In its second match of the day, sophomore heavyweight David Ng secured a victory for the Crimson over Princeton with a 4-1 win in the day’s final bout. Harvard clinched eight out of ten matches in a 27-6 win over the Tigers.
It was a strong finish to a day that began poorly for the Crimson (4-5, 2-4 EIWA), which fell, 24-6, to Penn (7-3, 4-1 EIWA) in its first leg of Saturday’s dual meet.
“Penn was a tough match for us—it was tough for the team,” co-captain Walter Peppelman said. “What happened at Penn was we lost the close matches. The score doesn’t show it, but we were really in that match, and we had many opportunities to win that match.”
Freshman Jeffrey Ott opened the day’s bouts at 125 when he matched up against the Quakers’ No. 20 Mark Rappo, who topped Ott with a 6-3 decision.
The Crimson had similar luck in the second bout at 133, with senior Shay Warren falling, 8-5.
Co-captain Steven Keith secured Harvard’s first win of the day. Keith defeated Penn’s No. 9 C.J. Cobb for the second time this season. The decision brought the score to 6-3 in favor of the Quakers.
“Obviously Steven had a great, great performance against C.J. Cobb, who was ranked ninth in the country at that time,” Peppelman said.
Harvard’s Peppelman snagged the second and final Crimson win over Penn at 157, a 6-0 shutout.
Harvard lost the following five bouts, but allowed only a combined 10 points for the Quakers.
“I just think things didn’t come together for us at Penn,” Peppelman said.
Sophomore James Fox almost edged out No. 9 Micah Burak, leading Penn’s All-American in the second period, but Fox eventually fell to Burak, 6-3.
“We lost a lot of close matches,” Keith said. “Their whole lineup is tough, but if we had taken a few of those close matches back with us, then I think we would’ve been right in there to beat them.”
After falling to Penn, Harvard wrestling shifted its attention to the Tigers and rebounded with a resounding victory.
“We were able to talk about [the loss] as a team,” Keith said. “We realized we didn’t perform our best against Penn, and, you know, we decided to come together to try to turn it around.”
Ott opened the meet again, this time with a 9-3 decision over Princeton’s Max Rogers. The freshman’s win gave the Crimson needed momentum after the preceding loss to the Quakers.