Penn State Wrestling Defeats Lehigh 22-12
Penn State wrestling had its second match of the season on Sunday afternoon, and despite being without several top wrestlers, the Nittany Lions defeated 25th ranked Lehigh, 22-12.
No. 3 Nico Megaludis faced freshman Darian Cruz for the first bout of the match. Megaludis had two takedowns in the first period, an escape, a near fall, and three takedowns in the second period, and two takedowns in the third period, which gave him a 19-4 tech fall and Penn State an early 5-0 lead.
No. 16 Jimmy Gulibon took on No. 6 Mason Beckman for the fifth time in his career. Beckman had previously beaten Gulibon all four times, including a pin in the last matchup between the two teams. The two were in a hotly contested bout, but Beckman’s riding time point gave Beckman a 7-6 decision.
Zain Retherford had a quick takedown on Laike Gardner, who escaped after 30 seconds to start the match at 141. Retherford escaped to start the second period and had a second takedown to lead 5-1. In the third period, Retherford had two more takedowns after two Gardner escapes. Gardner held off Retherford from gaining back points to prevent a Nittany Lion major decision.
Zach Beitz, who usually wrestles at 141, started at 149 against Lehigh after James English lost a 6-4 match on Friday. Beitz and No. 16 Mitch Minotti exchanged shots on the mat, but but Beitz’s inability to get a takedown in the final seconds of the match led to a 4-3 Minotti decision.
James Vollrath took on No. 10 Joey Napoli at 157. Napoli shocked Dylan Alton, who was unable to compete due to an injury, last season at the Penn State-Lehigh dual in Rec Hall. Napoli grinded out a 4-3 win over Vollrath, and Lehigh led 9-8 at the intermission.
Top ranked David Taylor started the offense early against Brian Brill at 165. Taylor had three takedowns and three near fall points and gave up two escapes to finish the first period 9-2. After letting Brill lose a minute into the second period, David Taylor had another takedown before ending the period 11-2. Four takedowns in the final period earned Taylor earned his 100th career major decision in a 20-7 win.
No. 3 Matt Brown took Elliott Riddick down within seconds of the match starting, but Riddick escaped not long after. The two traded blows throughout the match, but Brown was able to escape with an 8-5 victory.
James Frascella started at 184 in place of Ed Ruth, who is suspended after violating team rules, and faced Zach Diekel. Ruth’s absence was obvious, as Diekel defeated Frascella, 9-8 and cut Penn State’s lead to 15-12.
No. 4 Morgan McIntosh’s match against John Bolich at 197 went a bit differently. From his very start, McIntosh was in control for the duration of the match and came away with a 10-2 win for the Nittany Lions.
Jon Gingrich started for No. 11 Jimmy Lawson at 285, who was out after failing a skin check. Neither Gingrich nor No. 19 Doug Vallaro were able to score during the first period, but both wrestlers were able to get an escape as the match went on. Vallaro was able to escape late in the third period, but Gingrich scored a take down in the final seconds for a 5-2 decision, which sealed the match for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State has its home opener next weekend, when the Nittany Lions host Lehigh on Sunday, November 24 at 2:00 p.m.
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The redshirt freshman has seen increased reps at wide receiver and punt returner this season.
Coming off another conference win, the Nittany Lions emphasized the importance of having each other’s backs in the midst of the Big Ten slate.
“Now, running out of the tunnel at a White Out, it gives you chills.”