On a day where three of the top five teams in the country went down, the No. 1 Penn State wrestling team made sure to not fall into the same trap. Behind the strength of tech falls by Nico Megaludis and David Taylor, the Nittany Lions defeated No. 14 Northwestern 39-8 in front of a sold-out Rec Hall crowd.
Megaludis started out the match with a dominating performance against Northwestern’s Garrison White. The junior recorded seven takedowns, including five in the first period, and nine near-fall points to give him a tech fall victory over White. Megaludis was excited about his performance and the rest of the season after the match.
“I just try to score a lot of points and have fun, you know?” Megaludis said. “It’s pretty much the name of the game. I feel a lot better, and I know I’m going to get it done this year. I’m ready to do it.”
Penn State won the next two bouts before Northwestern got on the board, as Northwestern’s Jason Tsirtsis defeated Zach Beitz in the sudden victory period. The Nittany Lions went on a five-bout bonus-point winning streak that gave Penn State an insurmountable 39-2 lead. Jimmy Lawson’s injury defaulted his heavyweight bout to provide the final score. David Taylor earned a tech fall victory, and Ed Ruth and James Vollrath pinned their opponents.
“I thought our guys wrestled well today,” coach Cael Sanderson said after the match. “They’re a tough team, they gave us some tough matches and I think they wrestled well. To win nationals this year, we have to score bonus points, and we saw a lot of that today.”
With the win, the Nittany Lions remain undefeated on the year (10-0, 4-0 B1G). Penn State will compete against Illinois on Friday night at Rec Hall. The match will start at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on BTN2GO.
125 pounds: No. 2 Nico Megaludis (PSU) defeated Garrison White (NW) by tech fall, 24-6.
133: No. 15 Jimmy Gulibon (PSU) defeated Dominick Malone (NW) by decision, 8-2.
141: No. 2 Zain Retherford (PSU) defeated Pat Greco (NW) by major decision, 11-2.
149: No. 4 Jason Tsirtsis (NW) defeated Zach Beitz (PSU) by decision (sudden victory), 5-3.
157: James Vollrath (PSU) pinned Dylan Marriott (NW) at 4:01.
165: No. 1 David Taylor (PSU) defeated No. 9 Pierce Harger (NW) by tech fall, 17-2.
174: No. 3 Matt Brown (PSU) defeated No. 9 Lee Munster (NW) by injury default.
184: No. 2 Ed Ruth (PSU) pinned Jacob Berkowitz (NW) at 1:36.
197: No. 7 Morgan McIntosh (PSU) defeated No. 17 Alex Polizzi (NW) by major decision, 17-8.
285: No. 4 Mike McMullan (NW) defeated No. 12 Jimmy Lawson (PSU) by injury default.
Northwestern was deducted one team point for a second bench warning against the Wildcat coaching staff.
Note: Nine Penn State wrestlers, including No. 7 Andrew Alton and No. 4 Dylan Alton, competed in the Shorty Hitchcock Tournament at Millersville. At press time, the tournament had not concluded, but you can check up-to-the-minute results here.