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No. 3 Penn State Wrestling Wins Narrowly Over Indiana 24-15

No. 3 Penn State wrestling (1-0) took part in its first match of the year against Indiana (0-3) Saturday afternoon at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Penn State dominated most of the matches, but let Indiana stick around with a forfeit and a huge upset from the Hoosiers’ DJ Washington. The dual ended up coming down to the last match of the afternoon at heavyweight, and the Nittany Lions escaped with a 24-15 victory.

How It Happened

The dual started off at 133 lbs. after Penn State forfeited at 125. No. 3 Roman Bravo-Young faced off against Kyle Luigs from Indiana. Bravo-Young won by decision 11-8 in a match that was closer than he may of wanted. He scored some nice takedowns but didn’t get off to his normal pace we’re accustomed to seeing. Bravo-Young’s win pulled Penn State within 6-3 after the forfeit.

At 141 lbs. No. 2 Nick Lee squared off against Cayden Rooks from Indiana. Lee picked up right where he left off last season in a dominant win over Rooks. He managed to get an early takedown in the first along with a few turns to bring his lead to 10-1 going into the second period. In the second, Lee got a reversal and another turn as the clock ran out in the, giving him a 16-1 technical fall victory. The tech fall gave Penn State a 8-6 lead over Indiana.

Penn State’s Jarod Verkleeren wrestled Indiana’s Graham Rooks at 149 lbs. Both wrestlers spent the first period feeling each other out as neither one managed to score. In the second period, Verkleeren had a nice over hook toss to get a takedown. He took a 2-1 lead going into the third. Verkleeren went down 4-3 in the third and was unable to score a last second takedown to bring the match to overtime. The decision gave Indiana a 9-8 lead.

Brady Berge took the mat at 157 lbs. for Penn State against Matt Ortiz from Indiana. Berge scored a nice takedown in the first and took a 2-1 lead into the second period. Ortiz got an escape in the second to tie up the score 2-2. Berge pulled away in the third, getting an escape and a late takedown to give him a 5-2 victory. The win pulled Penn State’s lead back to 11-9.

No. 6 Joe Lee made his Nittany Lion debut at 165 lbs. against Indiana’s Nick South. Lee looked impressive in his first match in a Penn State singlet, earning a 8-4 victory. Lee secured a couple nice takedowns and earned a riding time point to give him the decision win. The win brought Penn State’s lead to 14-9.

At 174 lbs., another freshman took the mat for Penn State with Carter Starocci. No. 5 Starocci made his Penn State debut against DJ Washington of Indiana. After giving up an early 10-1 lead, Starocci came back in a flurry, scoring seven points in the second thanks to a stall call and some back points. Starocci got an escape to begin the third period bringing him within 10-9 of Washington, but did not score a late takedown to win. The 10-9 upset closed the gap for Indiana 14-12.

No. 3 Aaron Brooks looked dominant for Penn State at 184 lbs. against Indiana’s Drayton Harris. Brooks played the take him down let him up game, earning an 18-5 decision with an impressive display of takedowns. Brooks did not get any near fall points against Harris, but did have a riding time of over 4 minutes. Brooks’ decision brought Penn State’s lead back up to 18-12

Levko Higgins took the mat at 197 lbs. for the Nittany Lions against Nick Willham of Indiana. Higgins couldn’t get much going against Willham, giving up numerous takedowns. Trailing 9-2 and giving up two minutes of riding time, Higgins earned a late escape point to only lose by decision rather than a major decision. The match pulled Indiana within 18-15 of Penn State going into the last match of the meet.

The match was up for grabs as Penn State’s Seth Nevills squared off against Indiana’s Rudy Streck. Nevills ended any hope of winning the dual from Indiana pretty early. He picked up an early takedown a got a quick pin just over one minute into the first period. The fall gave Penn State a 24-15 victory over Indiana.

What’s Next?

Penn State will wrestle in its second match of the tri-meet later today against Northwestern at 4p.m. The match will be broadcast on BTN+.

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About the Author

Max Tolson

Max is a senior majoring in print journalism. He hails from the small town of Millsboro, DE and loves to watch the Eagles and Penn State wrestling. Follow him on twitter @TolsonMax or send emails to Go Birds!

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