leads, 12-0)
149 - Andrew Lenzi (Penn) def. Ryan Goodsell (VMI), 13-2 (Penn leads, 16-0)
157 - Nicholas Emison (VMI) def. Jordan Michelson (Penn), 6-0 (Penn leads, 16-3)
165 - No. 20 Gabriel Burak (Penn) def. Ted Gottwald (VMI), 15-0 (4:37) (Penn leads, 21-3)
174 - Matthew Brock (VM) def. Canaan Bethea (Penn), 1-0 (Penn leads, 21-6)
184 - Erich Smith (Penn) def. John Dommert (VMI), 6-2 (Penn leads, 24-6)
197 - No. 7 Micah Burak (Penn) def. Chris Gill (VMI), FALL 6:59 (Penn leads, 30-6)
285 - Kyle Cowan (Penn) def. No. 14 Josh Wine (VMI), 2-1 (Penn leads, 33-6)