ITHACA, N.Y. – Penn entered Sunday’s match with No. 3 Cornell looking to pull off the upset and secure the program’s first Ivy League title since 2002. After four bouts, the two teams were tied at 6-6, but the Big Red won five matches in a row to take a 24-6 lead and ended up taking the dual, 24-9.
Rick Rappo, No. 11 Cesar Grajales and Trey McLean picked up the wins for Penn in the loss. The Quakers’ dual record now stands at 11-6.
The dual started with a match between ranked wrestlers at 125 pounds. No. 11 Rollie Peterkin scored the first takedown on No. 2 Troy Nickerson, but Nickerson countered with a reversal and three backpoints for a 5-2 lead after one period. Nickerson started on bottom in the second and reversed again for a 7-2 lead. In the third, Peterkin closed the gap with a takedown, but could not complete the comeback, falling 8-4.
No. 12 Mike Grey picked up a 10-3 decision over Bryan Ortenzio for a 6-0 Cornell lead after two bouts.
Penn tied the match with wins at 141 and 149 pounds. Rappo defeated Corey Manson, 5-4, for the Red and Blue’s first win. Manson was aggressive at the start, looking to score. He finally locked in two points halfway through the first period. Rappo got a point back with an escape and he evaded a late Manson shot to enter the second period down by one. Rappo chose bottom for the second period and took the lead with a reversal. Manson countered with a reversal of his own to retake the lead. Rappo, content playing the reversal game, added two points with a switch late in the period. Starting neutral in the third, Manson looked for a takedown and was close at the end, but solid defense from Rappo locked in the 5-4 win.
Grajales followed with a 5-3 decision at 149 over D.J. Meagher. The two circled for most of the first period until Meagher scored with 45 seconds left for a 2-0 lead after one period. He added a third point with an escape in the second. Grajales got on the board with a takedown at the 4:20 mark of the match. In the third, Grajales chose bottom for the start and tied the match with an escape with 1:25 left in the bout. Grajales then took the lead with 35 seconds left following a good scramble in the centre of the mat.
For the second week in a row, No. 18 Matt Dragon engaged in a tough match with a top-five wrestler at 157. Defending national champion Jordan Leen, currently ranked fifth, won the bout, 4-1. Leen was effective on top, accumulating 1:25 of riding time in the first period after a takedown. He added a quick escape in the second period. Dragon got out from bottom in the third and went on the offensive at the end of the match looking to erase the deficit, but it was not to be.
At 165, Zack Shanaman returned from injury to meet No. 1 Mack Lewnes. The two met in the EIWA finals last season, with Lewnes winning, 6-4, in sudden victory. The score and result was the same on Sunday. The score was 3-3 after one period, with each man picking up a takedown and an escape. Lewnes scored first with 1:26 left in the first. After escaping, Shanaman took Lewnes down with 13 seconds to go in the period, but Lewnes tied the match immediately. Each man escaped from bottom after choice in the second and third periods. Shanaman had a chance to win at the end, grasping for both legs at the edge of the mat in front of the Penn bench, but couldn’t lock in the takedown. In sudden victory, Lewnes scored the takedown halfway through for the win.
No. 6 Steve Anceravage defeated Scott Giffin, 8-3, at 174 pounds. The match was scoreless through the majority of the first period, but Anceravage scored two points on a takedown right at the end of the period and was awarded two back points despite the fact that the takedown appeared to have happened with less than three seconds to go in the period. Trailing 6-2 at the end of the match with riding time in his pocket, Giffin shot for points to close the match, but Anceravage countered to a takedown for the 8-3 decision.
Colin Hitschler hung tough with No. 16 Justin Kerber at 184 pounds, leading 3-2 after two period. In the third, Kerber escaped quickly and then added two points to take the lead. Hitschler reversed to tie the match, but Kerber was able to win the bout with an escape and a late takedown.
Cam Simaz scored the only bonus points of the dual with a pin over Thomas Shovlin at 197. Simaz was ahead 10-4 when he was able to turn Shovlin for the pin at 6:25.
Trey McLean rallied from an early 4-0 deficit to No. 15 Zach Hammond in the final match of the day, winning in sudden victory, 6-4. After a takedown and two backs for Hammond, McLean started the climb back with an escape in the first period. Starting on bottom in the second, McLean reversed Hammond six seconds into the middle period. McLean then took control on top, riding Hammond out for the remainder of the second period. Hammond chose bottom for the third and the rideout continued for McLean. At the end of regulation, McLean had 2:45 of riding time and the two headed to an extra period. McLean, the fresher of the two, ended the match six seconds into overtime with a takedown.
Penn has two duals left in the regular season, heading to No. 24 Penn State on Feb. 20 and No. 7 Lehigh on Feb. 22.
No. 3 Cornell def. Penn, 24-9
125 – No 2 Troy Nickerson (CU) def. No. 11 Rollie Peterkin (Penn), Dec. 8-4; Cornell leads 3-0
133 – No. 12 Mike Grey (CU) def. Bryan Ortenzio (Penn), Dec. 10-3; Cornell leads 6-0
141 – Rick Rappo (Penn) def. Corey Manson (CU), Dec. 5-4; Cornell leads 6-3
149 – No. 11 Cesar Grajales (Penn) def. D.J. Meagher (CU), Dec. 5-3; Match tied 6-6
157 – No. 5 Jordan Leen (CU) def. No. 18 Matt Dragon (Penn), Dec. 4-1; Cornell leads 9-6
165 – No. 1 Mack Lewnes (CU) def. Zack Shanaman (Penn), SV 6-4; Cornell leads 12-6
174 – No. 6 Steve Anceravage (CU) def. Scott Giffin (Penn), Dec. 8-3; Cornell leads 15-6
184 – No. 16 Justin Kerber (Cu) def. Colin Hitschler (Penn), Dec. 8-5; Cornell leads 18-6
197 – Cam Simaz (CU) def. Thomas Shovlin (Penn), FALL 6:25; Cornell leads 24-6
Hwt. – Trey McLean (Penn) def. No. 15 Zach Hammond (CU), SV 6-4; Cornell leads 24-9