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PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – No. 1 Penn State (3-0, 0-0 B1G) closed out a busy road weekend by winning the Keystone Classic on Sunday. The Nittany Lions rolled to a perfect seven-for-seven in the finals at the one-day, team-scored event, hosted by the University of Pennsylvania in the historic Palestra. Senior Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.) crossed the century mark in career wins with a title run at 149.
A total of 18 Nittany Lion grapplers competed at the event for head coach Cael Sanderson, with the top point scorer at each weight earning points in the team title race. Penn State pushed seven through to the finals and won all seven. The Lions had a total of nine place winners at the event. Penn State won the team race with 190.5 points, far ahead of second place Northwestern, which had156.6
Junior Jered Cortez (Carol Stream, Ill.) rolled to a 4-0 record with two pins to claim the 141 pound title and remain perfect on the year. Cortez leaves Philadelphia with a 7-0 record. Retherford, ranked No. 1 at 149, entered the tournament with 98 career wins and rolled through the century mark. Retherford dominated the field, picking up his 100th career win in the second round. He ended the tournament by dismantling No. 9 Ryan Deakin of Northwestern in the finals with a 10-2 major and posted a 4-0 record with three pins and a major on the day. Retherford exits the weekend, including Friday’s dual in Binghamton, with 102 career wins. He now has 41 career pins, fourth on Penn State’s all-time list and is 19th all-time in dual meet victories with 48.
Sophomore Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 157, who entered the tournament with a 3-0 mark with three pins, continued his torrid start to the season. Nolf had a perfect ‘fall’ day, going 4-0 with four pins, including pinning Penn’s Joseph Vellequette in the finals. Nolf leaves Philadelphia with a 7-0 record, all pins. Nolf now has 36 career pins, 6th all-time at Penn State. Sophomore Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 2 at 174, was equally impressive. Hall posted a 5-0 record with three pins and two tech falls to win the 174-pound title, including a sizzling fast fall over No. 20 Josef Johnson of Harvard at the 0:50 mark. Junior Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), ranked No. 1 at 184, rolled to the 184 pound title as well, going 4-0 with three pins and a tech fall. Nickal’s three pins all came in under 1:00, including a fall over No. 16 Mitch Sliga of Northwestern at the 0:48 mark in the finals. Nickal now has 29 pins, 16th all-time at Penn State.
An all Penn State semifinal at 197 pitted sophomore Anthony Cassar (Rocky Hill, N.J.) against senior Matt McCutcheon (Apollo, Pa.), ranked No. 4 nationally. Cassar notched a late takedown to post a hard-fought 6-5 win over his teammate and moved to the finals where he dominated the third period on his way to a 7-4 win over No. 12 Frank Mattiace of Penn. Cassar won the 197-pound title with a 4-0 mark, including a major and two wins over top-12 ranked opponents. McCutcheon continued on in the consolation semifinals with a win before injury defaulting in the third place bout. McCutcheon went 4-2. Junior Nick Nevills (Clovis, Calif.), ranked No. 3 at 285, rolled to Penn State’s seventh title as the Nittany Lions went seven for seven in the finals. Nevills downed No. 6 Jacob Kasper of Duke 3-1 in the finals, including a two-point turn in the third period. The Lion junior went 5-0 on the day, with a pin and a major.
Senior Corey Keener (Schuylkill Haven, Pa.), ranked No. 15 at 133, went 2-0 with a pin at 133 before taking a medical forfeit (not a loss) in the semifinals. He placed sixth. Keener improves to 5-0 on the year. Redshirt freshman Devin Schnupp (Lititz, Pa.) went 1-2 at 125 for the Nittany Lions, picking up his first collegiate win in the process, a 15-9 victory over Franklin & Marshall’s Mike Simonetti. Sophomore Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 165, was held out of action and did not compete.
Three Nittany Lions picked up multiple wins at the event in addition to the Lion placers. Sophomore Dominic Giannangeli (Murrysville, Pa.) had a solid run at 133, going 2-2 on the day. Redshirt freshman Luke Gardner (Pottsville, Pa.) posted a 2-2 mark at 149 as well, picking up a pin along the way. Junior Devon Van Cura (Washington, N.C.) went 2-2 at 184 with a major victory as well.
Junior George Carpenter (Chapel Hill, N.C.) went 1-2 at 133 for Penn State, picking up a first round win. Sophomore Francisco Bisono (Hauppauge, N.Y.) notched a 1-2 record at 174, including a win by major decision in consolation action. Redshirt freshman Brian Friery (Lewisburg, Pa.) went 1-2 with a tie-breaker win in consolation action at 157 while redshirt freshman Bo Pipher (Paonia, Colo.) went 0-2 at 149, losing two very close decisions (3-1 and 5-4). Redshirt freshman Alex Nicholas (Allentown, Pa.) went 0-1 at 285.
Penn State posted a 46-19 overall record, including 18 pins, five technical falls and six majors. Nine of Penn State’s 18 entrants, fully half, placed: seven champs, a fourth and a sixth.
Penn State is now 3-0 overall, 0-0 in the Big Ten, having downed Binghamton 40-2 on Friday night on the first stop of its road weekend. The dual win on Friday was the team’s 34th straight dating back to the end of the 2014-15 season.
The Nittany Lions will visit No. 7 Lehigh on Sunday, Dec. 3, in a 2 p.m. dual in Lancaster’s PPL Center. Penn State’s next home dual is its Big Ten opener against Indiana on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 1 p.m. in Rec Hall. With all home dual meets sold out, a limited number of Standing Room Only (SRO) tickets are available to select Rec Hall duals based on availability. Call 1-800-NITTANY for information or to purchase tickets.
The 2017-18 Penn State wrestling season is sponsored by The Family Clothesline. 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. This is PENN STATE. WRESTLING lives here.
2017 Keystone Classic – Final Team Standings (top three):
November 19, 2017 – The Palestra – Philadelphia, Pa.
1: PENN STATE – 190.5
2: Northwestern – 156.6
3: Rider – 138.0
Weight-by-weight agate (rankings listed are InterMat as of 11/14)
125: Devin Schnupp, Fr.
Rd. 1: Zack Fuentes, Drexel – L, 1-6 dec.
Cn. 2: Mike Simonetti, Franklin & Marshall – W, 15-9 dec.
Cn. 3: Dan Planta, Penn – L, 1-8 dec.
Schnupp dropped a tough 6-1 decision to Drexel’s Zack Fuentes to get his tournament day started. He then picked up his first win as a Nittany Lion, posting a strong 15-9 decision over Franklin & Marshall’s Mike Simonetti. Schnupp then dropped an 8-1 decision to Dan Planta of Penn to end his tourney with a 1-2 mark.
133: #15 Corey Keener, Sr.
Rd. 1: bye
Rd. 2: Joshua Finesilver, Duke – WBF (1:03)
Qtrs: Hunter Starner, VMI – W, 5-2 dec.
Semis: Austin DeSanto,Drexel – Med. Forfeit
Keener made short work of his first opponent, pinning Duke’s Joshua Finesilver at the 1:03 mark. He then downed VMI’s Hunter Starner 5-2 to move into the semifinals. Keener took a medical forfeit in the semis (not a loss) and ended his tourney run with a perfect 2-0 mark, including a pin.
133: George Carpenter, Jr.
Rd. 1: bye
Rd. 2: Armando Torres, Eastern Michigan – W, 5-2 dec.
Qtrs: Anthony Cefolo, Rider – LBF (2:46)
Cn. 3: Joshua Finesilver, Duke – L, 2-9 dec.
Carpenter opened up the tournament with a strong 5-2 win over Eastern Michigan’s Armando Torres but fell to Rider’s Anthony Cefolo in the next round. He also fell in his first consolation bout and ended his tournament run with a 1-2 mark.
133: Dominic Giannangeli, So.
Rd. 1: bye
Rd. 2: Ryan Friedman, Harvard – W, 8-2 dec.
Qtrs: Noah Gonser, Eastern Michigan – L, 0-2 dec.
Cn. 3: Willifred Gil, Franklin & Marshall – W, 12-5 dec.
Cn. 4: Joshua Finesilver, Duke – L, 2-4 dec.
Giannangeli started strong with an 8-2 in over Harvard’s Ryan Friedman then dropped a tough 2-0 decision to EMU’s Noah Gonser. In consolation action, Giannangeli downed Franklin & Marshall’s Willifred Gil 12-5 and lost 4-2 to Duke’s Joshua Finesilver to end his tournament with a 2-2 mark.
141: Jered Cortez, Jr.
Rd. 1: bye
Rd. 2: Hunter Adams, Sacred Heart – WBF (1:50)
Qtrs: Jason Ipsarides, Northwestern – WBF (3:29)
Semis: A.J. Jaffe, Harvard – W, 5-3 dec.
Finals: Tyson Dippery, Rider – W, 4-3 dec.
Cortez dominated Sacred Heart’s Hunter Adams, getting a first period pin (1:50) in his first bout of the day. He made it two pins in a row with a fall at the 3:29 mark over Northwestern’s Jason Ipsarides to advance to the semfinals. He held on for a tough 5-3 win over A.J. Jaffe of Harvard to move into the finals where he claimed the title with a hard-fought 4-3 win over Rider’s Tyson Dippery.
149: #1 Zain Retherford, Sr.
Rd. 1: bye
Rd. 2: Evan Deluise, Penn – WBF (3:47)
Qtrs: Stevan Smith, VMI – WBF (1:52)
Semis: Kyle Springer, Eastern Michigan – WBF (2:56)
Finals: #9 Ryan Deakin, Northwestern – W, 10-2 maj.
Retherford entered the tournament with 98 career wins and moved one step closer with his 39th career fall, a pin over Penn’s Evan Deluise. The Nittany Lion senior then picked up career win 100 over VMI’s Stevan Smith, hitting the century mark with a first period pin (1:52). In the semifinals, Retherford picked up his third pin of the day, getting another first period fall (2:56) over Eastern Michigan’s Kyle Springer. Retherford took on No. 9 Ryan Deakin of Northwestern. Retherford controlled the finals bout from start to finish, dominating the third period and rolling to a 10-2 major decision. He leaves Philadelphia with 102 wins for his career after going 4-0 with three falls at the tournament.
149: Bo Pipher, Fr.
Rd. 1: bye
Rd. 2: Gary Dinmore, Rider – L, 1-3 dec.
Cn. 1: Joe Olivia, Penn – L, 4-5 dec.
Pipher lost a tough 3-1 decision in the first round to Rider’s Gary Dinmore. He then gave up a last second escape in a tough 5-4 loss to Penn’s Joe Olivia to end his day at 0-2.
149: Luke Gardner, Fr.
Rd. 1: bye
Rd. 2: Gavin Landoff, Appalachian State – W, 4-1 dec.
Qtrs: #9 Ryan Deakin, Northwestern – L, 8-25 (TF; 7:00)
Cn. 3: Joe Olivia, Penn – WBF (4:38)
Cn. 4: Gino Fluri, Rider – L, 3-5 dec.
Gardner notched a 4-1 win over Appalachian State’s Gavin Landoff in the first round. He then dropped a tech fall (25-8) to No. 9 Ryan Deakin of Northwestern in the quarterfinals. In consolation action, he pinned Penn’s Joe Olivia at the 4:38 mark and then lost a close 5-3 decision to Rider’s Gino Fluri to end his day with a 2-2 record.
157: #1 Jason Nolf, Jr.
Rd. 1: bye
Rd. 2: Laken Cook, Appalachian State – WBF (1:03)
Qtrs: Jon Errico, Penn – WBF (2:08)
Semis: Shayne Oster, Northwestern – WBF (2:44)
Finals: Joseph Vellequette, Penn – WBF (5:39)
Nolf kept his season starting fall streak alive by pinning Laken Cook of Appalachian State early (1:03) in his first match and Jon Errico of Penn in his second, moving to 5-0 with five pins to start the 2017-18 season. In the semifinals, Nolf continued to dominate the competition, pinning Northwestern’s Shayne Oster at the 2:44 mark to make it a perfect six for six heading into the finals. The Lion junior made it a perfect ‘fall’ day by pinning Penn’s Joseph Vellequette at the 5:39 mark to win the title. Nolf went 4-0 with four pins on the day and leaves Philadelphia with a 7-0 mark, all falls.
157: Brian Friery, Fr.
Rd. 1: J.J. Wolfe, Eastern Michigan – L, 3-13 maj.
Cn. 2: Robert Dupont, VMI – W, 6-5 (tb)
Cn. 3: Paul Klee, Sacred Heart – L, 4-13 maj.
Friery posted a 1-2 mark, dropping a major in his first bout and then rebounded for a 6-5 (tb) win over VMI’s Robert Dupont. He lost his second match, a 13-4 major, to Sacred Heart’s Paul Klee to close out his tournament.
165: #1 Vincenzo Joseph, So.
Did not compete
174: #2 Mark Hall, So.
Rd. 1: Matt Fallon, Sacred Heart – WBF (1:14)
Rd. 2: Brian Krasowski, Penn – WBF (3:49)
Qtrs: Matthew Finesilver, Duke – W, 19-4 (TF; 6:22)
Semis: Johnny Sebastian, Northwestern – W, 19-4 (TF; 7:00)
Finals: #20 Josef Johnson, Harvard – WBF (0:50)
Hall opened his tournament with a quick first period fall (1:14) over Sacred Heart’s Matt Fallon and then pinned Penn’s Brian Krasowski at the 3:49 mark to move into the quarterfinals where he posted a 19-4 tech fall (6:22) over Duke’s Matt Finesilver. Hall added a second straight tech fall, another 19-4 at the 7:00 mark, over Northwestern’s Johnny Sebastian. Hall took on No. 20 Josef Johnson in the finals and pinned him in less than a minute, getting the fall at the 0:50 mark. Hall went 5-0 with three pins and two techs to win the crown.
174: Francisco Bisono, So.
Rd. 1: bye
Rd. 2: Wayne Stinson, Rider – L, 2-3 dec.
Cn. 3: Dom Celli, Sacred Heart – W, 13-2 maj.
Cn. 4: Austin Rose, Drexel – L, 2-6 dec.
Bisono dropped a close 3-2 decision to Rider’s Wayne Stinson in his first bout. He majored Dom Celli of Sacred Heart 13-2 in his first consolation bout and then dropped a decision to Drexel’s Austin Rose. Bisono went 1-2 with a major on the day.
184: #1 Bo Nickal, Jr.
Rd. 1: Ben Wagner, VMI – WBF (0:53)
Qtrs: Kanan Dean, Harvard --- W, 24-9 (TF; 6:07)
Semis: Josh Murphy, Drexel – WBF (0:38)
Finals: #16 Mitch Sliga, Northwestern – WBF (0:48)
Nickal opened up the tournament by making short work of VMI’s Ben Wagner, getting the pin in less than a minute (0:53). He rolled to a 24-9 tech fall (6:07) over Harvard’s Kanan Dean in the quarterfinals to advance to the semis where he made short work of Drexel’s Josh Murphy. Nickal picked up the pin in just :38 to advance to the finals. Nickal pinned No. 16 Mitch Sliga of Northwestern in only :48, winning the title and staying unbeaten on the year. Nickal’s three pins all came in under 1:00.
184: Devon Van Cura, Jr.
Rd. 1: Kaden Russell, Duke – W, 11-4 dec.
Qtrs: #20 Michael Fagg-Daves, Rider – L, 2-3 dec.
Cn. 3: Joe Toci, Sacred Heart – W, 15-5 maj.
Cn. 4: Alan Clothier, Appalachian State – L, 1-3 (sv)
Van Cura dominated Duke’s Kaden Russell 11-4 in his first bout, moving into the quarterfinals with the win. He nearly upset No. 20 Michael Fagg-Daves with a last second takedown but fell 3-2 to move into consolation action. In consos, Van Cura majored Joe Toci of Sacred Heart 15-5 and then fell 3-1 in sudden victory to Appalachian State’s Alan Clothier. Van Cura posted a 2-2 record with a major on the day.
197: Anthony Cassar, So.
Rd. 1: bye
Rd. 2: Robert Ng, Penn – W, 12-4 maj.
Qtrs: Alec Schenk, Duke – W, 12-5 dec.
Semis: #4 Matt McCutcheon, Penn State – W, 6-5 dec.
Finals: #12 Frank Mattiace, Penn – W, 7-4 dec.
Cassar opened up his tournament with a strong 12-4 major over Penn’s Robert Ng. He then downed Duke’s Alex Schenk 12-5 to advance to the semifinals where he took on teammate and fourth-ranked Matt McCutcheon. Cassar overcame a late penalty point with a takedown in the final seconds to grab a hard-fought 6-5 win and move into the finals. The New Jersey native took on No. 12 Frank Mattiace in the finals and used a dominant third period to post a hard-fought and impressive 7-4 win. Cassar went 4-2 with a major to take the title, including wins over two top-12 ranked wrestlers.
197: #4 Matt McCutcheon, Sr.
Rd. 1: Araad Fisher, Duke – W, 9-0 maj. dec.
Rd. 2: Donovan Doyle, Harvard – W, 16-0 (TF; 3:35)
Qtrs: Zack Chakonis, Northwestern – W, 4-2 dec.
Semis: Anthony Cassar, Penn State – L, 5-6
Cn Semis: Randal Diabe, Appalachia State – W, 16-0 (TF; 3:48)
3rd: Stephen Loiseau, Drexel – L, inj. def.
McCutcheon made his season debut with a 9-0 major over Duke’s Araad Fisher and followed it up with a 16-0 technical fall (3:35) over Harvard’s Donovan Doyle. He posted a tough 4-2 win over Northwestern’s Zack Chakonis to move into the semifinals where he took on teammate Anthony Cassar. McCutcheon nearly pulled off the win, but dropped a tough 6-5 decision on a late takedown by Cassar. McCutcheon rolled to a 16-0 tech fall over Appalachian State’s Randal Diabe in the consolation semifinals and before taking an injury default to finish fourth. McCutcheon went 4-2 with two tech falls and a major.
285: #3 Nick Nevills, Jr.
Rd. 1: Tyler Hall, Penn – W, 13-3 maj.
Rd. 2: Jake Koch, VMI – WBF (1:40)
Qtrs: Cary Miller, Appalachian State – W, 4-0 dec.
Semis: Gage Hutchison, Eastern Michigan – W, 5-0 dec.
Finals: #6 Jacob Kasper, Duke – W, 3-1 dec.
Nevills began his day with a strong 13-3 major over Penn’s Tyler Hall and followed that up by pinning VMI’s Jake Koch at the 1:40 mark. A 4-0 win over Appalachian State’s Cary Miller moved the Lion junior into the semifinals where he beat Eastern Michigan’s Gage Hutchison 5-0. Nevills took on No. 6 Jacob Kasper, the Duke All-American that he split with at NCAAs last year, in the finals. Nevills took care of business with a dominant third period, turning Kasper for two near fall points and posting the 3-1 win. Nevills went 5-0 on the day with a pin and a major.
285: Alex Nicholas, Fr.
Rd. 1: #16 Conan Jennings, Northwestern – LBF (6:29)
Nicholas lost to No. 16 Conan Jennings in his first bout of the tournament and then received a bye in the first round of consolation action. He took a medical forfeit in his first consolation bout, not counting as a loss, and went 0-1 on the day.