PHILADELPHIA - The 2010-11 wrestling season has already seen Penn wrestle in nine events, inlcuidng five duals. But, on Sunday in The Palestra, the Quakers finally have a home dual - hosting Bloomsburg at 1 p.m.
The Red and Blue are 3-2 in dual matches this season, with 80% of that action taking place at the Northeast Duals in November. After dropping the first two duals to No. 14 Pitt and Maryland, the Quakers blew out Sacred Heart, 48-0 and downed Stanford, 31-7, to earn a split at the Duals. In mid-December, Penn toughed out a road match at Rider, edging the Broncs, 23-18, to up the win streak to three.
Bloomsburg has a record in duals of 10-2 this season, including wins over George Mason (34-12) and Northern Iowa (18-15) at the Northeast Duals. The Huskies' two losses have come against No. 6 Penn State (41-3) and American (27-10). This week has already been a busy one for the Huskies, with a pair of wins over N.C. State (28-18) and at Sacred Heart (39-3).
Despite both schools residing in Pennsylvania, the all-time series between Penn and Bloomsburg has not been frequently contested. The two schools have met only three times, with Penn holding a 3-0 advantage. The two teams first met in dual competition in 1995, with Penn taking a 22-10 win in a match held at William & Mary. In 2007, the Quakers travelled to Bloomsburg, returning to Philly with a 30-6 win. Most recently, Penn scored a 24-9 win in a dual at the Northeast Duals in 2006.
The only Quaker who is returning from that 2006 dual in 133-pounder Rollie Peterkin. He comepted in the '06 dual at 125 pounds, losing to Michael Sees, 12-10, in sudden victory.
Peterkin is riding one of the hottest streaks of his career at the moment, entering the weekend with a 16-1 overall record on the season and 13-0 at his starting weight of 133 pounds. Most recently, Peterkin emerged from the Southern Scuffle with the championship at his weight - and the No. 4 ranking in the country.
Mark Rappo is the man who usually starts the duals off for Penn at 125 pounds, and has already equalled his career high in single-season wins with his 15-6 record this year. At the Scuffle, he dropped two wrestlers ranked ahead of him before suffering a minor injury and defaulting out of the tournament. He is 4-1 in duals this season, and ready to go this weekend.
Completing the strong opening contingent in duals for head coach Rob Eiter's team is No. 13 Zack Kemmerer at 141 pounds. Penn's leader in victories this campaign with a 22-5 record, Kemmerer finished fifth at the Southern Scuffle, defeating then-No. 11 Mike Mangrum of Oregon State in the medal bout. Of his five losses this year, four have come to wrestlers in the top-nine.
At the upper weights, No. 7 Micah Burak gives Penn a formidable force in the waning stages of a dual at 197 pounds. 16-3 this season with nine major decisions and three falls, Burak has poured on the offense while keeping opponents away from him. In his 16 bouts not ended by fall, he has scored 118 points to just 33 by his opponents. His six matches against wrestlers ranked in the Top-20 are the most on the team and his 4-2 record includes a win over the No. 1 wrestler at the time (Kent State's Dustin Kilgore) and a loss to season-opening No. 1 (and once again top-ranked) Cam Simaz.
Bloomsburg is a young squad this season after graduating five starters from last year's team, including two-time All-American Matt Moley. Leading the Huskies is senior Nate Graham at 184 pounds. AN NCAA qualifier at 174 pounds, Graham is 17-5 this season at 184 pounds and has scored two falls already this week in Bloomsburg's two wins. Sophomore Mike Dessino is 16-5 at 174 pounds with ten wins by fall. At 157 pounds, Frank Hickman is 17-6, with four wins via tech fall.
Probable Match-Ups for Penn vs. Bloomsburg
125 - Mark Rappo, Jr. (15-6) vs. Sean Boylan, Fr. (13-8)
133 - No. 4 Rollie Peterkin, Sr. (16-1) or Geoffrey Bostany, Fr. (4-6) vs. Nick Wilcox, Fr. (15-8)
141 - No. 13 Zack Kemmerer, Sr. (22-5) vs. Derek Shingara, Fr. (16-10) or Matt Hicks, Fr. (10-13)
149 - Andrew Lenzi, Fr. (9-7) vs. Josh Roosa, So. (9-6)
157 - Brad Wukie, Fr. (7-8) vs. Frank Hickman, So. (17-6)
165 - Gabriel Burak, Sr. (7-2) vs. Josh Veltre, So. (15-5) or Chris Smith, Fr. (11-9)
174 - Canaan Bethea, Fr. (13-7) vs. Mike Dessino, So. (16-5)
184 - Harrison Cook, So. (12-10) vs. Nate Graham, Sr. (17-5)
197 - No. 7 Micah Burak, So. (16-3) vs. Jacob Dabishinsky, Jr. (5-6) or Richard Perry, Fr. (8-4)
285 - Kyle Cowan, Fr. (11-8) vs. Zac Walsh, Jr. (12-9)
A look at the probables shows the possibility of 11 freshmen competing in the dual. There is only one potential rematch from college on the docket - at 141 between Kemmerer and Shingara. The two met last week at the Southern Scuffle, a 5-2 win for Kemmerer.