Wrestling to Grapple With Brown and Harvard

PHILADELPHIA – A road trip is just what the doctor ordered for the University of Pennsylvania wrestling team as the Quakers (3-3) head toward New England this weekend for a pair of dual meets on Saturday at Brown (1 p.m.) and Harvard (6 p.m.)

Setting the Stage …
The Quakers dropped a pair of dual meets last weekend, falling to Princeton, 19-15, and Rider, 22-12, to close out the month of January.

The loss to Princeton was Penn’s first to the Tigers since 1991, a span of 24 matches. The Red and Blue will be looking to avoid losses in consecutive Ivy League duals for the first time since 2012 when they take on Brown on Saturday afternoon.

When the Quakers take on the Bears on Saturday, it will be Penn’s first visit to Providence since an 18-16 loss to Brown in 2014. The two teams each won five matches, but a pin at 197 for Brown’s Gus Marker from defensive position was the difference. That win was Brown’s lone win in the series over the past 23 meetings.

Penn has won the last three meetings against Harvard and 24 of the last 25.

Penn’s Probable Lineup
125: Jeremy Schwartz (1-10)
133: Caleb Richardson (15-8)
141: Marc Mastropietro (6-11) or Eric Friedman (1-6)
149: No. 12 C.J. Cobb (18-3)
157: May Bethea (16-8)
165: Ray Bethea (8-5) or Brooks Martino (12-11)
174: No. 15 Casey Kent (19-4)
184: No. 12 Lorenzo Thomas (21-4)
197: Frank Mattiace (12-7) or Joe Heyob (11-6)
285: Patrik Garren (10-9) or Tyler Hall (6-8)

Brown’s Probable Lineup
125: Michael Russo (8-10)
133: Zeke Salvo (16-11) or Jimmy Bell (3-6)
141: Charlie Banaszak (6-16)
149: Steven Galiardo (14-5) or William McDonald (3-4)
157: No. 20 Justin Staudenmayer (20-6)
165: Jon Viruet (13-8) or Richard Muniz (10-4)
174: Andrew LaBrie (11-5) or CJ LaFragola (7-8)
184: Austin Pfarr (10-10)
197: Augustus Marker (7-9) or Josh Durso-Finley (9-8)
285: Ian Butterbrodt (3-5)

Harvard’s Probable Lineup
125: Nolan Hellickson (11-8)
133: Jeffrey Ott (17-7)
141: No. 9 Todd Preston (22-4)
149: Patrick Hogan (8-11) orTommy Dutton (4-3)
157: Tyler Tarsi (7-8) orColby Knight (7-6)
165:No. 20 Devon Gobbo (16-4)
174: Josef Johnson (13-9)
184: Michael Mocco (8-8)
197: Josh Popple (6-6)
Hwt: Nick Gajdzik (18-7) orAngus Cowell (0-6)

The All-Time Series…
Against Brown, the Quakers are 38-20 all-time. When it comes to battling the Crimson, Penn is 41-31-2 all-time. The Quakers have won 11 of their last 12 meetings against Harvard in Cambridge, and 10 of their last 11 against Brown in Providence.

Quakers Could Be Back to Full Strength …
The Quakers have not fielded their full lineup since taking on No. 10 Lehigh in early January. Frank Mattiace was injured in that dual, and Ray Bethea was injured during practice leading up to the Binghamton dual leaving the Quakers without two intended starters. Both are in the probable lineup and could return for at least one of the duals this weekend.

Lorenzo Thomas Owns Much Success Against Harvard and Brown …
With 102 career wins to his credit, there is no doubt that Lorenzo Thomas has had great success. However, it is against Harvard and Brown where has perhaps been the most dominant. He is 8-0 all-time against Brown, and 6-0 all-time against Harvard with seven major decisions and two falls.

What will be interesting for Thomas is that his last seven matches against an opponent from Brown have come against fellow all-American Ophir Bernstein – Thomas was undefeated in those bouts. Saturday will be his first match since February 4, 2012 against an opponent in a Brown singlet not named Ophir Bernstein.

Penn Looks To Beat The Bears …
Last year in the dual meet, Penn won eight of ten matches for a 29-6 victory. Crucial victories for Penn were a 2-1 win for Brooks Martino over No. 20 Justin Staudenmayer at 157 pounds in a tiebreaker, and an 11-2 major decision for Lorenzo Thomas over Bernstein.

Potential rematches from last year’s dual are likely at 133 (Caleb Richardson defeated Zeke Salvo, 16-5) and 149 (C.J. Cobb defeated Steven Galliardo, 4-2).

Quakers Look to Down Host Harvard …
Last year, Penn won six matches against Harvard to cruise to a 26-13 win. The Red and Blue secured bonus points in five of their six wins, including a pin by Andrew Lenzi at 149 pounds.

The only potential rematch could be set for 157 where May Bethea defeated Colby Knight, 14-4. Earlier this season, Casey Kent defeated Josef Johnson, 7-4.