wrestling-oliva

Senior captain Joe Oliva earned a major decision over Duke's Benjamin Anderson on Sunday, but it wasn't enough to keep Penn wrestling from falling 25-18 to the Blue Devils.

Credit: Zach Sheldon

The winter break grind continues for Penn wrestling.

The Quakers traveled south to Duke this weekend, jumping back into the dual meet season for 2019. Despite a promising start to the match with wins in the 125- and 133-pound weight classes, the Red and Blue ultimately fell by a score of 25-18.

Penn (1-2) opened the meet with a shutout by freshman Carmen Ferrante at 125 pounds. Ferrante secured just over three minutes of riding time by the end of the second period and won the match in a technical fall with a score of 15-0, contributing five team points to the Quakers’ tally.

After Duke (1-0) forfeited the 133-pound match, Penn's lead was up to 11. Next, freshman Grant Aronoff faced the first of four brothers competing for Duke this weekend, freshman Josh Finesilver, at 141 pounds. This match, which each respective head coach acknowledged as a key matchup before the meet, allowed Duke to put its first four team points on the board as Finesilver won by major decision, 14-6.

Fellow freshman and No. 17 Anthony Artalona faced the next Finesilver brother, redshirt senior and No. 6 Mitch, at 149 pounds. The pair met earlier this season in the semifinals of the the Keystone Classic, where Artalona fell 5-2.

With these two top-20 competitors battling it out again this weekend, the low-scoring match saw its first takedown in the last 45 seconds of the final period by Finesilver. Mitch Finesilver ultimately defeated Artalona 4-1, earning three team points for Duke and cutting Penn's lead to 11-7. 

Senior Joe Oliva, a three-time team captain for the Quakers, competed at 157 pounds. Oliva, who entered the meet with four losses by just two points or fewer this season, finally got over the hump to deliver his first team points of the year, winning a major decision over Benjamin Anderson by a score of 13-5 and pushing Penn’s lead to 15-7.

At 165 pounds, the third Finesilver brother, sophomore Zach, wrestled Penn sophomore Evan DeLuise. The matchup started out close, as DeLuise led after an early takedown and secured over a minute of riding time. DeLuise’s offensive aggression continued as he led going into the final period, repeatedly shooting first and making offensive advances. 

However, the Finesilvers improved to 3-0 on the day when Zach earned four back points at the buzzer to erase DeLuise’s riding time, edging ahead 12-8 and trimming Penn's lead to 15-10.

A victory followed for the fourth Finesilver brother, Matt, who beat junior Brian Krasowski at 174 pounds by technical fall in a 17-1 win which included five minutes and 29 seconds of riding time. At this point, with the meet tied at 15, the Finesilver brothers had contributed all the team points on the board for Duke. 

Duke won the two matches, at 184 and 197 pounds by a major decision and a pin, respectively, to add on 10 team points and make the score 25-15 in favor of the home team.

In the last matchup, between freshman Ben Goldin and Duke’s Araad Fisher, Penn won three more team points as Goldin won by a 5-2 decision. However, the Quakers were unable to dig out of their 10-point deficit, and the meet ended with a 25-18 Duke victory.

The Quakers will hope to bounce back from the loss when they face University City foe Drexel on Jan. 13 at the Palestra. 

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