Hall Gets Revenge as Penn State Destroys Arizona State
Eyes across the nation were on top ranked Penn State once again this evening as the Nittany Lions (4-0, 0-0 Big Ten) took on the Sun Devils from Arizona State (1-3, 0-0 Pac 12). This was a highly anticipated dual, as ESPN2 was in Rec Hall to provide national coverage.
The marquee matchup of the night was at 174 pounds, as the last two national champions squared off for the fourth time in their already illustrious careers. Top-ranked Zahid Valencia looked to win back-to-back matches against second-ranked Mark Hall, but Hall would not let his home fans down. After a timid first period, Hall started from the bottom position and earned his escape point. From there, Hall took down Valencia to send Rec Hall into a feeding frenzy. Hall did not step off the gas pedal from that point. Valencia started on the bottom to start the third period where Hall tried to lock in a crossface, but Valencia managed to fight off the attempt. Hall finished the match with two minutes and 41 seconds to secure a 4-0 victory to cap his revenge tour. Hall looked determined to get his victory back, as he celebrated with a classic “air-guitar” move.
The dual started at 125 pounds where Devin Schunpp fought tooth and nail, but dropped in decision to Brandon Courtney by a score of 13-7, pushing Arizona State to its only lead of the day, 3-0. Roman Bravo-Young faced Ryan Millhof who moved up from 125 pounds to compete at 133 pounds. Millhof, who is ranked fifth by FloWrestling at 125, did not fare well against Bravo-Young. Millhof fell to Bravo-Young by a score of 14-1 as Millhof seemed very out of his element.
Nick Lee pinned his opponent at 141 pounds with 42.5 seconds remaining in the first period, and Jason Nolf continued his path to another NCAA title winning by major decision. Vincenzo Joseph faced 12th-ranked Josh Shields at 165 pounds, as the two Pennsylvania products went toe-to-toe. Joseph bested Shields 11-2, as he looks to become a three-time NCAA champion. Shakur Rasheed won by technical fall over Kordell Norfleet at 184 pounds, Bo Nickal had the quickest match of the day, earning a pin in 35 seconds and Anthony Cassar also pinned his opponent to close out the dual for Penn State.
Penn State’s next competition is the Southern Scuffle at the start of 2019 on Jan. 1 and 2 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Ryan Simpson is a senior majoring in statistics and minoring in sociology. To contact him, email email@example.com.