Peterkin Takes 133 lb. Title at Southern Scuffle

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Despite a career which has featured two trips to the Round of 12 at the NCAA Championships and an EIWA title, Rollie Peterkin entered the 2010-11 season as somewhat of an unknown quantity due to his season away from the mat in 09-10 and a new weight class of 133 pounds this season.

After the Southern Scuffle, Peterkin's without question showed he is ready to compete and contend at 133. Against a field filled with serious competition, Peterkin put together a great run to the final, claiming the championship with a 6-0 win over top seed - and national No. 4 - Lou Ruggirello of Hofstra.

Peterkin was one of two Quakers to place at the Scuffle, joined by No. 7 Micah Burak (fourth at 197 pounds) and Zack Kemmerer (fifth at 141 pounds) as the Red and Blue finished 8th of 34 teams with a score of 71.5. Last year, Penn finished 11th of 31 teams with 62.5 points.

In the final bout, contested atop a center podium under the spotlight, Peterkin survived a tough second period ride from top-seeded Ruggirello to escape late in the middle frame and carry a 1-0 lead into the final period. In the third, Peterkin chose neutral, ,hoping to get a takedown and tie the match rather than risk any tilts from the tough-on-top Ruggirello. Roughly midway through the period, Peterkin found himself tangled in an underhook tie with Ruggirello and used the leverage on the tie to throw the three-time CAA champ to his back for a five-point move. Peterkin finished strong in top position, erasing his riding time deficit and scoring a 6-0 win.

Burak is another Penn wrestler who has quietly went about his business this year en route to a No. 7 ranking entering the tournament. However, after a 6-4 win over top seed - and national No. 1 - Dustin Kilgore of Kent State in the consolation semifinals, Burak may no longer be under the radar. That win was just one of six in the tournament for Burak, as he went 6-2 en route to his fourth place finish. After being knocked out of the championship bracket by Oregon State's Chad Hanke, 3-1 in sudden victory, Burak stormed back though the consolation bracket. He won his next four bouts by a combined score of 41-7 before his close win over Kilgore. In the third-place bout, Burak gave up an early takedown to sixth seed (and national No. 14) Matt Powless from Indiana and couldn't recover for a 4-0 loss.

The third Quaker to put together a fantastic run in Greensboro was Zack Kemmerer at 141 pounds. Kemmerer has hovered around the national rankings all year while leading the Red and Blue in wins. He entered the tournament with two firsts and a second at his three previous tourneys to open the season and can add a fifth after a 6-2 run through the Scuffle. Kemmerer's chance at a championship went by the wayside after a 10-3 loss to second-seeded (and national No. 2) Michael Thorn of Minnesota in the quarterfinals to open the day. However, Kemmerer rallied with two wins over Bloomsburg's Derek Shingara (5-2) and Virginia's Augustus Sako (4-2) to stay alive. In the consolation semifinals, Kemmerer met up with Penn State's super frosh Andrew Alton. Undefeated in his freshman season before a loss to No. 1 Kellen Russell of Michigan in the semis, Alton was looking to replicate his quick pin (0:39) of Kemmerer in the final of the Nittany Lion Open in early December. Kemmerer had other ideas, however, going toe-to-toe with Alton throughout the first two periods, keeping the match square at 4-4 late. A somewhat controversial four-point move for Alton late in the bout was the difference, with the backpoints being counted before the takedown actually appeared to be secured. Kemmerer worked his escape and pushed the action in the waning seconds, but couldn't find the score as time ran out on a frustrated Penn grappler. Undeterred, Kemmerer came back in his medal match, defeating national No. 11 - and sixth seed - Michael Mangrum of Oregon State, 6-5, to end his tournament on a high note.

After a run of early tournaments and duals away from The Palestra, Penn finally has its first home dual of the 2010-11 season ahead of them as the Quakers host Bloomsburg Jan. 9 at 1 p.m.

Penn Wrestlers at Southern Scuffle (Day One)
Rankings Reflect Seed at Tournament

Mark Rappo
First Round - Def. Tanner Bildenspach (Campbell) FALL 5:35
Second Round - Def. No. 8 Frank Martellotti (Penn State), 4-1
Third Round - Def. No. 9 Steve Bonnano (Hofstra), 4-3
Round of 12 - Lost to Sean Boyle (Michigan), Inj. Default 4:41

Karim Shafi
First Round - Bye
Second Round - Lost to Robert Jillard (Liberty) FALL 1:48
Consolation First Round - Lost to Matt Peters (Unattached), 3-13

No. 2 Rollie Peterkin - First Place
First Round - Bye
Second Round - Def. Tyler Sackett (Navy), 9-2
Third Round - Def. Connor Hanafee (Army), 4-0
Quarterfinals - Def. Garrett Drucker (Oregon State), 9-7
Semifinals - Def. No. 3 Kyle Hutter (Old Dominion), 6-4
Championship Final - Def. No. 1 Lou Ruggirello (Hofstra), 6-0

Geoffrey Bostany
First Round - Bye
Second Round - Lost to Patrick Owens (North Carolina), 1-8
Consolation First Round - Lost to Evan Kolb (Lock Haven), 5-6

Zack Ellis
First Round - Lost to Pete Rendina (Michigan), FALL 0:38
Consolation First Round - Lost to Tyler Sackett (Navy), FALL 0:43

No. 7 Zack Kemmerer - Fifth Place
First Round - Def. Danny Lopes (North Carolina), 2-1
Second Round - Def. Zachary Bintliff (Princeton), 13-4
Third Round - Def. Chris Villalonga (Cornell), 2-1
Quarterfinals - Lost to No. 2 Michael Thorn (Minnesota), 3-10
Round of 12 - Def. Derek Shingara (Bloomsburg), 5-2
Consolation Quarterfinals - Def. Augustus Sako (Virginia), 4-2
Consolation Semifinals - Lost to No. 4 Andrew Alton (Penn State), 5-8
Fifth-Place Match - Def. No. 6 Michael Mangrum (Oregon State), 6-5

Andrew Lenzi
First Round - Def. Eric Reger (Liberty), FALL 4:36
Second Round - Def. A.J. Guardado (Duke), 8-6
Third Round - Lost to No. 7 Daniel Zilverberg (Minnesota), 0-9
Consolation Fourth Round - Lost to Scott Clymer (Liberty), 0-4

Brad Wukie
First Round - Bye
Second Round - Def. Jesse Stafford (Air Force), 7-5
Third Round - Lost to No. 1 David Taylor (Penn State), FALL 2:21
Consolation Fourth Round - Def. Jordan Nolan (Ohio), FALL 1:12
Consolation Fifth Round - Lost to Colton Palmer (N.C. State), 1-14

Canaan Bethea
First Round - Bye
Second Round - Def. Nick Avery (Indiana), 2-0
Third Round - Lost to No. 7 Nick Purdue (Ohio), 3-9
Consolation Third Round - Def. Quinton Godley (N.C. State), 7-0
Consolation Fourth Round - Lost to Andre Petroski (North Carolina), 7-12

Harrison Cook
First Round - Def. Elijah Adams (UNC-Greensboro), Inj. Default (2:18)
Second Round - Lost to Ben Clymer (Hofstra), 0-7
Consolation First Round - Def. Andrew Church (Penn State), 8-3
Consolation Second Round - Lost to Taylor Meeks (Oregon State), 1-10

197 - No. 5 Micah Burak - Fourth Place
First Round - Bye
Second Round - Def. Kyle Sanders (Ohio), 7-2
Third Round - Lost to Chad Hanke (Oregon State), 1-3 SV
Consolation Third Round - Def. Greg Prioleau (Navy), 14-4
Consolation Fourth Round - Def. Neil Delaney (Air Force), 8-0
Round of 12 - Def. Travis Porter (Gardner-Webb), 8-0
Consolation Quarterfinals - Def. No. 7 Anthony Biondo (Michigan), 11-3
Consolation Semi-Finals - Def. No. 1 Dustin Kilgore (Kent State), 6-4
Third-Place Match - Lost to No. 6 Matt Powless (Indiana), 0-4

Steven Graziano
First Round - Bye
Second Round - Lost to Matt Loew (Hofstra), 4-6 SV
Consolation Second Round - Def. Travis Stern (Lock Haven), 7-4
Consolation Third Round - Lost to Neil Delaney (Air Force), 2-5

Kyle Cowan
First Round - Bye
Second Round - Lost to No. 12 Ben Berhow (Minnesota), 6-7
Consolation Second Round - Def. Jared Erikson (Air Force), 4-0
Consolation Third Round - Def. Derek Papagianopoulos (Virginia), 6-1
Consolation Fourth Round - Lost to No. 13 Eloheim Palma (N.C. State), 4-6