Penn State Wrestling Recap: Bucknell & Lehigh
*All rankings are reflected by FloWrestling*
Penn State continues to reign as the top-ranked team in the nation after prevailing over both Bucknell and Lehigh. Penn State (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) traveled to Bucknell (2-2, 0-0 Patriot League) for the first time in history and the Bison were handed their second loss of the season with a final match score of 42-3. Lehigh (0-3, 0-1 Patriot League) continues to search for its first win of the 2018 season as Penn State shut out the Mountain Hawks 42-0 in Rec Hall.
Sophomore Devin Schnupp (4-3) and freshman Roman Bravo-Young (6-0) established an early 7-0 lead for Penn State. No. 4 Nick Lee (8-0) kept the ball rolling as he picked up a major decision to push the lead to 11-0. Redshirt freshman Brady Berge (No. 13 by InterMat; unranked by FloWrestling) got the starting bid by coach Cael Sanderson. Berge (5-0) took this opportunity and won by technical fall with an individual score of 25-10 which only adds to the weight class controversy at 149 pounds with teammate Jarod Verkleeren. Bucknell’s chances to claw back into the match quickly vanished as Jason Nolf (7-0) wa next on the mat. Nolf notched his fifth pin of the year as the lead grew to 22-0. Bo Pipher (6-5) filled in for regular 165 pounder Vincenzo Joseph (7-0) as Joseph was feeling under the weather; Pipher fought hard, but conceded to his opponent by a score of 10-5 as Bucknell notched their only win on the day. Mark Hall (7-0), Shakur Rasheed (7-0), Bo Nickal (6-0) and Anthony Cassar (6-0) all won as each added to their impressive resumes as top ten ranked competitors within their given weight classes. Hall and Nickal won by major decision while Rasheed and Cassar pinned their opponents. Bucknell stood no chance for this deep Penn State lineup finishing with the team score of 42-3 in Penn State’s favor.
A packed Rec Hall awaited Lehigh University on Sunday afternoon as all eyes were on Penn State’s toughest team opponent this year. The match started with Bo Nickal against 14th ranked Jake Jakobsen at 197 pounds. Nickal cruised to a 19-4 technical fall victory. Anthony Cassar matched up against sixth ranked Jordan Wood with Cassar looking to live up to the early hype surrounding his move to the heavyweight division. Cassar won by major decision over Wood with a score of 12-3 showing that Cassar is a force to be reckoned with this season. Wood even showed his respect to Cassar as soon as the match ended as he reached out to Cassar for a handshake prior to the traditional post-match handshake where Cassar hand was raised. Devin Schupp also picked up his second win of the weekend with a score of 6-1. Roman Bravo-Young pulled out the “flying squirrel” maneuver in his match drawing national attention as he landed in ESPN’s top plays of the weekend as he won by major decision. Nick Lee followed Bravo-Young’s performance with an impressive 23-10 major victory. Jarod Verkleeren got his chance to prove his case as the 149 pound starter once more as Verkleeren won in a hard fought bout by a score of 5-3. It was business as usual from here out for Penn State as Nolf and Joseph got pinfall victories. Mark Hall battled with sixth ranked 174 pounder Jordan Kutler with Hall showing he is on a quest to avenge his individual national title loss from last year. The match closed with Shakur Rasheed picking up another major decision for Penn State as they shut out the 13th ranked Mountain Hawks by a score of 42-0.
Penn State will host the Arizona State Sun Devils next Friday the 14th inside Rec Hall at 6:00 P.M.
Ryan Simpson is a senior majoring in statistics and minoring in sociology. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.