There were plenty of great moments from Penn Athletics over winter break. A 36-year-old pool record was shattered, Penn men's basketball took down Princeton for the first time in four years, and Penn women's basketball's Eleah Parker won three straight Ivy Rookie of the Week awards.
But only one athlete took down a ranked opponent.
Penn wrestling's Frank Mattiace had himself an extremely successful winter break. Highlighted by his takedown of No. 6 Nate Robert, Mattiace's efforts were enough to earn him DP Sports Player of the Break.
The fifth-year senior dominated his matchup with South Dakota State's Robert at the Ken Kraft Midlands Championships, upsetting the tournament's No. 1 seed by a score of 8-1. The Montville, N.J. native entered the tournament as the No. 5 seed, then advanced all the way to the finals. Despite losing to Iowa's No. 8 Cash Wilcke in the final bout, Mattiace became only the 11th wrestler in program history to reach the finals at the Midlands.
But even after the strong performance at the Midlands, Mattiace wasn't done. At a pair of dual meets in California, Mattiace recorded victories against both Cal Poly and Stanford. His win against Stanford's Nathan Traxler was especially significant, as it gave Penn its only lead of the day.
Mattiace's performance over break was also enough to move him up in the national rankings. He now sits as the No. 8 wrestler in the 197-pound weight class in the country, up from No. 15.
With the season beginning to heat up, Mattiace seems to be hitting his stride at just the right time.
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