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No. 1 Penn State Wrestling Overpowers No. 3 Michigan 30-8 In Bryce Jordan Center Dual

No. 1 Penn State wrestling took down No. 3 Michigan Friday night in the team’s first dual of the season at the Bryce Jordan Center. Both teams came into the dual undefeated, carrying rosters full of the best wrestlers in the country.

The Nittany Lions won eight of their 10 matches against the Wolverines and true freshman Levi Haines was the highlight of the night with an upset win over No. 10 Will Lewan in the 157-pound category. The win tonight further cemented Penn State’s reign of dominance in the wrestling world as it continues to roll over its competition.

How It Happened

Gary Steen was the first on the mat and faced No. 23 Jack Medley at 125 pounds. A deep shot from Steen missed halfway through the first period, and Medley capitalized for the first takedown of the dual. An escape from Steen was quickly stuffed by two more Medley takedowns as he took a 6-2 lead heading into the second period. A takedown followed by a handful of near-fall points gave Medley a 15-3 advantage heading into the last period. Despite an escape from Steen, Medley took the match by technical fall 40 seconds into the final period.

Steen is still winless in Big Ten competition.

Next at 133 pounds came No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young facing No. 12 Dylan Ragusin. A strong showing of defense from Ragusin was followed up with a takedown, giving the Wolverine a 2-0 lead over the defending champion. An escape from Bravo-Young was quickly followed by a takedown of his own as he gained control back in the center of the mat. Bravo-Young remained in this spot for the rest of the second period as he took a 3-2 lead heading into the final 120 seconds. A technical Bravo-Young wouldn’t allow Ragusin to escape in the third period, and Bravo-Young secured the 3-2 victory as Michigan’s lead was cut to 5-3.

No. 4 Beau Bartlett was next to hit the mat in the 141-pound role against on No. 23 Cole Mattin. A Bartlett takedown highlighted the first period and allowed him to take a 2-0 lead heading into the second period. Bartlett then rolled out of the bottom position to secure another takedown as he increased his lead to 4-1. Bartlett struck for another takedown and glided to a 6-2 victory in the match.

The Nittany Lions took their first lead of the dual 6-5.

Then, at 149 pounds was No. 14 Shayne Van Ness staring down Fidel Mayora. Van Ness rocked a takedown halfway through the first period and remained on top to take a 2-0 lead heading into the second period. A dominant period from Van Ness granted him an additional takedown as he entered the third period with a 5-0 lead. Van Ness tacked on four more takedowns in the closing period to win the match by a major decision and extended the Nittany Lions’ lead to 10-5.

No. 17 Levi Haines squared off against No. 10 Will Lewan in the 157-pound category to keep things rolling. There were a handful of takedown attempts in the first period, however, none of them were successful. The bout remained scoreless heading into the second period, but an escape from Haines was the extent of the action. The third period was filled with great sprawling action from both wrestlers as they desperately tried to secure the winning takedown. Neither managed to lock the victory and the match entered sudden victory.

After many close chances from both wrestlers, Haines captured the winning takedown as the BJC erupted and took the match 3-1. The Nittany Lions led 13-5 at the intermission after Haines’ upset win.

No. 16 Alex Facundo battled No. 5 Cameron Amine for the 165-pound victory to open the dual after admission. A double leg from Facundo gave him the 2-1 advantage initially, and little action filled the second period. Amine capitalized after a short period of sprawling with a takedown of his own granted as a result of a coach’s challenge. Facundo then escaped from the bottom position with 10 seconds remaining and forced the match into sudden victory for the second-straight opponent.

No points were grated in the first period of sudden victory and sent the match into two 30-second periods. In the first 30 seconds, Facundo scored a swift escape and earned a 5-4 lead after the first overtime period. Despite Amine escaping within 30 seconds, Facundo won the match by means of his 14 seconds of riding time.

The Nittany Lions led 16-5 heading into the final four matches.

At 174 pounds, No. 1 Carter Starocci faced No. 30 Max Maylor in the closing set of matches. Starocci secured three takedowns in the first period and showcased his dominance in the second as he rolled Maylor onto his back for the pin. Starocci’s match earned the Nittany Lions a 17-point lead over the Wolverines.

Then, at 184 pounds was No. 1 Aaron Brooks who faced No. 9 Matt Finesilver. Two takedowns from Brooks filled the scoresheet in the first period and gave him a 4-1 lead. An additional two takedowns from Brooks boosted his lead to 9-2 after two periods. Another pair of takedowns from Brooks secured a 14-4 major with little difficulty.

At this point, the Nittany Lions won the dual and the score read 26-5 with two matches to go.

No. 4 Max Dean prepared to wrestle Brendin Yatooma at 197 pounds. Two takedowns paired with dominance on top from Dean gave him the 4-0 lead early. Dean quickly escaped after selecting the bottom position to start the second period. Dean then grabbed his third takedown of the night to increase his lead to 7-0 heading into the final period. A final Dean takedown secured the 9-1 win and granted the Nittany Lions a 30-5 lead.

Finally, at heavyweight, No. 1 Greg Kerkvliet faced No. 2 Mason Parris. The first period was nothing but standup grappling between the wrestlers as the match was tied 0-0. An escape from Parris was the only point scored in the second period and despite an escape from Kerkvleit to start the third period, Parris snagged a takedown late into the period to earn a 3-1 victory.

Penn State ultimately won the dual with a final score of 30-8 in its first of two duals hosted in the BJC..

Whats Next?

The Nittany Lions will return to Rec Hall this Sunday, January 22, when they take on Michigan State. The dual will begin at 1 p.m. and will be broadcasted on BTN+.

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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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