Ivy League competition dominated this weekend’s slate of EIWA matchups as all of the Ivy Leaguer’s in the conference stepped into the circle. No team put itself in better position to challenge Cornell for the Ivy League title than Penn, who went 3-0 on the weekend.
The Quakers kicked off the weekend by hosting Brown and Harvard in Philadelphia. Penn quickly disposed of Brown, 35-0, before dominating Harvard by a 35-7 tally. Both duals started of the same with Mark Rappo getting things going at 125 pounds. Against Brown’s Billy Waterson, Rappo finished things off in the second period with a 21-6 technical fall at 4:48 to put Penn up 5-0. Rappo really helped his EIWA Tournament seeding later in the day by defeating Harvard’s Steven Keith Keith.
The ball kept rolling at 133 pounds as No. 6 Rollie Peterkin picked up a pair of major decisions against Brown’s Courtland Choate and Shay Warren of Harvard.
Andrew Lenzi (149), Gabriel Burak (165), Scott Giffin (174), and Steven Graziano (Hvy) went 2-0 on the day as well as Penn put up 70 points in the two duals.
Harvard and Princeton would both earn victories on the day as well as Harvard defeated Princeton, 21-15, and the Tigers rebounded to beat Brown, 21-16.
The following day it was right back to the mat for the Quakers as they played host to Princeton. Penn continued its hot streak, winning 37-10, and in doing so rose to 4-0 in EIWA competition this season.
Once again the combination of Rappo and Peterkin put the Quakers up early as Rappo upset Garret Frey 5-3 and Peterkin put together a 10-0 major decision over Tony Comunale. Zack Kemmerer and Lenzi also chipped in with major decisions of their own to up the lead to 11-0. Princeton’s Daniel Kolodzik stopped the onslaught momentarily with a 15-4 major decision of his own at 157 pounds, but Gabriel Burak’s pin of Andy Lowy in the following bout put the dual out of the Tigers’ reach.
Gabriel’s brother Micah and Kyle Cowan rounded out the Penn victors with a major decision and pin, respectively.
In other Ivy League action, Cornell traveled to Columbia fresh off a 45-0 drubbing of Hofstra and saw more of the same result against the Lions. Despite being within its home confines, Columbia fell to the Big Red, 40-3, to snap a three-match winning streak at home.
Top 20 Tilt
A pair of top-20 programs in the country met for a conference matchup this weekend in Bethlehem, Pa., as American traveled north to battle Lehigh. In a close match, the Mountain Hawks took six bouts to earn the 23-17 victory and remain perfect at home this year.
Nick Arujau put the Eagles of American up early with a convincing 15-0 technical fall less than a minute into the second period on Lehigh’s Mitch Berger at 125 pounds. However, Lehigh quickly erased the deficit when Frank Cagnina and Stephen Dutton put together back-to-back wins by a combined 24-6.
American regained the lead when Ganbayar Sanjaa scored a 2-1 decision over Joey Napoli at 149 pounds and No. 1 Steve Fittery pinned Sean Bilodeau at 157 pounds. However, the back-end talent of Lehigh’s lineup proved to be the difference as the Mountain Hawks won all but one of the remaining five bouts. Austin Meys pinned Tanner Shaffer at 174 pounds and Robert Hamlin followed that up with a 14-4 major decision of his own to help up Lehigh’s record to 13-6 overall and 5-1 against EIWA opponents.
No. 1 Zach Rey put the icing on the cake at heavyweight with a 5-3 decision of Ryan Flores.
Around the EIWA
— All was not lost for American on the weekend as the Eagles defeated a talented Binghamton squad, 25-16, two days before clashing with Lehigh.
— At the All-Academy Championships in Charleston, S.C., Navy took home first place thanks to five individual champions. Aaron Kalil (125), Allen Stein (133), Bryce Saddoris (157), Matt DeMichiel (174), and Luke Rebertus (184) all took home gold for the Midshipmen
— Behind first place finishes from Casey Thome (141) and Daniel Yound (149), Army took third at the All-Academy Championships.
— Bucknell earned its third win at home this year Friday, when the Bison took down Lock Haven, 26-13.
— The tenth time is always a charm as Franklin & Marshall earned its first dual win of the season Sunday by besting Sacred Heard on the road by a 35-20 score. The Diplomats fell, 33-15, two days earlier at home to Campbell and are now 1-9 on the year.
Wrestler of the Week
He was not the only Penn Quaker to go 3-0 on the weekend, but Gabriel Burak sure was one of the most impressive. The senior 165-pounder ranked No. 18 in the nation put together a pair of undefeated days against Brown and Harvard Saturday and Princeton on Sunday to help his team stay in the Ivy League title hunt. Burak earned two pins and a major decision to up his individual record to 13-3.