Penn State Wrestlers Open Season with 34-8 win at Rider
Nov. 16, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, ranked No. 1 nationally in Intermat's Tournament Power Index, opened up the 2013-14 dual meet season with a convincing 34-8 win over Rider in a Comcast Sports Network national telecast. Wrestled in front of a sold out crowd, head coach Cael Sanderson's squad won eight of ten bouts to roll to the victory.
Two-time All-American Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), ranked No. 3 at 125, got Penn State off to a hot start, posting a strong 5-0 win over No. 17 Robert Deutsch in the dual's first bout. Sophomore national qualifier Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.) then used four third period takedowns to roll to a 12-4 major over Rider's Chuck Zeisloft at 133, giving Penn State an early 7-0 lead.
True freshman Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.) made his Penn State dual meet debut in fine fashion, dominating Rider's Paulie Kirchner at 141. Retherford used two late third period takedowns to roll to a 12-3 major and up Penn State's lead to 11-0. Rider then got on the board when Bronc Curt Delia got a late takedown in extra time to post a 6-4 (sv) win over Nittany Lion James English (York, Pa.) at 149. Senior James Vollrath (Richboro, Pa.) got Penn State back in the win column with a strong 10-2 major over Rider's Wayne Stinson. Vollrath racked up 2:53 in riding time in the win, putting Penn State up 15-3 at intermission.
Three-time All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), ranked No. 1 at 165 continued to add to his pin total, this time dominating No. 13 Ramon Santiago and getting a second period fall at the 4:27 mark. The pin was Taylor's fifth in six bouts this year and the 42nd of his career, putting him just 11 shy of tying the all-time Penn State career record of 53. Junior All-American Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 3 at 174, followed Taylor's pin up with one of his own. Brown quickly turned Rider's Conor Brennan to his back for a first period pin at the 1:14 mark, putting the Nittany Lions up 27-3.
Rider cut into Penn State's lead as Clint Morrison posted a 16-2 technical fall over Lion sophomore James Frascella (Carmel, Ind.) at 184. But Penn State quickly answered. Sophomore Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.), ranked No. 4 at 197, returned to dual meet action after a red-shirt season and posted a convincing 8-2 win over Rider junior Donald McNeil. Junior Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.), ranked No. 11 at heavyweight, closed out the dual meet with a convincing 10-2 major over Rider's Greg Velasco. The win gave Penn State the 34-8 season opening win.
Penn State won the takedown battle 29-5 and amassed ten bonus points off two pins and four majors, winning eight of ten bouts.
The Nittany Lions moved to 1-0 on the year while Rider falls to 2-1. Penn State will visit Lehigh on Sunday for a 3 p.m. dual meet. Penn State then returns to action next weekend for the home opener on Sunday, Nov. 24, against Lock Haven. The dual starts at 2 p.m. in Rec Hall and will be preceded by the raising of the 2013 Big Ten and NCAA title banners. The dual meet, as is every home dual for the Nittany Lions, is sold out. As of press time, less than 80 Standing Room Only tickets remain.
With the full season of Rec Hall duals sold out prior to the start of the campaign, a very limited number of standing room only tickets are available to a few of the seven Rec Hall duals. Also, there are still tickets available for Penn State's Dec. 8 dual against Pitt in the Bryce Jordan Center. People may purchase tickets by calling 1-800-NITTANY or by visiting the Penn State Athletics ticket office located in the BJC. 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 2013-14 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.
#1 Penn State 34, Rider 8
133: Sophomore Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.) took on Rider's Chuck Zeisloft at 133. Conaway a '13 National Qualifier, fought off an early Zeisloft shot to keep the bout scoreless halfway through the opening stanza. The Nittany Lion sophomore then began to set the tempo, forcing the Bronc wrestler to the outside circle. Conaway chose down after a scoreless first period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. Conaway continued to be the aggressor with Zeisloft backing away throughout the second period. Conaway connected on a low single and worked his way to a takedown at the :20 mark and, after a ride out, led 3-0 after two periods. Zeisloft took down to start the third period and escaped to a 3-1 Conaway lead. Conaway's constant pressure led to a second takedown, this one at the 1:10 mark, giving the Lion a 5-2 lead after cutting the Bronc loose. Conaway tacked on a third takedown and cut and led 7-3 at the :40 mark. The Lion added two more takedowns, with the last coming at the :12 mark. The short ride out gave Conaway a 12-4 major with the 1:02 riding time point.
141: True freshman Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), sporting a 5-0 mark at 141, met Rider's Paul Kirchner. The Nittany Lion rookie picked up his first dual meet takedown as a Penn Stater at the 1:28 mark of the first period and then cut Kirchner loose to lead 2-1 early. The Lion freshman gained control of Kirchner's shoulders and worked his way around to a second takedown and a 4-1 lead with :45 on the clock. Retherford then rode Kirchner out to lead 4-1 with 1:04 in time after one period. Retherford chose down to start the second period and worked his way to an escape with 1:21 on the clock to lead 5-1. Retherford set the tempo consistently and his constant pressure led to a stall warning on Kirchner. Retherford then used a low single to force Kirchner down to the mat, adding another takedown to lead 7-1 after two periods. Kirchner chose down to start the third period and Retherford made him pay for the decision. The Nittany Lion rookie was dominating on top, not giving the Bronc any space and building up a 1:58 time edge before cutting him loose. He quickly tacked on two more takedowns in less than :20 and, with 2:32 in riding time, rolled to the 12-3 major.
149: Senior James English (York, Pa.) took on Rider's Curt Delia at 149. Delia came out fast, gaining control of English's ankle to notch Rider's first takedown. English quickly escaped to a 2-1 deficit and action resumed in the center circle. English used a low single to gain control of Delia's left leg and steadily worked his way to a takedown and a 3-2 lead at the :32 mark of the opening period. Delia escaped to tie the bout at the :10 mark. English chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 4-3 lead. The remainder of the second period was scoreless thanks to English fighting off a late Delia shot. Delia, trailing 4-3, chose down to start the third period and escaped to a 4-4 tie. With the bout deadlocked, the duo traded late shots with no one connecting and the bout went to sudden victory. Delia got in on a single and English countered, forcing a scramble that nearly ate up the extra time. But Delia's work paid off with a takedown and a 6-4 win for the Bronc, cutting Penn State's lead to 11-3. Junior Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 8, is still recovering from off-season surgery.
157: Senior James Vollrath (Richboro, Pa.) took to the mat against Bronc Wayne Stinson at 157. Vollrath wasted no time taking the lead, getting an early takedown to lead 2-1 after a Stinson escape. The Lion senior then fought off a solid Stinson shot and action returned to the center circle with the Nittany Lion still on top by one. Vollrath worked his way to a second takedown late to lead 4-1 after one period. Stinson chose down to start the second period and escaped to a 4-2 deficit, but Vollrath answered with another strong takedown and led 6-2 at the 1:10 mark. Vollrath put together a very strong ride and led 6-2 with 2:20 in riding time after a ride out. Vollrath chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 7-2 lead. A solid high single led to another takedown and a 9-2 lead with :40 on the clock. With the riding time point assured, Vollrath simply rode Stinson out and rolled to the 10-2 major decision, giving Penn State a 15-3 lead at halftime. Junior Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 6, is still recovering from off-season surgery.
165: No. 1 David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) met Riders' Ramon Santiago, ranked No. 13, in an anticipated match-up at 165. Taylor, a three-time All-American, got in on a shot off an early restart and steadily worked his way into a scramble. Taylor turned the scramble into a takedown and two back points for an early 4-0 lead. Taylor cut Santiago loose and quickly took the ranked Bronc down again, nearly pinning him in the process. But Santiago was able to roll through the move without giving up back points and the Lion senior led 6-1 with over 1:00 riding time after the opening period. Taylor chose top to start the second period and immediately began looking for the chance to turn Santiago. After a scramble out of bounds, Santiago asked for injury time. Taylor then cut Santiago loose after a reset and Taylor took the Bronc down quickly to lead 8-2 at the :53 mark. He cut Santiago loose and then quickly took him down a fifth time. This time the Lion senior turned the Bronc to his back to pick up the pin at the 4:27 mark. The fall was Taylor's fifth in six matches this year.
174: Junior All-American Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 3 at 174, met Rider's Conor Brennan. The duo battled evenly through the first minute of the opening period and then Brown exploded on the Bronc, using high control to force Brennan to the mat and quickly planting his shoulders for the fall at the 1:14 mark. The pin, Penn State's second straight, put Penn State up 27-3.
184: Sophomore James Frascella (Carmel, Ind.) made his Penn State dual meet debut against Rider's Clint Morrison at 184. The duo battled evenly for the opening period with neither wrestler finding an opening to score. With the bout scoreless, Frascella chose down to start the second period and escaped to a 1-0 lead. But Morrison answered with the bout's first takedown, taking a 2-1 lead and then turning Frascella for three back points and a 5-1 lead. Morrison was strong on top, maintaining control for the rest of the period and tacking on another three point near fall to lead 8-1 after two. Morrison chose down to start the final stanza and escaped to a 9-1 lead with 1:25 in riding time. The Bronc tacked on another takedown to up his lead to 11-1. He then rolled Frascella over for three more back points and then added a final takedown to post the 17-2 tech fall at the 7:00 mark (with 2:35 in riding time). No. 1 Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) did wrestle in the match for violation of team rules.
197: Sophomore Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.), ranked No. 4 at 197, met Rider junior Donald McNeil. McIntosh, wrestling in his first Nittany Lion dual in over a year after last season's red-shirt, gained control of McNeil's ankle and pulled the Bronc back onto the mat for a takedown and a 2-0 lead at the 1:11 mark. McIntosh then dominated action from the top, controlling the Bronc for the final 1:12 to lead 2-0 after one. The Lion sophomore chose down to start the second period and quickly took McNeil down to lead 5-0 midway through the second period. McIntosh cut McNeil loose at the :45 mark and immediately got in on a single. McNeil was able to force a stalemate and the Lion sophomore led 5-0 with 2:03 in riding time heading into the final period. McNeil chose down to start the third period and McIntosh cut him loose, looking for bonus points. The Lion gained control of McNeil's left ankle but the Bronc was once again able to force a stalemate. McIntosh used a head outside single and picked up another late takedown to roll to the 8-2 win with 2:13 in time.
285: Penn State junior Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.), ranked No. 11 at 285, battled Riders' Greg Velasco. Lawson wasted no time in taking the lead. The New Jersey native gained control of Velasco's shoulders and tripped him to the mat for an early takedown and a 2-0 lead. Lawson controlled the action from the top, looking for a chance to turn Velasco for back points. A strong ride led to over 2:00 in riding time as Lawson rode the Bronc out for a 2-0 lead with 2:47 in riding time after one period. Lawson chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 3-0 lead. He then scrambled his way to a second takedown and a 5-0 lead late in the period and, with a short ride out, led 5-0 heading into the final period. Velasco chose down to start the final period but Lawson was too much for the Bronc. The Lion junior clinched the riding time point and then cut Velasco loose at the :50 mark. Lawson took Velasco down and cut him with :20 left, needing one more takedown for a major. A quick Lawson counter at the end of the bout, to go along with 4:16 riding time, gave Lawson the strong 10-2 major.