UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State Nittany Lions (8-2, 5-1 B1G), ranked No. 2 in the latest InterMat Tournament Power Index, dominated visiting Maryland (2-13, 0-7) in sold out Rec Hall Sunday. The Nittany Lions won all but one bout and had a couple Lions pick up landmark victories in a 40-3 win over the Terrapins.
Penn State used three technical falls, two pins and a major and got a couple 'firsts' along the way. Including tonight's dual, Penn State is in the midst of a run that four-of-five road duals in 16 days, including action at Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota with this home dual against Maryland on Sunday splitting the four road dates. All rankings listed are InterMat.
The dual began at 125 where freshman Brandon Meredith (Limerick, Pa.) took on Brandon Cray. The duo gave the fans a back-and-forth affair that ended with a hard-fought 8-7 Cray victory. Sophomore Roman Bravo-Young (Tucson, Ariz.), ranked No. 3 at 133, then gave Penn State a lead it would not relinquish. Bravo-Young put on a takedown clinic to post a dominating 24-9 technical fall over King Sandoval, using 2:28 in riding time to get the tech at the 7:00 mark. The Lion sophomore had 11 takedowns in the bout.
Junior Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), ranked No. 3 at 141, dominated Maryland's Hunter Baxter from the outset, rolling up a handful of takedowns and three near fall combos to post the lopsided 16-0 technical fall at the 5:52 mark. Lee's win put Penn State up 10-3. Sophomore Jarod Verkleeren (Greensburg, Pa.) kept Penn State rolling at 149, looking strong in a 9-0 major decision over Maryland's Ryan Garlitz. Junior Bo Pipher (Paonia, Colo.) battled Maryland veteran Jahi Jones at 157 and thrilled the Rec Hall faithful with a 3-0 win. The victory was Pipher's first Big Ten dual meet win and put Penn State up 17-3 at intermission. at halftime.
Senior Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 165, made quick work of Maryland's Kyle Cochran to open up the second half. Joseph worked Cochran's shoulders to the mat, locked him up and rolled him over for the pin at the 4:01 mark. Senior Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 1 at 174, then made shorter work of Phillip Spadafora. Mirroring Joseph's move, Hall worked Spadafora to the mat, locked up control of his shoulders and turned him for the fast fall at 0:51. Hall's pin put Penn State up 29-3.
Freshman Creighton Edsell (Wyalusing, Pa.) stepped in for No. 9 Aaron Brooks (Hagerstown, Md.) at 184 and kept the Nittany Lions rolling. Edsell used a first period takedown and 2:22 in riding time to roll to a 5-2 win over Kyle Jasenski. With No. 18 Shakur Rasheed (Coram, N.Y.) held out at 197, sophomore Austin Hoopes (Afton, Wyo.) got the nod at 197 and took advantage of the opportunity. Hoopes notched a late takedown to post a 3-2 victory over Maryland's Niko Cappello, grabbing his first dual meet win for Penn State. True freshman Seth Nevills (Clovis, Calif.), ranked No. 15 at 285, closed out the dual with Penn State's third tech fall of the day. Nevills rolled up eight takedowns on his way to a 21-6 technical fall over Parker Robinson, getting the tech at the 6:07 mark. Nevills' win locked in the final score at 40-3 for Penn State.
Penn State worked its way to a 31-3 advantage in takedowns and totaled 13 bonus points off two pins (Joseph, Hall), three tech falls (Bravo-Young, Lee, Nevills) and a major (Verkleeren).
Penn State is now 8-2 overall, 5-1 in the Big Ten. Maryland falls to 2-13, 0-6 in the Big Ten. Penn State closes out its road schedule next weekend with two tough Big Ten trips. The Lions are at Wisconsin on Friday, Feb. 7, at 9 p.m. Eastern / 8 p.m. Central. Two days later Penn State visits Minnesota on Sunday, Feb. 9, at 2 p.m. Eastern / 1 p.m. Central. Both duals are BTN national telecasts.
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: Brandon Cray MD dec. Brandon Meredith PSU, 8-7 0-3
133: #3 Roman Bravo-Young PSU tech fall King Sandoval MD, 24-9 (TF; 7:00) 5-3
141: #2 Nick Lee PSU tech fall Hunter Baxter MD, 16-0 (TF; 5:52) 10-3
149: Jarod Verkleeren PSU maj. dec. Ryan Garlitz MD, 9-0 14-3
157: Bo Pipher PSU dec. Jahi Jones MD, 3-0 17-3
165: #1 Vincenzo Joseph PSU pinned Kyle Cochran MD, WBF (4:01) 23-3
174: #1 Mark Hall PSU pinned Phillip Spadafora MD, WBF (0:51) 29-3
184: Creighton Edsell PSU dec. Kyle Jasenski MD, 5-2 32-3
197: Austin Hoopes PSU dec. Niko Cappello MD, 3-2 35-3
285: #15 Seth Nevills PSU tech fall Parker Robinson, 21-6 (TF; 6:07) 40-3
Attendance: 6,414 (54th straight sellout in Rec Hall, 59 of 61 overall w/ 5 of 7 in BJC)
Records: Penn State (8-2, 5-1 B1G); Maryland (2-13, 0-7 B1G)
Up Next for Penn State: at Wisconsin, Friday, Feb. 7, 9 p.m. Eastern / 8 p.m. Central (BTN)
125: Freshman Brandon Meredith (Limerick, Pa.) faced off against junior Brandon Cray. Cray scored quickly, taking Meredith down in the opening seconds to take an early 2-0 lead. Meredith fought off a slight turn attempt and reversed Cray to tie the bout at 2-2 with 2:00 on the clock. Cray escaped on an ensuing scramble to lead by one. Meredith initiated a scramble that ended in a stalemate as the clock moved to 1:00. The Lion shot, Cray countered and Meredith scrambled through the counter for a takedown and a 4-3 lead with :35 on the clock. The Lion then controlled the action or the remainder of the period and carried the 4-3 lead into the second period. Meredith chose down to start the second period and escaped to a 5-3 lead. But Cray blew through a high shot for a takedown and two back points to take a 7-5 lead with 1:00 on the clock. Meredith, undaunted, muscled his way to a reversal to tie the bout at 7-7 with :25 on the clock. The Lion once again finished with a rideout and the bout moved to the third period tied 7-7. Cray chose down to start the third period. Meredith fought off a reversal attempt and locked hands was called. The match was stopped for an official review and the call was reversed. Cray escaped on the reset and led 8-7 at the :57 mark. Meredith took a high single and forced a scramble at the :40 mark but Cray was able to kill vital seconds and get a stalemate called with :27 on the clock. Cray forced a scramble and a stalemate once more with :07 on the clock and then Cray ran away from Meredith for the last seven seconds and got the 8-7 win.
133: Sophomore Roman Bravo-Young (Tucson, Ariz.), ranked No. 3 at 133, battled freshman King Sandoval. The Lion sophomore battled Sandoval evenly over the first minute-plus, working to find an opening in Sandoval's defense. Sandoval took a slight high single but Bravo-Young forced a stalemate with :54 on the clock. Bravo-Young zipped through a fast shot at the :35 mark and took a 2-0 lead. He finished the period on top and carried that lead into the second period. Bravo-Young chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 3-0 lead. He took Sandoval down, cut him loose and then went to work on offense again, leading 5-1. Bravo-Young picked up another quick takedown and led 7-2 after cutting the Terp loose again. He added three more takedowns and led 13-4 with 1:14 in time after two. Sandoval chose down to start the third period. Bravo-Young cut the Terrapin loose, then took him down again to lead 15-5 at the 1:15 mark. Bravo-Young, looking for a tech or more, added three more takedowns to lead 21-8 at the :20 mark. He added a final takedown and a rideout and, with 2:28 in riding time, posted the 24-9 technical fall at the 7:00 mark.
141: Junior Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), ranked No. 2 at 141, met Hunter Baxter. Lee scored quickly, taking Baxter down for an early 2-0 lead. He worked the top position, looking for a turning combination. After a few seconds of work, Lee turned Baxter for two nearfall points, reset and went back to work on top leading 4-0. The Lion junior then worked a cradle to turn Baxter once more. He settled for four nearfall points and n 8-0 lead with :21 on the clock. Lee rode Baxter out and led 8-0 with 2:35 in riding time after the opening period. Lee chose down to start the second period. Baxter was able to control Lee for a minute before the Lion rolled through for a reversal after a reset to take a 10-0 lead at the :35 mark. Lee finished the period with four more back points and led 14-0 after two. Baxter chose top to start the third period. Lee deftly worked his way into control on a reversal and ended the bout. Lee posted the 16-0 technical fall at the 5:52 mark.
149: Sophomore Jarod Verkleeren (Greensburg, Pa.) met Ryan Garlitz at 149. Verkleeren worked in on a high single and quickly took Garlitz down for an early 2-0 lead. The Nittany Lion sophomore then controlled the action from the top position, building up over 1:00 in riding time while looking for a chance to turn Garlitz. Verkleeren settled for a strong rideout and led 2-0 with 2:22 in riding time after the opening period. Verkleeren chose down to start the second period. The Lion sophomore escaped with 1:00 on the clock and then worked Garlitz's shoulders to the mat, forcing a stalemate and leading 3-0. Garlitz took a slight shot but Verkleeren countered the move and worked his way around for a takedown of his own to up his lead to 5-0. Trailing 5-0, Garlitz chose top to start the third period. Verkleeren worked his way to his feet and a 6-0 lead at the :55 mark. Looking for bonus points, Verkleeren quickly turned into Garlitz and took him down to up his lead to 8-0. With riding time over a minute, Verkleeren finished the bout on top and, with 1:31 in time, rolled to the 9-0 major decision.
157: Junior Bo Pipher (Paonia, Colo.) battled senior Jahi Jones. Pipher took an early high single that Jones was able to step away from. The Lion junior continued to move forward and press the action. Jones was able to defend Pipher over the first half of the opening period. With the clock moving below 1:00, Pipher took another high single that Jones was able to step away from. Jones tried to lock Pipher's shoulders but the action ended in a stalemate with :25 left in the period. Tied 0-0 after one, Pipher chose down to start the second period. The Lion worked his way into control of Jones' leg, then finished off the reversal to lead 2-0 with 1:40 on the clock. Pipher controlled the action on top as the clock slid below 1:00. Pipher broke Jones down once again after a reset, forcing the Terrapin's stomach back to the mat with :20 left in the period. He finished with a rideout and led 2-0 with 1:27 in riding time after two periods. Jones chose neutral to start the third period, trailing by two. Pipher fought off a strong Jones double leg, worked back to neutral and the clock dipped to the 1:15 mark. Jones dove forward again with :50 on the clock and Pipher easily locked him up to force another stalemate. Pipher got called for stalling with :22 on the clock. He finished the bout in neutral and, with 1:27 in riding time, posted a strong 3-0 victory.
165: Senior Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 165, met Kyle Cochran. Joseph worked the middle off the mat to start the bout and hit a high single to take Cochran down for an early 2-0 lead. He cut the Terp loose and went back to work on offense, picking up a second takedown to lead 4-1 at the 1:50 mark. Joseph cut Cochran loose on a reset, then quickly took him down a third time to lead 6-2. Cochran got called for stalling and then Joseph finished the period with a two point turn and led 8-2 with 2:16 in time after the opening stanza. Joseph chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 9-2 lead. Joseph turned a low single into a scramble but a stalemate was called with 1:17 on the clock. Joseph worked Cochran's shoulders to the mat, locked them up and quickly turned the Terrapin to his back. He set himself quickly and got the fall at the 4:01 mark.
174: Senior Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 1 at 174, faced off against Phillip Spadafora. Spadafora took the bout's first shot and Hall quickly stepped back from the move. Like Joseph moments before, Hall worked Spadafora's shoulders to the mat, locked up control and quickly rolled the Terrapin over for a fast fall. Hall got the pin at the 0:51 mark.
184: Freshman Creighton Edsell (Wyalusing, Pa.) stepped in for No. 9 Aaron Brooks (Hagerstown, Md.) at 197 and took on Kyle Jasenski. The duo battled evenly for the first minute-plus. Jasenski took a high single but Edsell scrambled his way into control of the Terrapin's legs. Jasenski countered the scramble in the middle of the mat but Edsell was steady. The Lion freshman finished off the takedown and led 2-0 with :35 left in the period. Edsell finished the period on top and carried the 2-0 lead into the second stanza. Jasenski chose down to start the second period but Edsell controlled things on offense. He built his riding time edge up over 1:00 with a strong ride. With the clock moving below 1:00, Edsell broke Jasenski down and finished the period on top. Leading n2-0 with 2:41 in time, Edsell chose down to start the third period and Jasenski cut him loose to a 3-0 score. Jasenski forced a scramble with a solid high single and finished off a takedown with :55 on the clock to cut the lead to 3-2. Edsell escaped to a 4-2 score and action resumed neutral with :35 left to wrestle. Edsell finished the bout on his feet and, with 2:22 in riding time, notched the 5-2 victory.
197: With No. 18 Shakur Rasheed (Coram, N.Y.) held out at 197, sophomore Austin Hoopes (Afton, Wyo.) tangled with junior Niko Cappello. The duo worked the middle off the mat for the first two minutes of the opening period. Cappello took a fast low single at the 1:00 mark but Hoopes was able to step out of trouble and the match continued in neutral tied 0-0. With the bout tied 0-0 after the opening three minutes, Hoopes chose down to start the second period. The Lion was able to work his way to his feet and took a 1-0 lead with an escape at the 1:30 mark. Hoopes took two high shots that Cappello stepped back from as the clock moved below 1:00. Trailing 1-0, Cappello chose down to start the final stanza and quickly escaped to a 1-1 tie. Hoopes took another high single that the Terrapin was able to defend and the bout moved down to the 1:10 mark. Cappello shot low but Hoopes countered, nearly taking the lead with a takedown. But Cappello scrambled out of trouble. Hoopes worked a counter move to a takedown to open up a 3-1 lead with :40 on the clock. Cappello quickly escaped to cut the lead to 3-2. Hoopes fought off a late Cappello shot and picked up his first Penn State dual victory with a 3-2 win.
285: True freshman Seth Nevills (Clovis, Calif.), ranked No. 15 at 285, met sophomore Parker Robinson. Nevills and Robinson worked the middle of the mat for the first minute of the period. Nevills was patient and took a 2-0 lead with a takedown at the 1:10 mark. He then went to work on top, building up over 1:00 in riding time as he looked to turn the Terrapin big man. Nevills' turned Robinson or two back points and, with a rideout, led 4-0 with 1:16 in time after one. Nevills chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 5-0 lead. He scored on a quick shot at the 1:20 mark and led 7-1 after cutting Robinson loose. Nevills added a counter takedown to open up a 9-1 lead, then tacked on one more takedown to lead 11-2. He turned the Terrapin for two more back points and led 13-2 with 2:14 in riding time after two periods. Robinson chose down to start the third period and Nevills cut him loose to a 13-3 score. Nevills picked up two more takedowns to lead 17-5 with 1:40 on the clock. He ended the bout with two more takedowns to roll to a 21-6 technical fall at the 6:07 mark.