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No. 1 Penn State Wrestling Downs No. 2 Iowa 23-14 In BJC Dual

Penn State wrestling (11-0, Big Ten 4-0) took on Iowa (12-1, Big Ten 5-1) in its second Bryce Jordan Center dual of the season Friday.

Huge bouts from Roman Bravo-Young, Levi Haines, Carter Starocci, and Max Dean all proved to be major in the tight dual. The Nittany Lions were down by two heading into intermission but battled back in the latter half of the dual to secure head coach Cael Sanderson’s 100th career Big Ten victory.

How It Happened

Starting off at 125 pounds, Marco Vespa took on No. 1 Spencer Lee. In an insane turn of events, Vespa was the first to strike with a cradle takedown on Lee, going up 2-0. Lee then scored 18 unanswered points to earn the technical fall win, but Vepsa was able to snap Lee’s six-fall streak.

Next up, No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young faced No. 17 Brody Teske. The bout started off slow for the pair, but RBY was up first 2-0 after the first period. The Nittany Lion then tacked on three more points in the second, but he was then able to get the fall with only 14 seconds left in the bout.

At 141 pounds, No. 4 Beau Bartlett saw Stanford transfer No. 2 Real Woods. Woods was first on the board with a takedown, but Bartlett quickly earned the escape to close the gap 2-1. Ultimately, Woods kept up the intensity and closed out the bout with a 4-1 win.

No. 13 Shayne Van Ness was next to the mat against No. 7 Max Murin. Van Ness came out hot, almost earning the takedown, but the score stayed even at 0-0 after the first period. The Nittany Lion then earned an escape, but Murin scored three, and a bonus point of riding time gave the Hawkeyes the 4-1 win.

A last-minute decision at 157 pounds saw No. 9 Levi Haines officially burn his redshirt to wrestle No. 15 Cobe Siebrecht. Haines was first to score in the second with an escape, but Siebrecht came back scoring two points of his own. With less than one minute left in the bout, Haines scored a major takedown and took home the 3-2 decision win.

Iowa led 11-9 heading into intermission.

Coming into the second half, No. 5 Alex Facundo faced No. 13 Patrick Kennedy. There was no score after the first period, but Kennedy was able to score one in the second. Facundo came back getting an escape in the third to even the score 1-1, but it stayed tied through regulation. Neither side could score in the first overtime period, but Kennedy earned an escape in the first tiebreaker period that got him the 2-1 victory.

At 174 pounds, No. 1 Carter Starocci battled No. 15 Nelson Brands. Once again, there was no score in the first period, but Starocci was the first to score with an escape. Brands also got an escape late in the third, but 1:12 of riding time gave Starocci the bonus point 2-1 win.

Heading into the final three bouts, No. 1 Aaron Brooks was up against Drake Rhodes. Brooks was dominant in the first going up 10-2 with a four-count near fall. The second period saw even more success, as Brooks upped the score 18-6 and clinched riding time. He then finished out the bout in the third with a technical fall win by a score of 22-7.

Penn State retook the lead 17-14.

At 197 pounds, a rematch of last season’s NCAA Championship bout was wrestled between No. 4 Max Dean and No. 7 Jacob Warner. No score came from either side came in the first, but an impressive escape from Dean gave him a leg up early in the second. Dean then had a full third-period ride out to secure the 2-0 win.

Penn State led 20-14 heading into the last bout.

The final bout of the night saw No. 2 Greg Kerkvliet and No. 3 Tony Cassioppi face off. Kerkvliet came out blazing with a takedown to get on the board first. Cassioppi then answered with an escape, but Kerkvliet earned almost three minutes of riding time and secured the 4-1 win.

Penn State finished the dual on top with a final score of 23-14.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will travel to Columbus, Ohio to face Ohio State at 7 p.m., February 3, which will serve as the first of three consecutive duals on the road.

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About the Author

Mara McKeon

Mara is a senior staff writer majoring in English and public relations. She loves all things sports and anything that has peanut butter. You can usually find her obsessing over country music or Penn State wrestling and counting down the days until she gets to see Luke Combs in Beaver Stadium. Feel free to reach her on Twitter @MckeonMara, and for more formal affairs, her email is [email protected].

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