Penn wrestling falls to .500 in dual competition, as the squad is handled by rival Lehigh by a score of 21-12 at the Palestra.
Good: Lorenzo being Lorenzo
It may have been too late, but is sure was exciting. In his match at 184 pounds, Penn junior Lorenzo Thomas, after dominating for nearly six and a half minutes, was able to pin his opponent, Zach Diekel, resulting in much needed bonus points. Thomas’ team-leading sixth win by fall marked one of the few bright spots for the Quakers on Sunday.
Bad: Shying Up
Penn often struggled to generate points, as six Quakers scored just three points or fewer, including Andrew Lenzi and Frank Mattiace, who were both blanked. These performances can be partially attributed to the level of competition, but also to lack of execution, and what coach Rob Eiter considered, “hold[ing] back and [being] tentative.”
Ugly: A bad start, a bitter irony
The Quakers dug themselves into a sizable hole to start on, dropping their first five matches of the dual to go down 15-0. Last year, it was the Quakers who went on the road and seized the matchup from the beginning, winning the first five bouts. Even though the Quakers were favored in the majority of their last five matches, they failed to erase the deficit.
Penn remains winless against Wagner, as it suffers an overtime loss, 75-69, at the Palestra. There weren't a lot of bright spots for the Quakers in this edition of the Good, the Bad & the Ugly.
THE GOOD: Bagtas continues to run the show
Though occasionally hindered by some rookie mistakes, freshman guard Tony Bagtas followed up on his commitment to reducing turnovers, logging eight assists compared to three turnovers against the Seahawks. With some fine-tuning, he could be the most efficient passer for Penn this season.
THE BAD: It's under review.
An argument against the use of video review in sports is that it disrupts the flow of the game. This sounds like a preposterous position until one sees a game like this one and realizes the incalculable number of things that can be reviewed. The referees visited the video board so many times that their reviews in the second half and overtime elicited booing from the crowd. Perhaps the most agonizing use of the review was one that took several minutes and only resulted in adjusting the clock from 27.0 to 28.1 seconds remaining.
THE UGLY: Penn loses its cool.
There were so many ugly aspects to this game that it's difficult to catalogue them all. (For instance, neither team shot better than 33.3 percent from the field.) But the most gut-wrenching of all the flaws was the Quakers' squad just looking flat-out undisciplined in this game. Bagtas was called for foolish flagrant foul, Miles Cartwright fouled out for equally frivolous reasons and Tony Hicks is fortunate to not have been tossed from the game after a technical foul followed by an unwarranted hard foul in the waning moments of the contest. Penn logged 23 turnovers and 28 fouls in the game, leading to 39 free throw attempts for Wagner, which the Seahawks converted at an impressive rate of 84.6 percent. Their discipline at the free throw line mirrored their composure down the stretch. Meanwhile, Penn came apart. It was an ugly sight to behold.
Who'll be up and down for the Quakers when they take on Lehigh at the Palestra on Sunday? We decide:
Recent success: In a matchup that resembled Sunday’s dual meet on paper, the Quakers were able to upset the Mountain Hawks 24-12 on the road in last year’s dual. Last year’s unranked Quakers squad took down a No. 21 ranked Lehigh team, and the currently unranked Quakers take on a No. 23 ranked Hawks squad this weekend. Although there has been a lot of turnover this season, Penn’s three wrestlers who faced Lehigh last year – Andrew Lenzi, Casey Kent, and Steve Graziano – that are slated for Sunday’s dual won their matches against the Hawks last season. The Quakers know they can beat this Lehigh team, and it only helps that the dual is at the Palestra.
Star-power and firepower: Sunday’s dual is shaping up to be an entertaining, intense affair. It will feature seven ranked wrestlers across the two rival squads – four for Lehigh, and three for Penn. Lorenzo Thomas, who is ranked No. 9 at 184 pounds and is 10-2, is Penn’s highest-ranked wrestler. The two other ranked Quakers are Casey Kent, who is No. 13 at 165 pounds, and Frank Mattiace, who is No. 19 at 197 pounds. The pair of Lehigh wrestlers to look out for most is Mason Beckman, ranked No. 7 at 133 pounds, and Joey Napoli, who is a defending EIWA champion and is ranked No. 8 at 157 pounds. Both grapplers are undefeated thus far. Although none of the ranked grapplers will go head to head, it will be nice to see some of the best talent in the EIWA on display at the Palestra on Sunday.
At least that's the message Temple sent today with the school's announcement that it's cutting seven of its 24 intercollegiate sports: baseball, softball, men's crew, women's rowing, men's gymnastics and men's indoor/outdoor track & field, effective July 1.
According to The Temple News, the cuts were described by officials as a culmination of the university’s long history of a underfunded athletic department. Reportedly, the cuts will save the university an estimated $3 million to $3.5 million out of its $44 million budget.
Penn football lost its last four games to finish out 2013. Now the Quakers also lose two fifth-year senior quarterbacks as well as a bevy of experienced team standouts in the secondary and along the offensive line.
So what will be the single-greatest area of roster upheaval facing the Quakers as they look ahead to the 2014 campaign, and how will they transition in that area?
Associate Sports Editor Jimmy Lengyel: I think the answer is obvious: the secondary.
I think it was one of the most overlooked areas of the team considering the front seven played beyond their expectations.
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Hot off a shot in the NCAA tournament and an Ivy title, Penn men's soccer has another thing to celebrate: senior captains defender Jonny Dolezal and forward Stephen Baker were both accepted to the 2014 InfoSport Pro Soccer Combine. Part of "one of the closest classes on and off the field" that coach Rudy Fuller has coached at Penn, the two seniors played for the Reading United A.C. team in the USL Premier Development League. Both were part of an historic victory over the USL Pro League's Harrisburg City Islanders this past summer. Dolezal was named 1st team All-Ivy this season and Baker was a team leader in shots with 43, just behind Ivy Offensive Player of the Year Duke Lacroix.
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Through two games this season, one thing is clear for Penn women’s basketball — coach Mike McLaughlin has found a gem in Sydney Stipanovich. With two games under her belt, the freshman center has put up 23 points and has looked impressive in her minutes coming off the bench. The question now becomes: Should she be in the starting lineup?
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