Cambridge, Mass. The nationally-ranked Penn wrestling team won its second Ivy League match of the weekend, defeating Harvard, 30-18, on Saturday afternoon. The Quakers victory was its 16th straight over the Crimson and Penn improves to 9-3 overall and 2-0 in the Ancient Eight.
“The weekend was a good start to the conference season for us,” said Head Coach Zeke Jones. “It was good to get two wins on the road. We had several wrestlers step up and do what they had to do to win. We made a few mistakes that cost us in a couple of matches, but we will work on those areas this week for get ready for the rest of the conference matches.”
The Quakers took a 12-0 lead in the dual meet when No. 17 Mike Silengo and No. 9 Matt Valenti were awarded forfeits at 125 and 133 pounds, respectively. Silengo is now 14-4 on the season, while Valenti is 23-2 overall and 11-1 in dual action.
At the 141, freshman Cesar Grajales faced No. 14 Max Meltzer. Meltzer scored two takedowns in the first period and reversed Grajales in the second to take a 6-1 lead heading into the third period. Grajales started the third position down and escaped for one point. Meltzer took him down one more time in the third, but Grajales escaped to add one more point to the score. Meltzer took the match, 8-3, for Harvard’s first win of the match.
After a scoreless first period between No. 13 Matt Dragon and Matt Button, Dragon rode Button out for the entire period and scored three nearfall points, three times to take a 9-0 lead in the match. After choosing bottom position in the third and escaping, Dragon took the match 11-0 with riding team and put the Red and Blue ahead, 16-3.
At 157 pounds, it was the first of two rematches from the opening round of the Las Vegas Cliff Keen Invitational between No. 20 Gene Zannetti and Andrew Flanagen. Zannetti took him down in the first period and rode him out. Zannetti started down in the period and was turned when Flanagen was awarded the pin. The fall came in 3:44 and the Crimson pulled to within, 16-9.
Penn’s Lior Zamir added bonus points for the Quakers in his 165-pound bout. Zamir won by technical fall, 18-2 over Patrick Ziemnik. Zamir took him down in the opening minutes of the first period and turned him twice for three nearfall points. Zamir did much of the same in the second period, taking down Ziemnik twice and turning him for three backpoints. Zamir chose neutral to start the third period and took him down in the opening seconds of the third to earn the major decision.
Junior Matt Herrington won his 11th match of the season with his fourth fall of the season. Herrington took down Wes Walker six times and turned him for three nearfall points before sticking him to the mat with 44 seconds left in the match.
In the second rematch from the Cliff Keen Invitational, Harvard;s Louis Caputo got the best of senior captain Dustin Wiles for the second time. In the first period, Caputo was awarded a penalty point for a technical violation by Wiles and put another point on the board with an escape in the second, Wiles took Captuo down in the second, but Caputo reversed Wiles and turned him for three nearfall points. After starting the third period in the neutral position, Caputo took Wiles down to earn a 9-2 decision.
Senior captain Paul Velekei picked up his 15th win of the season with a 8-1 win over Billy Colson at 197 pounds. Velekei took down Colson in the first period and rode him out in the second. Velekei escaped from bottom in the third and scored two more takedowns in the third for the win.
The No. 22 Quakers host No. 13 Cornell on Friday afternoon in the match that has decided the Ivy League title for the last several years. The Quakers and Big Red face off at 2 p.m.
No. 22 Penn 30, Harvard 18
125 No. 17 Mike Silengo won by forfeit
133 No. 9 Matt Valenti won by forfeit
141 Cesar Grajales lost to No. 14 Max Meltzer, D: 8-3
149 No. 13 Matt Dragon def. Matt Button, MD: 11-0
157 No. 20 Gene Zannetti lost to Andrew Flanagen, F: 3:44
165 Lior Zamir def. Patrick Ziemnik, TF:18-2
174 No. 12 Matt Herrington def. Wes Walker, F: 6:16
184 Dustin Wiles lost to Louis Caputo, D: 9-2
197 Paul Velekei def. Billy Colson, D: 8-1
285 Jayson Bowlsby lost to No. 7 Bode Ogunwole, F: 3:15