The Penn wrestling team found itself in an unusual position Saturday, having to wait only hours to avenge a losing match.
After falling to Harvard, 23-19, in the morning, the Quakers recovered with an afternoon win over Brown, 30-7.
“Harvard beat us to the punch a lot,” admitted coach Rob Eiter. “They were attacking more. They were more aggressive than we were. And we had to do the same thing against Brown, where we came out stronger.”
Saturday’s journey for the Red and Blue (5-6, 1-2 Ivy) began in Cambridge, Mass., where the Crimson (5-6, 1-2) put the Quakers in an early hole that they were unable overcome.
Harvard jumped ahead, 12-0, in the first three matches. The Quakers would then outscore the Crimson, 19-11, for the remainder of the match, but it was too late to avoid defeat.
Penn sophomore Karim Shafi, senior Bryan Ortenzio and sophomore Geoffrey Bostany lost to freshman Max Mejia, junior No. 12 Steven Keith and junior Shay Warren, respectively, to open the match.
The first win for the Quakers came from freshman Mark Pinero at 149, wrestling up a weightclass in his first start of the season.
“I found out that the kid that I was going to wrestle was on my visit to Penn last year,” explained Pinero. “That just made it even more of a personal thing. Coach Eiter told me to make sure I beat this kid.”
The rest of the match proved to be more competitive, as the remaining six matchups were split, 3-3. Though pins from junior Micah Burak and freshman Lorenzo Thomas gave Penn an edge in that series, it wouldn’t be enough undo the damage.
After the Harvard loss, the Red and Blue then made the trek to Providence, R.I., determined not to lose twice in the same the day. After Brown took the opening matchup, Penn ran away with six consecutive wins. A Burak major decision and forfeit at the end resulted in an easy victory for the Quakers.
Interestingly, Harvard went on to lose to Princeton later in the day, only hours after Brown (6-8, 1-2) had defeated the Tigers. And with a victory over Columbia, No. 4 Cornell claimed the Ivy League title, as the Big Red have done every year for the last decade.
Despite splitting Saturday’s decisions, the Red and Blue are keeping their focus and confidence as they look to return home against Columbia and prepare for the postseason.
“We all have a few different things to work on for the upcoming last three matches and postseason,” explained Thomas. “But we look forward to taking it to Columbia this weekend, and getting another Ivy win under our belt.”Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.