When Princeton ended a 24-year losing streak to Penn last year, the Tigers held on for dear life. The Tigers had a different strategy Sunday afternoon at the Palestra, when both teams opened the 2017 Ivy League season.
The Tigers dominated from start to finish.
Highlighted by two nationally ranked wins and a thrilling overtime win at 157, Princeton opened its Ivy season with a 28-8 victory over the Quakers inside the Palestra. Princeton won eight of 10 matches and didn't allow a single takedown until the sixth match of the day.
Junior Jon Schleifer, currently ranked 17th nationally, had the biggest win of the day, and one of the best of his already-impressive career, when he claimed his a big victory over eighth-ranked and returning All-American Casey Kent. After a scoreless first, Schleifer scored on a single in the second and rode Kent for nearly a 1:00 to lead 2-1.
Kent chose the defensive position to open the third, Schleifer threw him to the mat on an early escape attempt for two back points. By the time Kent escaped, Schleifer led 4-2 and had more than enough riding time to feel comfortable with a three-point lead. Kent got in on a single in the final 20 seconds to get a takedown and had Schleifer in an awkward position, but the 2015 Ivy League Rookie of the Year countered it and rolled back on top of Kent to clinch the 7-4 win.
When Brett Harner and Frank Mattiace met in the 2016 EIWA semifinal, it was the only tense seven minutes for the Tiger junior en route to the program's first EIWA title in 14 years. The rematch Sunday wasn't nearly as dramatic, as Harner hit a six-point move late in the first period and never relinquished control in a 10-3 victory over his 15th-ranked opponent.
Sophomore Mike D'Angelo picked up his best win of the year in a thriller at 157, easily the best match of the first half of the dual. Both were aggressive in both shots and counters throughout a scoreless first period, and each escaped within seconds of the next two periods to force overtime.
Penn's May Bethea came closest to the takedown in sudden victory, but D'Angelo fought it gamely over the final 10 seconds to extend the match. While both competitors were gassed, D'Angelo came up with another quick escape to open a 2-1 lead, and he pulled out a gritty 30-second ride to thrill his sideline and a strong contingent of Tiger fans who made the trip to Philadelphia.
Freshman Ty Agaisse returned to the mat after missing several weeks with an injury and gave the Tigers a 3-0 lead, and the trio of Pat D'Arcy, Matthew Kolodzik and Jordan Laster built on that momentum to open a 15-0 lead when D'Angelo took the mat. Senior Ray O'Donnell closed it with a major decision of his own to clinch the 28-8 win.
125 - Ty Agaisse (Pr) dec. Jeremy Schwartz 7-2
133 - Pat D'Arcy (Pr) mdec. Tristin DeVincenzo 13-4
141 - #4 Matthew Kolodzik (Pr) TF AJ Vendici 21-5, 6:19
149 - #17 Jordan Laster (Pr) dec. Joe Oliva 7-2
157 - Mike D'Angelo (Pr) dec. May Bethea 2-1, tb-1
165 - Brooks Martino (Pe) mdec. Riley DeMoss 12-0
174 - #17 Jon Schleifer (Pr) dec. #8 Casey Kent 7-4
184 - Joe Heyob (Pe) mdec. Ian Baker 11-3
197 - #12 Brett Harner (Pr) dec. #15 Frank Mattiace 10-3
HWT - Ray O'Donnell (Pr) mdec. Tyler Hall 14-4