Wrestling Takes on Army Sunday in The Palestra

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PHILADELPHIA – For the 25th time, Penn and Army will meet in a dual as the Quakers host the Black Knights on Sunday in The Palestra at 1 p.m. The Red and Blue are 10-11-3 in the previous 24 meetings between the two schools. Sunday’s dual will be just the second between the two programs since 1980, the most recent a 25-9 win for the Quakers during the 2007-08 season in a meet held at Arizona State.

Both sides are riding momentum into this weekend’s EIWA contest, each with wins in their last two duals – both inside the conference. Overall, Penn is 4-3 in dual meets this season, while the Black Knights are 5-3. In terms of EIWA duals, the Quakers are 3-1 while Army is 4-3.

The Red and Blue busted a three-match losing skid with a pair of EIWA wins last weekend, busting Binghamton in The Palestra, 22-13, before defeating Bucknell, 24-12, in Lewisburg.

For the first time since the Grapple at the Garden in early December, Penn has all of its starters available for action with Caleb Richardson, Andrew Lenzi and Brad Wukie all cleared to return to competition and available to take the mat. In their absence, Penn has gone just 1-9 at those weights, but 2-2 overall in duals.

165 pounds has been a rock for the Quakers to this point in the season, with the Red and Blue 7-0 at that weight in dual meets. No. 17 Casey Kent has seen the bulk of that work, posting a 6-0 record in dual meets at 165 pounds as part of his 12-4 start to the season. In dual meets, Kent has put up points early and often. His takedown margin at 165 pounds is 9-1, and he has scored 23 points of nearfall while racking up riding time in four bouts. In the one match Kent was bumped to 174, Steve Robertson slid in and picked up the win.

As a team, Penn has put points on the board from top position, with 73 points of nearfall as a group during dual meets to 28 points against. The 73 backpoints have come from seven different wrestlers, with the bulk of the work done by the aforementioned Kent and No. 13 Lorenzo Thomas (21).

141-pounder Jeff Canfora is 4-3 overall in dual meets this season, and joins Kent on a three-match winning streak entering this weekend’s competition. He has won six of his last seven matches, the lone loss coming to No. 17 Anthony Collica of Oklahoma State, and is coming off a weekend where he racked up a pair of major decisions.

Freshman Ken Bade had the best weekend of his young career last week, scoring a pair of wins – highlighted by a pin at Bucknell on Sunday. Those two wins ended a series of five consecutive losses, each a close defeat.

Army has won three of its last four duals, each inside the EIWA, to begin 2014. After posting a 2-1 record at the Boston Duals on Jan. 12, the Black Knights defeated American in D.C., 26-10, last weekend. Army won four of the last five bouts in that dual – including bonus points in the final three – to blow open a 9-7 dual through the first half.

Junior Chandler Smith leads Army with 25 wins this season at 165 pounds. He has won nine matches in a row, wrestling back to third place recently at the Franklin & Marshall Open after a loss in the first round. Three of his seven losses are to Top-20 wrestlers.

2013 NCAA Championships qualifier and EIWA third-place finisher Paul Hancock is 17-9 this year at 157 pounds. Four of his last five losses have come to Top-20 opponents, and he enters with nine bonus-point wins in 17 victories this season.

Penn’s Probable Lineup
125: Caleb Richardson, Fr. (9-6) or Jeremy Schwartz, Fr. (1-6)
133: Ken Bade, Fr. (6-9)
141: Jeff Canfora, Jr. (13-8)
149: Andrew Lenzi, Sr. (8-7) or A.J. Murabito, So. (3-8)
157: Ray Bethea, So. (14-6)
165: Casey Kent, So. (12-4)
174: Brad Wukie, Sr. (8-4) or Zach Agostino, Sr. (7-8)
184: Lorenzo Thomas, Jr. (16-6)
197: Frank Mattiace, Fr. (13-7)
285: Steven Graziano, Sr. (6-12) or Anthony DiLonardo, Jr. (4-7)

Army’s Probable Lineup
125: Hunter Wood, Jr. (11-14)
133: Logan Everett, Fr. (9-10)
141: Tyler Rauenzahn, Sr. (7-5)
149: Mark Marchetti, Fr. (8-13)
157: Paul Hancock, Sr. (17-9)
165: Chandler Smith, Jr. (25-8) or Cole Gracey, Jr. (21-12)
174: Brian Harvey, So. (20-7)
184: Ryan Tompkins, Sr. (18-7)
197: Bryce Barnes, So. (13-9)
285: Stephen Snyder, Jr. (10-13)