Nittany Lions Advance Four to National Quarterfinals at 2010 NCAA Wrestling Championships
March 18, 2010
OMAHA, Neb. - The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, under the guidance of head coach Cael Sanderson, had an outstanding first day of the 2010 NCAA Wrestling Championships at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Nebraska. The Nittany Lions advanced four wrestlers to the national quarterfinals and, despite having only six grapplers competing, find themselves in tenth place with all six grapplers still alive in the tournament.
Mirroring the morning session, unseeded junior Brad Pataky (Clearfield, Pa.) got the Nittany Lions off to a hot start with another win over a seeded wrestler. Pataky used a takedown in the first ten seconds to work his way to a 3-2 win over No.8 Matt Steintrager of Central Michigan at 125. Pataky's win moves him into tomorrow morning's quarterfinals against No. 1 Angel Escobedo of Indiana. Sophomore Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.), the No. 5 seed, followed that with an 8-0 major over Pitt's Eric Albright at 149, moving into the quarters tomorrow to meet Edinboro's Torsten Gillespie.
Senior Cyler Sanderson (Heber City, Utah), fourth-seed at 157, posted a 4-2 decision over Virginia's Dan Gonsor and will face American's Steve Fittery, the No. 5 seed, in the quarterfinals tomorrow morning. Classmate Dan Vallimont (Lake Hopatcong, N.J.), the No. 6 seed at 165, continued his strong day with Penn State's second major of the session. Vallimont posted a 9-0 major over No. 11 Rick Schmulyen of Bloomsburg and will take on Stanford's Nick Amuchastegui in the quarterfinals.
Senior David Erwin (Urbana, Ohio) was scrambling for a takedown against No. 6 Max Askren of Missouri when the Tiger countered the shot, forced a scramble and worked his way into a cradle. The move led to an Askren pin at the 3:51 mark and sends Erwin into tomorrow morning's consolation round. Sophomore heavyweight Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) downed Eastern Michigan's David Wade 1-0 in the first round of wrestle backs and will take on No. 8 seed Ryan Tomei of Pittsburgh in tomorrow morning's consolations.
With four quarterfinalists, the Nittany Lions trail only Iowa (8), Oklahoma State (5) and Iowa State (5) in number of quarterfinalists. Boise State, like Penn State, has four as well. The Nittany Lions went 10-2 on the day, an outstanding start to the three day tournament. Iowa leads the team race with 34.5 points points, followed by Oklahoma State in second with 26.. Penn State is tied for tenth with 17.0 points (along with Central Michigan, Lehigh and Virginia).
The tournament continues tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. Central/10:30 a.m. Eastern with the quarterfinals and two rounds of consolation action. Penn State's action in the tourney will be aired live on Forever Broadcasting's WRSC?(1390 AM) and on www.GoPSUsports.com as well. The 2009-10 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.
Bout-by-bout Recap and Agate
The following is a weight-by-weight breakdown of Penn State's opening round match-ups with seeds and overall records heading into the tournament.
125: Brad Pataky, Jr. (Clearfield, Pa.), 28-8 overall
Rd. 1: W, 6-4 dec. #9 Jarrod Patterson, Oklahoma
Junior Brad Pataky took on No. 8 seed Matt Steintrager of Central Michigan in the second round. Pataky wasted no time in taking a 2-0 lead, with a takedown in the first five minutes. Steintrager escaped to a 2-1 deficit and action returned to the center circle at the 2:30 mark. The duo then battled evenly for the remainder of the period. Leading 2-1, Pataky chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 3-1 lead. The Nittany Lion junior then worked himself into a deep low single, looking to add a second takedown to his tally. But Steintrager was able to force a reset and keep the bout close with :38 left in the middle period. Trailing 3-1, Steintrager chose down to start the third period. Pataky was able to maintain control of Steintrager for :30 before picking up a first stall warning. After a reset, Pataky kept control of Steintrager until the 1:16 mark, building up a :43 riding time edge while leading 3-2. Pataky fought off a late Steintrager shot with just :10 left to get the 3-2 win, notching his second straight win over a seeded wrestler.
149: Frank Molinaro, So. (Barnegat, N.J.), #5 seed, 31-5 overall
Rd. 1: W, 9-4 dec. Donald Vinson, Binghamton
Fifth-seed Frank Molinaro met Pitt's Eric Albright in the second round. Neither wrestler managed a scoring chance until the :30 mark, when Molinaro slipped behind Albright for a go-ahead takedown. The Nittany Lion All-American then rode Albright out to carry that 2-0 lead into the second period. Molinaro chose down to start the second and worked his way to an escape and a 3-0 lead with 1:28 on the clock. Molinaro added a second takedown on a high double with :50 on the clock, moving out in front 5-0. A Molinaro ride out gave the Nittany Lion a 5-0 lead heading into the final period. Albright chose neutral to start the third period, but Molinaro was too strong for the Panther as the Lion added a late takedown at the :08 mark and, with the riding time point, got an 8-0 major decision to move into tomorrow's quarterfinals.
157: Cyler Sanderson, Sr. (Heber City, Utah), #4 seed, 30-4 overall
Rd. 1: W, 16-12 dec. Bryan Deutsch, Northern Illinois
No. 4 seed Cyler Sanderson battled Virginia's Dan Gonsor in the second round. Sanderson wasted no time in breaking open a lead, getting a takedown at the 2:38 mark. Sanderson rode Gonsor for 1:06 before the Cavalier escaped to a 2-1 deficit. Neither wrestler scored over the final 2:00 of the period, giving Sanderson a 2-1 lead after one period. Sanderson chose down to start the second period but could not work his way free of a strong Gonsor ride. Gonsor rode Sanderson for the entire period and entered the third trailing 2-1 but with :54 riding time to his advantage. Trailing by one, Gonsor chose neutral to start the third period. Sanderson had the answer with a swift side-stepping single leg that led to a takedown and a 4-1 lead with 1:01 on the clock. Sanderson was able to maintain control of Gonsor until the :02 mark. The late Gonsor escape meant Sanderson posted a 4-2 decision and moves into tomorrow's quarterfinals.
165: Dan Vallimont, Sr. (Lake Hopatcong, N.J.), #6 seed, 28-7 overall
Rd. 1: W, 8-3 dec. Matt Epperly, Virginia Tech
No. 6 seed Dan Vallimont met No. 11 Matt Schmulyen of Bloomsburg in the second round. Vallimont wasted no time in breaking out to a 2-0 lead, taking Schmulyen down at the 2:51 mark. Vallimont then put together a strong ride, maintaining control of the Husky grappler and working for a chance to turn him for back points. While not turning Schmulyen, the ride out allowed Vallimont to lead 2-0 with 2:51 in riding time after a strong opening period. Vallimont chose down to start the second and quickly escaped to a 3-0 lead. The Nittany Lion senior then added a second takedown at the 1:22 mark, moving out to a 5-0 lead. Vallimont then dominated the Husky from the top position, building up more than 4:00 in riding time with another ride-out. Vallimont led 5-0 after two periods and had the riding time point secured. Schmulyen chose neutral to start the final period. Vallimont spend the next :30 working for another takedown, but action moved out of bounds and a reset was called at the 1:14 mark. Vallimont picked up a point on a Schmulyen stall and then added another takedown with :33 left to move out to an 8-0 lead. The Nittany Lion All-American continued his dominance on top, with another ride out, coasting to a 9-0 major and moving into tomorrow's quarterfinals.
184: David Erwin, Sr. (Urbana, Ohio), #11 seed, 30-9 overall
Rd. 1: W, 4-0 dec. Erich Schmidtke, Oklahoma
Senior David Erwin, the No. 11 seed at 184, met No. 6 Max Askren of Missouri in the second round. Erwin shot quickly out of the gates, looking to take a quick lead. Askren was able to back out of bounds and keep things scoreless and action returned to the center circle. Erwin's early shot was the first period's only real scoring opportunity and the bout moved to the second stanza tied 0-0. Askren chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. But Erwin shot after the escape, gaining control of Askren's foot. Askren countered the shot and worked his way into a scramble. The Tiger then completed a cradle, putting Erwin to his back and getting the pin at the 3:51 mark. The loss sends Erwin into tomorrow morning's consolation round.
HWT: Cameron Wade, So. (Twinsburg, Ohio) 21-10 overall
Rd. 1: L, 1-3 (SV) #3 Zach Rey, Lehigh
Sophomore heavyweight Cameron Wade, Penn State's only wrestler in consolation action in session two, took on Eastern Michigan's David Wade in the opening round of wrestle-backs. Cameron took numerous early shots, but David was able to step back from each shot to keep the bout scoreless through the opening period. EMU's Wade chose neutral to start the second stanza, looking to stay away from Cameron's ride. The Lion continued to shoot, mostly at the Eagle's right leg. But each time, the EMU grappler was able to play defense and keep Cameron from getting a takedown. Another scoreless period kept the score at 0-0 and Wade chose down to start the final stanza. A quick escape gave the Nittany Lion a 1-0 lead and the duo continued to trade shots, with neither man finding an opening. Wade was able to kill the clock defensively and post the 1-0 decision, moving into tomorrow's conso action.