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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State (5-0, 2-0 B1G) hits the road for two Big Ten dual meets this coming weekend. The Nittany Lions tangle with No. 4 Michigan (5-1, 2-0 B1G) on Friday, Jan. 12, at 9 p.m. in a BTN national telecast. Penn State then visits Michigan State (4-4, 0-2 B1G) on Sunday, Jan. 14, in a 1 p.m. dual.
Penn State enters the new year with a 5-0 mark, 1-0 in Big Ten duals, and coming off winning its seventh Southern Scuffle title on Jan. 1-2 in Chattanooga. The Nittany Lions crowned six champions at the event and went 56-19, with nearly 40 percent of the wins combing by pin (22).
The Nittany Lions feature a talented line-up with five returning NCAA Champions and six All-Americans. Zain Retherford is 14-0 and ranked No. 1 at 149 by InterMat, Jason Nolf is 14-0 and No. 1 at 157, Vincenzo Joseph is 9-0 and No. 1 at 165, Mark Hall is 15-0 and No. 2 at 174 and Bo Nickal is 14-0 and No. 1 at 184. All five are returning NCAA Champions. Nick Nevills, an All-American last season, is 15-2 and No. 8 at 285. Also ranked for Penn State is Shakur Rasheed, who is No. 10 at 197 after earning the Southern Scuffle title at 197 and being named OW. Anthony Cassar is 12-2 at 197 as well. Senior Corey Keener checks in with a 9-2 mark at 133.
Michigan is ranked 4 by InterMat with a 5-1 overall record, 2-0 in Big Ten duals. The Wolverines are 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the Big Ten after sweeping Indiana (43-0) and Purdue (25-14) to open its B1G dual weekend last weekend. Michigan also downed Princeton (28-10) on Sunday as well. Michigan features a deep and talented line-up that includes eight ranked wrestlers: Drew Martin, No. 15 at 125; Steven Micic, No. 6 at 133; Alex Pantaleo, No. 5 at 157; Logan Massa, No. 5 at 165; Myles Amine, No. 6 at 174; Dominic Abounader, No. 5 at 184; Kevin Beazley, No. 11 at 197; and Adam Coon, No. 2 at 285.
Michigan State enters Sunday's dual with a 4-4 overall record, 0-2 in the Big Ten. The Spartans are coming off a Big Ten road weekend where they dropped duals at Iowa (49-6) and Minnesota (29-3). The Spartans are led by senior Javier Gasca, who is ranked No. 20 by InterMat at 141 with an 11-4 record. Freshman Rayvon Foley checks in with an 18-5 record at 125 as well.
Penn State leads the all-time series with Michigan 30-24. The Nittany Lions have won six straight against the Wolverines, including a 35-7 victory at Rec Hall back on 1/31/16. Penn State won a close match-up the last time the teams met in Ann Arbor, a 19-15 win on 2/1/15. The Nittany Lions own a 20-9 lead in the all-time series with Michigan State. Penn State has won 11 straight, including a 41-3 win in Rec Hall on 2/13/16. Penn State claimed a 35-0 win in East Lansing on 2/1/15 the last time the teams met at Michigan State.
Penn State will have a Big Ten `split' weekend next weekend when it hosts Purdue on Friday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. and visits Maryland on Sunday, Jan. 21, for a 4 p.m. match-up. 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.
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 2017-18 Penn State wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline. This is PENN STATE. WRESTLING lives here.
#2 PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (5-0, 1-0 B1G)
125 Devin Schnupp Fr. Lititz, Pa./Warwick / 1-9
133 Corey Keener Sr. Schuylkill Haven, Pa./Blue Mountain / 9-2
141 Luke Gardner Fr. Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville / 6-4
Jered Cortez Jr. Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North / 11-1
149 #1 Zain Retherford Sr. Benton, Pa./Benton / 14-0
157 #1 Jason Nolf Jr. Yatesboro, Pa./Kittanning / 14-0
165 #1 Vincenzo Joseph So. Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic / 9-0
174 #2 Mark Hall So. Apple Valley, Minn./Apple Valley / 15-0
184 #1 Bo Nickal Jr. Allen, Texas/Allen / 14-0
197 Anthony Cassar So. Rocky Hill, N.J./Montgomery / 12-2
#10 Shakur Rasheed Jr. Coram, N.Y./Longwood / 12-2
Matt McCutcheon Sr. Apollo, Pa./Kiski Area / 5-3
285 #8 Nick Nevills Jr. Clovis, Calif./Clovis / 15-2
#4 MICHIGAN WOLVERINES (5-1, 2-0 B1G)
125 #15 Drew Martin Fr. Delta, Ohio/Delta / 13-6
133 #6 Stevan Micic So. Cedar Lake, Ind./Hanover Central / 10-2
141 Sal Profaci So. Monroe Twp., N.J./Monroe Twp. / 9-6
149 Malik Amine Jr. Brighton, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central / 10-6
157 #5 Alec Pantaleo Jr. Canton, Mich./Canton / 9-2
165 #5 Logan Massa So. St. Johns, Mich./St. Johns / 9-1
174 #6 Myles Amine So. Brighton, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central / 12-3
184 #5 Domenic Abounader Sr. Gates Mills, Ohio/St. Edward / 13-2
197 #11 Kevin Beazley Sr. Highland, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central / 11-2
285 #2 Adam Coon Sr. Fowlerville, Mich./Fowlerville / 15-0
MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS (4-4, 0-2 B1G)
125 Rayvon Foley Fr. Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer / 18-5
133 Matt Santos Fr. Saginaw, Mich./Swan Valley / 4-6
141 #20 Javier Gasca Sr. Kingsburg, Calif./Kingsburg / 11-4
149 Jwan Britton Fr. Muskegon, Mich./Whitehall / 9-7
OR Austin Eicher Jr. Fenton, Mich./Fenton / 5-3
157 Jake Tucker Fr. Lowell, INd./Mt. Carmell (Ill.) / 15-9
165 Austin Hiles Fr. Brecksville, Ohio/Brecksville / 9-11
OR Logan Ritchie So. New Boston, Mich./Huron / 8-13
174 Austin Hiles Fr. Brecksville, Ohio/Brecksville / 9-11
OR Logan Ritchie So. New Boston, Mich./Huron / 8-13
184 Nick May Fr. Kalamazoo, Mich./Loy Norrix / 5-13
OR Shwan Shadaia Jr. Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester / 7-11
197 Nick May Fr. Kalamazoo, Mich./Loy Norrix / 5-13
OR Shwan Shadaia Jr. Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester / 7-11
285 Matt Lloyd Fr. Lansing, Mich./Grand Ledge / 6-9
Individual rankings InterMat, team ranking InterMat TPI (Tournament Power Index, 1/9/18)
Penn State (5-0, 2-0 B1G) hits the road for two Big Ten dual meets this coming weekend. The Nittany Lions tangle with No. 4 Michigan (5-1, 2-0 B1G) on Friday, Jan. 12, at 9 p.m. in a BTN national telecast. Penn State then visits Michigan State (4-4, 0-2 B1G) on Sunday, Jan. 14, in a 1 p.m. dual.
Penn State will have a Big Ten `split' weekend next weekend when it hosts Purdue on Friday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. and visits Maryland on Sunday, Jan. 21, for a 4 p.m. match-up.
ON THE AIR
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Radio All Season - FREE!!! Penn State Radio Network. All live streaming of Penn State audio is free this year.All audio and some video (both free and $) can be accessed through Lionvision ( http://www.gopsusports.com/collegesportslive/ ).
LIONS CROWN SIX CHAMPS, WIN 7TH SCUFFLE TITLE
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team rolled through the field at the 2018 Southern Scuffle, crowning six champions to win its seventh team title in as many trips. Penn State had won six straight before not competing in last year's event. Zain Retherford (149), Jason Nolf (157), Vincenzo Joseph (165), Mark Hall (174), Bo Nickal (184) and Shakur Rasheed (197) all won individual championships. True freshman Nick Lee, wrestling unnattached, was took second at 141 and Anthony Cassar was third at 197. Nick Nevills was fourth at 285 as well. The Lions were first with 197.0 points. Penn State posted a 56-19 overall record at the event, with nearly 40 percent of the wins coming by fall (22). Penn State had 22 pins, four techs, 12 majors and three forfeit victories, meaning all but 15 of Penn State's wins were for bonus.
RASHEED, NOLF GRAB INDIVIDUAL HONORS AT SCUFFLE
Junior Shakur Rasheed, unseeded at 197, was named the 2018 Southern Scuffle Outstanding Wrestler after rolling to the title at his weight. Rasheed went 5-0 with wins over three ranked foes to win the championship. He opened his run with two majors and then hammered home three straight pins (all in under 1:00 time) to win the crown. Nolf won the tournament's Most Falls/Least Time award with four pins in just 10:51.
BLUMER TAKES FOURTH AT WILKES
True freshman Joey Blumer went 3-2 to take fourth place at the Wilkes Open in late December. Blumer picked up a major and a tech at 141. Brian Friery also competed, picking up a pin at 157.
LIONS DOMINATE INDIANA 44-3 IN BIG TEN OPENER
Junior Jered Cortez posted a 6-5 win over No. 12 Cole Weaver at 141 pounds and the Penn State Nittany Lions added eight more wins, all by bonus, to roll over the visiting Indiana Hoosiers in the Big Ten dual opener for Penn State. In front of another sold out Rec Hall crowd, Penn State got the win from Cortez; majors from Corey Keener (133), Anthony Cassar (197) and Nick Nevills (285); a tech fall from Mark Hall (174); a forfeit win for Vincenzo Joseph (165); and pins from Zain Retherford (149), Jason Nolf (157) and Bo Nickal (184).
PENN STATE'S DUAL MEET BONUS BONANZA
Penn State's hot start to the season, 5-0 in duals and winners of the Keystone Classic, comes on the shoulders of a bonus point bonanza. Penn State is 41-9 in its four duals, with 30 of those wins coming via bonus (14 pins, 1 forfeit, 5 tech falls and 10 majors).
PENN STATE'S PIN PARADE
The race for the Penn State pin crown has gotten off to a fast start and the title is official up for grabs. Jason Nolf (157) is 14-0 on the year with 12 pins; Zain Retherford (149) is 14-0 with 11 pins; Shakur Rasheed (197) is 12-2 with nine pins; Bo Nickal (184) is 14-0 with eight pins and Mark Hall (174) is 15-0 with seven pins.
BO'S FAST FALLS
Okay, so Bo Nickal's fast falls are, well, fast. Nickal is 14-0 on the year with eight pins. Six of them have come in under sixty seconds. That's quick, or fast, or both. His fast falls have come in 0:26, 0:53, 0:38, 0:48 (over #16 Mitch Sliga of Northwestern), 0:42 and 0:56.
NEVILLS CAPS OFF COMEBACK WIN OVER #7 LEHIGH
Junior All-American Nick Nevills clinched Penn State's 23-19 come-from-behind win over homestanding Lehigh with a third period rideout of No. 14 Jordan Wood to post a 2-0 win. With Penn State leading 20-19 at the time, Nevills' victory helped Penn State finish off a road comeback in front of nearly 10,000 fans in the sold out PPL Center in Allentown, Pa. Nevills used a second period escape and 1:48 in riding time thanks to a full third period rideout of Wood to clinch the victory. Penn State, wrestling with two nationally ranked starters out, had trailed 15-0 after three bouts and 19-11 heading into the final four matches.
NOLF PINS HIS WAY THROUGH FIRST SEVEN BOUTS
Jason Nolf had a pretty solid start to the 2017-18 season. The junior 157-pounder began his season with seven straight pins. He won the Keystone Classic on 11/19 with four pins and went 3-0 in Penn State's first four duals with pins. The pin streak ended when we won by tech fall over Lehigh's Ian Brown (23-8, 6:40) on 12/3 at Lehigh.
Nick Lee WINS MAT-TOWN OPEN
True freshman Nick Lee, wrestling unattached at Lock Haven, won the Mat-Town Open title on Sunday, 11/26, at 141 pounds. Lee went 4-0 with two pins, a tech and a major to win the crown. Red-shirt freshman Patrick Higgins also competed, going 2-2 with a tech fall to finish fourth at 133 as well.
LIONS ROLL TO KEYSTONE CLASSIC TITLE
Penn State rolled to its second straight Keystone Classic title on 11/19. The Nittany Lions posted a perfect 7-0 mark in the finals and won the team crown with 190.5 points, ahead of second place Northwestern's 156.5. Penn State's title winners were: Jered Cortez (141), Zain Retherford (149), Jason Nolf (157), Mark Hall (174), Bo Nickal (184), Anthony Cassar (197) and Nick Nevills (285).
LIONS GRAB ROAD WIN AT BINGHAMTON
Penn State picked up its first road win of the season, winning at Binghamton 40-2 on 11/17. The Lions won nine of ten bouts, including Bo Nickal's 15-6 major over #14 Steven Schneider and three pins (Zain Retherford, Jason Nolf and Mark Hall).
PENN STATE DOMINATES BUCKNELL 36-6
The Nittany Lions won eight of ten bouts in a lopsided 36-6 victory over visiting Bucknell on 11/12. Penn State picked up pins from Jason Nolf and Zain Retherford, tech falls from Vincenzo Joseph and Mark Hall and majors from Corey Keener and Bo Nickal.
LIONS NOTCH 5 PINS IN WIN OVER ARMY WEST POINT
Penn State opened up its 2017-18 season with a resounding 45-3 win over visiting Army West Point on 11/9. The Nittany Lions rode five pins to the victory. Senior Corey Keener made his Penn State debut with a pin at 133, Jason Nolf had a fall at 157, Mark Hall pinned #19 Ben Harvey at 174, Bo Nickal picked up a pin in 0:26 at 184 and Nick Nevills had a pin at 125. The five pins in one dual is the most by a Nittany Lion team since pinning five Maryland Terrapins last year on Feb. 12, 2017.
VERKLEEREN WINS BEARCAT OPEN CROWN
True freshman Jarod Verkleeren competed unattached at 149 and rolled through the field for the 149-pound title at the Bearcat Open in Binghamton on 11/12. The Greensburg native went 5-0 in his first open tournament as a collegian to lead Penn State, which had six of its 13 entrants place. Verkleeren had two tech falls. True freshman Nick Lee went 3-1 with two tech falls and a major to place third at 141. Junior Shakur Rasheed went 3-1 with three pins to take fourth place at 197. Junior Devon Van Cura wrestled at 184 and posted a 5-1 record with a major to place fifth. Sophomore Dominic Giannangeli wrestled at 133 and posted a 5-1 mark as well to finish fifth.
Brady Berge LEADS LIONS AT PRINCETON OPEN
True freshman Brady Berge, wrestling unattached at 157, had a strong debut wrestling at the collegiate level to pace Penn State at the Princeton Open on 11/4. The true freshman, redshirting this season, advanced to the semifinals with two major decisions before dropping a match. He rebounded from that loss to win twice including in the consolation finals, placing third at his first tournament. Berge went 4-1 with two majors.
LEE AND RASHEED STRONG AT CLARION OPEN
True freshman Nick Lee competed unattached at 141 in his first open tournament as a Penn Stater and led the Lions at the Clarion Open on 11/5. Lee was impressive, advancing all the way to the finals. Lee went 4-1 on the day with three dominating tech falls and a major. He dropped a hard-fought 6-4 decision to No. 10 Brock Zacherl of Clarion in the finals. Junior Shakur Rasheed, wrestling at 197, went 4-1 with three pins and a tech fall. The Lion junior placed third, winning the consolation finals with a pin in just 0:39. Redshirt freshman Bo Pipher wrestled at 149. Pipher posted a 3-2 mark, with all three wins coming by fall. Junior George Carpenter competed at 133 and posted a solid 4-2 mark including four straight wins in consolation action.
NEVILLS AND HALL COMPETE AT NWCA EXHIBITION
Penn State All-Americans Mark Hall and Nick Nevills competed in the 2017 NWCA All-Star Classic on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 3 p.m. The exhibition took place at Princeton University. The results from the NWCA All-Star Classic do not count as official wins or losses. Nevills, a 2017 All-American at 285 after placing fifth last year, battled Tanner Hall, also an All-American from Arizona State who placed third last season. Nevills posted a 2-0 win with riding time. Lion sophomore Hall, the 2017 NCAA Champion at 174 as a true freshman, took on Arizona State All-American Zahid Valencia, who finished third last year at nationals. Valencia notched a takedown with just :18 left to grab the 3-2 win. The results are not official wins or losses as the event was an exhibition.
7 LIONS RANKED BY INTERMAT
The Penn State wrestling team, winner of six of the last seven NCAA titles, is currently ranked No. 2 on InterMat's Tournament Power Index (TPI) and No. 1 in its dual meet rankings (as of 1/9/19). Seven Nittany Lions are listed in InterMat's pre-season weight-by-weight rankings as well. Zain Retherford No. 1 at 149, Jason Nolf No. 1 at 157, Vincenzo Joseph No. 1 at 165, Mark Hall No. 2 at 174, Bo Nickal No. 1 at 184, Shakur Rasheed is No. 10 at 197 and Nick Nevills No. 8 at 285.
CAEL TO SPEAK AT BLAIR COUNTY SPORTS HALL OF FAME
Nittany Lion head coach Cael Sanderson will serve as the guest speaker at the Blair County Sports Hall of Fame banquet and induction ceremony on Saturday, April 7, 2018. The event will take place at the Blair County Convention Center. Advance orders for tickets, priced at $75 (or $750 for a table of 10) before Dec. 31 and $85 ($850 for a table of 10) after Dec. 31, are currently being accepted. Checks can be made payable to the Blair County Sports Hall of Fame, P.O. Box 162, Altoona, Pa., 16603. Tickets can be purchased online at the HOF's website at www.blaircountysportshof.com. For more information contact Kathy Millward at 814-312-0151. Former guest speakers at the prestigious event include Joe Paterno (1987), James Franklin (2015), Terry Bradshaw, Bobby Knight, Dick Vitale, Joe Theisman, Mary Lou Retton, Bobby Bowden, Jim Boeheim, Hines Ward, Chris Fowler, Ben Rothlisberger and Jay Bilas.