PHILADELPHIA - Fresh off a 2-0 weekend from last Saturday, the Penn wrestling team gets right back at it with one of its toughest duals to date. No. 18 Virginia comes to The Palestra Sunday to square off with the Quakers. First match is slated for 1 p.m.
This match was originally scheduled to take place Saturday, but was pushed back a day after inclement weather in December postponed UVA's match with Appalachian State. The Cavs are now facing ASU this weekend before making the trip north to Philadelphia.
Penn enters the weekend with a 4-2 record in duals this year, while Virginia is 10-3.
Sunday's match could have several interesting pairings, looking at the respective lineups. Penn features three ranked wrestlers in Cesar Grajales (#9 at 149), Matt Dragon (#15 at 157) and Gabriel Burak (#20 at 165). Another Quaker, Scott Giffin, spent several weeks in the polls at 174 but has dropped out recently. Virginia counters with three of its own in the Intermat national rankings, headlined by Chris Henrich who is fourth at 174 pounds. The others include Brent Jones (#17 at 197) andDanny Gonsor (#17 at 157).
"I think there will be a lot of swing matches Sunday," said Penn head coach Rob Eiter. "We need to wrestle hard and try to get ahead on some of those matches, and if we do that we should come out OK."
There will be some familiarity for the squads, which both competed at Southern Scuffle in late December and saw some matchups take place in Greensboro.
Thereis the potential foran interesting family subplot Sunday, as well, as Virginia boasts sophomore Derek Valenti, the younger brother of former Pennwrestler and current assistant coachMatt Valenti(as well as their middle brother, another former Penn wrestler, Andrew Valenti).
Penn has never lost to Virginia in a dual, most recently taking a 16-14 decision in 2008 at the Virginia Duals.
PENN vs. VIRGINIA
125 - Mark Rappo
133 - Bryan Ortenzio
141 - Zack Kemmerer
149 - Cesar Grajales/Troy Hernandez
157 - Matt Dragon
165 - Gabriel Burak
174 - Scott Giffin
184 - Cory Beaver/Harrison Cook
197 - Micah Burak
285 - Tyler Blakely