UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State Nittany Lions (7-1, 4-0 B1G), ranked No. 2 in the latest InterMat Tournament Power Index, downed No. 7 Nebraska (5-3, 0-3 B1G) to begin a rugged 16-day stretch of Big Ten road action. Penn State posted a 20-18 win in front of a record-Nebraska crowd with true freshman Seth Nevills (Clovis, Calif) sealing the deal with a win in the dual's final match-up.
Including tonight's dual, Penn State is on a run of four-of-five road duals in 16 days, including action at Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota with a home dual against Maryland splitting the four road dates. Each team won five bouts in the hotly contested battle with Penn State winning the bonus point battle to grab the win. A new Nebraska wrestling record crowd of 5,960 filled NU's Devaney Center. All rankings listed are InterMat.
The dual began at 125 where freshman Brandon Meredith (Limerick, Pa.) lost a hard-fought 3-1 sudden victory decision to Nebraska's Alex Thomsen, giving the Huskers an early 3-0 lead in the dual. Sophomore Roman Bravo-Young (Tucson, Ariz.), ranked No. 3 at 133, was winding down a regular decision win over No. 13 Ridge Lovett when he hit on a furious six-point move as the bout ended, nearly pinning the Husker in the process. The takedown, four nearfall points and riding time gave the Lions an 11-3 major decision and gave Penn State a 4-3 lead. Junior Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), ranked No. 2 at 141, dominated No. 8 Chad Red Jr. in the next bout. Lee used three takedowns, an escape, a stall point and nearly 4:00 in riding time (3:58) to roll to a 9-1 major decision over the ranked Husker and give Penn State an 8-3 lead.
Sophomore Jarod Verkleeren (Greensburg, Pa.) battled No. 14 Collin Purinton at 149. Trailing 3-2 in the third, Verkleeren forced a scramble as he looked for a takedown but was pinned by the ranked Husker at the 5:50 mark. With No. 4 Brady Berge (Mantorville, Minn.) not competing at 157, junior Bo Pipher (Paonia, Colo.) took the mat against No. 11 Peyton Robb. Pipher battled the ranked Husker tough but lost a hard-fought 5-3 decision. Nebraska's two wins to close out the half put Penn State behind 12-8 at intermission.
Senior Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 165, dominated No. 5 Isaiah White in the second half's first bout. Joseph used a first period takedown, a second period rideout, an escape, a stall point and 2:00 riding time to post the 5-1 win over White. Senior Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 1 at 174, then took care of No. 6 Mikey Labriola. Hall rolled his way out to a 6-1 lead and then finished the match by notching a late takedown, locking up a cradle and pinning the ranked Husker at the 6:52 mark to put Penn State up 17-12.
True freshman Aaron Brooks (Hagerstown, Md.), ranked No. 6 at 184, suffered his first loss of the season, a tough 9-5 decision to No. 8 Taylor Venz, the veteran Husker junior cutting Penn State's lead to 17-15. Senior Shakur Rasheed (Coram, N.Y.), ranked No. 19 at 197, dropped a tough 3-1 decision to No. 8 Eric Schultz as the Husker used a late second period takedown to grab the victory. The Huskers led 18-17 with one bout left. True freshman Seth Nevills (Clovis, Calif.) took on No. 15 Christian Lance, a senior, at 285 with the dual meet in the balance. Nevills was unphased by the moment and dominated the Nebraska senior. After a scoreless first period, Nevills notched a second-period rideout after Lance chose down to start the middle stanza. The Lion freshman escaped to start the third and finished off the dual with a late takedown to post an impressive 4-0 win with 2:11 in riding time. Nevills' impressive performance gave Penn State the 20-18 victory.
Penn State won the takedown battle 13-8. With each team winning five bouts, the dual meet came down to bonus points and the Lions won that battle 5-3. Penn State got bonus points off of one pin (Hall) and two majors (Bravo-Young, Lee).
Penn State is now 7-1 overall, 4-0 in the Big Ten. Nebraska falls to 5-3, 0-3 B1G. Penn State continues its road trip next Friday, visiting Iowa on Friday, Jan. 31,for another BTN nationally televised dual. Action begins at 9 p.m. Eastern / 8 p.m. Central in Iowa City. Penn State then hosts Maryland two days later on Sunday, Feb. 2, at 2 p.m. in Rec Hall.
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: Alex Thomsen NU dec. Brandon Meredith PSU, 3-1 (SV) 0-3
133: #3 Roman Bravo-Young PSU maj. dec. #13 Ridge Lovett NU, 11-3 4-3
141: #2 Nick Lee PSU maj. dec. #8 Chad Red Jr. NU, 9-1 8-3
149: #14 Collin Purinton NU pinned Jarod Verkleeren PSU, WBF (5:50) 8-9
157: #11 Peyton Robb NU dec. Bo Pipher PSU, 5-3 8-12
165: #1 Vincenzo Joseph PSU dec. #5 Isaiah White NU, 5-1 11-12
174: #1 Mark Hall PSU pinned #6 Mikey Labriola NU, WBF (6:52) 17-12
184: #8 Taylor Venz NU dec. #6 Aaron Brooks PSU, 9-5 17-15
197: #8 Eric Schultz NU dec. #19 Shakur Rasheed PSU, 3-1 17-18
285: Seth Nevills PSU dec. #15 Christian Lance NU, 4-0 20-18
Records: Penn State (7-1, 4-0 B1G); Nebraska (5-3, 0-3 B1G)
Up Next for Penn State: Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, at Iowa, 9 p.m. Eastern / 8 p.m. Central (BTN)
125: Freshman Brandon Meredith (Limerick, Pa.) took on met Nebraska's Alex Thomsen at 125. The duo battled evenly for the first minute plus. Meredith fought off a solid attempt by Thomsen for shoulder control, action moved out of bounds and resumed on a reset with 1:25 on the clock. Meredith took a high single that Thomsen was able to step away from and the bout moved under the 1:00 mark still tied 0-0. Meredith got called for a first stall warning with :20 on the clock and the bout moved to the second period tied 0-0. Thomsen chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead.
Meredith took a high single, Thomsen countered and nearly took the Lion freshman down, but both wrestlers worked their way to their feet and the bout continued in neutral at the :30 mark. Meredith fought off a late Thomsen effort and trailed 1-0 after two periods. He chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 1-1 tie. Meredith got in on a high single, forcing a scramble on the Nebraska logo. Thomsen fought off the move long enough to force a stalemate and the clock moved below the 1:00 mark. Meredith took another shot, had it countered, nearly re-countered for a takedown but settled for neutral again as the clock hit the :20 mark. Tied 1-1, the bout moved into a sudden victory period. Thomsen quickly used body control to work his way around Meredith and notched the winning takedown for a hard-fought 3-1 (sv) win.
133: Sophomore Roman Bravo-Young (Tucson, Ariz.), ranked No. 3 at 133, met No. 13 Ridge Lovett. Bravo-Young looked to set the pace early, keeping action in the middle of the mat while looking to control tie-ups. Lovett took a quick low shot that forced a scramble in the middle of the mat, but Bravo-Young deftly worked his way around the Husker for an early takedown and a 2-0 lead. Lovett tried to notch a reversal on the edge of the mat, but the Lion fought off the move and settled for a stalemate at the :56 mark. An official review ensued to see if Lovett escaped on the scramble but Bravo-Young maintained control and the bout continued. Bravo-Young cut Lovett loose on the review and led 2-1. Bravo-Young worked the Husker's shoulders to the mat for the first period's final seconds and carried that one-point lead to the second period. Bravo-Young chose neutral to start the second period and went to work on offense. Lovett was able to defend two quick Lion shots and keep the bout close as the clock hit the 1:00 mark. Bravo-Young got in on a low shot and steadily worked his way to a takedown and a 4-1 lead with :19 on the clock. The Nittany Lion sophomore controlled the Husker for the second period's final seconds and led 4-1 heading into the third period with 1:00 in riding time. Lovett chose down to start the third period and Bravo-Young controlled the action from the top position. He cut Lovett loose at the 1:27 mark and led 4-2 with 1:35 in time. Lovett forced Bravo-Young into giving up a stall point with :50 on the clock to cut the lead to 4-3. Bravo-Young then blew the bout open with a late flurry, locking up a cradle with a late shot and taking Lovett to his back for four nearfall points. The late rush, plus 1:42 in riding time, gave Bravo-Young an 11-3 major decision.
141: Junior Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), ranked No. 2 at 141, took on No. 8 Chad Red Jr. Lee worked the middle off the mat, looking to find an opening as the first period got underway. Red was able to keep the Lion at arm's length for a minute, but Lee was relentless and took a 2-0 lead with a fast high single at the 1:30 mark. Lee put together a strong ride, working for control of Red's right arm while moving his riding time advantage up to the 1:00 mark. The Lion finished the period on top and led 2-0 with 1:30 in riding time after the opening period. Lee chose down to start the second period and forced Red into a first stall warning :20 in. He quickly escaped on a reset and led 3-0 with 1:04 in riding time at the 1:20 mark. Lee controlled the action in the center of the mat and then blew through a high single to up his lead to 5-0 with :50 left to wrestle. He finished the period on top and led 5-0 after two with 1:57 in time. Red chose down to start the third period and Lee picked up a point on another Red stall. Lee cut Red to a 6-1 score at the :50 mark and went to work for bonus points. Lee finished off the major with a takedown at the :20 mark. The rideout and 3:32 in riding time, gave the Lion junior a 9-1 major.
149: Sophomore Jarod Verkleeren (Greensburg, Pa.) battled No. 14 Collin Purinton at 149. Verkleeren took an early shot that Purinton was able to counter for a takedown and a 2-1 lead after a quick Lion escaped with 1:45 on the clock. Action continued in neutral as the clock moved below the 1:00 mark with neither wrestler connecting on a shot. The Lion sophomore battled Purinton evenly for the rest of the period and trailed 2-1 after the opening stanza. Purinton chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 3-1 lead. Verkleeren countered a slight Purinton shot, tried to use shoulder control to work the Husker's head to the mat but settled for a stalemate with :47 on the clock. The Lion was unable to break through Purinton's defense over the second period's final minute and trailed 3-1 after two. Verkleeren chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 3-2 deficit. Needing a takedown, Verkleeren looked to counter a Purinton shot, forced a scramble that ended with the Husker getting the fall at the 5:50 mark in the third period.
157: With No. 4 Brady Berge (Mantorville, Minn.) not competing at 157, junior Bo Pipher (Paonia, Colo.) faced off against No. 11 Peyton Robb. Robb scored quickly, taking Pipher down for an early 2-0 lead in the opening seconds of the bout. Robb controlled Pipher from the top position as the clock moved down to the 1:30 mark, building his riding time up over the 1:00 in the process. Pipher tried to work his way to his feet but Robb was able to maintain control. Pipher tried to scoot out from underneath the Husker and steadily worked his way to a reversal and a 2-2 tie with :15 left in the period. Pipher finished on top and the bout moved to the second period tied 2-2 (Robb had over 2:00 in riding time. Robb chose down to start the second period. Pipher was able to maintain control, fighting off a reversal attempt once but giving up the reversal with 1:00 on the clock to trail 4-2. Pipher was unable to escape and trailed 4-2 after two. The Lion chose down to start the third period. Robb clinched riding time, forcing Pipher into a first stall warning in the process. Pipher had a reversal attempt defended in the waning seconds, managed a late escape but dropped the 5-3 decision.
165: Senior Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 165, took on No. 5 Isaiah White. Joseph fought off an early White shot and kept the bout scoreless as the first :30 ticked away. The Lion then went to work on offense, controlling the action from the middle of the mat. Joseph was not able to break through White's defense, stepped away from a slight Husker shot and the period hit its midway point. Joseph connected on a high single at the 1:00 mark and steadily worked his way into control of White's other foot for a takedown and a 2-0 lead. White managed an escape seconds later and the bout continued with Joseph leading 2-1. Trailing 2-1, White chose down to start the second period and Joseph went to work on top. The Lion senior maintained control of the Husker senior as the clock hit 1:15. He forced White into a stall warning and pushed his time edge well over 1:00 in the process. Joseph maintained control of White for the rest of the period and led 2-1 with 2:17 in time after two periods. Joseph chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 3-1 lead, still holding 2:00 in time. The Lion went to work on offense, forcing White to the outside circle as the Husker retreated for the next minute plus. Joseph picked up a point on another stall and led 4-1 with :35 on the clock. Joseph finished the bout with White on defense and rolled to the dominating 5-1 win with 2:00 in riding time.
174: Senior Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 1 at 174, met No. 6 Mikey Labriola. Hall worked the middle of the mat to start the bout, control the action and looking for control up top. Hall controlled Labriola's shoulders, slid his grip down and then tripped the Husker to the mat for a takedown with 1:37 on the clock. Nebraska challenged the takedown call, the call was reversed and action resumed in neutral at the 1:42 mark. The duo battled through the next minute evenly before Hall worked his way in on a high single. The duo scrambled for the next :20 before Hall finished off the takedown to lead 2-0. He rode Labriola out and carried that lead into the second period. Hall chose down to start the second period and deftly reversed the Husker to up his lead to 4-0 with 1:35 on the clock. The Lion maintained control of Labriola long enough to build his time edge up over 1:00, reset himself and finished the period on top to lead 4-0 with 1:39 in time after two. Labriola chose down to start the third period and escaped to a 4-1 score. Hall quickly took the Husker down again and upped his lead to 6-1with 1:20 left. He cut Labriola loose and went looking for bonus points. Hall turned a low shot into a scramble, notched a takedown then locked up a cradle. He quickly set himself for the pin and got the call at the 6:52 mark.
184: True freshman Aaron Brooks (Hagerstown, Md.), ranked No. 6 at 184, faced off with No. 8 Taylor Venz. Brooks went to work quickly, taking Venz down for an early 2-1 lead in the opening seconds of the period. The Lion freshman fought off a Venz shot over the next :20. The Husker escaped on the edge of the mat and Nebraska challenged for a takedown during the flurry. The call stood and the bout continued with Brooks lead 2-1. Venz notched a quick takedown off the reset and Brooks escaped to a 3-3 tie. The Lion used a high shot in the final seconds to force a scramble but Venz was able to fight off the move and the bout moved to the second period tied 3-3. Venz chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 4-3 lead. The Husker worked his way in on a shot and took a 6-3 lead with :45 left in the period. Brooks was unable to escape the Husker ride and trailed 6-3 after two periods. Brooks chose neutral to start the third period. He fought off a Venz shot momentarily but the Husker worked his way for the takedown and an 8-3 lead with 1:33 on the clock. Brooks managed a late reversal but Venz, with 2:17 in time, posted the 9-5 win.
197: Senior Shakur Rasheed (Coram, N.Y.), ranked No. 19 at 197, took on No. 8 Eric Schultz. The duo battled evenly for the first minute, with neither wrestler able get control of the action in the middle of the mat. As the clock moved to the 1:10 mark, Rasheed was able to defend a solid Schultz push and keep the bout scoreless after the first three minutes. Schultz chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. Like the first period, neither wrestler was able to find an opening to score over the first half of the second period with the clock ticking below the 1:00 mark. Schultz kept working and as the second period ended, he used a low double to take Rasheed down and lead 3-0 after two periods. Rasheed chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 3-1 score. He looked for an opening to score, but Schultz was able to back away and move the clock down to the :20 mark. Rasheed had one late shot defended and Schultz notched the 3-1 victory.
285: True freshman Seth Nevills (Clovis, Calif.) met No. 15 Christian Lance in the match-up at 285. The duo worked the middle of the mat for the first minute-plus with no scoring in the offing. Nevills took a slight shot at the 1:25 mark but Lance stepped away from it and the action continued in neutral, scoreless towards 1:00. Nevills and Lance battled evenly over the final minute of the opening period and the bout moved to the second stanza tied 0-0. Lance chose down to start the second period and Nevills went to work on top. The Lion freshman controlled the Husker senior for over a minute, putting his riding time point up over 1:00. Lance was able to force a stalemate at the :35 mark, forcing a reset with Nevills still on top. Nevills went back to work on the reset and broke Lance back down to keep control of the ranked Husker senior for the entire period. With 2:00 in time, Nevills chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. Lance got in on a high single at the 1:05 mark but Nevills steadily stepped up and out of trouble to continue to lead 1-0. With a riding time point clinched, Nevills fought off another Lance shot and the clock hit :30. Nevills finished the bout with a final takedown and, with 2:11 in riding time, posted the 4-0 victory to clinch the dual win for Penn State.