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Penn State Wrestling Earns Six Quarterfinal Spots At NCAA Championships’ Session Two

Penn State wrestling entered session two of the NCAA Championships in Detroit Thursday night sitting at first place with 15.5 team points.

In session one, the Nittany Lions had seven victories and, in the second round, largely found the same rhythm of success to stay dominant entering Friday’s action.

Penn State came away with six significant victories, along with two consolation victories, putting its wrestlers in a prime position for success and helping to keep its lead.

How It Happened

No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young got things started for Penn State in the second session when he faced No. 16 Josh Koderhandt of Navy. Bravo-Young dominated Koderhandt throughout the bout, holding a 4-0 lead just before recording a fall at 4:46. This was the third pin of the tournament for Penn State.

With that, Bravo-Young punched his ticket to Friday morning’s quarterfinal action.

No. 1 Nick Lee attempted to continue what his teammate started in session two, getting an opportunity to help him and his team out when he took on Rider’s No. 16 Quinn Kinner at 141 pounds. Lee accumulated a 4-1 lead through the first period.

The domination continued for Lee as he tacked on four more points and one more from 2:03 in riding time, taking a 9-2 victory.

No. 13 Beau Bartlett faced Ohio State’s No. 4 Sammy Sasso in a 149-pound matchup. Bartlett trailed Sasso 2-0 at the end of the first period following a takedown. The Nittany Lion came back with a reversal in the second, tying the bout 2-2. Sasso escaped from Bartlett shortly after the reversal to take a 3-2 lead with only a minute in the third period.

The third period started with Sasso choosing a bottom start. Bartlett was working on keeping Sasso down when he was called on a second stall call that gave Sasso a 4-2 lead, then Sasso escaped, extending his lead 5-2. Bartlett was able to grab a takedown, but then Sasso quickly escaped to give himself a 6-4 lead with under 20 seconds. Bartlett attempted to grab a takedown, but couldn’t complete the comeback, losing 6-4. Bartlett will wrestle in consolations tomorrow.

While Bartlett took an unfortunate loss, No. 2 Jaydin Eierman of Iowa suffered a massive upset of a loss on mat two.

Next, No. 1 Carter Starocci went toe to toe with Cal Poly’s No. 16 Adam Kemp at 174 pounds. Starocci ended the first period with a 2-1 lead. He followed up his lead in the second period, extending it three points via escape and takedown, making it a 5-1 margin.

Starocci grabbed another few takedowns in the third period while Kemp had three escapes. The No. 1 at 174 pounds came away with an 11-4 victory with clinched riding time.

No. 2 Aaron Brooks had to face off against No. 15 Hunter Bolen from Virginia Tech. Brooks took an early 2-0 lead in the first period.

Brooks went on to display sheer domination in a 9-0 major decision victory.

Next, No. 1 Max Dean went up against No. 17 Jay Aiello of Virginia at 197 pounds. After the second period, Brooks extended his lead by four points, making it a 6-0 lead. Dean trailed due to an Aiello reversal after the first period.

In the third period, Dean grabbed a point on an escape and then another escape shortly after, giving him a 3-2 lead. With over a minute in riding time, Dean avoided a huge upset, coming away with a 4-2 victory and moved onto the quarterfinals.

No. 4 Greg Kerkvliet had the final say ahead of the consolation matches, as he took on No. 13 Tate Orndorff from Ohio State at 285 pounds. Kerkvliet went up 2-0 after the first period. He extended his lead 4-0 after the second.

The third period was finished in dominating fashion, as Kerkvliet secured riding time and had a 10-1 major decision victory.

Consolation Bouts

No. 16 Drew Hildebrandt faced No. 33, Logan Ashton of Stanford in a 125-pound bout. Through the first period, there was no scoring for either wrestler. Hildebrandt took a 1-0 lead on an escape through the second period.

The third period saw a Hildebrandt takedown and escape ahead of a blood timeout. The takedown was all Hildebrandt needed, as he had a 3-1 victory by decision to stay alive in the bracket.

No. 16 Brady Berge finished out the night for Penn State when he faced No. 33 Derek Holschlag of Northern Iowa. Berge had a dominant first period, taking an 8-1 lead over Holschlag. It was no match for Berge when it was all said and done, as he finished with a 15-7 major decision victory.

What’s Next?

Wrestling begins at 11 a.m. Friday in Detroit,with the third session. That includes quarterfinals, and the second and third rounds of the consolation brackets. You can tune in tomorrow morning on ESPN U.

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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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