Wrestling Set for Home Opener vs. Lock Haven/Army

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PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania’s wrestling program will make its home dual meet debut for the 2014-15 season on Saturday, hosting Lock Haven (12 p.m.) and Army (2 p.m.) at The Palestra. The duals will mark the home debut in dual meet competition for head coach Alex Tirapelle.

The duals will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app in addition to Penn’s regular live streaming via the Ivy League Digital Network.

Penn enters the weekend with a 1-3 record in dual meets, coming off three consecutive road duals against Top-25 opponents. The Quakers will enjoy a return to home mats, beginning a stretch of six home duals over the next 10 competitions for the Red and Blue.

The first opponent on Saturday for the Quakers is an unfamiliar one in EWL stalwart Lock Haven. The Quakers and Bald Eagles have met just once previously in dual competition, an 18-17 win for Lock Haven at Virginia Duals in 1994. Among the current crop of Quakers, Penn’s all-time record in individual matches against Lock Haven grapplers is 8-6.

The second opponent for the Red and Blue is a more familiar one in EIWA rival Army. The Quakers and Black Knights have met 25 previous times in dual meets, Army holding a slight 12-10-3 edge. Last year, the two teams tangled at The Palestra, a 21-13 win for the Black Knights. The Quakers found themselves trailing, 12-0, after three matches and were unable to rebound. The only likely rematch from the dual meet last year could come at 174, where Brad Wukie looks to turn around a 6-2 loss to Brian Harvey from last year’s dual.

No. 5 Lorenzo Thomas will take on Fred Garcia of Lock Haven to start his day. Garcia is a two-time NCAA Championships qualifier for the Bald Eagles and is off to a 22-2 start to his season. His last loss came to No. 13 Vic Avery of Edinboro, a wrestler Thomas knocked off at Midlands last month.

Another two-time NCAA qualifier for the Bald Eagles is Dan Neff. Last year, he was 32-10 at 141 pounds, winning one match at NCAAs. This year, he is off to a 13-7 start. Penn’s No. 16 C.J. Cobb will be the opponent for Neff on Saturday, the two have not met previously.

At 133 pounds, Ronnie Perry has won 11 of his last 13 matches, with one of the losses coming to Edinboro’s A.J. Schopp. Penn’s Caleb Richardson is 15-7 this season and will be looking to rebound from a close loss to No. 6 Earl Hall of Iowa State last weekend.

In the second match of the doubleheader, the Quakers will take on an Army team which is 2-3 in dual meets and 2-1 against EIWA opponents. The Black Knights boast three wrestlers ranked inside the InterMat Top-20 at their respective weight classes, led by No. 13 Russell Parsons at 157 pounds.

Parsons is 19-7 this season and 4-1 in dual meets. Five of his losses have come at the hands of ranked opponents, and he recently took sixth at the Southern Scuffle. Joining Parsons as a ranked wrestler for the Black Knights is No. 19 Brian Harvey at 174 pounds. Harvey is 14-7 this season, with all seven of his losses coming by decision. Two of those defeats have come at the hands of Iowa State’s No. 11 Tanner Weatherman – a wrestler Penn’s Brad Wukie knocked off last weekend.

Rounding out Army’s ranked wrestlers is No. 20 Cole Gracey at 165 pounds. 26-7 this season, Gracey has 14 wins with bonus points – including seven falls.

Penn’s Probable Lineup
125: Jeremy Schwartz, So.(0-2)
133: Caleb Richardson, So. (15-7)
141: Jeff Canfora, Sr. (7-6) orAndrew Lenzi, Sr. (4-5)
149: No. 16 C.J. Cobb, Sr. (5-3)
157: May Bethea, Fr. (8-7) orBrooks Martino, Jr. (6-7)
165: Ray Bethea, Jr. (3-2) orQuinton Hiles, So. (9-10)
174: Joe Heyob, Fr. (8-7) orBrad Wukie, Sr. (4-3)
184: No. 5 Lorenzo Thomas, Sr. (15-2)
197: Canaan Bethea, Sr. (5-3)
285: Patrik Garren, Fr. (8-8)

Lock Haven’s Probable Lineup
125: Jake Field, Fr. (14-9)
133: Ronnie Perry, So. (17-5) orCody Wheeler, So. (12-4)
141: Bobby Rehm, Jr. (18-12)
149: Dan Neff, Jr. (13-8)
157: Elias Biddle, Sr. (16-8)
165: Aaron McKinney, Jr. (21-8) orDillon Gavlock, So. (18-12)
174: Tyler Wood, So. (15-4)
184: Fred Garcia, Sr. (21-2)
197: Phil Sprenkle, Jr. (8-5)
285: Brad Emerick, So. (11-13)

Army’s Probable Lineup
125: Sean Badua, Fr. (7-11)
133: Christian Doyle, So. (4-9)
141: Logan Everett, So. (14-10)
149: Andrew Mendel, Fr. (11-8)
157: No. 13 Russell Parsons, So. (19-7)
165: No. 20 Cole Gracey, Sr. (26-7) orChandler Smith, Sr. (16-6)
174: No. 19 Brian Harvey, Jr. (14-7)
184: Samson Imonode, So. (12-11) orAustin Wilding, Jr. (13-8)
197: Bryce Barnes, Jr. (9-3)
285: Tyler McLees, Jr. (5-8) orStephen Snyder, Sr. (6-11)