With the match starting at heavyweight, No. 11 Connor Medbery of Wisconsin notched the first win for a Big Ten opponent against Penn State this year, posting a hard fought 6-3 victory over No. 16 Jon Gingrich (Wingate, Pa.). All-American Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.) made short work of the Badger lead, however, posting a 22-7 four-point technical fall (no back points) to put Penn State on top 4-3.
That set the stage for red-shirt freshman Conaway, who 6,515 Penn State faithful through the roof of Rec Hall. Conaway battled back from a 7-3 deficit in the third period to stun No. 3 Tyler Graff of Wisconsin 10-8 in sudden victory. Conaway posted two late takedowns, including one with less than :20 left, to tie the bout at 8-8 and sent it into extra time. After fighting off a Graff shot, Conaway brought the sell-out crowd to its feet with a takedown and a 10-8 win. Senior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) kept the momentum going with a quick first period pin over Wisconsin's Tom Kelliher, getting the fall at 1:22. Wisconsin picked up a second win at 149 as senior Cole Schmitt downed Lion senior James English (York, Pa.) in a wild one, winning 8-4 in two tie-breakers. The Badger victory cut Penn State's lead to 13-6 heading into halftime.
Senior James Vollrath (Richboro, Pa.) got the second half off to a good start, posting a strong 5-3 win over Wisconsin's Kalvin York at 157. All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), ranked No. 2 at 165, then rolled to a 25-7 technical fall at the 6:22 mark over Frank Cousins, putting Penn State up 21-6. Sophomore Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 3 at 174, kept the rout going with a 12-8 win over UW's Scott Liegel. All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 184, won by forfeit at 184, setting up a keystone moment for a local product.
Wright, a three-time All-American, National Champion in 2011 and ranked No. 3 at 197, picked up his 100th career win in sizzling fashion. The Nittany Lion turned a first period takedown of No. 20 Jackson Hein into a spladle and picked up the signature win by pin at the 1:24 mark. The victory made Wright the 27th member of Penn State's 100-win club and improved his career mark to 100-23. It also posted the final dual score, giving the Nittany Lions a lop-sided 36-6 win.
Penn State won the takedown battle 28-8 and rolled to a 9-0 edge in bonus points thanks to two pins and two tech falls (one five-pointer and one four-pointer). The win moves Penn State to 6-0 overall, 3-0 in Big Ten action. Wisconsin falls to 6-3, 3-1 in conference action.
Penn State treks to Purdue for its first conference road dual on Sunday, Jan. 20, at 1 p.m. The next home dual for head coach Cael Sanderson and the Nittany Lions will be Sunday, Jan. 27, when No. 13 Nebraska invades Rec Hall for a 2 p.m. dual. 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.
285: #11 Connor Medbery UW dec. #16 Jon Gingrich PSU, 6-3 0-3
125: #2 Nico Megaludis PSU tech fall (4) Matt Cavallaris UW, 22-7 (TF4; 7:00) 4-3
133: Jordan Conaway PSU dec. (sv) #3 Tyler Graff UW, 10-8 (SV) 7-3
141: Bryan Pearsall PSU pinned Tom Kelliher UW, WBF (1:22) 13-3
149: Cole Schmitt UW dec. (tb2) James English PSU, 8-4 (TB2) 13-6
157: James Vollrath PSU dec. Kalvin York UW, 5-3 16-6
165: #2 David Taylor PSU tech fall Frank Cousins UW, 25-7 (TF; 6:22) 21-6
174: #3 Matt Brown PSU dec. Scott Liegel UW, 12-8 24-6
184: #1 Ed Ruth PSU win by forfeit 30-6
197: #3 Quentin Wright PSU pinned #20 Jackson Hein UW, WBF (1:24) 36-6
Records: Penn State 6-0, 3-0 Big Ten; Wisconsin 6-3, 3-1 Big Ten
Up Next for Penn State: at Purdue, Sunday, Jan. 20, 1 p.m.
285: Sophomore Jon Gingrich (Wingate, Pa.), ranked No. 16 at 285, took on No. 11 Connor Medbery in one of the dual's marquee match-ups as a Penn State dual started at a weight other than 125 for the first time this year. Medbery took the first shot at the 1:50 mark but Gingrich was able to step back and out of trouble to keep the match scoreless. The Nittany Lion sophomore fought off a second shot with 1:00 left and then got hit for his for his first stalling. Tied 0-0, Gingrich chose down to start the second period and steadily worked his way to an escape and a 1-0 lead. Medbery continued to pressure the Lion and picked up the first takedown to take a 2-1 lead. Gingrich forced Medbery into a stall warning and then with just :01 left in the period, escaped to a 2-2 tie. Medbery, however had over 1:40 in riding time. Medbery chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 3-2 lead while holding 1:31 in riding time. Gingrich nearly scored on a takedown at the 1:00 mark, but Medbery was able to scramble around and counter for a 5-2 lead with a clinched riding time point. Gingrich notched a late escaped, but Medbery posted the hard fought 6-3 win.
125: Sophomore All-American Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.) met Wisconsin's Matt Cavallaris. Megaludis, ranked No. 2 at 125, posted the first takedown early on to lead 2-1. The Lion freshman then picked up his second takedown at the 1:26 mark and this time put together a strong ride, building up over 1:00 in riding time before cutting Cavallaris loose. Megaludis went on to lead 6-2 after one period with over a minute in riding time. Megaludis chose down to start the period and quickly escaped. He then began to tack on the takedowns. By the time the second period ended, the Lion All-American led 11-3 with nearly 3:00 riding time. Cavallaris chose down to start the third period and escaped to an 11-4 Lion lead. Megaludis forced Cavallaris into giving up a stall point and then put on a takedown show, tacking on three more in quick succession to lead 18-7 with 1:00 left in the bout. Megaludis picked up a final takedown and looked to pick up the tech fall, but Cavallaris was able to stay off his back and Megaludis rolled to a 22-7 four-point tech fall (no back points). The Lion had 4:00 in riding time.
133: Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.) entered the dual against Wisconsin undefeated in dual meet action. The Lion sophomore took on No. 3 Tyler Graff of Wisconsin, who was 18-3 coming into the match-up. Graff picked up an early takedown but Conaway quickly escaped to trail 2-1 at the 2:00 mark. The Badger junior notched another takedown and led 4-2 midway through the bout. Graff scrambled for a third takedown and a 6-3 lead after a Conaway escape. Conaway fought off a late Graff shot and the Badger led 6-3 after one. Graff chose down to start the third period and escaped to a 7-3 lead. The duo traded shots for the next minute and the bout moved to the third with Graff up 7-3. Conaway chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 7-4 deficit. Conaway was the aggressor for the last half of the match, forcing Graff to the edge of the mat and into a stall warning. The Lion sophomore then countered a Graff shot and forced a scramble that ran the clock down to :29 left. Conaway then took Graff down and led 8-6 after a quick cut. With just :20 left, the Lion freshman tied the bout with another takedown and the action moved to sudden victory tied 8-8. Graff and Conaway scrambled their way to a stalemate with :28 left and then Conaway sent over 6,300 Penn State faithful through the roof of Rec Hall with a bout winning takedown at the :22 mark. Conaway's 10-8 sudden victory win over the third-ranked Badger put Penn State up 7-3.
141: Nittany Lion senior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) faced off against UW senior Tom Kelliher in a key match-up at 141. Pearsall quickly took Kelliher down and turned the Badger over for three near fall points. After a brief adjustment, the Lion senior then finished off a cradle and got the first period pin at the 1:22 mark.
149: Senior James English (York, Pa.) battled veteran Badgers Cole Schmitt at 149. The duo battled evenly for over 2:00 with the official calling a double stall at that point. Pearsall took a slight shot at Schmitt's right leg but the Badger was able to step back out of trouble and the due moved to the second period in a scoreless tie. Pearsall chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. More hand-fighting in the center circle worked the clock down to 1:00. English looked to force the tempo over the last minute but Schmitt's defense killed the clock and English led 1-0 after one. Schmitt chose down to start the third period and worked his way to an escaped and a 1-1 tie at the 1:20 mark. The duo was hit for a double stall late in the third, making the score 2-2 but action moved into a first sudden victory period. Neither scored and action moved into a tie breaker. English chose down for the first period but nearly reversed Schmitt at the end of the :30 period. The move was reviewed and the ruling stood. Schmitt quickly escaped to a 3-2 lead and English began scrambling for a takedown. The action forced Schmitt into a stall with :05 left, tying the bout at 3-3 and sending it to a second sudden victory period. Neither wrestler scored again and a second round of tie breakers began. Schmitt reversed English to a 5-4 lead in his tie breaker and then turned English for three back points and an 8-4 win (tb2).
157: Junior James Vollrath (Richboro, Pa.) got the call at 157 and met Wisconsin junior Kalvin York. Vollrath set the early pace, forcing York back to the outside of the mat throughout the first minute-plus. The Lion senior took an early lead, getting an escape after York called for an injury timeout and taking down. He quickly added a takedown after the escape and then rode York out to lead 3-0 with :43 in riding time after one. Vollrath chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 4-0 lead. York blew through a solid low double to cut Vollrath's lead to 4-2 at the :40 mark, but Vollrath quickly escaped to a 5-2 lead. Trailing 5-2, York chose down to start the third period and worked his way to a 5-3 score. Vollrath and York then battled through an even period, with the Lion fighting off a couple late Badger shots to hold on to his lead. Vollrath's defense allowed the Nittany Lion to kill the clock and grab the hard-fought 5-3 win.
165: Defending NCAA Champion David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), ranked No. 2 at 165, wrestled UW's Frank Cousins. Taylor wasted no time taking Cousins down, rolling through a lot single leg to take a 2-1 edge after cutting Cousins loose. Taylor put on a takedown clinic, quickly rolling up four takedowns less the :90 into the bout. Leading 10-4, Taylor cut Cousins loose one more time and added a fifth takedown on the edge of the mat to lead 12-5 with 1:00 left in the opening period. He then turned Cousins for three near fall points and led 15-5 with 1:48 in riding time after one period. Cousins chose neutral to start the second period to no avail. Taylor quickly took Cousins down to lead 17-5 and began working for a turning combination. Cousins escaped at the end of the period and Taylor led 17-6 after two. Taylor chose neutral to start the final period and quickly took the Badger down. He forced him into a stall point as well and led 20-6. A Cousins escape led to another Taylor takedown. The Lion All-American turned Cousins to his back one final time and walked away with a dominating 25-7 tech fall at the 6:22 mark.
174: Sophomore Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 3 at 174, took on Wisconsin's Scott Liegel. Brown came out of the gates aggressive as usual, forcing the pace and keeping his Badger foe on defense. He got his first takedown at the 1:51 mark and then controlled Liegel for nearly a minute before he escaped. The duo battled evenly with Liegel working the edge of the mat and Brown taking low singles. Brown led 2-1 after one period with :50 in riding time. Liegel chose down to start the third period but could not break free of Brown's ride. The Nittany Lion sophomore maintained control for nearly a minute before cutting Liegel loose, building up a 1:37 riding time edge. Liegel took a 4-2 lead with a solid single at the :45 mark, forcing Brown to play catch up. The Lion escaped quickly cutting the lead to 4-3, and then turned a low single into a takedown and a 5-4 lead with :18. Another Brown ride-out allowed the Lion to carry the 5-4 lead into the third period. Brown chose down to start the third and quickly escaped. He then countered a Liegel shot and moved out to an 8-5 lead with 1:10 on the clock after the Badger escaped. Brown picked up another takedown with :45 on the clock and clinched the riding time point. He cut Liegel to a 10-6 lead but Liegel was able to notch a takedown. A late Brown escape and a riding time point gave the Lion a 12-8 win.
184: Defending NCAA Champion Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 184, received a forfeit at 184, improving his record to 17-0 and putting Penn State up 30-6.
197: Three-time All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), ranked No. 3 at 197, stepped onto the mat with 99 career wins. Wright looked make it 100 in his bout with No. 20 Jackson Heim of Wisconsin in one of two bouts pitting nationally ranked wrestlers against each other. Wright quickly took Heim down, picking up a takedown at the 2:02 mark. With the stage set for a benchmark win, Wright then worked his way into a spladle and got the pin at the 1:24 mark, sending the Rec Hall crowd to its feet once again and improving his career record to 100-23. The pin gave the Nittany Lions a 36-6 victory as well.