PHILADELPHIA - No. 22 Penn knew it needed to come out strong against No. 10 Lehigh in its dual in The Palestra on Sunday, and the Quakers did just that with wins in the first three matches to take a 12-0 lead over the Mountain Hawks. However, Lehigh used its advantages in the upper weights to comeback on the Red and Blue, winning six of the last seven as the Quakers fell, 21-15.
The win was a vast improvement from the dual which ended the 2010-11 season for the Quakers. In March, Penn was defeated in Bethlehem, 35-4, to close out the dual season and leave a sour taste heading to EIWAs. After the close loss today, a dual which Penn had every right to win, the Red and Blue are confident heading into the winter months.
The dual started at 133, and No. 14 Bryan Ortenzio took his first career win over a Lehigh wrestler in six tries with a 13-2 major decision over Chris Dinnien. The whistle saw Ortenzio shoot first and finish just 11 seconds in, adding two nearfall points midway through the period. He continued to dominate the rest of the match, with a reversal and takedown in the second period followed by similar scores in the third period. Ortenzio improved to 14-0 this season and still has yet to allow an offensive point.
No. 4 Zack Kemmerer followed with bonus points of his own at 141, scoring a tech fall over Jim Carucci in 5:30. Kemmerer was out the gate quick with a takedown seven seconds in followed by a second takedown and three backpoints at the close of the opening period. In the second, Kemmerer escaped quickly, and then added a takedown right after getting back to neutral. One minute later, he added another three backpoints to lead 13-1 after two periods. In the third, Kemmerer quickly escaped and then took Carucci down to seal the 16-1 win.
Two freshmen came through in their first Penn-Lehigh matches for the Red and Blue's other two wins on the day. Steve Robertson gave Penn its third win to start the meet with a 10-3 decision over senior Kyle Rosser and Ian Korb won a battle of true freshmen with a 6-4 win in sudden victory at 174 over Nate Brown.
Robertson was close to obtaining more bonus points for Penn in his bout with Rosser, leading by a 6-2 margin after the first period. He added a takedown in the second period to widen his lead, but was unable to score in the waning seconds of the match to get to the major decision. Robertson improved to 14-2 this season with the win.
Korb scored first in his match with Brown, taking him down 45 seconds into the bout. In the second period, Korb was awarded a point for locked hands on Brown and then escaped to take a 4-1 lead. Brown countered with his first takedown at the 4:08 mark and the escaped in the third to tie the match. In overtime, Korb finished a single at the 7:19 mark to score his biggest win as a Penn wrestler to date.
That win for Korb gave Penn a 15-6 lead at the time as the Quakers avoided bonus points by No. 9 Brandon Hatchett at 165 as he had trouble solving the length of Penn freshman Lorenzo Thomas. At 157, Troy Hernandez was tied with Brian Tannen, 3-3, after the first period, but allowed what proved to be a costly three-point nearfall in the second. Hernandez had more energy in the third, taking Tannen down twice in the final 34 seconds, but unable to finish the third takedown as an escape and riding time gave Tannen the 10-8 win.
After Erich Smith battled No. 1 Robert Hamlin tough for seven full minutes before ultimately falling, 6-1, Lehigh won what proved to be the true deciding match at 197 when No. 9 Joe Kennedy defeated No. 6 Micah Burak, 6-2. Kennedy had the only two takedowns of the match, the second coming right near the final buzzer off a counter to a potential Burak throw to seal the win and bring Lehigh within three at 15-12.
For the third time in four matches, Anthony DiLonardo was matched up against one of the nation's toughest heavyweights in defending national champion No. 4 Zach Rey. The match was tight at 7-4 and in the final 20 seconds before Rey was able to throw in a three-quarter nelson and turn DiLonardo to his back for the fall and six big team points to make the score 18-15 Lehigh.
Geoffrey Bostany needed to score bonus points for Penn to win the dual, but he was unable to do so against Mason Beckman, dropping a 3-2 decision at 125.
The Quakers are now 3-2 in duals while Lehigh improves to 5-2. The Quakers are back home next Sunday at 1 p.m. against Maryland.
No. 10 Lehigh def. No. 22 Penn, 21-15
133 - No. 14 Bryan Ortenzio (Penn) def. Chris Dinnien (Lehigh), 13-2 Penn leads, 4-0
141 - No. 4 Zack Kemmerer (Penn) def. Jim Carucci (Lehigh), 16-1 (5:30) Penn leads, 9-0
149 - Steve Robertson (Penn) def. Kyle Rosser (Lehigh), 10-3 Penn leads, 12-0
157 - Brian Tannen (Lehigh) def. Troy Hernandez (Penn), 10-8 Penn leads, 12-3
165 - No. 9 Brandon Hatchett (Lehigh) def. Lorenzo Thomas (Penn), 7-2 Penn leads, 12-6
174 - Ian Korb (Penn) def. Nate Brown (Lehigh), 6-4 (SV) Penn leads, 15-6
184 - No. 1 Robert Hamlin (Lehigh) def. Erich Smith (Penn), 6-1 Penn leads, 15-9
197 - No. 9 Joe Kennedy (Lehigh) def. No. 6 Micah Burak (Penn), 6-2 Penn leads, 15-12
285 - No. 4 Zach Rey (Lehigh) def. Anthony DiLonardo (Penn) FALL 6:44 Lehigh leads, 18-15
125 - Mason Beckman (Lehigh) def. Geoffrey Bostany (Penn), 3-2 Lehigh leads, 21-15