Wrestling Opens Ivy Action at Brown, Harvard

PHILADELPHIA - The last thing one wants to do when a Nor'easter is barreling down on the ...Northeast ... is head to New England - unless your skis are packed along for the ride.

However, that is just what the Penn wrestling squad is doing this weekend, making the trek to Rhode Island and Massachusetts for a pair of Ivy League duals on Saturday against Brown (10 a.m.) and Harvard (3 p.m.)

There are no skis or snowboards packed for this trip, but the Quakers will bring along a pair of winning streaks. The Red and Blue have won 16 in a row over Brown dating back to 1993 and have picked up 18-straight wins over the Crimson going back to 1990. Last year, Penn swept the two schools in The Palestra, downing Brown, 34-6, and knocking off Harvard, 35-12.

The Quakers enter the weekend with a 6-4 dual record. Brown enters with a 2-7 record while Harvard is 2-8-1. This weekend is the first foray into Ivy action for all three schools.

For Penn, the likely first match in each dual will be important. Mark Rappo is 11-7 this season in his first as a starter, and will be looking to make a move in the EIWA rankings as he takes on two wrestlers currently ranked ahead of him in the conference. Against the Bears, Rappo will wrestle Greg Einfrank. The two met last year in the dual, with Rappo taking a 6-1 decision. Rappo lost to Harvard's Steven Keith earlier this season at the Binghamton Open, 6-2, but owns a win over Keith at the FILA Nationals last offseason.

A probable matchup to watch comes at 157 pounds in the Harvard dual. Harvard boasts the No. 1 wrestler at 157 in J.P. O'Connor. He is an undefeated 20-0 this season and is the defending EIWA champion. Penn has a ranked wrestler of its own at 157 in No. 15 Matt Dragon. A former EIWA champion at 157 himself, Dragon has been battling injuries all season but is slated as probable for the weekend.

The Crimson also has another top 10 wrestler in No. 6 Louis Caputo. He has 116 career wins and is 13-2 this year with a perfect 8-0 mark in duals.

A live broadcast of the Brown dual can be found here.

Penn Probable Lineup (6-4)
125- Mark Rappo, So. 11-7
133- Bryan Ortenzio, Jr. 23-7
141- Zack Kemmerer, Jr. 24-8
149- No. 9 Cesar Grajales, Sr. 6-1 or Troy Hernandez, Fr. 9-11
165- No. 18 Gabriel Burak, Jr. 27-6
174- No. 19 Scott Giffin, Jr. 15-3
184- Cory Beaver, So. 7-13 or Harrison Cook, Fr. 7-13
197- No. 20 Micah Burak, Fr. 16-6
285- Tyler Blakely, Sr. 6-12

Brown Probable Lineup (2-7)
125- Greg Einfrank, Sr.
133- Cort Choate, Fr. or Mike Picirillo, Sr. or T.J. Popolizio, So.
141- Steve Delorenzo, Sr.
149- Phil Marano, Fr.
157- Bryan Tracy, Sr.
165- Jeff Lemmer, So.
174- Ziad Kharbush, So.
184- Bran Crudden, Sr.
197- Branden Stearns, Sr. or Larry Otsuka, Sr.
285- Tyler Cowman, Fr. or Caleb Blaney, Fr.

Harvard Probable Lineup (2-8-1)
125- Steven Keith, Fr. (13-5) or Chadwick Eason, Fr. (1-2)
133- Fermin Mendez, Jr. (2-12)
141- Tony Buxton, Fr. (5-6)
149- Paul Liguori, Fr. (5-5) or Spencer Friedman, Fr. (0-7)
157- J.P. O'Connor, Sr. (20-0)
165- Michael Sadler, Jr. (1-7)
174- Bryan Panzano, So. (2-9) or David Lalo, Fr. (4-9)
184- Louis Caputo, Sr. (13-2)
197- Sean Murphy, So. (4-14)
285- Spencer DeSena, So. (3-6)