Penn State blazes past Northwestern

1/19/2014
Penn State University Sports Information

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, ranked No. 1 nationally, blazed past No. 14 Northwestern in front of the 16th-straight home sellout for Penn State. Penn State won eight of ten bouts for the second time in three days and posted the 39-8 Big Ten dual win over the visiting Wildcats.

The dual started at 125 where Nittany Lion All-American Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 125, put on a takedown clinic on his way to a 23-6 technical fall over Northwestern's Garrison White. Red-shirt freshman Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.), ranked No. 15 nationally, then picked up his first Rec Hall dual meet win at 133, posting a convincing 8-2 victory over NU's Dominick Malone. True freshman Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), unbeaten and ranked No. 2 at 141, then posted an 11-2 major over NU junior Pat Greco.

Red-shirt freshman Zack Beitz (Mifflintown, Pa.) nearly upset No. 4 Jason Tsirtsis at 149, but the ranked Wildcat was able to post the 5-3 sudden victory decision. Senior James Vollrath (Richboro, Pa.) then pinned Northwestern's Ben Sullivan at the 4:01 mark to send Penn State into the halftime break up 18-3.

Senior All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), unbeaten and ranked No. 1 at 165, rolled through No. 9 Pierce Harger, posting the 17-2 technical fall at the 4:45 mark. Junior All-American Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 3 at 174, then downed No. 9 Lee Munster. Brown was up 10-1 at the 3:56 mark before Munster had to take an injury default. Senior All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 2 nationally at 184, pinned Northwestern's Jacob Berkowitz quickly, getting the fall at the 1:36 mark, giving the Nittany Lions a 35-3 lead.

Sophomore Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.), ranked No. 7 at 197, was impressive with a 17-8 major over No. 17 Alex Polizzi to put the Lions up 39-2 as Northwestern was deducted a team point for a second bench warning. In one of the dual's most anticipated match-ups, Nittany Lion junior Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.), ranked No. 12 at 285, took on No. 4 Mike McMullan. McMullan used a quick move on the edge of the mat to take Lawson down with at the 2:44 mark when Lawson called for injury time. The Lion junior was not able to continue and McMullan got the injury default victory, making the final scored 39-8 Penn State.

The sell-out crowd of 6,393 was the 16th-straight home sell out for Penn State. Taylor improves to 20-0 on the year with 10 pins, six tech falls and four majors. He is 28-0 all-time in Big Ten duals and 49-0 all-time against Big Ten competition. His 120 career wins is 11th all-time (he is 120-3) at Penn State. Ruth moves to 19-1 with seven pins, seven tech falls and five majors. He is 28-0 all-time in Big Ten duals and 50-0 all-time against Big Ten competition. Ruth is 121-3 as a Penn Stater, tied for eighth all-time.

Retherford remains unbeaten with a 20-0 record, including three pins, two techs and six majors. Brown is 20-1 with six pins, two techs and six majors as well. Megaludis and McIntosh both improve to 19-2.

Penn State improves to 10-0 on the year, 4-0 in Big Ten action, while Northwestern falls to 6-4, 1-4 B1G. Penn State hosts No. 11 Illinois next Friday night, Jan. 24, in a 7 p.m. dual in sold out Rec Hall.

With the full season of Rec Hall duals sold out prior to the start of the campaign, a very limited number of standing room only tickets are available to a few of the remaining Rec Hall duals. People may purchase tickets by calling 1-800-NITTANY or by visiting the Penn State Athletics ticket office located in the BJC. 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 2013-14 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.

Results:
125: #2 Nico Megaludis PSU tech fall Garrison White NU, 23-6 (TF; 6:39) -- 5-0
133: #15 Jimmy Gulibon PSU dec. Dominick Malone NU, 8-2 -- 8-0
141: #2 Zain Retherford PSU maj. dec. Pat Greco NU, 11-2 -- 12-0
149: #4 Jason Tsirtsis NU dec. (SV) Zack Beitz PSU, 5-3 (sv) -- 12-3
157: James Vollrath PSU pinned Ben Sullivan NU, WBF (4:01) -- 18-3
165: #1 David Taylor PSU tech fall #9 Pierce Harger NU, 17-2 (4:45) -- 23-3
174: #3 Matt Brown PSU inj. def. #9 Lee Munster NU, (leading 10-1 at 3:56) -- 29-3
184: #2 Ed Ruth PSU pinned Jacob Berkowitz NU, WBF (1:36) -- 35-3
197: #7 Morgan McIntosh PSU maj. dec. #17 Alex Polizzi NU, 17-8 -- 39-2*
285: #4 Mike McMullan NU inj. def. #12 Jimmy Lawson PSU, (trailing 4-0 at 2:44) -- 39-8

* Northwestern deducted team point during 197-bout, second bench warning
Attendance: 6,393 (16th-straight home sell out)
Records: Penn State 10-0, 4-0 B1G; Northwestern 6-4, 1-4 B1G
Up Next for Penn State: home vs. Illinois, Friday, Jan. 24, 7 p.m.

BOUT-BY-BOUT:

125: Junior Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 125, met Wildcat sophomore Garrison White. Megaludis wasted no time taking an early lead, using a single leg to open up a 2-1 lead less than :10 into the bout. Megaludis continued to pressure White, working his shoulders to the ground and working his way behind the Wildcat for a takedown and a 4-2 lead after cutting him loose. Megaludis quickly tacked on a third takedown and then a fourth to break open an 8-4 margin. Megaludis continued his offensive work with a fifth takedown and a ride out to lead 10-4 with 1:02 in riding time after one. Megaludis chose top to start the second, White escaped and Megaludis quickly took him down twice. The Lion junior added three near fall points after the second takedown and led 17-6 at the 1:00 mark. Megaludis added one more three point turn and led 20-6 with 2:46 in time after two. White chose down to start the third period and Megaludis continued his strong work on top. Looking to cement a tech fall or pick up a pin, Megaludis worked White's shoulders to the mat, nearly picking up the pin. The three-point near fall gave the Lion a 23-6 tech fall at the 6:39 mark.

133: Red-shirt freshman Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.), ranked No. 15 at 133, took on Northwestern's Dominick Malone. Gulibon was the aggressor early, setting up his offense and forcing Malone towards the edge of the mat. Malone took his first shot off a reset and worked his way to a takedown and a 2-0 lead with 1:24 on the clock. Malone built up riding time with strong work up top but Gulibon escaped to a 2-1 score with :30 left in the opening period. Trailing 2-1, Gulibon chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 2-2 tie. Malone had 1:02 in riding time. Gulibon countered a slight Malone shot and quickly rolled behind him for a takedown and a 4-2 lead with 1:00 on the clock. The Lion freshman maintained control of Malone for the period's final minute, erasing the riding time and taking a 4-2 lead into the third period. Malone chose down to start the third period and Gulibon controlled the action once again from the top position. Malone was unable to work to his base as Gulibon first built up a 1:00-plus time edge and then forced a stall on the Wildcat. Gulibon then turned Malone for three back points and a 7-2 lead. A short ride out and Gulibon posted an 8-2 with 2:02 in riding time.

141: True freshman Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 141, wrestled NU junior Pat Greco. Retherford blew through an early takedown, taking the Wildcat down just :05 into the bout. The unbeaten Lion then began a dominating ride, keeping Greco bellied out for nearly a minute before the Wildcat escaped. Retherford continued to pressure Greco, taking multiple shots, forcing Greco into a stall warning and then turning a low single into a takedown and a 4-1 lead at the buzzer. Retherford chose down to start the second period, quickly escaped and then picked up his third takedown to lead 7-1 with 1:20 on the clock. Retherford cut Greco loose to a 7-2 score and turned right in for more offense. The Lion's furious offense allowed him to lead 7-2 with 1:36 in time after two. Greco chose neutral to start the third period and Retherford continued to force the Wildcat backwards. Retherford moved out to an 8-2 lead with a stall point at the 1:10 mark and then fought off a Greco shot for the next :20. He countered the move, rolled behind the Wildcat and took a 10-2 lead with a clinched riding time point at the :30 mark. A short ride out gave the Lion freshman an 11-2 major with 2:10 in riding time.

149: Red-shirt freshman Zack Beitz (Mifflintown, Pa.) took on talented Wildcat freshman Jason Tsirtsis, who was ranked No. 4 at 149. Beitz and Tsirtsis traded early shots in the middle of the mat. Tsirtsis gained control of Beitz's right knee and began working for a takedown. But Beitz was able to force a stalemate after :30 of wrestling and the score remained 0-0 at the 1:28 mark. Beitz nearly connected on a low single at the :40 mark, but Tsirtsis was able to back away to keep the bout scoreless after the opening stanza. Tsirtsis chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. The Lion freshman matched the ranked Wildcat shot for shot for the bulk of the period. The Lion connected on a single leg and looked to get a takedown but the official ruled no takedown. The Penn State corner called for a video review and the takedown was given. Beitz led 2-1 at the :27 mark. Tsirtsis was able to tie the score with a quick escape and the bout moved to the third period knotted at 2-2. Beitz chose down to start the third period but could not break free of a strong Tsirtsis ride. Tsirtsis maintained control by holding onto Beitz ankle and worked his riding time over 1:00. Beitz escaped to a 3-2 lead at the :50 mark but Tsirtsis had 1:13 in riding time. Time ran out and Tsirtsis' riding time sent the match to sudden victory tied 3-3. Tsirtsis got in on a single at the :40 mark, working for a winning takedown. Beitz nearly fought off the move but Tsirtsis connected for a 5-3 sudden victory win.

157: Senior James Vollrath (Richboro, Pa.) met Ben Sullivan at 157. Vollrath quickly took control of the match with a takedown out of the gates. The Lion senior was strong on top, locking up a cradle quickly for three back points and a 5-0 lead with 1:30 on the clock. He continued to turn Sullivan, looking for a pin. Sullivan rolled through the move but the second three point near fall gave the Lion an 8-0 lead after one. Sullivan chose down to start the second period and Vollrath quickly cradled the Wildcat, picking up the pin at the 4:01 mark.

165: Senior David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), ranked No. 1 at 165, took to the Rec Hall stage against No. 9 Pierce Harger of Northwestern. Taylor quickly took Harger down to lead 2-0 :30 into the bout. Harger escaped to a 2-1 score only to have Taylor connect on an ankle pick. Taylor then turned Harger for two back points and the Lion senior led 6-1 at the 1:15 mark. Taylor cut Harger loose with :25 left, used another quick pick and then tilted the Wildcat for three back points. The quick burst put Taylor up 11-2 after one. Harger chose down to start the second period only to be titled again by Taylor. Taylor picked up another three point near fall to move out to a 14-2 lead, reset, and titled Harger again to notch the 17-2 tech fall at the 4:45 mark.

174: Junior Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 3 at 174, faced off against Northwestern's Lee Munster, who entered the dual ranked No. 9. Brown scored quickly, taking Munster down for an early 2-1 lead. Brown then locked up a cradle on the edge of the mat, picking up the takedown before action moved out of bounds. Leading 4-1, Brown chose down on the reset after injury time and quickly escaped to a 5-1 lead. He then connected on a high single leg and led 7-1 with :50 on the clock. Brown rode Munster out and led 7-1 with 1:17 in time after one. Brown chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to an 8-1 lead. Brown added another takedown and took a 10- lead. He dominated the action from the top position before Munster took an injury default, giving Brown the win and putting Penn State up 29-3.

184: Senior Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 184, took on Wildcat sophomore Jacob Berkowitz. Ruth scored quickly, taking Berkowitz down, gaining control of his arm and turning him for two near fall points and a 4-0 lead at the 2:10 mark. The Loin All-American then locked up a cradle, turned the Wildcat and picked up the pin at the 1:36 mark.

197: Sophomore Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.), ranked No. 7 at 197, faced off with No. 17 Alex Polizzi in a key match-up at 197. McIntosh scored first, taking Polizzi down to lead 2-1. The Lion sophomore then used a low single off a reset to take a 4-2 lead after cutting Polizzi loose with 2:00 on the clock. A throw by the Lion nearly led to a quick pin, but the takedown did give McIntosh the 6-2 lead. Polizzi notched his first takedown after an escape with :45 on the clock to cut McIntosh's lead to 7-5 after a McIntosh escape. The Lion, undaunted, used a low double for a late takedown to lead 9-5 after one. McIntosh chose down to start the second and quickly escaped to a 10-5 lead with 1:03 in riding time. Looking for bonus points, McIntosh bulled through a low double for a 12-5 lead at the 1:20 mark. Northwestern was deducted a team point with :50 on the clock for a second bench warning. McIntosh led 12-6 after two and Polizzi chose down to start the third. A quick escaped gave McIntosh a 12-7 lead with 1:35 on the clock and the Lion blew through another low double for a takedown and a 14-7 lead. Polizzi escaped to a 14-8 score and McIntosh looked to clinch a major with another takedown. McIntosh turned the trick with just :02 left and, with the final takedown and 2:08 in riding time, posted the 17-8 major.

285: Junior Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.), ranked No. 12 at 285, met his second ranked foe of the weekend, facing off with No. 4 Mike McMullan in the heavyweight bout. The duo battled evenly for the first minute, with Lawson pushing off an early McMullan shot. McMullan gained control of Lawson's left leg, working for a takedown at the 1:20 mark. But Lawson was able to fight off the move until the :16 mark. McMullan took Lawson down on the edge of the mat and Lawson called quickly for injury time. The takedown and two near fall points put McMullan up 4-0 and the Penn State heavyweight was not able to continue, giving McMullan the injury default win.

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