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PHILADELPHIA - After its final off weekend of the regular season, No. 22 Penn gets right back into Ivy League action on Saturday with a pair of duals in The Palestra against Harvard (10 a.m.) and Brown (2 p.m.)
The Red and Blue are 5-3 overall and 0-1 inside the Ivy League. The 0-1 mark ties the Quakers with four other teams inside the League for second place as each squad has already wrestled Cornell which has clinched the Ivy title. The next three weeks will determine who claims second among the Ivy programs - a spot owned by the Quakers each of the last ten seasons.
For the first time since 1991, Penn will be looking to avenge a loss to Harvard when the two teams meet in The Palestra on Saturday morning. Last season, an undermanned Quakers lineup with three backups in starting spots was downed by the Crimson, 23-19, in Cambridge, for Penn's first defeat against Harvard since 1990. The Quakers have won 11 in a row over Harvard at home, the last loss coming on Feb. 10, 1989.
Penn will lineup three nationally-ranked wrestlers this weekend, highlighted by a pair of ninth-ranked wrestlers in 141-pounder C.J. Cobb and 197-pounder Micah Burak. Mark Rappo joins that group, sitting at No. 20 at 125 pounds. Those three are a combined 38-11 this season, and are 6-2 against Ivy opponents. Penn's best wrestler inside the Ivy League so far in 2012-13 has been Ian Korb. The 174-pounder is 5-1 against ivy opponents, and he has a chance to flip is one loss on Saturday against Harvard's Cameron Croy. The two met at Midlands in December, Croy scoring a 5-3 win in sudden victory.
The highlight match in the dual against the Crimson likely will come at 141 pounds where Cobb and Steven Keith will rekindle a blossoming rivalry. Cobb and No. 13 Keith have met four times over the past two seasons - twice each at 133 and 141 pounds. Cobb is 1-3 against the 2012 All-American, with the win coming in the semifinals of the Keystone Classic this past November, 4-0. The other meeting this season saw Keith score a 6-5 win at the Binghamton Open.
Two rematches from last year's dual are on the docket. At 157, Troy Hernandez will wrestle No. 8 Walter Peppelman. The two have met twice, with the two-time All-American winning both. Last year, Hernandez was game with Peppelman before a 5-2 loss. In 2009-10, the score was 3-0 for Peppelman at the Binghamton Open. The second rematch could potentially come at heavyweight between Steven Graziano and David Ng. Last year in the dual, Graziano edged Ng, 3-2, after suffering a similar loss to open the season at the Binghamton Open.
The Crimson are 3-4 overall in duals, and 1-3 against EIWA foes. Last time out, Harvard handled Army, 23-16, in West Point. The Crimson won six bouts, propelled by three bonus-point wins including a fall from Jeffrey Ott at 125. The Crimson held a 17-10 lead, but needed a pair of late decisions at 197 and heavyweight to clinch the dual. Keith leads the team with 19 wins this season, while Croy is second with 16.
Brown is 6-5 in duals this season and 4-5 against Division I opponents. Inside the EIWA, the Bears are 1-3 with the lone win a 24-12 victory over Franklin & Marshall. The Bears are 0-4 in their last four Division I duals. Ophir Bernstein leads Brown with a 12-7 record at 184 pounds. Bernstein finished fourth at EIWAs last year and qualified for NCAAs as a true freshman. Canaan Bethea picked up a 6-4 win over Bernstein at the Keystone Classic earlier this season. At 197 pounds, Sophomore Sterling Hecox is 10-4 with four wins by fall. At the Binghamton Open, Micah Burak defeated Hecox, 4-1.
The Quakers have won 20 duals meets in a row against Brown dating back to Feb. 4, 1994.
No. 22 Penn's Probable Lineup
125: No. 20 Mark Rappo (15-4)
133: Jeff Canfora (5-6)
141: No. 9 C.J. Cobb (16-5)
149: Andrew Lenzi (18-9)
157: Troy Hernandez (7-9)
165: Casey Kent (17-10)
174: Ian Korb (16-10) or Harrison Cook (4-9)
184: Canaan Bethea (18-7)
197: No. 9 Micah Burak (7-2)
285: Steven Graziano (14-11) or Kyle Cowan (6-6)
125: Jeffrey Ott (12-12, 3-4)
133: Ryan Osleeb (7-10, 3-4)
141: No. 10 Steven Keith (19-6, 6-1) or Patrick Hogan (3-4, 0-0)
149: Alexis Wagener (0-6, 0-2) or Todd Preston (3-2, 3-2)
157: No. 8 Walter Peppelman (9-2, 7-0)
165: Devon Gobbo (5-8, 1-6)
174: Cameron Croy (16-10, 4-3) or Ian Roy (4-4, 0-0)
184: Josh Popple (6-10, 1-6)
197: James Fox (5-2, 5-2)
HWT: David Ng (6-8, 2-2) or Nicholas Gajdzik (4-7, 0-3)
125: Billy Watterson (10-10) or Vinny Moita (5-6)
133: Anthony Finocchiaro (3-5) or Beau Martino (4-6)
141: Cort Choate (6-11) or Zack Tanenbaum (5-7)
149: Grant Overcashier (1-5) or Zach Rees (2-6)
157: Phil Marano (2-4) or CJ Howard (2-6)
165: Giuseppi Lanzi (7-8) or Austin Rugraff (1-7)
174: Ricky McDonald(2-6)
184: Ophir Bernstein (12-7) or Sebastien Levin (2-5)
197: Sterling Hecox (10-4) or Gus Marker (1-5)
285: DJ Ingham (0-5) or Marcos Aranda (2-9)