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No. 2 Penn State Wrestling Outlasted By No. 1 Iowa 19-17

No. 2 Penn State wrestling came up short in its dual against No. 1 Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, falling 19-17 in a matchup of biblical proportions.

The Nittany Lions won only four of the 10 matches against a Pennsylvania-filled Iowa roster. Although nine of Iowa’s wrestlers were ranked in the top 10 of their respective weight classes, the Nittany Lions led throughout the evening and held the advantage heading into to the final match of the evening. The Hawkeyes relied on an upset by No. 3 Michael Kemerer over No. 1 Mark Hall at 174 lbs. to help set up the comeback win.

How It Happened

The dual began with Brandon Meredith losing by technical fall at the 3:17 mark to No. 1 Spencer Lee of Iowa in their bout at 125 lbs. From the very beginning, Lee showed why he is the best 125-pounder the country, scoring only three takedowns but wracking up 10 near-fall points to win 16-1 and give Iowa an early 5-0 lead.

At 133 lbs., the Nittany Lions responded as No. 3 Roman Bravo-Young picked up an injury default win mark against No. 2 Austin DeSanto of Iowa. An apparent knee injury suffered by DeSanto on a cradle by Bravo-Young stopped him from continuing the match. In addition to the medical forfeit, Iowa also suffered a one-point deduction which gave the Nittany Lions a 6-4 lead.

No. 2 Nick Lee plowed through Iowa’s Carter Happel at 141 lbs. en route to a 20-5 technical fall win that extended Penn State’s lead to 11-4. Lee jumped out to an 8-1 lead after the first period with a four-point near-fall and more two minutes of riding time. Happel failed to slow down Lee’s offense throughout the remainder of the bout as the Nittany Lion ran away with the technical fall win.

Iowa managed to stop the bleeding at 149 lbs. when No. 3 Pat Lugo pulled out a win over Jarod Verkleeren. Lugo set the tone early with a quick takedown and rideout in the first period, before three stall calls against Verkleeren and a riding time point made it 6-1 in favor of Lugo. His win cut Penn State’s lead to 11-7.

At 157 lbs., Bo Pipher fell to No. 5 Kaleb Young of Iowa 6-1. Like the previous match, Pipher kept it close, but Young was in control from start to finish. Young won 5-1 after scoring a first-period takedown, second-period reversal, and riding time point to make the team score 11-10 heading into the intermission.

When wresting resumed, No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph outlasted No. 2 Alex Marinelli of Iowa by picking up the 7-5 decision in their bout at 165 lbs. The first point of the match came with an escape by Marinelli to start the second period. Joseph answered right back with lateral drop giving him the 6-1 picking up four near-fall points.

However, Marinelli managed to pick up two points off a reversal in the final seconds of the period. In the third period, Joseph escaped and Marinelli managed a takedown, but it wasn’t enough to knock off Joseph who secured his first ever win against Marinelli and extended Penn State’s lead to 14-10.

Carver-Hawkeye Arena was at its loudest when No. 1 Mark Hall fell to No. 3 Michael Kemerer of Iowa in their bout at 174 lbs 11-6. Kemerer led 5-4 after a first period filled with a few takedowns and reversals. An escape by Hall evened the match up 5-5 to start the second. Strong wrestling by Kemerer to finish the match brought Iowa back within one.

At 184 lbs., No. 10 Aaron Brooks defeated No. 8 Abe Assad 7-3 in a huge match for the Nittany Lions. The freshman wrestled strong on top and didn’t give Assad much to work with over two minutes of riding time. The Nittany Lions led 17-13 heading into the last two matches of the evening.

No. 15 Shakur Rasheed dropped his match to No. 4 Jacob Warner of Iowa at 197 lbs. The match entered the third and final period tied 2-2, but a Warner escape to start the third and riding time helped him win 4-2. With one bout to go, Penn State led 17-16.

At heavyweight, No. 16 Seth Nevills found himself in a similar situation with the match on the line against No. 3 Tony Cassioppi. Cassioppi proved to be too much for Nevills as he shut out Nevills 7-0, scoring two takedowns in the process.

What’s Next

Penn State will host Maryland at 2 p.m. on Sunday at Rec Hall.

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About the Author

Jarod Kutz

Jarod Kutz is a junior majoring in public relations and minoring in business. Growing up 45 minutes away in Altoona, he knew Penn State was going to be his destination after high school. You can find Jarod watching his favorite sports teams (Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, or Indianapolis Colts ~ don't ask him how), eating Chipotle, or scrolling through social media. Follow @kutz53 on Twitter or shoot him an email at [email protected].

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