Though the Penn wrestling team entered Sunday’s match on the high of a two-game win streak and with a golden opportunity to take down a national powerhouse, they left disappointed.
After scrapping together two important dual-meet victories last week, the Quakers fell short at the Palestra Sunday, as No. 18 Virginia beat the Penn squad handily, 28-9. The Quakers (4-3) won just three bouts on the day.
After sophomore Mark Rappo opened the match with a loss to Virginia’s Ross Gitomer (6-5), Penn showed signs of life when junior Brian Ortenzio took down Matt Cubillos to even the score at 3-3.
Unfortunately for the Red and Blue, this was the closest they came to taking down the mighty Cavaliers (12-3).
Penn followed up Ortenzio’s victory by losing the next three matchups — including a forfeit at the 157-pound weight class — leaving the squad in an 18-3 hole.
Junior Tom Timothy brought the Quakers back to life — if only temporarily — as he secured Penn’s second victory of the day, defeating Beau Fisher 5-4 in the 165-pound bout.
In what was touted as one of the most exciting matchups of the day, Penn junior Scott Giffin battled admirably against No. 4 Chris Henrich in the 174-pound weightclass, taking the bout to overtime before finally suffering a 8-6 defeat.
But the silver lining of the otherwise lackluster match was the performance of freshman phenom Micah Burak.
Burak continued his impressive rookie campaign with a 7-1 manhandling of Virginia’s Brent Jones, a senior who entered the match ranked No. 17 in the country in the 197-pound weightclass.
Since several starters, including seniors Cesar Grajales and Matt Dragon, were unable to compete Sunday, coach Rob Eiter’s group looks to put up a more impressive effort next week when the team travels westward to take on No. 24 Pittsburgh.Comments powered by Disqus
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