The wrestling team (6-6, 3-5 EIWA) lost its third consecutive dual meet in brutal fashion, falling 24-10 at Penn (6-6, 5-4 EIWA) on an afternoon in which every close bout went against the Lions.
Penn managed to outwrestle the Light Blue in tight matchups all day en route to winning eight decisions, seven of which were decided by a takedown—which is worth two points—or less.
Head coach Carl Fronhofer chalked up Saturday’s loss to his team’s failure to pull out those tightly contested bouts.
“You’ve got to win the close matches to win the duals, and we just didn’t get it done today,” he said.
In the two bouts Columbia did win, it won comfortably. At 174 pounds, No. 16 junior Shane Hughes came up with his fifth fall in his last seven bouts, pinning Penn’s Zach Agostino with 16 seconds left in the first period. In the 133-pound bout, sophomore Angelo Amenta won an 11-2 major decision over Ken Bade for his seventh win in the last eight meets.
But disappointing showings from the rest of the Lion lineup let the Quakers run away with the meet. Penn clinched the win after the eighth bout, a 5-3 decision over senior Penn Gottfried at 125 that put the score at 21-6 and put the Lions out of mathematical contention with two bouts left.
After starting the season 6-3, the Lions have stumbled on the home stretch. They have traded a five-meet winning streak for a three-meet losing streak. Fronhofer acknowledged the poor performances the team had put up against Penn on Saturday and at Princeton the previous night.
“For whatever reason, we were kind of flat across the board last night and we were pretty flat today,” Fronhofer said. “We didn’t have the same energy level, the same grittiness that we’ve had at some of our duals earlier in the year.”
The Light Blue will have a chance to bounce back at home next weekend, when it finishes off its regular season by hosting Harvard and Brown on Friday and Sunday, respectively.