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PHILADELPHIA - For the 107th time in the storied history of Penn wrestling, the Quakers will wrestle the University's archrival - Princeton - this weekend, as the Red and Blue head to Dillon Gymnasium on Saturday for a 1 p.m. start.
The Quakers are 47-54-5 over the century-plus of wrestling with the Tigers, but have dominated of late with wins in 22 of the last 23 meetings, including 20 consecutive victories. The last time Penn was denied by Princeton came on Feb, 23, 1991 when the Tigers posted an 18-15 win in The Palestra. Since then, the smallest margin of victory for the Red and Blue has been 10 points - done so three times with the most recent a 25-15 Penn win in 2003. Since then, the Quakers have outscored their neighbors to the near north, 315-40.
While the recent history shows a convincing grasp on the series in favor of Penn, this year's edition could shake down in a closer fashion as the Tigers have two wrestlers ranked inside the Top-20 by InterMat and a third who had been most of the season before battling injury.
All eyes will be on the match at 141 pounds where returning All-American No. 13 Zack Kemmerer will wrestle No. 15 Adam Krop. The two met last year in the dual, with Kemmerer scoring a convincing 11-3 win on his way to the podium at NCAAs. Krop is on a different level this year, though, with a 28-7 overall record and wins in 14 of his last 15 matches. At the Midlands Championships this past December, Krop finished third, advancing to the semifinals before dropping a 3-2 decision to Montell Marion of Iowa. A win for Kemmerer on Saturday will give him a perfect 10-0 run through both the Ivy League and EIWA this season, securing the top seed at 141 when the EIWA Championships roll around in two weeks.
Ian Korb struggled his last time out for the Quakers at 174 pounds, but if tabbed for the start on Saturday will wrestle a competitor he put a major decision on earlier this season in Andy Lowy. The two met at the Keystone Classic on Nov. 20, a bout Korb took, 13-3. Lowy is 16-9 overall for the Tigers, and Korb - who was ranked No. 5 inside the EIWA in the last rankings will be looking to keep that seed in the final weekend of the regular season.
No. 15 Daniel Kolodzik has been a constant at 157 in his senior season for the Tigers, posting a career-best 26-7 record. He has won 12 matches in a row, with six technical falls, two major decisions and a fall along the way. Penn 's Troy Hernandez suffered a tough loss to Kolodzik earlier this season at the Keystone Classic, and has revenge on his mind.
At heavyweight, reigning EIWA Wrestler of the Week Steven Graziano will look to extend his winning streak inside dual matches to eight in a row has confidence against either of his probable opponents as he has posted wins over Robert Grogan (10-0) and Charles Fox (8-2) earlier this season. Another rematch on the horizon looms at 149 where Steve Robertson will again meet Zach Bintliff, with Robertson holding a 3-2 win earlier this season at the Binghamton Open. Erich Smith suffered a 6-5 loss to Dan Santoro at the Keystone Classic earlier this season and will be looking to carry over his momentum from an impressive 6-2 win last weekend at Bucknell.
Penn's Probable Lineup at Princeton
125 - Karim Shafi , So. (2-8)
133 - #13 Bryan Ortenzio, Sr. (24-3)
141 - #13 Zack Kemmerer, Sr. (18-3)
149 - Steve Robertson, Fr. (20-6) or Mark Pinero, Fr. (12-7)
157 - Troy Hernandez, Jr. (5-17)
165 - Lorenzo Thomas, Fr. (20-8)
174 - Ian Korb, Fr. (14-14) or Canaan Bethea, So. (9-1)
184 - Erich Smith, Sr. (14-15)
197 - #10 Micah Burak, Jr. (15-3)
285 - Steven Graziano, So. (15-6)
Princeton's Probable Lineup
125 - Garrett Frey (23-8) or Ryan Cash (1-5)
133 - Joe DeQuinzio (5-4)
141 - #15 Adam Krop (27-7)
149 - Zach Bintliff (13-12)
157 - #15 Daniel Kolodzik (26-7)
165 - Rich Eva (8-20)
174 - Andy Lowy (18-11)
184 - Dan Santoro (18-18)
197 - Kurt Brendel (18-20)
285 - Charles Fox (2-7) or Rovert Grogan (3-15)