Penn State is holding strong after the first day of the Southern Scuffle, trailing only Minnesota by the slimmest of margins. The Nittany Lions put up 53 points to their 53.5, with Oklahoma State not far behind at 50 points.
All 17 Nittany Lions will wrestle today as Penn State looks to win its fourth straight Southern Scuffle — one of the nation’s most competitive wrestling tournaments in Chattanooga, Tenn. Twelve of those 17 wrestlers won yesterday and will participate in the quarterfinals today.
Here’s a rundown on how the defending champions fared yesterday:
Zach Beitz had a huge 10-4 upset over No. 9 All-American Scott Sakaguchi of Oregon State in the second round of the scuffle. Beitz won in a 6-3 decision in the third round, and he will be looking for another upset over No. 8 Chris Villalonga of Cornell in the quarterfinals.
Luke Frey, who was seeded No. 10 in the tournament, lost in the first round of the tournament to Alexander Richardson of Old Dominion in a 6-2 decision. Frey bounced back in wrestle backs with a pin and a major decision.
No. 9 seed James Vollrath started out his competition strong with a 13-5 major decision, and a 8-6 decision in sudden victory, but in the third round, he fell in a 2-1 decision to Luke Smith of Central Michigan.
Matt McCutcheon wrestled unattached, but he still had an impressive day at the scuffle with a pin, a 5-4 decision over No. 11 John Eblen of Missouri, and a 3-2 decision in tie breakers in the third round of the tournament.
Jordan Conaway had a 5-3 decision over No. 12 Shelton Mack of Pitt in the third round of the tournament.
Jon Gingrich, seeded tenth, had a 10-1 major decision in the first round of the tournament, which was followed by a 5-1 decision. Gingrich closed the day with a 5-0 decision over No. 17 Amar Dhesi of Oregon State.
Third-seeded Morgan McIntosh won both of his matches on major decisions.
Zain Retherford, David Taylor, Matt Brown and Ed Ruth won all of their matches, and they each had at least one fall during the tournament. Ruth is looking to be a four-time Scuffle winner.
The scuffle starts again at 9 a.m. with the quarterfinals and the championship finals begin at 7 p.m. We’ll keep you updated on how the team is doing later today.