The women's basketball team wasn't the only Penn team to find success this weekend, as the wrestling, tennis, gymnastics, swimming and track and field teams also were in action. For a look back at the wrestling team's win against Columbia, the tennis teams victories over Stony Brook, and the gymnastics team's outstanding performance, among other matchups from the past weekend, here is this week's edition of Weekend Wrap.
The No. 23 Quakers secured a decisive victory over Ivy League rival Columbia over the weekend due in large part to strong production from its light and heavy weights. Penn kicked off the meet with a hot start, as No. 20 Mark Rappo, No. 11 C.J. Cobb and sophomore Jeff Canfora secured wins in their respective bouts. After dropping a few matchups in the middle weights, the Red and Blue captured their final three bouts, securing the victory for the Quakers.
The Penn gymnastics squad posted the fourth-highest team score in program history on Sunday, but came up just short against Bridgeport. The Quakers, whose 193.975 team score was the highest of the season, were led by seniors Kirsten Strausbaugh and Megan Milavec, along with freshman Elyse Shenberger. Although the team fell 195.325-193.975, the Red and Blue turned in season highs in each event and look to carry their momentum into the Ivy Classic next week.
We break down what was good and what was not for Penn wrestling in its 23-9 win at Columbia on Saturday:
THE GOOD: Early domination
With uncertainties in the middle of the lineup and Micah Burak not at one-hundred percent, it was pivotal for the first three Quakers to get big wins, and that they did. Mark Rappo earned a bonus point in the first bout, Jeff Canfora dominated his bout, and C.J. Cobb earned Penn an additional bonus point in the third bout. Their efforts in getting the Red and Blue off to an 11-0 start proved to be the difference maker.
THE BAD: Struggles in the middle
The Quakers won the first three bouts and last three bouts, but in the middle, Penn was outwrestled and lost 3 of 4. In fairness to the Quakers though, Columbia's Steve Santos is ranked sixth in the country in the 149 pound class, and Jake O'Hara also boasts a national ranking at the 157 class. 5 wrestlers in all were ranked (3 for Penn), and all came out victorious.
THE UGLY: Micah Burak’s flu
We don’t know for sure what it looked like, but there’s no way Burak’s flu could have been pretty. The senior and contender for a national championship struggled all week with the illness and was a game time decision for Penn. Though he was able to win, Burak certainly was not himself. With the postseason looming, Burak’s health will definitely be something to watch for.
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With several teams out on the road this weekend, the Quakers were fortunate to make it through the blizzard up in the Northeast and return safely to campus. Three Penn teams scored significant victories this weekend, with the women's squash, gymnastics and wrestling teams dominating their opponents. Here now is this week's edition of Weekend Wrap.
The Penn wrestling team picked up its first two Ivy League victories of this season by winning 17 of 20 total matches against Harvard and Brown. The Quakers were able to avenge last year's loss to Harvard due in large part to strong performances from junior Canaan Bethea, sophomore Ian Korb and No. 20 Mark Rappo. After dropping two matches to the Crimson in the victory, Penn fell one victory shy of a clean sweep of Brown later in the afternoon. The Quakers controled the matchup from start to finish, and won, 35-4.
The season ended on a sour note for the Penn men's squash team. The squad dropped both of its matches this weekend, first to No. 11 Columbia on Friday, 5-4, and then on Sunday to No. 5 Cornell, 7-2. The Quakers completed the regular season having lost eight of their final nine games. While the matchup against Columbia was tied at 4 wins a piece, Penn junior John Dudzik dropped his match against Columbia’s Tony Zou to give the Lions the 'W'. On Sunday, the Big Red dominated the Quakers, with only junior Daniel Judd (8-5, 4-3) and sophomore Jack Maine (7-7, 3-4) scoring victories for Penn.
The Red and Blue are currently ranked No. 22, one spot ahead of the Mountain Hawks, who were No. 21 before Saturday's bout. Penn is now second in the EIWA behind No. 8 Cornell, whom they will face on Jan., 26 in Ithaca, N.Y.
Penn's individual grapplers have been moving up in the rankings as well. After a strong start to his season, sophomore C.J. Cobb now ranks at No. 16 in the 141-pound weightclass according to the InterMat rankings. At 125 pounds, Mark Rappo moved ahead of Hofstra's Steve Bonnano, who he defeated in overtime Sunday, 9-7, and is now No. 19.
Despite a three-week absence, Micah Burak (197 pounds) is still No. 8, although he fell out of the OpenMat rankings. He should be back in time for the Midlands Championships in Evanston, Ill., on Dec. 29-30. Burak finished second at last year's Midlands Championships and will be looking to surpass that performance this year.
The NCAA released its brackets for the 2011 Wrestling Championships, which will be held March 17-19 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, and six grapplers will be representing the Red and Blue.
Junior Mark Rappo (125 pounds) is the lone of the six — a group including him, brothers Micah and Gabe Burak, Scott Giffin, Rollie Peterkin, and Zack Kemmerer — to be making his first appearance at the NCAAs, but he and Kemmerer (who went 0-2 in his NCAA run a year ago) have emerged as two of the steadiest wrestlers on the team and could make some noise. Kemmerer (141) led the team with 31 wins and is currently ranked 13th in the nation in his weightclass.
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