The Harvard wrestling team had a difficult weekend, losing two close matches to Brown and Boston University on Saturday before No. 12 Lehigh dominated the Crimson on Sunday afternoon.
On Saturday, both the Bears and the Terriers jumped out to early team leads.
Harvard kept it close and was within striking distance until the match’s final bouts. But Harvard was unable to win either contest.
“It came down to mistakes; who made more mistakes,” junior co-captain Walter Peppelman said. “The teams that made the least mistakes won the dual meets, and unfortunately that wasn’t us.”
The day saw two individual wins for both No. 12 junior Steven Keith and No. 8 Peppelman in the 133- and 157-pound weight classes, respectively, while four other Crimson wrestlers recorded a win on the day.
Peppelman carried his win streak to the next day against the Mountain Hawks, giving Harvard its only team points with a pin on Lehigh’s Brian Tanen.
The pin also gave Peppelman his 25th career fall, tying for third on the Crimson’s all-time list.
But Lehigh and its six ranked wrestlers, two of whom are No. 2 nationally, were too much for the Crimson, and the Mountain Hawks won nine of 10 matches with four major decisions and three pins against Harvard.
LEHIGH 40, HARVARD 6
The Crimson struggled against a dominant Mountain Hawks squad on Sunday at the Malkin Athletic Center. The only Harvard win came from Peppelman, who pinned his opponent, Tanen, at 4:56.
Already ahead in points, Peppelman had the advantage over Tanen on the floor. With Tanen still facing forward on all fours and Peppelman on his back, Peppelman grabbed hold of the inside of one of Tanen’s legs and wrapped his other arm under and around his opponent’s shoulder.
Soon after, Tanen got to his feet to make the escape, but the Harvard grappler shifted his grip to grab hold of Tanen’s waist and simultaneously pulled him backwards and back towards the ground.
In control, Peppelman managed to shift his hips around Tanen’s lower body, exposing his opponent’s back to the mat.
After a five-count gave Peppelman back points, he continued to attack Tanen. And with less than 10 seconds remaining in the period, Peppelman scooted his feet up closer to his head, folding his body over Tanen and forcing Tanen’s shoulderblades to inch closer towards the floor.
With one final kick in the air, Peppelman managed to get Tanen completely on his back to score the fall.