No. 2 Penn State Wrestling Rolls Past No. 3 Arizona State 29-10

No. 2 Penn State wrestling (8-0) finished off the Collegiate Wrestling Duals with an impressive 29-10 victory over No. 3 Arizona State (3-1) Tuesday night in Niceville, Fla.

All four of Penn State’s top-ranked wrestlers impressed against the Sun Devils, while Beau Bartlett also grabbed a clutch win in sudden victory. The Nittany Lions have now won all eight of their duals through 2021.

How It Happened

Senior Jake Campbell took the mat for Penn State at 125 pounds against No. 3 Brandon Courtney. The senior from Pottstown, Pa. quickly fell behind 14-6 through two periods and never recovered from there. The Nittany Lions opened the night with a defeat in the form of an 18-7 decision at the 125-pound bout.

No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young helped the Nittany Lions bounce back with ease. The senior went up 2-0 with 58 seconds of riding time after one period on No. 14 Michael McGee and carried a 2-1 lead about halfway through the second. McGee hung around, but the Penn State veteran managed a couple more takedowns to set him up with a 6-2 victory.

With that, the Nittany Lions trailed 4-3 with No. 1 Nick Lee up next 141 pounds. The Evansville, Ind. native lined up against No. 15 Jesse Vasquez. Lee quickly grabbed a 4-1 lead with 1:49 of riding time and kept the momentum rolling all the way to a 14-3 major decision. Cael Sanderson’s top wrestlers stepped up in succession, as Penn State held a 7-4 lead after three bouts.

No. 22 Beau Bartlett tried to keep the good vibes rolling for the Nittany Lions against No. 5 Kyle Parco at 149 pounds. The pair battled to a 0-0 lock after one period, but Bartlett snuck to a 1-0 lead entering the final period of wrestling. Parco bounced back with a point of his own, however, and the wrestlers were forced into a sudden victory round.

Bartlett grabbed a clutch takedown 37 seconds into that overtime period and earned a 3-1 victory for the Nittany Lions.

Penn State’s Tony Negron was up next for a battle against No. 3 Jacori Teemer in the 157-pound bout. The Nittany Lion fell back 4-3 after a tight two-period battle and never recovered from there. A couple more takedowns led Teemer to an 8-3 decision, but Sanderson’s group still held a 10-7 overall lead at the halfway mark.

Junior Creighton Edsell opened the second half of wrestling at 165 pounds against No. 6 Anthony Valencia. Penn State’s wrestler jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but Valencia stormed back with multiple takedowns and took an 8-2 lead into the final period. Edsell mounted a bit of a comeback, but he fell in a 10-5 decision to leave the match tied at 10.

As the back-and-forth battle continued, No. 1 Carter Starocci stepped up to take on Zane Coleman. Penn State’s other top-ranked wrestler quite simply did his thing, as Starocci dominated his way to a 17-2 tech fall to hand the Nittany Lions a 15-10 lead.

Top-ranked Aaron Brooks was up next at 184 pounds. The star jumped out to a ferocious start and never looked back from there, as a pin lengthened Penn State’s lead to 21-10 with just two bouts left.

No. 3 Max Dean took the mat for Penn State in the penultimate bout against No. 8 Kordell Norfleet. Dean climbed to a 5-1 lead with 2:35 in riding time after two periods and rolled to a 10-1 major decision to set the Nittany Lions up for yet another victory.

No. 4 Greg Kerkvliet faced Chad Porter to finish the night in the heavy-weight battle. The pair both saw head injuries to open the bout, but after a quick break, Kerkvliet jumped out to a 2-0 lead with 2:12 of riding time. The 285-pounder continued to roll to move up to a 4-0 lead with another takedown and carried that momentum all the way to a 9-0 major decision.

Kerkvliet’s dominating performance helped Penn State to a 29-10 victory over a talented Sun Devils team.

What’s Next?

Sanderson’s group will get an extended break before it begins Big Ten play. It will open conference wrestling with a trip to College Park to take on Maryland at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 7.

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, Peaky Blinders, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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