Live Video | Live Stats
Penn Wrestling on Twitter | Penn Wrestling on Facebook
PHILADELPHIA - No. 24 Penn is navigating its way through a challenging start to its 2011-12 dual season, with matchups against No. 14 American and No. 10 Lehigh already in the rear view mirror. On Sunday, the Quakers will again line up opposite a nationally-ranked squad when No. 13 Maryland comes to The Palestra for a 1 p.m. tilt.
Penn has opened with a 3-2 record in duals, defeating American for a signature win while narrowly falling to the Mountain Hawks last weekend, 21-15. Against Lehigh, Penn used its strong advantage at the lower weights to take an early lead, but a veteran lineup at the heavier weightclasses allowed Lehigh to pull away in the end. The Red and Blue were ahead, 12-0, after wins at 133, 141 and 149, but only secured points in one more match the rest of the way. Sunday's dual with the Terps, on paper, looks to pose a similar challenge for the Quakers to overcome.
Penn has undefeated wrestlers in No. 15 Bryan Ortenzio (133 lbs.) and No.2 Zack Kemmerer (141) along with a wrestler just outside the national Top-20 in Steve Robertson (149) to potentially propel Penn to an early advantage - provided the dual starts at 125 instead of a random draw).
After that, the edge on paper flips to the Terps. No. 14 Kyle John is a two-time NCAA qualifier at 157 for Maryland and is 9-5 this season with four wins by fall. Penn will counter with Troy Hernandez who is 4-8, but has improved over the past few weeks in terms of conditioning and came very close to completing a third-period comeback against Lehigh last weekend.
No. 2 Josh Asper is a returning All-American and two-time NCAA qualifier at 165 for the Terps. He is 82-14 from 2009-present and has recorded 10 of his 13 wins this season with bonus points. Freshman Lorenzo Thomas will step up to the challenge for Penn, as he has all season with an 11-4 record and matches against the No. 9 and 13 wrestlers already competed. Thomas is 4-1 in duals and has recorded four total falls this season.
Penn's Ian Korb had a thrilling win in sudden victory over Lehigh's Nate Brown last weekend and will look to carry that momentum over this Sunday against Maryland's likely starter in No. 16 Jimmy Sheptock. Korb is 10-7 overall and 8-6 in matches decided by decision, showing that the freshman likes to keep his matches tight. Sheptock is of a similar style, with eight of his 12 matches decided by decision. Sheptock has been on fire of late, though, with wins in seven of his last eight bouts, the only loss a 7-4 decision to #2 Ed Ruth of Penn State.
At 185 - two unranked wrestlers in Erich Smith and Ty Snook are likely to wrestle. Smith is 10-7 for Penn and coming off a hard-fought loss to No. 1 Robert Hamlin of Lehigh and a win over Bloomsburg. Snook is in his first season as a starter for the Terps and is 8-6 overall.
As was the case against Lehigh, the true swing match of the dual may come at 197 pounds. Penn will send out No. 8 Micah Burak while Maryland counters with No. 9 Christian Boley. Last year, Burak scored a 9-8 win over Boley at the Northeast Duals, but Boley is off to a 13-0 start this season with two wins over No. 11 Daniel Mitchell of American and a win over No. 10 Morgan McIntosh of Penn State.
For the fourth time this season, freshman heavyweight Anthony DiLonardo will wrestle a top competitor in a dual meet when he meets No. 14 Spencer Myers. With matches already contested against No. 1, No. 3 and No. 12, DiLonardo has shown he can hang for considerable portions of the match with the top guys despite his 3-7 record. Myers is a returning All-American who finished sixth at the NCAA Championships as a true freshman last season, Myers is 10-4 this season with six wins via bonus points. The two are both PA natives - DiLonardo from Plum and Myers from Selinsgrove - so Keystone State bragging rights are at stake, as well.
Last year at the Northeast Duals, Penn was downed by the Terps, 25-10. The Quakers won the first two bouts, but Maryland won six in a row and seven of the final eight for the win. Only the Burak/Boley bout will be a rematch this time around. Overall, Penn is 3-4 against Maryland in duals with its last win coming at The Palestra on Feb. 2, 2008 via a 19-16 score.
No. 24 Penn Probables
125 - Geoffrey Bostany, So. (4-8)
133 - #15 Bryan Ortenzio, Sr. (14-0)
141 - #2 Zack Kemmerer, Sr. (9-0)
149 - Steve Robertson, Fr. (14-2)
157 - Troy Hernandez, Jr. (4-8)
165 - Lorenzo Thomas, Fr. (11-4)
174 - Ian Korb, Fr. (10-7)
184 - Erich Smith, Sr. (10-7)
197 - #8 Micah Burak, Jr. (4-1)
285 - Anthony DiLonardo, Fr. (3-7)
No. 13 Maryland Probables
125 - Shane Gentry, So. (7-2)
133 - Geoffrey Alexander, Fr. (9-2)
141 - Frank Goodwin, So. (6-2)
149 - Ben Dorsay, So. (7-4)
157 - #14 Kyle John, Sr. (9-5) or Domenic DeRobertis, RSo. (5-4)
165 - #2 Josh Asper, Jr. (13-0)
174 - #16 Jimmy Sheptock, RSo., (10-2) or Corey Peltier, Sr. (4-2)
184 - Ty Snook, RSo. (8-6) or Corey Peltier, Sr. (4-2)
197 - #9 Christian Boley, RSo. (13-0) or Rob Fitzgerald, So. (2-5)
285 - #14 Spencer Myers, So. (10-4)