No. 24 Grapplers Pick up Two Wins in North Carolina

Chapel Hill, N.C. – Three Quakers earned their 20th wins of the season as the Penn wrestling team improved to 7-2 overall with wins over The Citadel and North Carolina on Saturday at Carmichael Auditorium. The Quakers, ranked 24th in the nation, shutout The Citadel, 43-0, and topped North Carolina, 33-8.

“We are really competing well,” Head Coach Zeke Jones said after both matches. “The guys are wrestling with great intensity, good focus and are really taking care of the little things.”

Junior captain Matt Valenti won both his matches by fall. He and fellow captain Dustin Wiles, who won his match against the Bulldogs by fall, lead the team with five pins. Wiles, Valenti and freshman Matt Dragon recorded their 20th wins of the season.

Against the Tar Heels the Quakers won eight matches including earning bonus points with a fall and three major decisions. Earlier in the day, Penn won three matches by fall, two by technical fall and allowed only four takedowns versus the Bulldogs.

Penn’s shutout was the first since a 54-0 win over Wagner in 2005. Four of those matches were forfeits by an injury-plagued Wagner team.

Against North Carolina, junior Matt Herrington defeated Alex Maciag by major decision, 11-3, to start the Quakers off with a 4-0 lead. At 184 pounds, Wiles knocked off Justin Dobies, 6-2, in double overtime. Senior Paul Velekei won his match by injury default. The Tar Heels got on the board when No. 13 Spencer Nadolsky earned a technicalfall over rookie Jack Sullivan at heavyweight.

Senior Mike Silengo (No. 20) won his 125-pound match, 6-5, giving Penn a 6-5 lead. Valenti (No. 11) topped Dan Carleton with his second pin of the day – this one in 3:52. Freshman Cesar Grajales blanked Isiah Britton, 9-0, to take the 141-pound bout, while classmate Matt Dragon (No. 13) picked up a major decision over Chris Romas, 13-3. No. 19 Gene Zannetti pulled out a 6-4 win over Brian Bagilo at 157 pounds to give Penn a 23-5 lead. Younger brother Jeff, lost a tough match at 165 pounds, falling to Deon Barrett, 7-4.

In the first match of the day, Herrington started things off at 174 pounds with a technical fall in 6:25 (24-8) over Franklin Elliot of The Citadel. The Cambridge, N.Y. native scored nine takedowns and two three-point nearfalls in the match to put five team points on the board. Wiles pinned his opponent at 184 pounds with five seconds remaining in the first period and put the Quakers (6-2) ahead 11-0 after two matches. Velekei won his 197 pound bout, 10-6. Sullivan wrestled at heavyweight and picked up his second win at that weight with a 5-4 triumph.

Silengo picked up his first fall of the year with a pin at 125 pounds in 2:17 and Valenti pinned his opponent at 133 pounds giving the Red and Blue a 29-0 advantage after six matches. Grajales and Dragon earned decisions at 141 and 149 pounds, respectively. Grajales defeated Matt Bullwinkel , 10-4 and Dragon handed Nick Orio a 9-6 defeat. The Zannetti brothers finished things off for the Red and Blue – Gene earned a technical fall at 157 pounds and Jeff won his 165-pound bout 11-5.

Penn 43, The Citadel 0

174 Matt Herrington def. Elliot Franklin, TFall 6:25 (24-8)

184 Dustin Wiles def. John Dickerson, F: 2.55

197 Paul Velekei def. Mark Thompson, D: 10-4

285 Jack Sullivan def. John Buck, D: 5-4

125 No. 20 Mike Silengo def. Anthony Easter, F: 2:17

133 No. 11 Matt Valenti def. Michael Arias, F: 2:54

141 Cesar Grajales def. Matt Bullwiner, D; 10-4

149 No. 13 Matt Dragon deef. Nick Orio, D: 9-6

157 No. 19 Gene Zannetti def. Chris Humphries, TFall: 17-2

165 Jeff Zannetti def. Dan Thompson, D: 11-5

Penn 23, UNC 8

174 Matt Herrington def. Alex Maciag, MD: 11-3

184 Dustin Wiles def. Justin Dobies, D: 6-2 2OT

197 Paul Velekei def. David Dashiel, injury deafault

285 Jack Sullivan lost to No. 13 Spencer Nadolsky, TFall: 19-2

125 No. 20 Mike Silengo def. Bobby Shaw, D: 6-5

133 No. 11 Matt Valenti def. Dan Carleton, F: 3:52

141 Cesar Grajales def. Isiah Britton, MD: 9-0

149 No. 13 Matt Dragon def. Chris Ramos, MD: 13-3

157 No. 19 Gene Zannetti def. Brian Bagilo, D:6-4

165 Jeff Zannetti lost to Deon Barrett, D:7-4