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WREST: Lions Send Seven into NCAA Quarterfinals

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March 16, 2017

Photo Gallery  I VIDEO: Session II Highlights & Review

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, winner of five of the last six NCAA Championships, will be atop the team standings after day one at the 2017 NCAA Wrestling Championships in St. Louis. The Nittany Lions, under the guidance of head coach Cael Sanderson, capped off a stellar first day by sending seven of eight competitors into Friday morning's national quarterfinals.

The Nittany Lions end day one with 30.5 points and will lead the team race heading into tomorrow morning's session. At press time, with some consolation matches still ongoing, Ohio State was in second with 26.0 and Oklahoma State third with 24.0. None of the top five teams will be able to catch the Nittany Lions as the first day ends. Sanderson's squad went 7-1 in session two and continued to roll up bonus points. All rankings listed are official tournament seeds.

Senior Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.), unseeded at 141, started the evening session looking to knock off a second seeded wrestler. Gulibon took on No. 4 Matt Kolodzik of Princeton. Kolodzik scored quickly, taking Gulibon down off the whistle for an early 2-0 lead. The Tiger countered a solid Gulibon shot for a second takedown and led 4-1 after the opening period. Kolodzik took down to start the second period and Gulibon maintained control for the entire period and trailed 4-1 after two periods. Gulibon chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 4-2 deficit. The Lion worked for a tying takedown but Kolodzik connected late to ice the bout and take a hard-fought 6-3 decision. The loss moves Gulibon into tomorrow morning's consolation bracket where he will meet Northern Colorado's Timmy Box. Gulibon is still alive for third place after a 1-1 day including a first round tech fall win over the No. 13 seed in session one.

Junior Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), the No. 1 seed at 149, met No. 16 Jordan Laster of Princeton in his second round match-up. Retherford notched an early takedown and spent the rest of the first period controlling Laster on top, turning him once for four back points and leading 6-0 with over 2:00 in riding time after one. The Lion reversed Laster to start the second period and turned him for four more near fall points to lead 12-0 after two. Laster chose down to start the third period and the Lion senior turned Laster one time and ended the match with a 16-0 technical fall at the 5:43 mark. Retherford, 2-0 with two tech falls, moves into tomorrow's quarterfinals against Alex Kocer of South Dakota State.

Sophomore Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), the No. 1 seed at 157, faced off with No. 16 Victor Lopez of Bucknell in the second round. Nolf opened up an early lead on the Bison wrestler, notching two quick takedowns in the first period to lead 4-2 with just over 1:00 left in the opening stanza. Nolf carried a 4-3 lead into the second and then poured on the offense, widening his lead to 11-5 after two periods. The Lion sophomore blazed his way through the third period, posting a handful of takedowns and a two point near fall to up his lead to 19-8. Nolf then added two more takedowns, finished on top and with 2:50 in riding time posted the 24-9 technical fall at the 7:00 mark. Nolf, 2-0 with two tech falls on the day, moves into tomorrow's quarterfinals where he will meet B.J. Clagon or Rider.

Red-shirt freshman Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), the No. 3 seed at 165, met No. 14 Branson Ashworth of Wyoming in round two. Joseph drew first blood with a solid high single that he turned into a takedown and a 2-0 lead. He then controlled the action from the top position and turned Ashworth for four near fall points. He then rode the Wyoming out and carried that lead into the second period. Joseph and Ashworth traded takedowns and the Lion led 8-4 with over 2:00 in time after two periods. He picked up an escape and a takedown in the third period and, with 2:48 in riding time, posted a convincing 12-4 major. Joseph, 2-0 on the day with a major, will take on No. 6 Daniel Lewis of Missouri in the quarterfinals tomorrow morning.

True freshman Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), the No. 5 seed at 174, tangled with Navy's Jadaen Bernstein in the second round. Hall ended the match early. The true freshman took Bernstein down and never let him recover. Leading 2-0 early, Hall used one two point turn and three four-point turns to cruise to a 16-0 technical fall at the 2:20 mark, ending the match with :40 left in the first period. Hall, 2-0 with a tech fall on the day, moves into tomorrow's quarterfinals where he will meet No. 4 Zach Epperly of Virginia Tech.

Sophomore Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), the No. 2 seed at 184, met No. 15 Steven Schneider of Binghamton in round two. The Loin sophomore opened up an early 4-1 lead with two fast takedowns. With 1:30 on the clock, Nickal went to work on top, trying to turn Schneider for near fall. He got the four point turn and led 8-2 with 1:54 in riding time after the opening period. Nickal added a takedown to lead 10-3 with over 2:00 in time after two periods and then ended things early in the third. After action moved neutral, Nickal took Schneider to the mat, locked him up and got the pin at the 5:33 mark. Nickal, 2-0 with a tech fall and a pin, moves into the quarterfinals tomorrow against No. 7 TJ Dudley of Nebraska.

Junior Matt McCutcheon (Apollo, Pa.), the No. 5 seed at 197, battled No. 12 Frank Mattiace of Penn in the second round. McCutcheon worked his way in on an early single and turned it into a takedown and a 2-0 lead at the 1:30 mark. After a quick Mattiace escape, McCutcheon used another textbook single to open up his lead to 4-2 after the opening stanza. Mattiace notched the only points of the second period with an escape. Leading 4-3, McCutcheon chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 5-3 lead, maintaining over 1:00 in riding time. The Lion junior nearly picked up a third takedown but Mattiace fought off the final effort. Still, with riding time, McCutcheon posted a strong 6-3 win, going 2-0 on the day with a pin. McCutcheon moves into tomorrow's quarterfinals where he will meet No. 4 Jared Haught of Virginia Tech.

Sophomore Nick Nevills (Clovis, Calif.), the No. 5 seed at 285, took on No. 12 William Miller of Edinboro in Penn State's final match of the second round and the session. Nevills got in on an early single and, after nearly 1:00 of work, got control of the Scot big man for a takedown and a 2-0 lead at the :53 mark. Nevills rode Miller out to lead 2-0 with :57 in time after the opening period. Miller opted to take down to start the second stanza and, after Nevills tried to turn Miller, the Scot reversed the Lion to tie the bout at 2-2 with 1:00 on the clock. Nevills, however, maintained nearly 2:00 of riding time at that point. Nevills escaped to a 3-2 lead with 1:16 in time after two periods. The Lion answered with his own reversal in the third and led 5-2 with 1:37 in riding time. The Lion sophomore finished on top and, with 2:01 in time, posted the 6-2 decision. Nevills, 2-0 on the day, will face No. 4 Jacob Kasper of Duke in tomorrow's quarterfinals.

Penn State went 7-1 in session two and picked up 7.5 bonus points off a major, three techs and a pin. Penn State went a sizzling 15-1 overall on day one, grabbing 15.5 important bonus points off one major, seven tech falls and two pins. All eight Nittany Lions are still alive as the Nittany Lions look to win their second straight NCAA title, and sixth in the last seven years. Retherford is now tied for 21st all-time at Penn State history with 13 wins in the NCAA tournament. Nickal now has 15 pins this year and is one shy of entering Penn State's top 20 career fall list.

The 2017 NCAA Wrestling Championships continue Friday morning with session three in the Scottrade Center. The session begins at 11 a.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Central and airs live on ESPNU. The three day event continues through Saturday night's NCAA Championship Finals. Friday's session four begins at 8 p.m. Eastern / 7 p.m. Central and airs live on ESPN; Saturday's session five starts at 11 a.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Central and airs live on ESPNU; and Saturday's session six, the championship finals, begins at 8 p.m. Eastern / 7 p.m. Central and airs live on ESPN. ESPN3 will offer live streaming of every single match, on every single mat, throughout the entirety of the tournament. The entire tournament is also being broadcast by the Penn State Wrestling Radio Network, streamed live for free at www.gopsusports.com/collegesportslive/ .

Penn State Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at @pennstateWREST, on Penn State Wrestling's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/pennstatewrest. The 2016-17 Penn State wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline. This is PENN STATE. WRESTLING lives here.

2017 NCAA Championships -- Team Standings (top five) at 9:15 p.m. EASTERN, during session 2:
(NOTE: Consolation action was still occurring at press time but PSU cannot be caught for the lead heading into day two)
March 16, 2017 -- Scottrade Center -- St. Louis, Mo.

1: PENN STATE -- 30.5
2: Ohio State -- 26.0
3: Oklahoma State -- 24.0
4: Iowa -- 22.5
5: Missouri -- 20.0

Weight-by-weight agate (rankings listed are official tournament seed)

125: #3 Nick Suriano, Fr. -- Did not compete/withdrew

Penn State announced on Wednesday that true freshman Nick Suriano (Paramus, N.J.), the No. 3 seed at 125, would not be able to compete due to an injury (and does not record a loss). Suriano entered the tournament as an at-large bid after taking an injury forfeit at the Big Ten Championships. Suriano ends his season with a 16-3 record (the last two losses by injury default). He was ranked as high as No. 2 nationally before suffering an injury in Penn State's final dual meet of the season.

141: Jimmy Gulibon, Sr. --

Rd. 1: vs. #13 Javier Gasca, Michigan State -- W, 18-3 (TF; 7:00)
Rd. 2: vs. #4 Matt Kolodzik, Princeton -- L, 3-6 dec.
Con 2: vs. Timmy Box, Northern Colorado -- tomorrow

Senior Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.), a 2015 All-American at 133 and unseeded this year at 141, took on No. 13 Javier Gasca of Michigan State in the opening round. Gulibon started quickly, taking Gasca down twice in the first period, picking up an escape on an injury restart to lead 5-0 with :58 riding time after the opening period. The Lion senior continued his dominance in the second stanza, adding a takedown and two near fall points to lead 9-0. Looking for bonus points, Gulibon tacked on four bonus points and, with 3:26 in riding time, notched a dominating 18-3 technical fall at the 7:00 mark.

FOR TONIGHT'S ACTION, SEE ABOVE STORY

149: #1 Zain Retherford, Jr. --

Rd. 1: vs. Joshua Maruca, Arizona State -- W, 18-2 (TF; 4:55)
Rd. 2: vs. No. 16 Jordan Laster, Princeton -- W, 16-0 (TF; 5:43)
Qtrs: vs. Alex Kocer, South Dakota State -- tomorrow

Junior Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), two-time All-American and last year's NCAA Champion at 149, entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed. Retherford took on Arizona State's Joshua Maruca in the opening round. Retherford took the Sun Devil down quickly, getting two near fall points in an opening flurry to lead 4-0 out of the gates. Retherford picked up two more takedowns and four near fall points to lead 12-2 after one. Retherford reversed Maruca to start the second period and rolled his way to an 18-2 technical fall at the 4:55 mark.

FOR TONIGHT'S ACTION, SEE ABOVE STORY

157: #1 Jason Nolf, So. --

Rd. 1: vs. Thomas Bullard, North Carolina St. -- W, 22-7 (TF; 7:00)
Rd. 2: vs. #16 Victor Lopez, Bucknell -- W, 24-9 (TF; 7:00)
Qtrs: vs. B.J. Clagon, Rider -- tomorrow

Sophomore Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), the No. 1 seed at 157 and an NCAA Finalist and All-American last year, took on Thomas Bullard of North Carolina State in the opening round. Nolf notched four first period takedowns and picked up a stall point to lead 9-3 after three minutes. He continued his dominance in the second period and led 12-4 heading into the third period. Nolf escaped to start the third and then tacked on a handful of takedowns and, with a ride out and 1:11 in riding time, posted the 22-7 tech fall at the 7:00 mark.

FOR TONIGHT'S ACTION, SEE ABOVE STORY

165: #3 Vincenzo Joseph, Fr. --

Rd. 1: vs. Keaton Subjeck, Stanford -- W, 5-1 dec.
Rd. 2: vs. #14 Branson Ashworth, Wyoming -- W, 12-4 maj. dec.
Qtrs: vs. #6 Daniel Lewis, Missouri -- tomorrow

Red-shirt freshman Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), the No. 3 seed at 165, faced off against Stanford's Keaton Subjeck in the first round. Looking to avenge a loss to Subjeck in Rec Hall in November, Joseph battled Subjeck through a scoreless first period. The Lion freshman chose down to start the second stanza and escaped quickly. He added a late takedown and ride out to lead 3-0 after two periods. Subjeck escaped in the third but Joseph ended the match on top with another takedown and ride out to post the strong 5-1 win.

FOR TONIGHT'S ACTION, SEE ABOVE STORY

174: #5 Mark Hall, Fr. --

Rd. 1: vs. David Kocer, South Dakota State -- W, 8-2 dec.
Rd. 2: vs. Jadaen Bernstein, Navy -- W, 16-0 (TF; 2:20)
Qtrs: vs. #4 Zach Epperly, Virginia Tech -- tomorrow

True freshman Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), the No. 5 seed at 174 and one of two true freshmen in Penn State's line-up, met David Kocer of South Dakota State in round one. Hall notched the first takedown and nearly locked up a cradle in the process but settled for a 2-0 lead. The true freshman then controlled Kocer for the next minute plus to lead 2-1 after one stanza. The second period featured an escape from Hall and Kocer answered with an escape of his own to start the third, setting up a 3-2 score in Hall's favor with 1:45 left to wrestle. Hall iced the match with a takedown and the :40 mark. He then turned Kocer for two back points, finished on top and tacked on 1:36 in riding time to post a strong 8-2 decision.

FOR TONIGHT'S ACTION, SEE ABOVE STORY

184: #2 Bo Nickal, So. --

Rd. 1: vs. Mitch Sliga, Northwestern -- W, 15-0 (TF; 3:20)
Rd. 2: vs. #15 Steven Schneider, Binghamton -- WBF (5:33)
Qtrs: vs. #7 TJ Dudley, Nebraska -- tomorrow

Sophomore Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), the No. 2 seed at 184 and an NCAA Finalist and All-American at 174 a year ago, took on Mitch Sliga of Northwestern in the first round. Nickal took Sliga down quickly, opening up a 2-0 lead in the first minute. Nickal turned Sliga for four once, then reset and turned him again for four more to lead 10-0, then again for two to lead 12-0 with 2:20 in riding time after one period. Nickal escaped to start the second stanza and then ended the match with a final takedown, posting a 15-0 technical fall at the 3:20 mark.

FOR TONIGHT'S ACTION, SEE ABOVE STORY

197: #5 Matt McCutcheon, Jr. --

Rd. 1: vs. Christian Brunner, Purdue -- WBF (1:53)
Rd. 2: vs. #12 Frank Mattiace, Penn -- W, 6-3 dec.
Qtrs: vs. #4 Jared Haught, Virginia Tech -- tomorrow

Junior Matt McCutcheon (Apollo, Pa.), the No. 5 seed at 197 and a three-time NCAA qualifier, battled Christian Brunner of Purdue in the opening round. McCutcheon got in on an early first period single and Brunner forced a scramble in the middle of the mat. The Lion junior worked his way into control, getting Brunner's back to the mat. McCutcheon worked his ankle free of Brunner's hold and then forced the Boilermaker flat for a first period pin at the 1:53 mark, Penn State's first fall of the tournament.

FOR TONIGHT'S ACTION, SEE ABOVE STORY

285: #5 Nick Nevills, So. -- 3rd seed --

Rd. 1: vs. Doug Vollaro, Lehigh -- W, 4-2 dec.
Rd. 2: vs. #12 William Miller, Edinboro -- W, 6-2 dec.
Qtrs: #4 Jacob Kasper, Duke -- tomorrow

Sophomore Nick Nevills (Clovis, Calif.), the No. 5 seed at 285, battled Lehigh's Doug Vollaro in the first round. The Lion sophomore battled Vollaro through a scoreless first period and then escaped quickly to start the second period to lead 1-0. Vollaro took Nevills down and the Lion quickly escaped, knotting the score at 2-2 after two periods. Vollaro chose neutral to start the third period and Nevills took advantage. The Lion sophomore got in on a low single, Vollaro tried to counter and Nevills worked his way into control and a 4-2 lead with :40 left. Nevills then broke the Mountain Hawk down and finished on top to post a hard-fought 4-2 win and finish off Penn State's perfect first round.

FOR TONIGHT'S ACTION, SEE ABOVE STORY


 

 

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