PHILADELPHIA -- The University of Pennsylvania wrestling team opened up the home portion of its 2018-19 dual meet season in a "Big" way, dominating off Big Ten opponent Maryland, 26-6. The Quakers (1-1) won eight of ten matches to knock off the Terrapins (0-1) in The Palestra.
A new-look Quakers team sporting a surprise third singlet took a newly-designed Palestra setup, and the Quakers gave the crowd plenty to cheer about as Penn won six in a row to turn a 3-0 deficit into a 20-3 lead which the Terps could not overcome.
Six Penn freshmen won their Palestra dual meet debuts, and sophomore Evan DeLuise picked up his first career dual meet win via a 3-1 overtime decision in the penultimate match. Penn's eight winner was also doing something for the first time, as fifth-year senior Patrik Garren picked up his first win at his new weight of 187 pounds.
The only meeting of two ranked wrestlers went Penn's way as No. 20 Anthony Artalona scored a winning takedown with 0:18 remaining in overtime to knock off No. 18 Alfred Bannister, 5-3. Artalona led, 1-0, after two periods, but Bannister took a 3-1 lead after an escape and a takedown early in the third. Artalona quickly escaped to close within one, and he forced overtime after drawing a second stall warning on Bannister with 0:20 remaining in the match. He would go on to power through in overtime and improve his record to 10-1.
Artalona was the capper to Penn's six-match run to take a commanding lead. Garren started the run with an 8-3 decision over David-Brian Whisler at 197 pounds. Garren had the only three takedowns in the match, scoring two of them in the first period to pull away.
After Garren's win, the Quakers had five true freshmen in a row win their Palestra dual debuts. Ben Goldin pushed the pace all match long against Mansur Abdul-Malik, drawing four stall warning (and three points) while adding two takedowns in a 9-3 decision.
At 125, Carmen Ferrante picked up a 10-1 major decision over Brandon Cray, using a four-point turn in the second period to pull away from the two-time N.J. state champion and pick up his ninth win of the season.
Doug Zapf followed with a major decision of his own, belting Orion Anderson, 12-2. Zapf wrestled perfectly on the edge, scoring four takedowns on the perimeter of the mat on his way to his first career dual meet victory.
Our of halftime, Grant Aronoff scored a takedown and added two nearfall in the first period, and that lead was enough to hold off Michael Doetsch, 4-1. Artalona followed with his overtime win over Bannister and the Quakers led, 20-3.
Other winners for Penn included Evan DeLuise, who gutted out a 3-1 win in overtime against Phil Spadafora at 165 pounds for his first career dual meet win. DeLuise won a scramble in the extra period, finally securing the takedown with 0:14 to go.
Freshman Jake Hendricks followed with a 2-1 decision to close the dual, knocking off Josh Ugalde. Hendricks escaped in the second period and added his second point when Ugalde connected with an inadvertent head butt in the middle frame. Ugalde escaped in the third, and was close to a takedown at the buzzer, but time ran out.
Even the two matches that didn't go Penn's was showed the spirit of the squad. Ryan Farber trailed, 4-1, early at 184 to Kyle Jasenski but was inches away from a tying takedown late in a 7-5 decision. His effort resonated with the bench as Penn won the next six.
With Penn leading, 20-3, after Artalona's win, the Terrapins needed bonus points in all three remaining bouts to even try to come back. Adam Whitesell came out firing in the first period of the 157-pound match against Penn's Joe Oliva, scoring three takedown and six points of nearfall for a 12-3 lead after one period. From there, it was all Oliva as the senior captain clawed back within two points in a 12-10 decision. Rather than allow the bonus points, Oliva scored four points in the second period to close within five. In the third, he drew three stall warnings from top position and added riding time.
The Quakers won the takedown battle, 14-6, and had the opening takedown in six of nine matches.
Penn is off until the 2018 Midlands Championships hosted by Northwestern in Chicago December 29-30.
184: Kyle Jasenski (Maryland) DEC Ryan Farber (Penn), 7-5 Maryland leads, 3-0
197: Patrik Garren (Penn) DEC David-Brian Whisler (Maryland), 8-3 Match Tied, 3-3
285: Ben Goldin (Penn) DEC Mansur Abdul-Malik (Maryland), 9-3 Penn leads, 6-3
125: Carmen Ferrante (Penn) MD Brandon Cray (Maryland), 10-1 Penn leads, 10-3
133: Doug Zapf (Penn) MD Orion Anderson (Maryland), 12-2 Penn leads, 14-3
141: Grant Aronoff (Penn) DEC Michael Doetsch (Maryland), 4-1 Penn leads, 17-3
149: #20 Anthony Artalona (Penn) DEC #18 Alfred Bannister (Maryland), 5-3 (SV) Penn leads, 20-3
157: Adam Whitesell (Maryland) DEC Joe Oliva (Penn), 12-10 Penn leads, 20-6
165: Evan DeLuise (Penn) DEC Phil Spadafora (Maryland), 3-1 (SV) Penn leads, 23-6
174: Jake Hendricks (Penn) DEC Josh Ugalde (Maryland), 2-1 Penn leads, 26-6