Penn and Nebraska Wrestle to 17-17 Tie

PHILADELPHIA – The 19th-ranked Nebraska wrestling team overcame a 10-0 Penn lead to come back and tie the Quakers, 17-17, at The Palestra Saturday afternoon.

The stalemate was the first in seven years for the Quakers (7-7-1), since Jan. 19, 1999, when they tied Cornell, 16-16. Both Penn and Nebraska won five bouts, with each picking up three decisions and two major decisions.

“Anytime you wrestle a top-20 team like Nebraska, the incentive to wrestle hard is there,” said Head Coach Zeke Jones.

Senior No. 1 Matt Valenti, wrestling for the final time at The Palestra on Senior Day, won by major decision at 133 lbs. and now has 127 career wins. He is one win short of the program record of 128 owned by Brett Matter.

Penn jumped out to a 10-0 lead with wins by Zack Shanaman, Matt Herrington and Lior Zamir. But the Quakers then lost five of the next seven.

Shanaman started the meet at 165 with a solid 9-3 decision over Stephen Dwyer. Shanaman controlled from the start, scoring two takedowns in each of the first two periods to gain a decisive edge.

No. 11 Matt Herrington won an entertaining 174-pound bout that was much closer than the score indicated. Herrington took a commanding lead with an escape and a takedown to start the second, but Harwood scored on a takedown into a near-fall two to cut the lead to 9-7, and each scored escapes around the second break to make it 10-8. It looked as if the match would end that way, but Herrington caught a late takedown into a near-fall three to make it a 16-8 major decision with riding time factored in.

Zamir eased by Levi Wofford, 13-7, before No. 10 Craig Brester majored Jack Sullivan, 14-5, to make it a 10-4 team score. Ben Reiter grabbed a 6-2 win over Cameron Browne at heavyweight to bolster Penn’s lead.

No. 20 Matt Eveleth fell to No. 13 Paul Donahue at 125 pounds. The Nebraska grappler scored a takedown and a near-fall-two in the first period and never looked back, winning 8-2.

Valenti got three points back with his 11-0 major over Patrick Aleksanyan. Brett McCurdy hung with No. 7 Dominick Moyer but couldn’t pull off the upset, falling 5-2. Moyer scored first on a takedown, but McCurdy escaped. McCurdy tied the bout with an escape to start the second. Moyer, though, used an escape and a late takedown in the third to win.

Rob Hitschler lost by major decision, 19-7, at 149 pounds to Jordan Burroughs, making the team score 17-14 in favor of Penn and setting up a potential tie.

Matt Dragon fought hard against No. 17 Chris Oliver, but ultimately couldn’t pick up the win. After a scoreless first, Oliver chose down and escaped before scoring a takedown. Dragon chose up for the third to try and win it on top, but despite some close calls, he couldn’t turn Oliver for points. Oliver added a final escape and Dragon earned riding time to make it a 4-1 decision.

Penn is in action this evening with a 7:30 start at Princeton before traveling to No. 24 Lehigh tomorrow at 1 p.m.

No. 20 Penn 17, No. 19 Nebraska 17

165 - #10 Zack Shanaman (P) def. Stephen Dwyer; D, 9-3

174 - #11 Matt Herrington (P) def. Marc Harwood; MD, 16-8

184 - #14 Lior Zamir (P) def. Levi Wofford; D, 13-7

197 - #10 Craig Brester (N) def. Jack Sullivan; MD, 14-5

285 – Ben Reiter (P) def. Cameron Browne; D, 6-2

125 - #13 Paul Donahoe (N) def. #20 Matt Eveleth; D, 8-2

133 - #1 Matt Valenti (P) def. Patrick Aleksanyan; MD, 11-0

141 - #7 Dominick Moyer (N) def. Brett McCurdy; D, 5-2

149 – Jordan Burroughs (N) def. Rob Hitschler; MD, 19-7

157 - #17 Chris Oliver (N) def. Matt Dragon; D, 4-1