November 24, 2008

Wrestling Dominates Penn St. in Early Season Faceoff

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The wrestling team opened its schedule with an impressive victory over No. 14 Penn St. Cornell — which was ranked fourth in preseason polls — won seven of 10 matches en route to defeating Penn State Friday night by a score of 24-10. The Red continued its successful weekend at the Body Bar Invitational the next day, winning two individual titles and taking third overall.[img_assist|nid=33833|title=Vertical limit|desc=Senior 174-pounder Steve Anceravage takes down Penn St. freshman Quentin Wright at Newman Arena on Friday in a 6-1 decision.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
The matchup with Penn St., held in Bartels Hall to accommodate increased attendance, was also a fundraiser for the Adam Frey Cancer Fund. Junior Adam Frey competed for the team last season, but has been battling cancer since he was diagnosed with the disease in March. Frey was in attendance on Friday and was honored at halftime. Over $20,000 was donated to his fund as a result of the event.
“It was tremendous to see him there,” said senior Zach Hammond. “It definitely gave us a little boost.”
Freshman Grant Daffin opened the meet with a match against the second-ranked competitor in the 149-pound weight class, Bubba Jenkins. Daffin appeared to be overmatched in the contest and succumbed to a series of takedowns. He lost the match 16-7 as Penn St. gained four points with the major decision.
After Daffin, the Red reeled off six consecutive victories. Senior captain Jordan Leen was pitted in a highly competitive matchup in the 157-pound weight class. After a scoreless first period, In the first minutes of the second period, Leen’s forehead was split open — a blood timeout was called, giving a trainer time to wrap the wound in a bandage.
A grinning Leen seemed unaffected by his cut, which continued to bleed visibly through the bandage throughout the rest of the match. The defending national champion was able to use a second round escape, a third round takedown and over a minute of riding time to score a 4-0 victory.
“He wrestled one of the top-ranked kids,” said sophomore Frank Perrelli. “Jordan really stepped up.”
In the 165-pound weight class, top-ranked Mack Lewnes dominated for Cornell. The sophomore used a reversal, two takedowns, and 3:35 in riding time to earn a 7-2 victory.
Senior Steve Anceravage also appeared to be in control throughout his match. He won 6-1, never giving his opponent much of a chance.
“[My opponent was] a real good wrestler,” Anceravage said. “He’s a true freshman who knocked off the [sixth-ranked] guy in the nation. Overall, I wrestled a smart match and came out with the win.”
Sophomore Justin Kerber had an eye-opening victory at 184 pounds. Taking on the 13th-ranked wrestler in that weight class, Kerber took down his opponent twice and only allowed points on escapes. Kerber prevailed 6-2.
Rookie Cam Simaz showed why his coaches gave him the starting nod. The true freshman scored a second period pin to earn Cornell six points and give the Red an 18-4 lead.
Hammond believes that Kerber and Simaz had the most impressive showings of the match Friday.
“[I was most impressed by] our young guys at 184 and 197,” Hammond said. “Kerber beat a guy at 184 who’s ranked higher than he is and who he lost to last year, and [Simaz] at 197 came in and got a pin.”
Hammond had an impressive victory of his own in the heavyweight match. He was up 6-3 in the third period, but an escape and a late takedown tied the match. Hammond was able to claim a victory thanks to over two minutes in riding time.
“Zach Hammond won his match despite getting injured,” Anceravage said, noting a minor knee injury. “The fact that he was able to finish the match and get the win even with the pain was impressive.”
Perrelli competed in the 125-pound weight class. The match was temporarily stopped due to a Perrelli injury and the sophomore never seemed to fully recover. He fought through the pain, but fell by a score of 9-6.
Junior Troy Nickerson moved up to the 133-pound weight class to make room for Perrelli. Nickerson’s match was scoreless for two periods, but in the third, Nickerson started down, earned a quick reverse and then traded reverses with his opponent on his way to a 5-2 victory.
In the final match of the night, sophomore Mike Grey was upset by an unranked competitor from Penn State. Grey had trouble getting into advantageous situations throughout the match and fell 8-3.
On Saturday, the Red hosted the Body Bar Invitational. Lewnes used three pins to help win the 165-pound weight class while Anceravage set a new school record for career pins on his way to capturing the title at 174 pounds. Junior John Basting finished third at 157 pounds. Kerber — competing at 184 pounds — also finished third.
Cornell finished third, as Boise St. and Kent St. took first and second, respectively.