PHILADELPHIA – Penn has trouble getting anything going in its dual with No. 4 Cornell, dropping all ten bouts to the defending Ivy champion.
The Big Red recorded eight decisions and two major decisions in the dual, starting with a major from No. 1 Nahshon Garrett at 125 pounds.
Caleb Richardson held the returning All-American scoreless in the first period, but Garrett opened up in the second frame for seven points on two takedowns and a set of nearfall after an early escape. Garrett would add a third takedown in the final period and riding time for the major decision.
Ken Bade hung tight with No. 14 Mark Grey at 133 pounds, but three takedowns in the first period were enough for Gray to secure a 7-3 decision. Bade showed he has the riding game to contend with top collegiate wrestlers, though, as he held Gray down for most of the second period.
No. 5 Mike Nevinger continued the run for Cornell with a 6-0 decision at 141 pounds over Jeff Canfora. The first period was scoreless for most of the frame before Nevinger snuck in a takedown with 11 seconds left to steal momentum. He would go on to wear Canfora down with a full ride in the second period before widening his lead with an escape and takedown in the third.
No. 8 Chris Villalonga had three takedowns and a reversal to work his way to a major decision over Andrew Lenzi at 149 to give the Big Red a 14-0 lead.
Steve Robertson got the starting nod at 157 pounds and battled with No. 7 Brian Realbuto all the way to the final whistle before suffering a 4-2 loss. After a scoreless first period, Realbuto escaped to start the second and added a takedown late in the period while the two were rolling out of bounds. That score would prove to be the difference as a Robertson takedown in the third period only closed the gap.
The first of two matches between a pair of ranked wrestlers went in No. 10 Dylan Palacio’s favor, 4-2, over No. 17 Casey Kent. Scoreless through one, Palacio fought for a reversal on the edge of the mat to open the scoring. Kent would escape before the end of the period and again to start the third to tie the match. With time winding down, Kent shot in on Palacio, but the attempt was defended and the two started scrambling. It was Palacio who won the scramble, scoring the winning takedown with 15 seconds left.
Brad Wukie and Duke Pickett went scoreless through the first period, but an escape and two takedowns in the second were enough for Pickett to pull away for a 7-1 decision.
The second highly anticipated match between two ranked wrestlers also was a two-point decision in favor of Cornell as No. 2 Gabe Dean edged No. 13 Lorenzo Thomas. Dean scored early in the first and rode for 1:06 before Thomas was able to escape. In the third, a reversal from Dean broke open the match a bit as he took a 4-2 lead through two periods. Thomas would escape to start the third period, but Dean countered that with a takedown. Thomas quickly escape and added a point following a second stalling warning, but that was close as he could get as Dean avoided a late throw attempt from Thomas and added riding time for a 7-5 decision.
197 pounds saw Jace Bennett counters an early Frank Mattiace shot and score the takedown, building up 2:32 of riding time after riding out the rest of the first. Mattiace chose neutral for the second period and was close to tying the match on an inside trip near the edge of the mat, but action was ruled out of bounds. After that sequence, Penn’s bench area was called for its second mat control violation and a team point was deducted. In the third period, Bennett would escape and add riding time for the win.
Steven Graziano and Jacob Aiken-Philips traded escapes to start the second and third periods after a scoreless first, but it was Aiken-Phillips who connected on a takedown to snag a 3-1 decision. His winning takedown came with under 15 seconds remaining in the third period.
The Quakers will travel to New England next weekend to take on Harvard (Friday at 6 p.m.) and Brown (Saturday at 2 p.m.)
125: #1 Nahshon Garrett (Cornell) MD Caleb Richardson (Penn), 10-2 Cornell leads, 4-0
133: #14 Mark Grey (Cornell) dec. Ken Bade (Penn), 7-3 Cornell leads, 7-0
141: #5 Mike Nevinger (Cornell) dec. Jeff Canfora (Penn), 6-0 Cornell leads, 10-0
149: #8 Chris Villalonga (Cornell) MD Andrew Lenzi (Penn), 9-1 Cornell leads, 14-0
157: #7 Brian Realbuto (Cornell) dec. Steve Robertson (Penn), 4-2 Cornell leads, 17-0
165: #10 Dylan Palacio (Cornell) dec. #17 Casey Kent (Penn), 4-2 Cornell leads, 20-0
174: Duke Pickett (Cornell) dec. Brad Wukie (Penn), 7-1 Cornell leads, 23-0
184: #2 Gabe Dean (Cornell) dec. #13 Lorenzo Thomas (Penn), 7-5 Cornell leads, 26-0
197: Jace Bennett (Cornell) dec. Frank Mattiace (Penn), 4-0* Cornell leads, 29 - (-1)
285: Jacob Aiken-Phillips (Cornell) dec. Steven Graziano (Penn), 3-1 Cornell leads, 32 – (-1)
*Penn had one team point deducted at 197 following a second bench warning