UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State wrestling team, holding the No. 1 spot on Intermat's TPI, rolled through West Virginia in the first road dual of the year for the team. The Nittany Lions, under the direction of head coach Cael Sanderson, used four pins to post the 44-3 victory in Morgantown.
Sophomore All-American Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.) got Penn State's its first dual meet pin of the year by getting a fall at the 5:53 mark over WVU's Gage Swartz. West Virginia picked up a tough win at 133 when No. 17 Colin Johnston battled to a 6-2 victory over Lion sophomore Nate Morgan (McCook, Neb.). Nittany Lion senior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.0 then posted a superb 2-0 win over No. 19 Nathan Pennesi of West Virginia, using an escape and full third period ride-out to post the victory.
Senior James English (York, Pa.) continued Penn State's strong start with a dominant 8-0 major decision over WVU's Brutus Scheffel. English got the major with a 1:44 riding time edge. No. 2 Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) turned a first period takedown quickly into a pin. Alton took WVU's Jason Luster down with just over :30 left in the opening period and swiftly turned him to his back for a fall at the 2:28 mark, giving Penn State a 19-3 lead midway through the dual.
Two-time All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), ranked No. 2 at 165, put on a takedown clinic against West Virginia's Dominic Prezzia. He tallied eight takedowns on his way to a 20-5 technical fall at the 6:04 mark. Sophomore Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 4 nationally at 174, matched Alton's quick pin, turning a second period takedown into a swift pin over WVU's Ross Renzi at the 4:10 mark.
Two-time All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 184, dominated West Virginia's Lance Bryson, rolling to an 11-1 major decision with 4:33 in riding time. Three-time All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), ranked No. 3 at 197, made short work of WVU's A.J. Vizcarrando. Wright caught Vizcarrando's shoulders early, getting the pin just :25 into the bout to put Penn State up 40-3. Nittany Lion sophomore Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.) made his Penn State debut a fine one, rolling to a 9-0 major decision with 3:43 in riding time, giving Penn State the final 44-3 victory.
The Nittany Lions posted a 30-2 edge in takedowns and racked up 17 bonus points off four pins, three majors and a technical fall. Penn State is now 2-0 on the year while West Virginia falls to 1-2.
The Nittany Lions will take part in the 2012 Nittany Lion Open on Sunday, Dec. 2, beginning at 8:30 a.m. in Rec Hall (The NLO is NOT part of Penn State's season ticket package, tickets are sold at the door the day of the event). Penn State's next home dual is set for Sunday, Dec. 9, when the Indiana Hoosiers come to town for a 2 p.m. meeting. Penn State's full season of home duals is sold out but limited Standing Room Only tickets are available for select dual meets. For information on which duals have a limited number of SRO tickets available and to purchase tickets, fans can call 1-800-NITTANY or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office windows from 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at www.twitter.com/pennstateWREST
and on Penn State Wrestling's facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling.
The 2012-13 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.
#1 Penn State 44, West Virginia 3
November 18, 2012 - Morgantown, W.Va.
125: #2 Nico Megaludis PSU pinned Gage Swartz WVU, WBF (5:53) 6-0
133: #17 Colin Johnston WVU dec. Nate Morgan PSU, 6-2 6-3
141: Bryan Pearsall PSU dec. #19 Nathan Pennesi WVU, 2-0 9-3
149: James English PSU maj. dec. Brutus Scheffel WVU, 8-0 13-3
157: #2 Dylan Alton PSU pinned Jason Luster WVU, WBF (2:28) 19-3
165: #2 David Taylor PSU tech. fall Dominic Prezzia WVU, 20-5 (6:04) 24-3
174: #4 Matt Brown PSU pinned Ross Renzi WVU, WBF (4:10) 30-3
184: #1 Ed Ruth PSU maj. dec. Lance Bryson WVU, 11-1 34-3
197: #3 Quentin Wright PSU pinned A.J. Vizcarrando WVU, WBF (0:25) 40-3
285: Jimmy Lawson PSU maj. dec. Phil Mandzik WVU, 9-0 44-3
Records: Penn State 2-0, 0-0 Big Ten; West Virginia 1-2
Up Next for Penn State: Nittany Lion Open, Sunday, Dec 2, 8:30 a.m., Rec Hall
125: All-American Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 125, met West Virginia's Gage Swartz. Megaludis used a quick ankle pick to take Swartz down and, after cutting him loose, took him down again to lead 4-1 less than :40 into the bout. Megaludis rode Swartz for a bit, cut him loose and took him down a third time. Another cut and another takedown and Megaludis led 8-3 at the 1:00 mark. The Nittany Lion sophomore ended the first period with five takedowns and a 13-4 lead thanks to three late back points. Swartz chose down to start the second period and Megaludis quickly took him down to up his lead to 15-4. Megaludis worked his way to a near pin, grabbed the three near fall points and led 18-4 after two. Megaludis chose top to start the third period, looking to turn the WVU grappler for a pin. Megaludis turned Swartz quickly and then spent a minute working for the fall, finally getting the pin at the 5:53 mark.
133: Sophomore Nate Morgan (McCook, Neb.) took to the mat against Colin Johnston, who was ranked No. 17 at 133. The bout was Morgan's first in 19 months after red-shirting last season with an injury. The duo battled evenly for the entire first period, with neither man finding an opening to score. Tied 0-0, Johnston chose down to start the second stanza. Morgan put together a nice ride to start the second period, maintaining control of the ranked Mountaineer for a full minute before Johnston escaped to a 1-0 lead. Johnston countered with a quick low double that led to a takedown on the edge of the mat, giving him a 3-0 lead. Morgan quickly escaped and quickly turned into Johnston, forcing the action. Johnston held that lead into the third period and Morgan chose down to start the final stanza. The Lion sophomore was struggling to work his way out of the hold when had had to take an injury timeout, giving Johnston the choice. Johnston chose down and Morgan was able to control him long enough to build his riding time edge to 1:01. Morgan cut him loose to a 4-1 lead and then got in on a high single. But Johnston was able to work out of bounds and the bout resumed at 1:08 with Johnston in the lead. Morgan continued to shoot in on Johnston but the Mountaineer was able to counter his shot and got another takedown to up his lead to 6-1. Morgan added a late escape but dropped a tough 6-2 decision.
141: Senior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) took on No. 19 Nathan Pennesi at 141. Pearsall set the early tempo, taking quick shots and forcing Pennesi back for the first minute-plus. Pennesi tried to connect on a high double at the 1:05 mark but Pearsall turned the move into a front headlock that lead to a stalemate with :45 left in the opening period. Pennesi nearly scored on a low single with :04 left but action moved out of bounds and the bout moved to the second period tied 0-0. Pearsall chose down to start the second stanza and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead just :16 in. Pennesi rolled into a double leg that Pearsall looked to counter on the edge of the mat. Pearsall fought off a near pin and then rolled through, countering the move for a scoring chance of his own. But a stalemate stopped action and the Lion still led 1-0 with :05 on the clock. Trailing by one, Pennesi chose down to start the third period. Pearsall put together a strong ride to start the period, keeping the control of Pennesi for the first minute and then working for a chance to turn the Mountaineer for back points. The Lion senior continued his dominant ride, pushing his riding time edge over 1:00. He continued the strong work for the entire period, riding the ranked Mountaineer out and, with the riding time point (1:43), posted the strong 2-0 win.
149: With No. 6 Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) again held out of the line-up, senior James English (York, Pa.) took to the mat at 149 to meet Mountaineer Brutus Scheffel. English notched the first takedown, using a high single to work Scheffel to the mat and picking up the takedown at with :22 left in the opening period. A short ride-out gave English a 2-0 lead after one period. English chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 3-0 lead. The duo traded shots over the course of the middle period until English turned a low single into his second takedown with :25 left in the period. Another ride-out gave English a 5-0 lead heading into the third period. Scheffel chose neutral to start the third period but English continued to set the offensive tempo. English snapped down on a quick Scheffel shot for another takedown and a7-0 lead. English rode Scheffel out and, with 1:44 in riding time, posted the 8-0 major.
157: All-American Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 157, faced off against Jason Luster. Alton and Luster wrestled even-up for the first half of the opening period. Neither wrestler connected on slight offensive chances until Alton turned a high single into a quick pin at the 2:28 mark. Alton turned the takedown into the pin in less than :05.
165: Defending National Champion David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), ranked No. 2 at 165, met WVU's Dominic Prezzia. Taylor pressured Prezzia to the edge of the mat as the Mountaineer wrestled on the edge of the mat for nearly two minutes before Taylor took a 2-0 lead with a low ankle pick. Taylor then began taking Prezzia down and cutting him loose, building up a 6-2 lead before turning him to his back for two near fall points and an 8-3 lead after a Prezzia escape. Taylor used an under hook for another takedown and this time, Taylor rode the Mountaineer out for a 10-3 lead and 1:04 in riding time after one period. Taylor chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to an 11-3 lead. A high double gave the Lion a 13-4 lead after another cut. Taylor scored immediately off the reset and led 15-4 with 1:00 on the clock. Taylor cut Prezzia loose and then countered a shot to get another takedown and lead 17-5 after two. Prezzia chose neutral to start the third, but Taylor was undaunted, getting another takedown quickly. Prezzia gave up a stall point and Taylor rolled to the 20-5 technical fall at the 6:04 mark.
174: Sophomore Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 4 at 174, took on Mountaineer Ross Renzi. In steady fashion, Brown worked his offense to an open shot and a takedown just over two minutes into the opening period. Leading 2-0, Brown then controlled Renzi for :43 seconds before Renzi escaped. Brown circled around for another takedown and a 4-1 lead with :28 on the clock. The Nittany Lion sophomore then rode Renzi out to hold that lead with 1:14 in riding time after one period. Brown chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 5-1 lead. A relentless Brown notched his third takedown of the bout early in the second period, upping his lead to 7-2 after a Renzi escape. Brown added another takedown and then quickly turned Renzi to his back for a pin at the 4:10 mark.
184: Defending 174-pound National Champion Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at his new weight of 184, met WVU junior Lance Bryson. Ruth gained control of Bryson early, getting a takedown and putting together a strong ride early in the first period. Ruth cut Bryson loose to a 2-1 lead and action resumed in the center circle. Ruth circled around a low Bryson shot for another takedown and a 4-1 lead. The two-time All-American controlled Bryson for the rest of the period to carry that lead into the second period. Ruth chose down to start the middle stanza and quickly escaped to a 5-1 lead. He then used a low single to open up a 7-1 lead with 1:32 on the clock. Another strong Ruth ride by Ruth lasted the rest of the period and the Lion junior led 7-1 with a clinched riding time point (3:17). Bryon chose neutral to start the third period and nearly took Ruth down with a quick shot. But Ruth was able to hop out of trouble and gain control of the Mountaineer for another takedown and a 9-1 lead. Ruth picked up a stall point and, with the ride-out and point, posted a dominating 11-1 major decision with 4:33 in riding time.
197: Three-time All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), ranked No. 3 at his new weight of 197, battled A.J. Vizcarrando. Wright caught Vizcarrando's shoulders early, turned the Mountaineer to his back and picked up a stunningly fast pin at the 0:25 mark of the first period.
285: Sophomore Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.) made his Penn State wrestling debut in the dual against WVU senior Phil Mandzik. The two big men battled evenly for nearly two minutes until Lawson used a quick shot to gain control of Mandzik and get his first takedown as a Nittany Lion, pushing out to a 2-0 lead. Lawson rode Mandzik out and led 2-0 with 1:12 riding time after one period. Mandzik chose neutral to start the second but Lawson was quick to take control, using a single leg to trip Mandzik to the mat and up his lead to 4-1 with another takedown. Lawson put together another rideout and led 4-0 with 2:47 in riding time after two periods. He chose down to start the third stanza and quickly escaped to a 5-0 lead. Continuing his offensive prowess, Lawson used a nice single leg to up his lead to 7-0 and clinch the riding time point. Lawson picked up a stall point and then another ride-out with the riding time point gave him a strong 9-0 major decision.