Wrestling Travels to Mat Town U.S.A. Drexel wrestling will head towards central Pennsylvania where it will participate in its third tournament this season; the Mat Town Invitational hosted by Lock Haven University.
Drexel wrestling will head towards central Pennsylvania where it will participate in its third tournament this season; the Mat Town Invitational hosted by Lock Haven University in the Thomas Fieldhouse. The one-day event is scheduled to kick off at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 29 with first round action followed by quarter finals at 12:00 p.m. The semifinals and finals will be at 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. respectively. The Dragons will revisit some old season foes from this year with the possibility of individual match ups against No. 9 Pittsburgh and Franklin & Marshall. Other participants include CAA rival Old Dominion, No. 22 Kent State, No. 8 Michigan, Columbia, Sacred Heart, Virginia Military Institute and host Lock Haven.
Drexel, now 3-2, is coming off of a tough challenge as it hosted then No. 22 Virginia at the John A. Daskalakis Athletic Center Sunday, Nov. 18. The Dragons put up a good fight but unfortunately were only able to walk away with three teams points in their 39-3 loss to the nationally ranked Cavaliers. Senior Kyle Frey continued his stellar season as he took a 6-2 decision off of Virginia's Ethan Hayes.
Three other Dragons were within three or fewer points of their opponent in matches that could have gone either way. Junior Frank Cimato narrowly missed out on a win as he was edged 3-4 by Matt Nelson at 141 pounds. Shane Fenningham was also right in the battle but couldn't overcome the Cavaliers' Shawn Harris as the sophomore dropped a 1-4 decision at 149 pounds.
In yet another nail bitter, sophomore Brandon Palik took Ryan Malo to overtime with the possibility of picking up Drexel's first team points of the match at 197 pounds. Malo, however, was able to earn the sudden victory over Palik for a final 1-3 decision in favor of Virginia.
Palik has put together a solid start to the 2011-12 season before the break picking up two sixth place finishes at the Body Bar and Cliff Keen Invitational. Palik also has two major decisions and two pins under his belt this season. Frey is in the middle of a great senior year campaign as he leads the Dragons with an 11-2 mark and a perfect 5-0 dual meet record. Frey has one pin and two major decisions with a first place finish at the Cornell Body Bar Invitational this year. Cimato holds the fastest fall this season for the Dragons at 2:18 in the first period. Along with a 7-6 overall mark and 3-2 dual meet record, the junior has also earned a tech. fall over Campbell's Tanner Bidelspach.
The Dragons won't go quietly though, as they continue to see some of the same nationally ranked competition that they have stood toe-to-toe with earlier this season. The Mat Town Invitational continues that pattern for Drexel as it looks to prepare for its CAA opener after the winter holiday break on Sunday, January 8.