No. 1 Penn State in First After Day One of 2013 Southern Scuffle
Jan. 1, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, ranked No. 1 in the latest Intermat TPI, used 11 pins to leap into the lead after the first day of the 2013 Southern Scuffle. Head coach Cael Sanderson's won 43 bouts on the day, 24 by bonus, and advanced six wrestlers into tomorrow's semifinals.
Penn State sent a total of 17 wrestlers into action at the Scuffle (15 scoring and two unattached). Heading into day two, 15 of those 17 wrestlers remain alive as the Nittany Lions look to claim their third straight Scuffle title. Penn State is in first with 102.0 points, followed by Minnesota in second with 94.0 and Oklahoma State in third with 89.5
The Nittany Lions entered the tournament with nine seeded wrestlers plus an unattached grappler being seeded. All-American Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.) was the top seed at 125, senior James English (York, Pa.) was the 10th-seed at 149, junior James Vollrath (Richboro, Pa.) was the 5th-seed at 157 and All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) was the 2nd-seed at 165.
Sophomore Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah) was the 3rd-seed at 174, All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) was the top-seed at 184, All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) was the top-seed at 197, sophomore Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.) was the 6th-seed at 285 and classmate Jon Gingrich (Wingate, Pa.) was the 7th-seed at 285. True freshman Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.), wrestling unattached at 133, was the 6th-seed.
Penn State opened the tournament in outstanding fashion, posting a nearly perfect mark through the first round. With Megaludis and starting 133-pounder Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.) getting byes, Penn State still racked up big wins. Ten of Penn State's first round wins were of the bonus point variety. The Nittany Lions' two unattached wrestlers, true freshmen Gulibon and Zack Beitz (Mifflintown, Pa.) went 2-0 as well with Gulibon posting a tech fall. Overall, all 15 Nittany Lions (including Gulibon and Beitz) went 15-1 with six pins, two techs and three majors.
The Nittany Lions then put together a strong second round, pushing a total of 12 wrestlers through to the quarterfinals (11 attached and one unattached). Penn State entered the quarterfinals with a 28-5 overall mark with nine pins, three techs and five majors.
Megaludis was first up for Penn State at 125. Ranked No. 2 nationally, Megaludis made short work of American's David Terao, rolling to a 9-3 win. The Lion went 2-0 on the day and will wrestle in tomorrow's semifinals. At 133, Conaway nearly upset No. 16 George DiCamillo of Virginia, just missing out on a late takedown before losing 6-5. Conaway went 1-1 in day one and wrestles in consolations tomorrow. Gulibon dropped a 9-5 decision to #7 Jon Morrison of Oklahoma State. Gulibon went 2-1 with two tech falls and wrestles in consolations tomorrow.
English took on No. 1 Jordan Oliver of Oklahoma State and dropped a tough 12-6 decision. English was 2-1 on the day with a pin and is in action tomorrow in consolations. Red-shirt freshman Luke Frey (Montoursville, Pa.) battled No. 2 Dylan Ness of Minnesota tough as well, losing 9-4. Frey is also 2-1 with two majors and in action tomorrow. At 157, Vollrath continued a strong run, posting an 11-3 major over Matthew Frisch of the Citadel to advance to the semis. Vollrath was 3-0 with two majors on the day.
Second-ranked Taylor capped off a blistering first day by pinning Army's Paul Hancock at the 4:39 mark to advance to the semifinals. Taylor went 3-0 with two pins and a tech fall on day one of the Scuffle. No.3 Brown was dominant in the quarters at 174, posting a 17-8 major over No. 20 Cody Walters of Ohio. Brown went 3-0 to advance to the semifinals with two pins and a major. No.1 Ed Ruth capped off a stellar first day by majoring Virginia's Stephen Doty 13-4 to move to the semifinals. Ruth had Penn State's only pigtail and went 4-0 on the day with three pins and a major.
No. 3 Quentin Wright advanced to the semis at 197, downing Duke's Conner Hartmann 9-2 in the quarters. Wright was 3-0 with a pin on the day. Penn State had two heavyweights in the quarters. Lawson took No. 3 Alan Gelogaev of Oklahoma State and dropped a hard-fought 8-1 decision. Lawson continues on in consolation action after a 2-1 day. Gingrich took No. 2 Dom Bradley of Missouri to the wire, nearly pulling off the upset before falling 3-2. Gingrich went 2-1 on the day and continues on tomorrow in consolation action.
In the evening's consolation action, Penn State was equally impressive. Senior 141-pounder Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) bounced back from a second round loss to win two straight consolation bouts with a pin and a medical forfeit. Pearsall is 3-1 overall and continues on tomorrow. Beitz came back from a second round loss to win two as well. He posts a 3-1 mark as well and wrestles tomorrow morning.
Senior Nick Fischer (Unionville, Pa.) also responded after a second round loss and picked up two consolation wins. Fischer went 3-1 on day one with a major and continues on tomorrow. Red-shirt freshman James Frascella (Carmel, Ind.) lost his first round match at 174 then split his two consolation bouts. Frascella went 1-2 in his first trip to the Scuffle, including a major decision. Sophomore Nick Ruggear (Oxford, Pa.) made his season debut at 285. After a first round pin, Ruggear dropped his second round bout but then rebounded to split consolation bouts before bowing out. Ruggear went 2-2 with a pin and a major in his first action of the season.
Penn State went 6-6 in the quarterfinals, giving the Nittany Lions six wrestlers in tomorrow's semifinals. Overall, Penn State ended day one with, including unattached wrestlers, a 41-13 record with 11 pins, nine majors, three tech falls and a forfeit victory.
Penn State continues action in the Southern Scuffle beginning tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. Penn State's next home dual is set for Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013, when Michigan State invades Rec Hall for a 2 p.m. meeting. Penn State's full season of home duals is sold out but limited Standing Room Only tickets are available for select dual meets. For information on which duals have a limited number of SRO tickets available and to purchase tickets, fans can call 1-800-NITTANY or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office windows from 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at www.twitter.com/pennstateWREST and on Penn State Wrestling's facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling. The 2012-13 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.