Nittany Lions Hammer No. 24 Lehigh 29-6 in Season Opener
Nov. 16, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State wrestling team, holding the No. 1 spot on Intermat's TPI, hammered No. 24 Lehigh in the 2012-13 season opener for the team. The Nittany Lions, under the direction of head coach Cael Sanderson, won eight of ten bouts on their way to a 29-6 win.
All-American Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 125, go the season off to a hot start for Penn State with a dominating 19-4 technical fall over Lehigh's Alex Abreu (5:07). Red-shirt freshman Jordan Conaway (Abottstown, Pa.) made his Penn State dual meet debut with a superb 3-2 decision over Lehigh's Laike Gardner at 133, followed by senior Bryan Pearsall's (Lititz, Pa.) 7-6 win over LU's Anthony Salupo. Senior James English (York, Pa.) got the call at 149 for Penn State and posted thrilling 5-2 upset over No. 18 Shane Welsh. The Lions' bid for a 5-0 start to the dual was stopped when No. 13 Joey Napoli upset No. 2 Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) 4-2 at 157. The Nittany Lions carried a 14-3 lead into the halftime break.
Defending national champion David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) opened up the second half in fine fashion with a 20-5 technical fall over Lehigh's Eric Hess. Sophomore Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 4 at 174, then majored No. 18 Nathaniel Brown 12-1. Top-ranked 184-pounder Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), the defending national champion at 174, then beat No. 3 Robert Hamlin of Lehigh in the evening's marquee bout. Ruth posted a thrilling 11-9 win. Three-time All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), ranked No. 3 up at his new weight of 197, downed John Bolich and Lehigh's Jack Delia downed Nittany Lion sophomore Jon Gingrich (Wingate, Pa.) in the bout's final match-up.
The Nittany Lions won eight of ten bouts and dominated the takedown war 28-6. The Nittany Lions owned a gaudy 40-6 point advantage in the third period alone, thanks in large part to a 12-1 third period takedown edge. Penn State is now 1-0 on the year while Lehigh falls to 1-1.
The Nittany Lions head to Morgantown, W.Va., for a battle with the West Virginia Mountaineers on Sunday, Nov. 18, at 2 p.m. Penn State's next home dual is set for Sunday, Dec. 9, when the Indiana Hoosiers come to town 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.
133: Red-shirt freshman Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.) made his Penn State dual meet debut against Lehigh's Laike Gardner at 133. Neither wrestler found an opening to score in during the first period and the freshman duo went to the second period scoreless. Gardner chose down to start the second period and escaped to a 1-0 lead just :19 into the period. Conaway got hit with a stall warning at the :45 mark and then used a quick low single to force a scramble with :25 on the clock. Gardner fought off the move, though, and kept his 1-0 lead heading into the third. Conaway chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 1-1 tie. Conaway got in on another single leg and forced another scramble, this time with 1:10 left to wrestle. Gardner was able to fight off the attempt again and the bout remained tied 1-1 with :43 on the clock. Conaway gained control of Gardner's waist and leg and forced the Mountaineer's hands to the mat, picking up a takedown with just :07 on the clock. Gardner scrambled to an escape but Conaway's late score gave the Lion a thrilling 3-2 win.
141: Senior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) faced off against Mountain Hawk Anthony Salupo at 141. Salupo had the first scoring chance of the bout, gaining control of Pearsall's ankle early, but the veteran Lion deftly forced a stalemate to keep the bout scoreless at the first period's midway point. Salupo used a strong high double to take Pearsall to the mat and lead 2-1 after a quick Lion escape with :40 left in the period. Salupo would carry that lead into the second stanza. Salupo chose down to start the second and escaped to a 3-1 lead. But Pearsall quickly gained control of the Mountain Hawk, turning a single leg into a takedown and a 3-3 tie with 1:15 on the clock. Pearsall rode Salupo long enough to build up a minute's worth of riding time before he escaped to a 4-3 lead with :08 left in the period. Pearsall chose down to start the third period and nearly worked his way into a cradle on a reversal. But action was stopped with Salupo still in control. Pearsall escaped to a 4-4 tie with 1:10 left to wrestle. He then turned a single leg shot into a low ankle pick and took a 6-4 lead with a takedown at the :40 mark. Pearsall then upped his riding time edge to over a minute. He gave up a stall point, Salupo escaped but Pearsall's 1:09 riding time gave the Lion a thrilling 7-6 win.
149: With No. 6 Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) not wrestling in the opener, talented senior James English (York, Pa.) got the nod at 149 and met No. 18 Shane Welsh of Lehigh. The duo battled through an even first period with neither wrestler breaking through the other's defense. Tied 0-0 after three minutes of wrestling, English chose down to start the second period. He worked his way to an escape at the 1:07 mark to take a 1-0 lead. The final minute was wrestled even and Pearsall led by one after two periods. Welsh chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 1-1 tie. English connected on a high single and nearly scored, but Welsh scrambled his way into a stalemate and the bout remained tied with :42 left on the clock. Welsh shot high, but English countered, gained control of the Mountain Hawks foot and took him down. Welsh escaped but English then bulled his way through another late takedown and posted the convincing 5-2 win.
157: All-American Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 157, took on No. 13 Joey Napoli in one of the dual's marquee match-ups. Alton set the temp early, steadily working his way into an offensive opening. The Lion sophomore used a low single leg to force a scramble but Napoli was able to counter to a stalemate with 1:00 left in the opening period. Alton scrambled his way to a go-ahead takedown with :05 on the clock to lead 2-0 after one period. Napoli chose down to start the second period and escaped to a 2-1 deficit. He then forced a scramble on the edge of the mat and got the takedown with :45 left, taking a 3-2 lead. Alton nearly picked up a reversal but Napoli was able to hold on and kill the clock to lead 3-2 heading into the final period. Alton chose down to start the third period and Napoli worked a ride long enough to build up over a minute's worth of riding time. He then continued his ride long enough to clinch the riding time point and continued it for the rest of the period to grab the 4-2 win with 2:35 in riding time.
165: Defending National Champion David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) met Lehigh freshman Eric Hess at 165. A quick ankle pick put Taylor up 2-0 at the 2:35 mark. He quickly turned Hess to his back for three near fall points, taking a 5-0 lead with 1:15 on the clock. Taylor maintained his control of Hess for the entire period and carried that lead, and 2:29 in riding time, into the second period. Taylor chose down to start the second period. He deftly picked up a reversal and then added two back points to lead 9-0 before cutting Hess loose to a 9-1 lead. Taylor began piling up the takedowns, picking up two more takedowns to lead 13-2 with :30 on the clock. The two-time All-American picked up a point on two Hess stalls and led 14-2 after three periods. Hess chose down and was allowed to escape by Taylor. Taylor then took Hess down quickly, using a low ankle pick. He then added on a flurry of takedowns to post the 20-5 tech fall at the 5:46 mark.
174: Sophomore Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 4 at 174, met No. 18 Nathaniel Brown of Lehigh. Nathaniel had the first solid scoring chance of the bout, but Matt was able to force a stalemate and keep the bout scoreless midway through the first period. Matt rolled through a slight Lehigh shot and bulled his way to a takedown and a 2-0 lead with just under a minute left. Brown nearly worked his way into a cradle at the period's end but action moved out of bounds and the Nittany Lion led 2-0 with :59 riding time after one. Matt chose down to start the second period and quickly reversed Nathaniel to up his lead to 4-0 and up his riding time edge to a minute-plus. Matt led 5-0 after Nathaniel gave up a stall point. He then cut the Mountain Hawk loose and picked up another point on another Lehigh stall. Matt then used a solid low single to add a late takedown and led 8-1 after two periods. Nathaniel chose down to start the final period and escaped to an 8-2 lead but Matt still had 2:30 in riding time. Nathaniel gave up another stall point and Matt then turned a low shot into a takedown and a 12-2 major with 2:35 in riding time.
184: Defending 174-pound National Champion Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at his new weight of 184, met No. 3 Robert Hamlin in one of the dual's most anticipated match-ups. Ruth wasted no time in getting his first takedown at 184 this year, using a fast double leg to take a 2-0 lead early. Hamlin escaped quickly but Ruth continued to pressure the Mountain Hawk, gaining control with a high single leg and rolling to a second takedown to lead 4-1 with 1:20 on the clock. Hamlin escaped with 1:05 left in the period but Ruth was relentless, using a fast low shot to trip Hamlin up, taking a 6-2 lead with :40 on the clock. Hamlin added a late escape but Ruth carried a 6-3 lead with 1:03 RT into the second period. Ruth chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 7-3 lead. He added a fourth takedown and led 9-4 after a quick Hamlin escape. Ruth tried a low under hook that Hamlin was able to slide behind, allowing the Mountain Hawk to get his first takedown and cut the lead to 10-6 after a quick Ruth escape. Hamlin added a second takedown and Ruth escaped quickly, sending the match to the third period with Ruth up 11-8 with :36 in riding time. Hamlin chose down to start the third and escaped to an 11-9 Ruth lead. Ruth shot low and Hamlin countered to gain control of Ruth's leg, but the Nittany Lion stepped out of trouble and maintained his 11-9 lead with :37 on the clock. Hamlin shot high, gaining control of Ruth's legs, nearly tying the bout with :20 left. But Ruth was able to work his way out of bounds to force a reset and grab the 11-9 win.
197: Three-time All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), ranked No. 3 at his new weight of 197, met Lehigh's John Bolich. Neither wrestler was able to find an opening to score in the opening stanza and the bout was knotted at 0-0 after three minutes of wrestling. Wright chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. Wright got the first takedown of the bout, countering a Bolich shot, to lead 3-0 at the :50 mark. Bolich escaped but Wright quickly added another takedown and led 5-1 with :20 on the clock. Bolich chose down to start the final period but Wright was able to maintain control and build up over a minute's worth of riding time. Bolich escaped to a 5-2 Wright lead with 1:15 on the clock only to be taken down by quick low single by the Lion senior. Leading 7-2, Wright cut Bolich loose to a 7-3 lead and began working for more points. The Lion picked up the takedown with a low double on the edge of the mat and led 9-3 with :21 left. Wright cut Bolich loose but was unable to finish off the major. The 1:44 riding time edge gave Wright the 10-4 win.
285: Sophomore Jon Gingrich (Wingate, Pa.) took to the mat at heavyweight, facing off against LU's Jack Delia. Gingrich and Delia wrestled through a scoreless two minutes before Delia turned a single leg into a takedown and a 2-0 lead. Gingrich quickly escaped however, and trailed 2-1 after three minutes of wrestling. Delia chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 3-1 lead. Gingrich fought off a Delia shot and was able to keep the lead to just two points heading into the final stanza. Trailing 3-1, Gingrich chose down to start the third period. Gingrich quickly escaped to a 3-2 deficit and then turned into the action in the center of the mat. The Lion sophomore took a number of shots that Delia was able to step away from. He slipped to the ground on a shot at the :40 mark and Delia was able to counter for a takedown and a 5-3 lead with :30 on the clock after Gingrich escaped. Delia held on for the 5-3 win.