In its final dual meet of the season, Penn wrestling was unable to pull out a win against No. 11 Lehigh. The Quakers (6-9, 5-6 EIWA) lost to the Mountain Hawks (11-3, 7-1) by a score of 35-9 in the Palestra this Thursday.
This result marks the end of the regular season for the Red and Blue. Thursday’s win extended the Mountain Hawks’ winning streak to 10 matches, having lost only one match in conference play.
Notably absent from the competition was freshman 125-pounder Michael Colaiocco, who maintains a record of 20-5 overall and has gone 9-2 in his duals.
One of the highlights of the night for Penn was during the opening bout at 141 pounds, where sophomore Doug Zapf earned a 3-1 victory over junior Dan Moran. With the result, Zapf increased his overall winning record this season to 25-5. He has been a standout for the Quakers all season, ending regular season competition with a 12-match winning streak in dual meets. He also has a record of 15-0 against EIWA opponents.
Freshman Lucas Revano, who wrestled at 149 pounds in this meet, was almost able to overcome his opponent, junior Jimmy Hoffman. The match was initially tied 1-1, but Hoffman ended it by preventing Revano from pinning him, which earned the Mountain Hawk the winning point. Revano lost 2-1.
“There were some moments that we wanted in that meet tonight [...] Doug Zapf went clean through the EIWA opponents,” coach Roger Reina said. “Lucas was very competitive and is a freshman that’s showing a lot of promise.”
Aside from Zapf’s triumph, the Quakers’ other win came from freshman Cole Urbas. Wrestling at 197 pounds, Urbas won his match by forfeit. His opponent, senior Jake Jakobsen, was injured during their match and opted out, allowing Urbas to earn a 4-0 triumph.
Heading into the postseason, Reina was reflective of the hard work the team has put in so far.
“I believe in these guys. I think they’ve got great promise, and [if] we keep the right positive mindset going into the conference championships, I think we’ll be able to make a lot of noise out there in two weeks,” Reina said.
Though they were unable to come out on top, sophomore Neil Antrassian and senior Jack Conway also showcased strong performances for the Red and Blue. Antrassian lost by a score of 10-4, attempting to put Penn back in the match after Lehigh ran out to a 11-3 lead.
“We wrestled really tough and a lot better than we[‘ve] wrestled before. We had some starters out and some underclassmen taking [the mat],” Revano said.
This loss comes after the Quakers had achieved a 27-18 win over another EIWA foe, Franklin & Marshall. Before that victory, the Red and Blue had experienced a string of losses against conference competition.
As dual season draws to a close, Penn will look to prepare for the EIWA Championships, which will take place in early March. After that, all that remains is individual NCAA competition.