Wrestling Kicks Off Conference Schedule on a High Note
Penn State had a successful start to their Big Ten season with wins over by Northwestern and Wisconsin. Penn State was victorious over the then No. 11 Northwestern by a score of 33-8 and over the then No. 18 Wisconsin, who currently ranks ninth, by a smaller margin of 24-13.
Northwestern (2-5, 0-2 Big Ten) started off strong, sending Sebastian Rivera out on the mat for against Devin Schnupp. Rivera, who is the top ranked wrestler at 125 pounds after defeating Spencer Lee from Iowa, was dominant over Schnupp. Rivera won by a final of 18-2 as he looks to remind the top seed for the second half of the season.
It was business as usual for the Penn State lineup as Roman Bravo-Young, Nick Lee, Brady Berge and Jason Nolf as they all secured wins for the team. This notched the 100th career victory for Jason Nolf, adding another milestone to his already stellar resume.
Bo Pipher earned the starting spot after a outstanding performance at the Southern Scuffle. Pipher came in as an unseeded wrestler and won his way to the finals to square off against teammate Jason Nolf. Nolf eventually won, but Pipher put on quite the exciting performance while going 5-1.
Pipher started over Vincenzo Joseph who was also inactive against Wisconsin on Sunday. Tyler Moreland was set to face off against Pipher for the Wildcats and picked up the win by decision with a score of 11-9.
Mark Hall, Shakur Rasheed, Bo Nickal and Anthony Cassar all won in commanding fashion to close out the dual with a final score of 33-8. Taking down their first Big Ten team all season, adding to the mix that the Wildcats were a top 25 team as well, Penn State fans should be assured that this team will be fine come tournament time.
Coach Chris Bono brought his Wisconsin Badgers (6-3, 1-3 Big Ten) ready to battle and his team delivered. Connor Brown, ranked 15th at 125 pounds started off the day with a 18-9 major decision over Devin Schnupp, which was not the start the Nittany Lions needed. Ramon Bravo-Young got his team on the board after looking excellent and picking up a 12-4 win over Jens Lantz.
Tragedy then struck for Penn State as both Nick Lee and Brady Berge conceded losses. Nick Lee and Tristan Martin traded takedowns back and forth for their three periods and went into sudden victory.
Moran bested Lee in the second sudden victory period to earn his 12-10 victory. Moran was unranked, jumping to 16th after this win while Lee was ranked fourth in the 141 pound division, has fallen to sixth. This was Lee’s first loss this year.
Brady Berge also wrestled a tough match against unranked Cole Martin. Berge held an early 6-2 lead, but Martin scrambled and found a way to come out on top with the 8-7 victory. Martin , a junior, simply was too experience for the redshirt freshman Berge. This was Berge’s third loss this season, yet he still ranks 10th by InterMat Wrestling.
Wisconsin held a team lead over Penn State, 10-4 with one match before intermission, which is when the lethal Jason Nolf ran out into the spotlight at Rec Hall.
Nolf knew he was just the man to start this momentum shift from Wisconsin to Penn State. Nolf did his part by winning by technical fall over Devin Bahr, 25-10. This win sent Penn State’s faithful fans into a frenzy.
Mason Manville, who was picked to start at 165 pounds for Joseph, was making his Rec Hall debut against Evan Wick. Wick, the third best 165 pounder in the country was no match for Manville as Wick picked up the 6-1 decision. Manville is another bright light for the future of men’s wrestling as he is another redshirt freshman for the Nittany Lions.
The crew of Hall, Rasheed, Nickal and Cassar saw the scoreboard in the Badgers favor then went to work.
Hall won by technical fall (24-5) over Patrick Spray to take the lead 14-13, Shakur Rasheed added a decision (5-0) victory over Mason Reinhardt as well. Bo Nickal and Anthony Cassar won in convincing fashion, 14-4 and 11-5 respectively, as the Nittany Lions ended the day on top after their toughest challenge to date.
Penn State will host the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Rec Hall on January 20th at 1:00 p.m.
Ryan Simpson is a senior majoring in statistics and minoring in sociology. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.