Philadelphia The Penn wrestling team got back on track with a 25-9 win over Columbia on Saturday afternoon at The Palestra. The 22nd-ranked Quakers won eight bouts to improve to 10-4 overall and 3-1 in Ancient Eight action.
“It was another hard fought victory for us today. Columbia came out ready to challenge use and we squeaked by with some of those victories,” Head Coach Zeke Jones said. “Now its time for us to get back to work.”
The highlight of the match was junior Matt Herrington’s upset win over No. 7 Matt Palmer at 174 pounds. Herrington, who is ranked as high as 13th in the nation earned a 3-2 decision. Herrington scored the only takedown of the match in the first period. Palmer escaped to pull within 2-1 before the period ended. Herrington chose bottom in the second and escaped, while Palmer did the same to start the third.
“Matt Herrington did a nice job in his match,” Jones added. “I believe this is the first time he’s beaten that kid. He came focused and came up with a plan and his conditioning really showed in the match.”
The match started at 165 pounds with Lior Zamir taking a 7-2 victory over Dustin Tillman. Zamir scored a takedown in the first period to start the scoring and escaped from the bottom in the second. He took down Tillman in the second and held him for the rest of the period. Tillman chose to start in the neutral position and scored a takedown, but Zamir escaped to add to his lead.
Senior captain Dustin Wiles added to the Penn lead with a 5-2 victory over Justin Barent at 184 pounds. After a scoreless first period, Wiles earned a point on an escape and then added two more with a takedown. In the third, Barent scored with an escape, but Wiles took him down. Barent escaped before the period ended to make the score 5-2.
Fellow senior captain Paul Velekei put Penn up 13-0 with a major decision over Orrin Kleinhenz, 18-6. Velekei took him down eight times in the match including four times in the third.
Columbia won the next bout when Bill Beechum pinned freshman Jack Sullivan at heavyweight. Beechum won the match in 1:09 to give Columbia six points and pull within, 13-6.
No. 18 Mike Silengo won his match at 125 pounds with an escape in the third for the only point of the match. No. 9 Matt Valenti earned a 2-0 decision at 133 pounds over Matt DeLorenzo. Valenti earned an escaped in the second period and held onto DeLorenzo in the third to accumulate riding time.
Columbia picked up its second win of the afternoon with a 3-2 by Sal Tirico at 141 pounds over Penn’s Cesar Grajales. Tirico’s 1:25 riding time was the difference in the match. Penn won the final two matches freshman Matt Dragon defeated Ricky Turk, 6-5 at 149 pounds and No. 20 Gene Zannetti defeated Derek Sickles, 10-4. Dragon, who is ranked 13th in the nation, was takedown first, but bounced back with a takedown and a three point nearfall to end the period. After getting taken down first, Zannetti reversed Sickles and continued to dominate the match for the win. He escaped from bottom in the second and took Sickles down in the second and then added two more takedowns and riding time in the third.
The Red and Blue will compete in their last two dual meets of the season Sunday, Feb. 19. Penn takes on Lehigh at 2 p.m. and Princeton at 5 p.m. Prior to the start of the Lehigh match, the Quakers will honor the senior class.
No. 22 Penn 25, Columbia 9
165 Lior Zamir dec. Dustin Tillman, D: 7-2
174 No. 13 Matt Herrington def. No. 7 Matt Palmer, D: 3-2
184 Dustin Wiles def. Justin Barent, D: 5-2
197 Paul Velekei def. Orrin Kleinhenz, MD: 18-6
285 Jack Sullivan lost to Bill Beechum, F:1:09
125 No. 18 Mike Silengo def. Jeff Sato, D: 1-0
133 No. 9 Matt Valenti dec. Matt DeLorenzo, D: 2-0
141 Cesar Grajales lost to Sal Tirico, D: 3-2
149 No. 13 Matt Dragon def. Ricky Turk, D:6-5
157 No. 20 Gene Zannetti def. Derek Sickles,