No. 22 Penn Wrestle Tough Against No. 14 Cornell

PHILADELPHIA– In a dual meet that was a lot closer than the score indicated, the No. 22 Penn wrestling team fell to No. 14 Cornell, 20-12, at The Palestra Friday afternoon. The Quakers won four matches, but fell in two matches by one point and were right there in two more.

Penn falls to 9-4 overall and 2-1 in the Ivy League, while the Big Red improve to 6-4 overall and 2-0 in Ancient Eight action.

“The guys wrestled with a lot of will and determination. They wanted to compete hard and they did,” Head Coach Zeke Jones said. “The match was a lot closer than the score indicated, and the reason wasthe little things. The bottom line is that we need to take care of the little things, like giving up riding time or giving up a takedown at the edge of the match. If we can take care of those things, it’s a whole new match.”

In the first match of the afternoon, No. 18 Mike Silengo took on No. 5 Troy Nickerson at 125 pounds. Nickerson scored first with a takedown, but Silengo reversed him to tie the score. Nickerson escaped, but Silengo kept on him and scored a takedown before the first period ended. Silengo escaped from the down position to go ahead, 5-3, but Nickerson got in for the takedown to even the match. Silengo escaped before the buzzer sounded. In the third and final period, Silengo was reversed and managed to escape, but not before Nickerson collected riding time to win the match.

The Quakers put together a string of solid wins at the next three weight classes. No. 9 Matt Valenti defeated No. 14 Mike Mormile, 4-0 at 133 pounds, Cesar Grajales defeated Matt Easter, 6-4, and Matt Dragon beat Keith Dickey, 6-2. Valenti and Mormile went scoreless for the first two periods. Valenti chose down in the third and escaped for the first points of the bout. He took Mormile down 45 seconds into the match and accumulatedmore thantwo minutes of riding time. Easter took Grajales down first, but Grajales escaped and got his own takedown. Grajales chose bottom in the second and escaped before getting another takedown. In the third, Easter escaped and was awarded a penalty point for two stalling calls on Penn, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Grajales. Dragon held Dickey down in the second period and turned him twice for two nearfall points. Dragon chose neutral in the third and was taken down before the match ended, but with riding time secured, he came out on top.

No. 5 Dustin Manotti got the best of Penn’s Gene Zannetti. Manotti won by technical fall, 21-6, to pull the Big Red to within 9-8. A win by Cornell’s Steve Anceravage at 165 pounds over Lior Zamir, 8-3, put Cornell on top 11-9. No. 13 Matt Herrington added another decision for the Red and Blue with a 5-4 win over Dan Miracola at 174 pounds, putting Penn in the lead, 12-11.

Senior Dustin Wiles took on No. 3 Joe Mazzurco at 184 pounds and fell 3-2. Mazzurco took Wiles down in the first, but Wiles quickly escaped. Mazzurco went up 3-2 with an escape from bottom in the second. Wiles chose bottom in the third and escaped to pull within 3-2 and had another opportunity to score when Mazzurco called is second injury time of the period, giving Wiles the choice. Wiles chose bottom and tried to escape to tie the match, but time ran out before he could come loose.

At 197 pounds, senior Paul Velekei lost a close 4-1 match to No. 7 Jerry Rinaldi.. After two scoreless periods, Rinaldi got on the board with an escape. He then took down Velekei to take a 3-0 lead. Velekei escaped, but not before Rinaldi accumulated riding time.

At heavyweight, Penn sent out freshman Jack Sullivan to face Cornell sophomore Zach Hammond. Hammond got the best of Sullivan, 10-3, to give the Big Red another three points and the win.

The Quakers return to action tomorrow against Columbia at The Palestra. The match is slated to begin at1 p.m.

No. 22 Penn 12, No. 14 Cornell 20

125 - #13 Mike Silengo lost to #5 Troy Nickerson, D: 8-7

133 - #9 Matt Valenti def. #14 Mike Mormile, D: 4-0

141 - Cesar Grajales def. Matt Easter, D; 6-4

149 - #13 Matt Dragon def. Keith Dickey, D: 6-2

157 - #20 Gene Zannetti lost to #5 Dustin Manotti, TFall 21-6

165 - Lior Zamir lost to Steve Anceravage, D: 8-3

174 - #13 Matt Herrington def. Dan Miracola, D: 6-5

184 - Dustin Wiles lost to #3 Joe Mazzurco, D: 3-2

197 - Paul Velekei lost to #7 Jerry Rinaldi, D: 4-1

285 - Jack Sullivan lost to Zach Hammond, D: 10-3