With seven ranked wrestlers, a No. 1 national ranking and a Southern Scuffle championship, the Big Red entered Friday’s matchup with a full head of steam and left the Quakers on the wrong side of a 28-9 beating.
Cornell (11-1, 3-0 Ivy) overpowered Penn (9-4, 4-2), winning four of the first five bouts, and left the Quakers gasping for air with little room to recover.
“It’s a heated rivalry and the guys were pretty excited about being here,” coach Rob Eiter said. “We fought real well, but we just need to fight and win at the same time. I was impressed with the effort they gave.”
The night began with a tough loss for the Quakers.
No. 17 Mark Rappo held a narrow one-point margin after two periods over No. 10 Frank Perrelli, but an escape and single-leg takedown helped turn the momentum of the entire match for the Cornell opener.
“The beginning set the tone,” Eiter said. “Mark outwrestled his kid, but got taken out at the end.”
On paper, the Quakers held a slight advantage at 133 pounds, where No. 5 Rollie Peterkin faced No. 6 Mike Grey, but a takedown late in the third period pushed Grey over the top en route to a 10-5 win.
But the matchup of the day featured No. 1 Cam Simaz against No. 5 Micah Burak at 197 pounds. Simaz — a two-time All-American for the Big Red — had already defeated the sophomore in the finals of the Binghamton Open the last two years.
“I tried to control my tie-ups and needed to get away on bottom,” said Burak.
Simaz scored a single and a trip and pushed his lead to five points with another takedown before sealing the match with his third takedown with 11 seconds left.
“One thing about losing, it sort of fires you up,” Burak added. “I’ll just try to go into the conference tournament and beat the Cornell guy there.”
After making the four-hour drive from Ithaca to the Big Apple, the defeated Quakers mustered up enough effort to take down Columbia (7-6, 1-2) on Saturday afternoon, 19-13.
No. 10 Zach Kemmerer—the only grappler to go 2-0 this weekend— pushed his record to 31-5 with a come-from-behind victory over Josh Houldsworth.
The 141-pound senior took a three-point lead into the third period and was able to nullify the riding-time advantage with a methodical win.
The victory over the Lions marks the end of the Ivy portion of Penn’s schedule. The team will travel to Bethlehem, Pa., Sunday to take on Lehigh, the only team to have beaten Cornell in any competition this year.Comments powered by Disqus
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