Wrestling Hosts Columbia Saturday

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PHILADELPHIA – Penn’s final home dual meet of the 2013-14 season will pit the Quakers (5-6, 4-4 EIWA, 1-2 Ivy) against visiting Columbia (6-4, 3-3 EIWA, 0-1 Ivy on Saturday at 1 p.m. inside The Palestra.

The Quakers will be looking to get back in the win column following a stunning loss to Brown, 18-16, after the Bears scored a defensive fall at 197 to close within one point and took the dual following a late surge at heavyweight.

In dual meets this season, Penn wrestlers have posted a 50-59 record, but the Quakers have been within striking distance late in three of their six defeats. Twice, Penn held a lead through nine bouts, only to see it vanish in the final match of the dual. In three of their six losses this season, the Red and Blue have held a lead at some point in the dual only to see it turn the other way before all was said and done.

In dual competition this year, the Quakers have fallen victim to the reversal to the tune of 24 reversals allowed to just 14 scored. When Penn grapplers have been able to stave off the reversal and remain in top position, they have put in work. During dual meets, Penn wrestlers have scored 34 sets of backpoints to just 15 conceded. When all counted up, the Quakers have racked up 92 backpoints during the 2013-14 season to just 35 for their opponents.

Not surprisingly, it has been Penn’s two most dominant wrestlers who have laid the hammer down on top. No. 11 Lorenzo Thomas leads the Quakers in both sets of backpoints during dual meets (nine) and nearfall points recorded (26) as he has built a team-best 19-7 overall record and an 8-3 mark in duals. Right behind Thomas is No. 16 Casey Kent who has recorded eight sets of backpoints and 23 nearfall points during his 15-5 start overall to the season and a 9-2 record in dual meets.

Kent is slated for as rematch from last year’s dual meet with Columbia this weekend as he will take on No. 20 Josh Houldsworth. Last year, Kent ground out a 1-0 decision in the dual meet in their only previous meeting. Houldsworth would go on to qualify for the NCAA Championships after a runner-up finish at EIWAs. This year, he is 18-9 overall with a 7-3 record in duals. Kent has three wins in seven tries against ranked opponents this year, the best record inside the Top-20 of any Penn wrestler.

Thomas will also be in for a tough test on Saturday as Columbia lines up sophomore Zack Hernandez. The Hawaii native is 18-6 this season and has won seven matches in a row dating back to a loss to No. 14 Vic Avery of Edinboro at Midlands in December.

Last year in the dual against the Lions in NYC, Jeff Canfora and Matt Bystol met at 133 pounds, a bout which ended 8-2 in Canfora’s favor. This year, both wrestlers are up a weight class at 141, where Canfora is 14-12 overall and Bystol is 15-8.

Columbia’s 174-pounder, Shane Hughes, has 22 career pins in his three seasons with the Lions, including six this season. He has won his last seven matches, with four falls and two major decisions during that run.

Penn’s Probables
125: Caleb Richardson, Fr. (9-7) or Jeremy Schwartz, Fr. (2-7)
133: Ken Bade Fr. (7-12)
141: Jeff Canfora, Jr. (14-12)
149: Andrew Lenzi, Sr. (11-8)
157: Ray Bethea, So. (15-7) or Steve Robertson, Jr. (16-7)
165: No. 17 Casey Kent (15-5)
174: Zach Agostino, Sr. (7-9) or Brad Wukie, Sr. (8-7)
184: No. 13 Lorenzo Thomas, Jr. (19-7)
197: Harrison Cook, Sr. (10-6) or Frank Mattiace, Fr. (13-11)
285: Anthony DiLonardo, Jr. (4-8) or Steven Graziano, Sr. (7-14)

Columbia Probables
125: Penn Gottfried, Sr. (12-12)
133: Angelo Amenta , So. (13-9)
141: Matt Bystol , Sr. (15-8)
149: Ryan Ponte, Jr. (11-5)
157: Markus Scheidel, Fr. (21-7
165: Josh Houldsworth, Sr. (18-9)
174: Shane Hughes, Jr. (16-6)
184: Zack Hernandez, So. (18-6)
197: Matt Idelson, Jr. (6-10)
285: Connor Sweeney, Sr. ( 9-10)