Providence, R.I. No. 22 Penn wrestling team opened the Ivy League season with a 26-10 win over Brown on Friday afternoon. The Quakers win was its 13th-straight against the Bears and Penn improves to 8-3 on the season.
The Quakers won seven of the 10 bouts, including two by major decision and one by fall.
“It was a well fought dual meet for us,” Head Coach Zeke Jones said. “Brown came ready to wrestle today. We have not had much rest between dual meets and we have been training very hard. But I think our team wrestled well and responded under the training schedule we have had over the last few weeks.”
Junior captain Matt Valenti won his 133-pound bout with a 13-2 major decision over Dan Appello. Valenti took down Appello early in the first half and turned him for two back points. In the second period, Valenti escaped from the bottom position, scored on a takedown and added three nearfall points., while a takedown in the third gave Valenti the major and four team points. Valenti is ranked ninth in the nation and improved to 22-2 overall and has 91 career victories.
After three periods, freshman Cesar Grajales and Mark Savino were tied with one point a piece, both from escapes at 141 pounds. Grajales scored a takedown in overtime at the edge of the mat for the win and three team points. Grajales improves to 19-6 overall.
Freshman Matt Dragon picked up Penn’s third-straight win at 149 pounds, defeating Mike Ashton, 11-5. Ashton scored first with a takedown in the first period, but Dragon rode him out the entire second period and turned him for two back points, twice. Dragon, who is ranked 16th in the nation by Amateur Wrestling News, reversed Ashton in the third period and added three nearfall points. Ashton escaped late in the third and scored a quick takedown, but Dragon escaped and secured riding time for the win.
It was a close match for junior Gene Zannetti at 157 pounds, after a scoreless first period, Zannetti escaped for one point in the second and Mike Savino tied the match with an escape in the third. A takedown late in the match for Zannetti was the deciding factor, as he won 3- to improve to 16-7 overall.
Sophomore Lior Zamir lost a tough match to Shawn Kitchner at 165 pounds, 15-3. Zamir scored first with a takedown, but was taken down and turned for back points in the second. Another takedown and stalling warnings against Zamir gave Brown the major decision.
Junior Matt Herrington picked up his third fall of the season, pinning Matt Gevelinger in 2:44 at 174 pounds. Herrington took down Gevelinger four times in the first period and turned him for two nearfall points and three nearfall points. With the fourth takedown, Herrington stuck him to the mat to improve to 10-3 overall.
Senior captain Dustin Wiles gave Penn a 23-4 lead with a 19-7 major decision over Branden Stearn. Wiles took down his brown opponent five times in the first period , reversed him in the second and took him down again three more times in the match to secure the win.
Senior captain Paul Velekei added to the Penn lead with a 7-3 decision over Leo Sanaiki. Velekei took him down in the first period, reversed him in the second and took him down again in the third for the win. He added 1:17 of riding time of the extra point. With the win, Velekei picked up his 14th win of the season.
Freshman Jayson Bowlsby returned to the Penn lineup at heavyweight and lost a tough bout to Levon Mock, 6-2. After a scoreless first period, Mock escaped from the bottom and scored two takedowns to secure the win. Bowlsby scored an escape in both the second and third period.
After two scoreless periods at 125 pounds, senior Mike Silengo cut loose Jeff Schell and took him down to tie the match (Schell accumulated riding time in the second period). Schell escaped for the 3-2 decision.
Penn travels to Cambridge, Mass. to take on Harvard Saturday at 2 p.m.
No. 22 Penn 26, Brown 10
133 No. 9 Matt Valenti def. Dan Appllo, MD: 13-2
141 Cesar Grajales def. Mark Savino, D: 3-1 (OT)
149 No. 13 Matt Dragon def. Mike Ashton, D: 11-5
157 No. 20 Gene Zannetti def. Mike Savion, D:3-2
165 Lior Zamir lost to Shawn Kitchner, MD; 15-2
174 No. 12 Matt Herrington def. Matt Gevelinger, F:2:44
184 Dustin Wiles def. Branden Stearns, MD:19-7
197 Paul Velekei def. Leo Sanaiki, D: 7-3
285 Jayson Bowlsby lost to Levon Mock, D: 6-2
125 No. 13 Mike Silengo lost to Jeff Schell, D: 3-2