Wrestling Defeats Pitt, Sets Attendance Record In Historic Bryce Jordan Center Dual
Penn State defeated Pitt 28-9 at the Bryce Jordan Center on Sunday afternoon in front of a sold-out and record-breaking crowd. The attendance was reported at 15,996 people, breaking the previous NCAA wrestling record for a dual meet and setting a BJC sports record. The record was held by Iowa from a 2008 dual against Iowa State, where current Penn State head coach Cael Sanderson was coaching at the time. The dual was highlighted by a pin from David Taylor and a win in tiebreakers from Morgan McIntosh.
No. 3 Nico Megaludis had one of the most competitive matchups of the afternoon as he faced No. 9 Anthony Zanetta at 125. The bout was scoreless after the first period. Megaludis escaped from bottom to start the second period before scoring a takedown late in the frame. Zanetta tried to reverse Megaludis, but he held him off. Zanetta chose down to start the third period and escaped with just seconds left in the bout. It didn’t matter as Megaludis had the riding time point for a 4-1 decision.
Jordan Conaway and No. 17 Shelton Mack were scoreless after the first period in their match as well. Mack escaped from bottom to start the second period. Conaway almost had a takedown with seconds left in second period, but time ran out before he could get the two points. Conaway started from bottom to start the third and quickly escaped. With only 25 seconds left, Mack took Conaway down. Conway escaped, but Mack added a second takedown to seal the match for Pitt’s first win of the match, tying things up at 3-3.
No. 11 Zain Retherford took on Edgar Bright at 141 next. Bright had the first takedown of the bout, but Retherford quickly escaped to 2-1 at the end of first period. Retherford escaped from down within seconds of the third period starting and with time running out later in the period, he nearly had a takedown. Retherford managed to win with the riding time point in a 3-2 decision.
James English and Mike Racciato had no score in the 149 bout after the first period. English attempted to score back points on Racciato, but Racciato went out of bounds. English escaped to start the third period, but Racciato was able to get the first takedown of the bout. English escaped with less than a minute left in the bout and he was able to take Racciato down to lead 4-3. Racciato reversed English with less than ten seconds left and quickly pinned English at 6:52.
James Vollrath and Cole Sheptock battled at 157. With less than a minute left in the first period, Vollrath had the first takedown on Sheptock. Sheptock escaped, but Vollrath took him down a second time before the clock ran out on the second period. Vollrath added an escape point to start the second period and led 5-1 before the third period. Sheptock escaped from down in the third period, but with little time left in the bout, Vollrath added a third takedown for a 7-2 victory, tying the match at 9-9 before heading into the break.
Top-ranked David Taylor took Geno Morelli down within seconds of the next bout starting for an early 2-0 lead at 165. After Morelli escaped, Taylor took him down again to lead 4-1 at the end of the first period. Morelli escaped to start the second period, but Taylor added one final takedown and quickly pinned Morelli at 3:09 to give Penn State a 15-9 lead.
No. 3 Matt Brown had the second top-10 battle of the match against No. 9 Tyler Wilps at 174. Neither wrestler scored during the first period, and Brown escaped to start the second period. Brown had the first takedown of the bout, but Wilps quickly escaped for a 3-1 score. Wilps escaped from down to start the third period, but stalled, giving Brown a point. Brown added two more takedowns, and another stall point for a 9-3 victory.
Within seconds redshirt freshman Wes Phipps took down Aaron Rothwell during the 184 bout. Rothwell escaped with 30 seconds left in the first period, but Phipps took him down again to lead 4-1. Phipps escaped to start the second period, picking Rothwell up off the mat and throwing him back down for a third takedown. Rothwell stalled during the second period, but it was offset by Rothwell escaping. With five seconds left in the second period, Phipps tacked on a final takedown to lead 10-2. Rothwell escaped from down to start the third period, but Phipps took him down again to clinch the major decision. Phipps won the bout with a 13-3 major decision and clinched the win for Penn State with a 22-9 lead.
Nick Bonaccorsi took Nittany Lion No. 4 Morgan McIntosh down a minute into the 197 bout. McIntosh escaped with 1:30 left in the period to trail 2-1. McIntosh escaped from bottom to start the second period, and neither wrestler scored for the rest of the period. Bonaccorsi escaped from bottom to start the third period and the match was tied at 3-3 at the end. Neither wrestler scored in sudden victory time. Bonaccorsi did not escape in the first round of tie breakers. McIntosh was able to escape during his tiebreaker to win a 4-3 decision.
To close out the match, heavyweight No. 10 Jimmy Lawson wrestled P.J. Tasser. Tasser escaped from down to start the second period, and Lawson escaped from down to start the third period, but neither wrestler was able to get a takedown. With less than 30 seconds left in the bout, Lawson was able to get a takedown to win 3-1 over Tasser.
Wrestling continues its undefeated season next Sunday at noon against Ohio State in Rec Hall.