PHILADELPHIA – Penn traversed an undulating path on Day One of the 2014 EIWA Championships in the Red and Blue’s home gymnasium, withstanding a rough start to the morning and ultimately sending three wrestlers through to the semifinals and a fourth to the consolation quarterfinals to end the first day of competition in a tie for seventh place.
While second seed Lorenzo Thomas and third seed Casey Kent were expected to contend for spots in the semifinals and potentially a conference championship, senior Brad Wukie was the unlikely hero for the Quakers as he wrestled from his eighth seed to a spot in the semifinals at 174 pounds.
After a 9-4 win over Drexel’s Kevin Matyas in the first round, Wukie matched up with unseeded Andrew Maksimovic of Boston University in the quarterfinals. Wukie scored two takedowns in the first period and made them stand up, advancing via a 5-1 decision. Sunday morning, Wukie will wrestle No. 5 seed Brian Harvey of Army for not only a spot in the EIWA final, but one of the conference’s three automatic bids to the NCAA Championships.
Thomas started his day with a pin of Hofstra’s Victor Pozsonyi in the second period, adding all-important bonus points to the team score. In the quarterfinals, he needed time to separate from unseeded Jason Grimes of American, but did so in the third period to pull away for a 7-2 decision. Sunday morning, Thomas will meet up with Brown’s No. 3 seed Ophir Bernstein. The two have met twice already this year, each a win for Thomas.
After an 0-2 performance last year at EIWAs, Casey Kent had something to prove in his sophomore campaign and so far, so good. Kent was workmanlike in his two wins, downing Brown’s Philip Marano, 4-1, and then knocking off Army’s No. 6 Chandler Smith, 5-3. In the semifinals, he will wrestle Hofstra’s Joe Booth, the number two seed.
Frank Mattiace wrestled up from his No. 10 seed, downing No. 7 Paul Rands of Navy, 8-3 to start his day. In the quarterfinals, No. 2 Jace Bennett of Cornell staked himself to a 4-0 lead on a takedown and backpoints in the first period, and that held up as Mattiace was unable to comeback, dropping a 6-3 decision. Two wins from an automatic bid to NCAAs, Mattaice responded nicely in his next bout with a 5-3 decision over Justin Lyster of Bucknell to move within one win of a trip to the national tournament. His opponent in the consolation quarterfinals tomorrow morning will be American’s No. 3 seed, Danny Mitchell.
#7 Caleb Richardson – 125
First Round: lost to Bubba McGinley (Boston U.), 5-4
Consolation Second Round: lost to Penn Gottfried (Columbia), 0-4
Ken Bade – 133
First Round: lost to #2 Mike Grey (Cornell), 2-13
Consolation Second Round: def. Kyle Brady (Sacred Heart) FALL 1:32
Round of 12: lost to #5 Angelo Amenta (Columbia), 0-15 (7:00)
Jeff Canfora – 141
First Round: lost to #3 Luke Vaith (Hofstra), 4-10
Consolation Second Round: def. David Pearce (Drexel), 5-4
Round of 12: lost to #1 Richard Durso (F&M), 5-9
Andrew Lenzi – 149
First Round: lost to #3 Cody Ruggirello (Hofstra), FALL 2:15
Consolation Second Round: def. Cole Moseley (American), 6-2
Round of 12: lost to Noel Blanco (Drexel), 4-9
#4 Ray Bethea – 157
First Round: lost to Austin Sommer (Drexel), 9-11
Consolation Second Round: def. John Boyle (American), 5-4 TB
Round of 12: lost to #2 Brian Realbuto (Cornell), 1-9
#3 Casey Kent – 165
First Round: def. Philip Marano (Brown), 4-1
Quarterfinals: def. #6 Chandler Smith (Army), 5-3
#8 Brad Wukie – 174
First Round: def. Kevin Matyas (Drexel), 9-4
Quarterfinals: def. Andrew Maksimovic (Boston U.), 5-2
#2 Lorenzo Thomas – 184
First Round: def. Victor Pozsonyi (Hofstra), FALL 4:03
Quarterfinals: def. Jason Grimes (American), 7-2
#10 Frank Mattiace – 197
First Round: def. #7 Paul Rands (Navy), 8-3
Quarterfinals: lost to #2 Jace Bennett (Cornell), 3-6
Round of 12: def. Justin Lyster (Bucknell), 5-3
#8 Steven Graziano – 285
First Round: def. Joseph Giorgio (Drexel), 2-1
Quarterfinals: lost to #1 Billy Smith (Rutgers), 2-10
Round of 12: lost to David Ng (Harvard), 3-8