Wrestling Closes Regular Season Saturday

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PHILADELPHIA – Penn wraps up the 2013-14 regular season with a pair of road duals on Saturday, but will not have to venture far to compete. Up first is the finale of the Ivy League season just north at Princeton (1 p.m.) followed by a return to West Philadelphia for a date with University City neighbor Drexel at 5 p.m.

The Quakers are 6-6 overall this season and 2-2 inside the Ivy League. Against EIWA opponents, Penn is 5-4. Penn’s storied rival, Princeton, is 11-2 in dual meets this season and 3-1 against Ivy opponents with a 10-2 record against EIWA opponents. Drexel is 7-13 overall this season, and 1-4 in its first run as an EIWA competitor.

The Quakers have won 22 in a row against Princeton, starting the run with a 22-12 win at Princeton on Feb. 22, 1992. Since then, the Red and Blue have averaged 33.8 team points in its 22 wins, to just 6.7 for the Tigers with six shutouts for the Quakers.

Penn rolled past Columbia, 24-10, last weekend to cap its home slate. The Quakers won eight matches – each by decision – to secure the win. In the dual, No. 11 Lorenzo Thomas picked up his 20th win of the season to add to his team lead.

The only expected rematch against the Tigers is slated to come at 165 pounds where last season Casey Kent defeated Judd Ziegler, 15-0. This year, Kent is 16-5 overall and has a team-high 10 wins in duals to move to No. 16 in this week’s AWN/The Open Mat rankings. Ziegler is 24-15 this season.

Andrew Lenzi will have another chance to improve his EIWA ranking when he takes on Adam Krop at 149 pounds. Krop is 26-6 this season, ranking second among EIWA 149-pounders in wins. Krop has won five in a row and 13 of his last 15. Since moving up to 149 pounds at the start of January, he is 11-2. Lenzi is 4-3 against Princeton wrestlers all-time.

For Thomas, his bout with freshman Brett Harner is another to keep an eye on. Harner is 24-9 this season and 11-2 at 184 since moving up from 174. His only losses have come to No, 2 Gabe Dean and No. 12 Ophir Bernstein.

At 197 pounds, a pair of Blair Academy products will do battle as Frank Mattiace takes on Abe Ayala. Mattiace is 14-11 this season, and looking to maintain traction after a win last weekend over Columbia’s Troy Hembury which ended a four-match skid. Ayala is 21-8 this season, with a 12-2 record over his last 14 bouts.

After tangling with the Tigers, the Quakers will settle some neighborly business with Drexel at the Daskalakis Athletic Center. Last year, the Red and Blue had no issue with Drexel, sweeping the Dragons to the tune of a 37-0 shutout at The Palestra. Penn had six wins with bonus points over its 33rd Street brethren, highlighted by a tech fall from Casey Kent.

Drexel, in its first year of competition in the EIWA, boasts No. 17 Brandon Palik at 197 pounds. The CAA champion at 197 last season and a two-time NCAA qualifier, Palik is 15-5 this season, including a 3-1 win over Princeton’s Ayala and a 1-1 split with No., 16 Conner Hartmann of Duke.

Redshirt freshman Matt Cimato was 18-5 last season as a redshirt and is 7-7 this year after missing most of the season with injury. Cimato was 6-4 at 141 pounds before suffering an injury and sitting out from Dec. 8-Jan. 19. He has competed four times since and is 1-3 with a 1-2 record at 149 pounds.

Freshman Kevin Devoy, Jr. is 1406 at 133 pounds this year for the Dragons, with wins in four consecutive matches. Eight of his wins have come with bonus points. He will take on Penn’s true freshman Ken Bade, who is 7-13 this season and 3-4 in his last seven bouts.

Penn Probables
125: Caleb Richardson, Fr. (10-7) or Jeremy Schwartz, Fr. (2-7)
133: Ken Bade, Fr. (7-13
141: Jeff Canfora, Jr. (15-12)
149: Andrew Lenzi, Sr. (12-8)
157: Ray Bethea, So. (16-7) or Steve Robertson, Jr. (16-7)
165: No. 16 Casey Kent, So. (16-5)
174: Zach Agostino, Sr. (7-10) or Brad Wukie, Sr. (8-7)
184: No. 11 Lorenzo Thomas, Jr. (20-7)
197: Harrison Cook, Sr. (10-6) or Frank Mattiace, Fr. (14-11)
285: Anthony DiLonardo, Jr. (4-8) or Steven Graziano, Sr. (8-14)

Princeton Probables
125: Ryan Cash, Jr. (6-10)
133: Garrett Frey, Sr. (4-2)
141: Jordan Laster, Fr. (21-17)
149: Adam Krop, Jr. (26-6)
157: Kevin Moylan, So. (20-8)
165: Judd Ziegler, So. (24-15)
174: Ryan Callahan, Sr. (17-7)
184: Brett Harner (23-9)
197: Abram Ayala, So. (20-8)
285: Ray O’Donnell, Fr. (14-9)

Drexel Probables
125: Tanner Shoap, Fr. (12-11)
133: Kevin Devoy, Fr. (14-6)
141: David Pearce, Fr. (7-9)
149: Noel Blanco, RSo. (10-7) or Matt Cimato, RFr. (7-7)
157: Austin Sommer, Jr. (10-10)
165: Jason Fugiel, Fr. (5-17)
174: Kevin Matyas, RJr. (6-15)
184: Alex DeCiantis, Fr. (9-14) or Bryan Sternlieb, RSo. (4-10)
197: No. 17 Brandon Palik, RJr. (15-5)
285: Joe Giorgio, Fr. (0-17)