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Penn State Wrestling Defeats North Carolina 37-3

Penn State wrestling (6-0) took down North Carolina (2-4) in its second dual of the night in New Orleans, Louisiana. Both teams came into the match after winning their previous dual earlier this evening.

To follow up on a prior electric performance, the Nittany Lions once again did not disappoint. Penn State cruised its way to tech falls from Roman Bravo-Young, Carter Starocci, and Greg Kerkvliet, as well as a first-period pin from Aaron Brooks. Another dominant match proves why the Nittany Lions are favored to repeat as national champions.

How It Happened

Opening up the contest at 125 lbs, Gary Steen took on No. 33 Jack Wagner. After some time on their feet, Steen was victim to a Wagner takedown, falling behind 2-0 after one. Despite an escape to start the second, Steen was snatched up for another takedown, increasing the deficit to 4-1 to end the period. Wagner escaped in the third and clinched a 5-1 decision victory for the Tar Heels, starting the dual off with a 3-0 lead.

Next at 133 lbs, No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young faced off against Jace Palmer. In true RBY fashion, a flurry of efficient takedowns gave him an 8-3 lead after the first period. The points kept coming for RBY, and despite some pushback from Palmer, the scoreboard showed 18-7 after two. He kept the pedal down in the third, finishing off Palmer with a 26-11 tech fall, putting the Nittany Lions in front 5-3.

After that at 141 lbs, No. 5 Beau Bartlett battled No. 25 Lachlan McNeil. Bartlett was able to take down and then control McNeil, ending the first period in front 2-0. Bartlett then secured more than 90 seconds of riding time before McNeil was able to escape, closing the gap 2-1 after two. A second Bartlett takedown sealed the 4-1 victory for Penn State.

The Nittany Lions now lead the dual 8-3.

Next at 149 lbs, No. 17 Shayne Van-Ness squared off against Jayden Scott. Despite some takedown attempts from both men, the bout stood 0-0 after one. Van-Ness escaped from bottom position to start the second, which after no more blood ended 1-0. He remained on top for the entirety of the third period, snagging a rather lackluster 2-0 victory, however extending the Nittany Lion lead to 11-3.

Following up at 157 lbs was Levi Haines taking on Danny Nini. With a solid takedown to look back on, Haines ended the first up 2-1. An escape in the second period increased Haines’ lead to 3-1 going into the final period. After accumulating almost 180 seconds of riding time, he finished off the match with a 4-1 win, adding to the dual score which then read 14-3 in favor of the Nittany Lions.

After that at 165 lbs, No. 14 Alex Facundo faced Nicholas Fea. Similarly, a Facundo takedown ended the first period 2-1 in his favor. Besides an escape from Facundo, not much else happened in the second period, as the score was 3-1. The third period featured another Facundo takedown as he won the bout 5-2.

More than halfway into the dual, the Nittany Lions lead 17-3.

Next at 174 lbs was No. 1 Carter Starocci staring down Clay Tenold. A dominant showing in the first three minutes put Starocci up 10-0 after one. Another pair of Starocci takedowns went hand-in-hand with nearly four minutes of riding time as the score was boosted to 14-1 after two. Not long after, Starocci ended the match with an 18-3 tech fall, Penn State led 22-3.

Later at 184 lbs, No. 1 Aaron Brooks battled No. 17 Gavin Kane. However, this match was not a battle, as Brooks easily pinned Kane with less than a minute to go in the first, putting the Nittany Lions ahead 28-3 going into the last two matches.

Then at 197 lbs, No. 5 Max Dean took on No. 31 Max Shaw. A Dean takedown put him ahead 2-0 after one. Dean continued his dominance with another takedown in the second. Dean kept the pressure on for a 10-3 major decision, extending the Nittany Lions lead to 32-3.

In the last fight of the night, No. 1 Greg Kerkvliet faced off against Brandon Whitman at heavyweight. Maintaining control for almost the entire first period, Kerkvliet was up 8-0 going into the second. Kerkvliet made quick work of Whitman, snagging a 17-2 tech fall with 30 seconds left in the second period, giving Penn State the dual win, 37-3.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will go to work again Tuesday, December 19, also in the Collegiate Wrestling Duals. Their opponent has yet to be announced.

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About the Author

Brendan Wagner

Brendan is a sophomore majoring in print and media journalism. Born in Pittsburgh, he now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. As a die-hard Pittsburgh sports fan, you can find him on Twitter, @brchwags, often complaining about the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tom Brady.

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