No. 1 Penn State Wrestling Outlasts No. 2 Iowa 19-13

No. 1 Penn State wrestling (14-0, 6-0 Big Ten) kept it rolling in its biggest match of the season Friday night. The Nittany Lions took down No. 2 Iowa (11-1, 5-1 Big Ten) 19-13 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.

The Nittany Lions gave the Hawkeyes their first loss in the most highly anticipated college wrestling matchup of the season. This was also Iowa’s first in-conference loss after 28 consecutive Big Ten dual meet victories. The Hawkeyes’ last defeat was to the Nittany Lions in February 2018.

No. 7 Drew Hildebrandt kicked things off for Penn State, as he picked up a landslide 9-0 victory over Jessie Ybarra and gave the Nittany Lions the early momentum.

How It Happened

Starting the dual at 125 pounds, No. 7 Hildebrandt took on Ybarra after No. 11 Drake Ayala was listed as unavailable. Ybarra had a successful first period as he fought off a single leg from Hildebrandt. In the second period, Hildebrandt drove a double leg into a takedown for a 2-0 lead with under a minute in the period. Hildebrandt overpowered Ybarra after starting on the bottom in the third, obtaining a takedown to extend the lead 4-0, and posting over a minute in riding time.

With under 10 seconds in the bout, Hildebrandt posted two more points off of back points and earned the 9-0 victory. Penn State led the dual after the initial win 4-0.

Next, No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young took on No. 3 Austin DeSanto, a premier 133-pound matchup. DeSanto kept grabbing a single leg early on, which he couldn’t manage to finish. Bravo-Young started on top in the second period, but DeSanto was able to tack on the bout’s first point as he escaped. DeSanto picked up another point, but Bravo-Young hit a clean takedown to tie things up 2-2 heading into the third. Starting on the bottom, Bravo-Young grabbed an escape and gave himself the first lead of the bout 3-2. The escape was all Bravo-Young needed, as he won the bout 3-2 and gave the Nittany Lions a 7-0 lead.

In maybe the most enticing bout of the year’s biggest dual, No. 1 Nick Lee took on No. 2 Jaydin Eierman. As many expected, the bout didn’t disappoint. Eireman got an early escape, but it didn’t take long for Lee to tack on four points of his own, taking the lead. After a late takedown, Eierman tied things up at 4-4, sending it into a sudden victory overtime. After picking up a takedown, Lee quickly silenced Iowa fans and earned the 6-4 victory in overtime. Penn State led Iowa 10-0 after the Lee victory.

No. 19 Beau Bartlett went toe to toe with No. 10 Max Murin at 149 pounds. Bartlett grabbed an early escape to take an early 1-0 lead. Murin also notched a point on the board, tying things at 1-1 from an escape. Murin grabbed the bout’s first takedown, giving him a 3-1 lead. After accumulating over a minute in riding time, Murin got one more point, which ultimately gave him a 4-1 victory. Despite the loss, Penn State still led the dual 10-3.

Next, Terrell Barraclough took on No. 12 Kaleb Young at 157 pounds. Young grabbed the bout’s first point following an escape early in the second period. Young then picked up the necessary riding time to tack on another point and grabbed a 2-0 victory. After the fifth bout of the evening, Penn State led 10-6.

After the intermission, No. 11 Brady Berge had a high-ranked opponent in No. 5 Alex Marinelli. Marinelli grabbed the bout’s first points after an early takedown. The Hawkeye was able to pick up two more points off two escapes for a 4-0 lead headed into the third period. Berge’s only points came from two escapes, but it didn’t matter, as Marinelli ultimately won the bout 10-2. Penn State and Iowa were tied for the first time of the dual at 10-10.

Another top two matchup occurred when No. 1 Carter Starocci faced off against No. 2 Michael Kemerer at 174 pounds. Starocci scored the bout’s first point on an escape in the second period. Kemerer tied things up 1-1 after picking up an escape of his own . After avoiding a late takedown, Starocci and Kemerer were headed to the dual’s second sudden-victory overtime of the night.

Starocci avoided another late takedown after an official review, which brought the bout into another tiebreaker period. Starocci then grabbed an escape to take a 2-1 lead. Kemerer was on the bottom in the second tiebreaker period, but could not tie things up as Starocci had a 2-1 victory by decision. After Starocci’s overtime success, the Nittany Lions led the dual 13-10.

In the 184-pound matchup, No. 1 Aaron Brooks faced off against No. 17 Abe Assad at a pivotal point in the dual. Brooks had two takedowns in the first period and accumulated 1:51 in riding time, giving him a 4-1 lead heading into the second period. After picking up one more takedown in the second period, Brooks led Assad 7-2 heading into the third. With 1:52 in riding time, Brooks came away with an 8-3 victory by decision. Penn State’s lead over Iowa was extended 16-10.

No. 2 Max Dean found himself in a top-five matchup in Iowa as he took on No. 4 Jacob Warner in the 197-pound bout. Warner picked up the bout’s first takedown and first points as he led 3-0 through the first two periods. Dean picked up a point off of an escape and then took the lead with under a minute left following late near-fall points. Amazingly, Dean’s ridiculous comeback gave him an 8-3 dual-clinching victory, and the Nittany Lions led 19-10.

To close out the night, No. 3 Greg Kerkvliet had a tough opponent in No. 5 Tony Cassioppi. Kerkvliet had an early takedown, but Cassioppi answered with an escape and a takedown giving him a 3-2 lead heading into the second period. After no second-period points, Cassioppi came up big in the evening’s final period, scoring three unanswered points and securing a point from riding time. Cassioppi won the bout 7-2, but Penn State came away with a 19-13 victory in the dual.

What’s Next?

No. 1 Penn State will return to action when it hosts No. 8 Ohio State at the Bryce Jordan Center at 7 p.m. Friday, February 4.

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About the Author

Gabriel Herman

Gabriel Herman is a journalism major at Penn State from Minneapolis, MN. He writes about several sports-related topics. If you want to discuss great moments in Minnesota sports history, you can reach him at [email protected].

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