No. 22 Wrestling Hosts No. 13 Penn State and Drexel

No. 22 Penn Wrestling vs. No. 13 Penn State and Drexel
The Palestra• Philadelphia, Pa.
Dec. 10, 2005

Penn vs. PSU and Drexel Notes

• The No. 21 Penn wrestling team opens its dual meet portion of the season tonight with No. 13 Penn State and Drexel. The Quakers went 9-4 in dual meet action last season. Tonight’s match-up marks the first dual meet for first-year Head Coach Zeke Jones.

• The Penn vs. Penn State rivalry dates back to 1912. The two teams have met a total of 21 times. PSU holds a 19-2 lead in the series. Penn’s two victories 2000, a 22-16 win at The Palestra and in 2003, a 22-14 victory on 33rd St.

• No. 22 Penn vs. Drexel – Penn and Drexel will battle each other for University City bragging rights for the second year in a row. The Quakers have taken the last seven meetings between the teams, however, the Dragons hold a 11-8-1 advantage in the win column. The Red and Blue last faced Drexel on Jan. 16, 2005 and defeated the Dragons, 20-15.

• The last time the Quakers defeated a ranked opponent was No. 14 West Virginia on Jan. 17, 2004 at the Cliff Keen Duals in Cleveland, Ohio.

• Penn defeated No. 3 Iowa State, 26-15 at that meet. It is the highest ranked opponent, the Red and Blue have defeated in program history.

• What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas – The Red and Blue had a very successful showing at the 2005 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational last weekend. It took the No. 1 wrestler in the nation to take down junior captain Matt Valenti. Valenti went 12-0 to start the 2005-06 campaign, falling only to top-ranked Shawn Bunch at 133 lbs. in the championship bout, 4-2.

• Penn had three other wrestlers place at the Vegas tournament. Senior captain Dustin Wiles took fifth at 184 pounds, defeating three top-10 wrestlers along the way. Junior Gene Zannetti placed sixth at 157 lbs. and defeated No. 7 James Strousse of Hosftra in overtime. Sophomore Lior Zamir picked up a seventh-place finish at 174 lbs.

• As a team the Red and Blue finished 10th overall. Nine nationally ranked team competed this week according to the USA Today/NWCA NCAA Division I Coaches' Poll from Nov. 28. In order of finish – No. 3 Michigan (1), No. 11 Cornell (2), No. 15 Missouri (3), No. 22 Edinboro (4), No. 18 Arizona State (5), No. 2 Illinois (6), No. 25 Penn (10) and No. 19 Hofstra (11).

• Matt Eveleth and Matt Dragon competed at the Penn State Nittany Lion Open, taking second and third place, respectively. Eveleth fell to Joe Baker, 7-4, in the championships bout. Dragon was third at 149 lbs. Dragon went 5-1 on the day and had four major decisions. His only loss was to Brent Metcalf, the eventual winner, a 7-5 defeat. Dragon beat Patrick Simpson of Army in the third-place match, 8-6.

• Valenti is 12-1 on the season which gives him 81 wins for his career. He needs just 19 more wins this season to become the first Penn wrestler to reach 100 as a junior. Five other Quakers have garnered 100 wins in their careers at Penn.

• After finishing the season 1-10 against ranked opponents last season, Wiles is 3-3 against nationally-ranked grapplers at 184 lbs. In 2005, Wiles has defeated the No. 12, No. 14 and No. 16 wrestlers. His two losses were against No. 5, No. 8 and No. 11.

• Three Quakers won individual titles at the Keystone Classic - Andrew Gold (125), Cesar Grajales (141) and Matt Eveleth (133).

• Penn won the Keystone Classic for the first time since 2002. Penn put up 151 points, 42 points more than runner-up Virginia. American was third with four individual winners, while Appalachian State and Boston University rounded out the top-five.

• Penn opened the season with a second-place showing at the Oklahoma Brockport Gold on Nov. 12. The Quakers finished just five points behind No. 2 Oklahoma. Penn had 11 placewinners.

• Brotherly Love - Penn has three sets of brothers on the roster. Matt and Andrew Valenti, Rob and Colin Hitschler, and Gene and Jeff Zannetti. The Zannetti brothers are the only two who wrestle in the same weight class.

• Penn returns four NCAA Qualifiers to the line-up this season in Matt Valenti, Matt Herrington, Paul Velekei and Dustin Wiles.

• Head Coach Zeke Jones is in his first season at the helm of the Red and Blue. The former standout at Arizona State comes to Philadelphia after serving as an assistant coach at West Virginia for seven years.

• Last year, Wiles led the Red and Blue in falls and takedowns. The then-174 pounder had eight falls and 73 takedowns.

• Intermatwrestle.com ranked Penn’s incoming class as the No. 4 recruiting class in the country behind Iowa State, Virginia Tech and Cornell. It is the highest-ranked incoming class for the Quakers since the 2002 group was named the No. 1 recruiting class.

• A common name - there are six grapplers on the Penn roster (of 36) who have the name Matt.

Download: psu, drexel notes.pdf