UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- No. 1 Penn State (14-0, 9-0 B1G) hammered visiting Buffalo (12-5, 5-2 MAC) in the dual meet finale for the Nittany Lions, capping off the team's fourth straight undefeated season. Penn State won nine of ten bouts to roll to a 47-3 win and end the season 14-0 overall. Penn State won a share of its fourth straight Big Ten Regular Season (dual meet) title last weekend when it finished its conference schedule with a 9-0 mark. This marks the fourth straight year that Penn State has gone undefeated, including going 9-0 in the Big Ten.
The dual began at 125. With Devin Schnupp (Lititz, Pa.) not wrestling (precautionary), sophomore Justin Lopez (Yonkers, Pa.) made his Penn State dual meet debut. Lopez battled senior Kyle Akins tough before dropping a 5-0 decision. True freshman Roman Bravo-Young (Tucson, Ariz.), ranked No. 11 at 133, dominated Buffalo's Derek Spann. The Lion freshman rolled to a 14-5 major decision with 2:40 in riding time, handing Spann only his third loss of the year in 20 matches and giving Penn State a 4-3 lead in the dual. Sophomore Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), ranked No. 2 at 141, won by forfeit and the Nittany Lions led 10-3 after three bouts.
Redshirt freshman Brady Berge (Mantorville, Minn.), ranked No. 11 at 149, dominated the third period as he rolled to an impressive 11-4 win over Buffalo senior Jason Estevez to give the Nittany Lions a 13-3 lead. Senior Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 157, took to the mat for the final time in Rec Hall. Nolf put on an offensive clinic in his match against Kyle Todrank, taking an 18-7 lead before hitting a cradle and pinning Todrank at the 5:41 mark. Nolf picked up his 58th career pin in his final Rec Hall appearance and the Nittany Lions led 19-3 at halftime.
Junior Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 165, made short work of Buffalo's Noah Grover to begin the second half. Joseph hit a strong double leg less than 1:00 into the bout and quickly turned the Bull to his back for a pin at the 1:03 mark. Junior Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 1 at 174, made it three straight pins for the Lions. Hall turned a late first period takedown into a pin at 2:13 to put Penn State on top 31-3. Senior Shakur Rasheed (Coram, N.Y.), ranked No. 2 at 184 returned to the lineup on Senior Day and thrilled the Lion faithful with Penn State's fourth straight pin. Rasheed locked up a cradle at the 1:16 mark and pinned Logan Rill to give Penn State a 37-3 lead.
Senior Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), ranked No. 1 at 197, took to the mat for the final time in Rec Hall. Nickal left Rec Hall in style by giving Penn State its fifth straight pin. Nickal used a cradle to notch his 56th career pin in his final Rec Hall bout, pinning Brett Perry at the 1:19 mark to give the Lions a 43-3 lead. Senior Anthony Cassar (Rocky Hill, N.J.), ranked No. 3 at 285, finished off Senior Day in style. Cassar racked up seven takedowns to roll to a 16-5 major decision. Cassar's major made the final 47-3.
The Nittany Lions owned a superb 27-1 edge in takedowns. The Lions picked up 20 bonus points in the dual off five pins (Nolf, Joseph, Hall, Rasheed, Nickal), a forfeit win (Lee) and two majors (Bravo-Young, Cassar). Nolf upped his Penn State record in career pins to 58 while Nickal moved to 56, second all-time. Hall now has 30 career pins, 14th all-time at Penn State, while Rasheed has 27, 20th all-time. Joseph notched his 12th pin of the year and now has 18 as a Nittany Lion. The sellout crowd of 6,614 was the 48th straight Rec Hall sellout and the 53rd in the last 55 home events at Penn State, including five of seven in the Bryce Jordan Center.
The Nittany Lions have won 59-straight dual meets dating back to the end of the 2014-15 season. Sanderson's Lions won their last dual of that campaign, went 16-0 in 2015-16, went 14-0 in 2016-17 and went 14-0 in 2017-18. Penn State ends its dual season at 14-0, 9-0 in the Big Ten, finishing the Big Ten season with a 9-0 mark for the fourth straight year. Buffalo falls to 12-5, 5-2 in the MAC. The dual meet was preceded by the 2019 Senior Day ceremony, sponsored by the Penn State Alumni Association, a proud sponsor of Senior Day activities across Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics.
The Nittany Lions will now prep for the 2019 Big Ten Championships on March 9-10 in Minneapolis, Minn. Action begins on Saturday, March 9, at 11 a.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Central (local) and will conclude with the championship finals on Sunday, March 10, at 4 p.m. Eastern / 3 p.m. Central (local). The Finals will air live on the Big Ten Network and the entire tournament, every mat, will stream live on BTN2go/BTN-Plus ($).
Penn State Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at @pennstateWREST, on Penn State Wrestling's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/pennstatewrest. This is PENN STATE. WRESTLING lives here.
125: Kyle Akins UB dec. Justin Lopez PSU, 5-0 0-3
133: #11 Roman Bravo-Young PSU maj. dec. Derek Spann UB, 14-5 4-3
141: #2 Nick Lee PSU win by forfeit 10-3
149: #11 Brady Berge PSU dec. Jason Estevez UB, 11-4 13-3
157: #1 Jason Nolf PSU pinned Kyle Todrank UB, WBF (5:41) 19-3
165: #1 Vincenzo Joseph PSU pinned Noah Grover UB, WBF (1:03) 25-3
174: #1 Mark Hall PSU pinned Jake Lanning UB, WBF (2:13) 31-3
184: #2 Shakur Rasheed PSU pinned Logan Rill UB, WBF (1:16) 37-3
197: #1 Bo Nickal PSU pinned Brett Perry UB, WBF (1:19) 43-3
285: #3 Anthony Cassar PSU maj. dec. Sam Schuyler UB, 16-5 47-3
Attendance: 6,614 (48th straight sellout in Rec Hall, 53 of 55 including five of seven in BJC)
Records: Penn State (14-0, 9-0 B1G), Buffalo (12-5, 5-2 MAC)
Up Next for Penn State: Sat.-Sun., March 9-10, Big Ten Championships at Minnesota
125: Sophomore Devin Schnupp (Lititz, Pa.) did not wrestle for Penn State (precautionary) so classmate Justin Lopez (Yonkers, N.Y.) made his Lion dual debut against senior Kyle Akins. The duo worked the middle off the mat for the opening minute with neither wrestler gaining an advantage. Lopez stepped away from two Akins during the second minute of the match, while Akins stepped back from a Lopez low single at the 1:00 mark. Lopez was able to defend a strong Akins shot on the edge of the mat as the period ended and the bout moved to the second period scoreless. Akins chose down to start the second period and Lopez tried to turn him to his back. Akins worked his way underneath the Lion sophomore for a reversal, however, and led 2-0 just :30 into the middle stanza. Akins controlled the action on top, forcing Lopez in to a stall warning during a rideout and led 2-0 with 1:12 in riding time after two periods. Trailing by two, Lopez chose neutral to start the third period. He fought off an Akins shot in front of the Lion bench, forcing a reset with 1:30 on the clock, but the Bull senior connected for a takedown after the reset and led 4-0 at the 1:00 mark. Akins finished the match on top and, with 2:19 in riding time, posted the 5-0 decision.
133: True freshman Roman Bravo-Young (Tucson, Ariz.), ranked No. 11 at 133, met Derek Spann. Bravo-Young connected on a single leg early, finishing of the shot for a takedown at the 2:40 mark. The Lion freshman went to work on top, looking for a turning combination while building up over 1:00 in riding time. Bravo-Young cut Spann loose at the 1:05 mark and went back to work in the middle of the mat. The Lion freshman bulled through a double leg, picked Spann up and put him on the mat for another takedown at the :35 mark. Bravo-Young finished the period on top and led 4-1 with 2:07 in riding time after one period. Bravo-Young chose neutral to start the second period, fought off a quick Spann shot an then zipped his way through a fast shot for a takedown on the edge of the mat to open up a 6-1 lead with 1:25 left in the middle stanza. He cut Spann loose and then used a fast low double for another takedown and cut to lead 8-3 with :50 on the clock. Trailing 8-3, Spann chose down to start the third period and Bravo-Young cut him loose immediately. After one shot was stifled via stalemate, Bravo-Young forced Spann into a first stall warning. He continued to press on offense and hit a standing cradle for a takedown and two back points to lead 12-5 with a clinched riding time point. The Lion freshman got in on another single and picked up a point on stalling as Spann fled the mat. Bravo-Young picked up a final point on 2:40 in riding time and rolled to the 14-5 major decision.
141: Sophomore Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), ranked No. 2 at 141, won by forfeit and improves to 24-1 on the year with the forfeit victory.
149: Redshirt freshman Brady Berge (Mantorville, Minn.), ranked No. 11 at 149, took on Jason Estevez. The duo battled evenly for the opening minute-plus with neither wrestler finding an opening. Berge fought off an Estevez single leg at the 1:10 mark, forcing a reset and action continued neutral tied 0-0. Berge connected off the reset. The Lion freshman pulled the Bull's head towards the mat and reached in for a low single to take a 2-0 lead with just under 1:00 left in the period. Berge finished the opening period on top and led 2-0 with :52 in riding time. Estevez chose down to start the second period and Berge cut him loose to a 2-1 score. The Lion fought off two solid Estevez shots, working his way back to his feet and continuing in neutral as the clock moved below the 1:00 mark. Leading 2-1 after two periods, Berge chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 3-1 lead. The Lion chased Estevez around the mat, forcing the Bull backwards until blowing through a high double with 1:30 left in the bout. The fast takedown gave Berge a 5-1 lead and pushed his riding time edge well over 1:00. Berge cut Estevez loose on the reset and went back to work on offense. Berge stepped behind a low Bull shot for another takedown and, after cutting Estevez loose, led 7-3. He picked up two more takedowns in the final seconds and, with 1:38 in riding time, posted the 11-4 win.
157: Senior Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 157, took on Kyle Todrank in his final appearance in Rec Hall. Nolf came out quick and almost connected on his first shot seconds into the bout. Todrank stepped out of trouble and then Nolf fought off a Bull shot for a reset with 2:10 on the clock. Nolf took a 2-0 lead with a takedown seconds later and then went to work on top, building up :30 in riding time before cutting Todrank loose. Nolf countered a low Todrank shot and upped his lead to 4-1 with another takedown. Nolf cut the Bull loose and went back to work with :45 on the clock. The Lion senior picked up a third takedown and led 6-2 with :35 left in the period. Nolf picked up one more takedown and led 8-3 with 1:30 in riding time after one period. Todrank chose down to start the second period and Nolf went to work on top. The Lion worked Todrank over to his back at the 1:20 mark and took a 12-3 lead with four back points. After Todrank escaped, Nolf quickly took the Bull down again and led 14-4 with :50 on the clock. Nolf picked up a stall point and led 15-5 with a clinched riding time point after two periods. Todrank started the third period down and then Nolf slipped on a turn attempt, giving Todrank a reversal. Energized, Nolf took Todrank down, cut him quick and then hit a cradle immediately afterwards. Nolf then planted Todrank for the fall at the 5:41 mark for his 58th career pin in his final appearance in Rec Hall.
165: Junior Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 165, battled Noah Grover. Joseph connected on a double leg less than a minute into the bout and quickly ended the match. The Lion junior turned Grover to his back and picked up the fast fall at the 1:03 mark.
174: Junior Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 1 at 174, squared off against Jake Lanning. Hall countered an early Lanning shot and took a 2-1 lead with a takedown and cut. The Lion junior then turned a low shot into a brief scramble and a takedown to lead 4-1 with 1:30 on the clock. Hall built up over 1:00 in riding time, then worked Lanning's arm over and his shoulders flat for another first period pin, this one at 2:13.
184: Senior Shakur Rasheed (Coram, N.Y.), ranked No. 2 at 184, returned to the Lion line-up for Senior Day and met Logan Rill. Rasheed took Rill down quickly, taking a 2-0 lead less than :30 into the bout. The Lion senior then went to work on top, looking to lock up a cradle and end the bout quick. Rasheed locked up a cradle at the 1:00 mark and, after a brief reset, picked up Penn State's fourth straight pin at the 1:16 mark.
197: Senior Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), ranked No. 1 at 197, met Brett Perry in his final appearance in Rec Hall. Nickal kept up Penn State's torrid pace, notching the team's fifth straight pin. The Lion senior said goodbye to Rec Hall by locking up a cradle against Brett Perry and pinning the Bull at the 1:19 mark for his 56th career fall.
285: Senior Anthony Cassar (Coram, N.Y.), ranked No. 3 at 285, capped off Senior Day against Sam Schuyler. Cassar took a 2-0 lead with a fast takedown less than a minute into the bout. The Lion senior went to work on top and built up over 1:00 in riding time before cutting him loose to a 2-1 score. Cassar picked up his second takedown right away to lead 4-1 with 1:50 on the clock. Cassar nearly turned Schuyler to his back for points but the period ended and the Lion led 4-1 with 1:52 in time after one. Schuyler chose down to start the second period and Cassar controlled the action on top, building up 2:33 in time before cutting Schuyler loose to a 4-2 lead. Cassar blew through a third takedown right away, cut the Bull loose and finished the second period on top with a takedown at the :07 mark. Leading 8-3 with clinched riding time, Cassar chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 9-3 lead. The Lion senior used another strong double leg to take an 11-4 lead. He added another takedown with :50 left in the period and led 13-4 with nearly 4:00 in riding time. Cassar added one more takedown and 4:24 in riding time to post a 16-5 major decision.