Wrestling Back into Ivy Duals With Pair in New England

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Non-conference duals are over for Penn as it sets its sights on the final three weeks of the regular season before the EIWA Championships on March 3-4 and the Quakers have business to take care of as the wrestling schedule winds down.

The Quakers (4-5) leave the state of Pennsylvania for the final time in the regular season this weekend for a trip to New England and a pair of duals on Saturday at Harvard (10 a.m.) and Brown (2 p.m.) The Red and Blue are 0-1 in Ivy League duals this season, with a 21-17 loss to No. 5 Cornell earlier this season. The Quakers have finished second in the Ivy League the last nine seasons, and wins this weekend up I-95 will go a long way to assuring at least second spot in the Ivy League if the Big Red do not lose the rest of the way.

All eyes will be on 133 pounds on Saturday morning as Bryan Ortenzio and Steven Keith re-engage their closely-contested rivalry for the third time this season. The two have been neck and neck inside the various rankings all season, and Ortenzio (No. 13) currently has a slight edge over Keith (No. 15) in the NCAA Coaches Panel while Keith (No. 12) has the advantage over Ortenzio (No. 14) according to InterMat.

National rankings aside, the focal point for the two wrestlers is likely the number one seed at the EIWA Championships. In the most recent EIWA Rankings, Keith came in at No. 1 while Ortenzio was No. 2. With the season series at 1-1 based on a 6-5 win for Ortenzio is the Keystone Classic final and a 5-3 win in sudden victory at Midlands for Keith, the winner on Saturday is likely the top seed the first weekend in March at EIWAs.

Another match with EIWA seeding implications comes at 149 where national No. 29 Steve Robertson will wrestle No. 6 Corey Jantzen. In the latest EIWA Rankings, Jantzen was ranked No. 3 while Robertson was No. 5. Robertson has been a consistent starter for the Quakers all season, and he enters the weekend with a 19-6 record. Last time out, he was caught off-guard in his bout at Hofstra and was pinned in the waning moments of the second period and will be looking to give a full seven-minute effort this weekend. Jantzen is a two-time NCAA qualifier for the Crimson who has battled injuries the last two seasons. In 2010-11, he was 12-5 when he suffered a season-ending injury which kept him out of the lineup until Jan. 6 of this year. Since then, hehas posted a 7-2 record, including a 7-4 win in sudden victory over No.4 Mario Mason and a 7-6 decision over No. 10 Nick Lester. His only losses have come to No. 3 Cole Van Ohlen and No. 23 Chris Villalonga.

Senior Erich Smith will find himself in two important matches on Saturday as he and his opponents are all looking to grab the No. 4 seed at the EIWA Championships. Right now, the No. 4 ranking at 184 belongs to Smith's opponent in the second dual, Ophir Bernstein of Brown. Bernstein is 15-9 overall this season, which includes a win by fall over Smith at the Keystone Classic in November. Smith, unranked by the EIWA coaches is tied at No. 31 according to the NCAA - even with Bernstein. One of Smith's wins came at Midlands over Harvard's Cameron Croy, 6-5, part of Smith's run to the quarterfinals. Croy is also unranked by the EIWA and enters the weekend with a 12-10 record. Croy has some momentum on his side with an 8-2 win over Army's Michael Gorman last weekend - who had been ranked No. 6 by the EIWA.

Penn's Probables for Harvard/Brown
125 - Karim Shafi, So. (2-3, 0-2)
133 - No. 14 Bryan Ortenzio, Sr. (21-2, 9-0)
141 - No. 13 Zack Kemmerer, Sr. (17-3, 7-1) or Mark Pinero, Fr. (7-5, 0-1)
149 - Steve Robertson, Fr. (19-6, 6-3)
157 - Troy Hernandez, Jr. (4-14, 1-8)
165 - Lorenzo Thomas, Fr. (16-8, 6-4)
174 - Ian Korb, Fr. (13-12, 3-6)
184 - Erich Smith, Sr. (13-12, 3-8)
197 - No. 9 Micah Burak, Jr. (11-3, 7-2)
285 - Steven Graziano, So. (8-4, 3-0) or Anthony DiLonardo, Fr. (3-10, 2-4)

25 Harvard
125 - Joe Barbato (2-9, 0-3) / Max Mejia (1-3, 0-0)
133 - No. 13 Steven Keith (22-6, 6-1) / Ryan Osleeb (3-6, 1-0)
141 - Patrick Hogan (2-11, 2-7) / Shay Warren (2-5, 0-0)
149 - No. 8 Corey Jantzen (7-2, 7-2)
157 - No. 4 Walter Peppelman (17-3, 9-0)
165 - Ian Roy (1-8, 0-4)
174 - Josh Popple (5-3, 5-3) / Bryan Panzano (1-7, 0-1)
184 - Cameron Croy (13-10, 5-4)
197 - James Fox (18-10, 6-3)
HWT - David Ng (7-12, 3-6)

125- Billy Watterson
133- Beau Martino or Dan Flowers or TJ Popolizio
141- Grant Overcashier or Zack Tanenbaum
149- Ricky Bailey or Zack Rees
157- Max Lewin or Zack Kulczycki
165- Pat Labuz or Jeff Lemmer
174- David Foxen or Ricky McDonald
184- Ophir Bernstein
197- Sterling Hecox
285- Marcos Aranda