Penn State Wrestling Weekend Recap: Feb. 4-6
The Penn State wrestling team had itself a weekend as they won on Friday and Saturday against two ranked conference opponents to clinch the Big Ten regular season title. The Nittany Lions defeated No.6 Ohio State 32-7 Friday evening and No.7 Nebraska 21-13 Sunday afternoon.
Friday night was the annual BJC Dual for Penn State and it did not disappoint as a sea of white, sellout crowd came to watch the meet. There was some concern prior to the match regarding the absence of Carter Starocci who had suffered a minor injury in his bout against Iowa’s Michael Kemmerer the week prior.
However, the Nittany Lions dominated the Buckeyes as they won every match in every class except at 149lbs and 174lbs. No. 2 Sammy Sasso outdueled No.18 Beau Bartlett in a 4-2 minor decision in which Bartlett’s defensive performance was not enough to hold off a late takedown from Sasso.
At 174lbs. the Buckeyes secured their second expected win of the evening, with No. 7 Ethan Smith scoring a major decision over Mason Manville at a score of 15-5. Manville was filling in for No. 1 ranked Carter Starocci. The rest was all Penn State.
Roman Bravo-Young and Aaron Brooks stole the show at the Bryce Jordan Center as they both picked up pins to solidify the victory. Brooks’s pin came in the second period, after he showed some frustration with the referee at the end of the first for not rewarding him with a takedown and the buzzer.
Nick Lee remained perfect on the season as the defending champ took down No. 20 Dylan D’Emilio, 13-3. No. 2 Max Dean had a match similar to his suspenseful win at Iowa, as he picked up a 5-3 win over No. 21 Gavin Hoffman in the sudden victory period after he had tied the match 3-3 in regulation with his bonus from riding time.
Sunday was a closer match for the Nittany Lions at Rec Hall. Olympic Gold Medalist and Nittany Lion great David Taylor was in attendance as the Cornhuskers hoped to cause an upset.
Head coach Cael Sanderson’s team was without three of its starters for the match but were still able to pull off the victory. Dean, Starocci and Brady Berge were not present for the match.
Drew Hildebrandt went perfect on the weekend at 125lbs with his 4-0 win over Jerimiah Reno. Bravo-Young then followed with a technical fall victory of 23-8 over Dominick Serrano. Nick Lee then had a slower paced match with a 4-1 score, as he was able to hold off No. 8 Chad Red Jr.
No. 3 Colton Schultz defeated Michael Beard who was in for Dean at a score of 6-4 and No. 5 Mikey Labriola defeated Manville 14-4 to give the Cornhuskers some hope.
No. 5 Greg Kerkvliet went undefeated at 285lbs on the weekend with his 8-2 win over No.12 Christian Lance.
The Nittany Lions will wrap up their regular season at Rec Hall on Feb. 20, against Rider University.
Jordan Mansberger is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism. If you would like to reach out to him you can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org.