No. 7 Penn State Wrestlers Trek to No. 1 Iowa for Big Ten Opener on Sunday
Jan. 17, 2008
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, ranked No. 7 nationally, will open up Big Ten dual meet action at No. 1 Iowa on Sunday, Jan. 20. Action will take place in Carver Hawkeye Arena.
Penn State, now 8-2 overall, is coming off a 3-2 performance at the 2008 National Duals. The Nittany Lions entered the Duals ranked No. 1 nationally but become the fourth top-ranked team in the country to suffer an untimely defeat, getting upset by Nebraska 19-13 in the quarterfinals. The Lions, who opened with a win over Chattanooga, came back to down Cornell and Iowa State before falling to Ohio State in their final action in Cedar Falls. Iowa, on the other hand, regained their No. 1 ranking with a superb 4-0 performance at the duals to claim the 2008 title. Iowa beat Cornell, Missouri and Michigan before taking town Nebraska in the finals. The Hawkeyes are now 11-1 on the year.
In what should be an exciting dual for wrestling fans, 17 ranked wrestlers will take to the mat in Carver Hawkeye Arena. Penn State has eight ranked grapplers, including newly ranked heavyweight John Laboranti. Senior Phil Davis leads the Nittany Lions with a No. 2 nod at 197. Davis is 10-0 on the year. Sophomore Dan Vallimont, also undefeated at 157, is now ranked No. 4 and is 17-0 on the year. Junior Jake Strayer, who is now 10-3, slid to No. 5 at 141 while sophomore Bubba Jenkins is No. 6 at 149 and is 13-1 on the year. Mark McKnight is ranked No. 8 at 125 with an 8-2 mark, giving Penn State five wrestlers ranked in the top eight.
Joining that fivesome in the national rankings is sophomore David Erwin, junior Phil Bomberger and junior Laboranti. Erwin is 19-5 overall and is ranked No. 16 at 174 and Bomberger is 12-4 overall and is ranked No. 15 at 184. Laboranti is now 18-3 on the year at heavyweight and debuted in this week's rankings at No. 15.
Iowa will bring nine ranked individuals into the fray. Charlie Falck brings a 21-1 overall record and a No. 3 ranking at 125 into battle while Joey Slaton is ranked No. 4 at 133 with a 20-2 mark. Dan LeClere is ranked No. 10 at 14 and is 17-5 on the year and Brent Metcalf is 20-1 overall and gets a No. 3 nod at 149. Ryan Morning Star is ranked No. 16 at 157 and is 13-5 thus far while Mark Perry holds the No. 1 spot in the country at 165 with an 18-2 record. Jay Borschel is 19-4 this year and is ranked No. 3 at 174, Phil Keddy is 17-5 and ranked No. 8 at 184 and Matt Fields is 20-3 and ranked No. 6 at HWT.
The Nittany Lions will continue Big Ten action next weekend with two key duals. Penn State will visit No. 6 Ohio State on Friday night at 7 p.m. and then return home to host No. 17 Indiana in Rec Hall for a 1 p.m. match-up. Tickets for all regular season duals are on sale now at the athletic department ticket office in the Bryce Jordan Center. Single-dual tickets are $5 for adults and seniors and $3 for students 18 and under. Penn State students with a proper student ID are admitted free! Fans can call 814-863-1000 or 800-833-5533 to order single-dual or season tickets. All Penn State duals will be broadcast locally on WBLF 970 AM and WKVA 920 AM and streamed live at www.GoPSUsports.com. All home duals will feature a live video webcast and live scoring at www.GoPSUsports.com as well.
POSSIBLE LINE-UPS - as of 1/16/08
#7 PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (8-2, 0-0 BIG TEN)
Wt. Name Yr. Hometown/High School 2007-08 Record
125 #8 Mark McKnight Sr. McDonald, Pa./South Fayette 8-2
133 Tim Haas Sr. Camp Hill, Pa./Cedar Cliff 2-7
Mike Eagen Fr. Wharton, N.J./Morris Knolls 5-8
141 #5 Jake Strayer Jr. South Fork, Pa./Forest Hills 9-3
Garrett Scott Fr. Alexandria, Pa./Juniata Valley 12-2
149 #6 Bubba Jenkins So. Virginia Beach, Va./First Colonial 13-1
157 #4 Dan Vallimont So. Lake Hopatcong, N.J./Jefferson Twp. 17-0
165 Dave Rella So. Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit 8-9
174 #16 David Erwin So. Urbana, Ohio/St. Paris Graham 19-5
Mark Friend Jr. Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville 14-4
184 #15 Philip Bomberger Jr. Port Royal, Pa./Juniata 12-4
197 #2 Philip Davis Sr. Harrisburg, Pa./Harrisburg 10-0
HWT #15 John Laboranti Jr. Pittston, Pa./Pittston 18-3
Stefan Tighe So. Erie, Pa./Cathedral Prep 4-3
#1 IOWA HAWKEYES (11-1, 0-0 BIG TEN)
Wt. Name Yr. Hometown/Last School 2007-08 Record
125 #3 Charlie Falck Jr. Strawberry Point, Iowa/Apple Valley 17-1
133 #4 Joe Slaton So. Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Virginia Tech 15-2
OR Daniel Dennis So. Ingelside, Ill./Grant 0-0
141 #10 Dan LeClere So. Coggon, Iowa/Virginia Tech 13-4
149 #3 Brent Metcalf So. Davison, Mich./Virginia Tech 16-1
157 #16 Ryan Morningstar So. Lisbon, Iowa/Lisbon 14-4
165 #1 Mark Perry Sr. Stillwater, Okla./Blair Academy 13-2
OR Aaron Janssen Fr. Emmetsburg, Iowa/Emmetsburg 6-2
174 #3 Jay Borschel So. Marion, Iowa/Virginia Tech 15-2
184 #8 Phillip Keddy So. Vernal, Utah/Uintah 13-5
197 Chad Beatty So. Wilton, Iowa/Wilton 6-5
OR Rick Leora So. Park Ridge, Ill./Maine South 7-8
HWT # 6 Matt Fields Sr. Lowden, Iowa/North Cedar 16-2
All rankings listed are USA Today/NWCA as of 1/16/08
PENN STATE VS. IOWA: THE SERIES The Nittany Lions and Hawkeyes have met 29 times throughout the years, with Iowa holding a 21-6-2 advantage over Penn State. The Lions, however, have won the last two meetings. Penn State downed Iowa 24-13 last February in Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions also won the last time the two teams met in Carver-Hawkeye, posting a 21-12 win on Feb. 3, 2006.
DAVIS, VALLIMONT GO 5-0 AT NATIONAL DUALS Senior 197-pounder Phil Davis and sophomore 157-pounder Dan Vallimont each posted perfect 5-0 records at the 2008 National Duals on 1/12-13. Davis moved to 10-0 on the season with wins over #13 Matt Koz of Chattanooga (4-2), #4 Craig Brester of Nebraska (8-0 major), Matt Panasevich of COrnell (pinned in 4:10), #17 David Bertolino of Iowa State (pinned in 3:50) and John Weakley of Ohio State (a 10-2 major). Vallimont remained unbeaten to start the year as well, moving to 17-0. The sophomore grabbed wins over #20 Seth Garvin of Chattanooga (15-7 major), #18 Chris Oliver of Nebraska (11-6), Drake Hovis of Cornell (13-1 major), #5 Cyler Sanderson of Iowa State (7-4) and Jason Johnstone of Ohio State (4-1). The only other Nittany Lion to go undefeated at the event was freshman 141-pounder Garrett Scott, who beat Cornell's Eric McGill (16-0 technical fall in only 3:35) and #18 Nick Gallick of Iowa State (an 8-0 major).
PENN STATE TOPPLES THREE RANKED FOES AT 2008 NATIONAL DUALS The Nittany Lion wrestlers went 3-2 at the 2008, getting three wins over nationally ranked foes. Penn State beat No. 16 Chattanooga (37-2), No. 19 Cornell (31-9) and No. 4 Iowa State (22-16). In those three bouts, Penn State won 22 of 30 bouts.
DAVIS WINS 100TH CAREER MATCH Senior Phil Davis' 10-2 win over Ohio State's John Weakley on Jan. 13 at the National Duals was the 100th of his career. The three-time All-American heads to Iowa with a 100-19 career record. He is now tied for 23rd all-time at Penn State in victories.
SUNDERLAND REACHES 100 WIN MILESTONE Penn State mentor Troy Sunderland's 31-9 win over No. 19 Cornell on Jan. 12 at the National Duals was the 100th of his coaching career. Sunderland now stands at 101-75.
ERWIN KNOCKS OFF #8 ANCERAVAGE TO LEAD PENN STATE OVER #17 CORNELL; NAMED BIG TEN WRESTLER OF THE WEEK Sophomore 174-pounder David Erwin notched a thrilling 6-4 win over No. 8 Steve Anceravage of Cornell in Penn State's resounding 35-10 win over the 17th-ranked Big Red on Jan. 4. Erwin scored six points in the closing seconds of the second period to post the victory, the signature win in Penn State's fifth-straight win to open the season. For his efforts, Erwin was named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week for the week ending Jan. 6. The honor was Erwin's first and the second of the season for Penn State (Jake Strayer won the award on Nov. 21).
THREE FALLS HIGHLIGHT PENN STATE'S 35-10 WIN OVER #17 CORNELL Penn State used three falls to build up a 14-1 edge in bonus points, plus won seven of ten bouts, to coast to a 35-10 win over visiting Cornell on Jan. 4. The bout was wrestled in front of over 3,200 fans in Rec Hall. Jake Strayer (141), Phil Davis (197) and Mark McKnight (125) each got pins, marking the first time the Lions had three falls in one dual since its 39-3 victory over North Dakota State on Jan. 12 last year (at the Virginia Duals). Penn State also got bonus points from Garrett Scott (getting a forfeit at 149), Dan Vallimont (a major at 157) and Phil Bomberger (a major at 184).
DARLING'S RUNNER-UP SHOWING AT HITCHCOCK OPEN LEADS SIX PSU PLACERS A solid group of Penn State Nittany Lion wrestlers performed well on Saturday at the Floyd `Shorty' Hitchcock Open hosted by Millersville University. True freshman Tim Darling (Nazareth, Pa.) led six Penn State place winners with a runner-up showing at 149 pounds. Darling and most of his teammates were wrestling unattached. Darling went 3-0 with two major decisions to advance to the finals before falling to North Carolina's Mike Rappo 5-2 in the title bout. Junior Mark Friend (Libertyville, Ill.), continuing to perform well at 174, went 5-0 overall, but a semifinal loss to a non-collegiate wrestler moved him to the consolation bracket where he continued his prowess to place third. Friend had three pins and a technical fall during his run. Junior Jack Decker (Roseland, N.J.) also had a solid tournament, going 5-1 with a major decision to also finish third at 184 pounds. Sophomore heavyweight Brendan Herlihy (Fairfield, Conn.) posted a 4-1 record at HWT to place third as well. Three of Herlihy's four wins came in overtime. True freshman Micah Bollinger (Mifflinburg, Pa.) actually led Penn State in victories at the tournament, racking up a 7-1 record to finish a strong third at 165 pounds. Red-shirt freshman Mike Eagen (Wharton, N.J.) was solid at 133 pounds as well, going 3-2 and placing fourth. Eagen had two pins and a major decision.
PENN STATE ANNOUNCES THREE TV DATES The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team will be featured in at least three live televised duals this year as the Big Ten Network and local affiliates WPSU-TV and WHVL-TV will all air one match in the upcoming weeks. The Big Ten Network recently announced that Penn State's home conference dual with Michigan State will be broadcast to a national audience live on Feb. 15. The dual had initially been changed to a 5 p.m. start, but scheduling changes with the BTN have allowed the match to be switched back to its original 7 p.m. start time. Penn State's Jan. 4 home dual with Eastern rival Cornell was televised live on WPSU-TV, Penn State's PBS affiliate. The Nittany Lions beat 17th-ranked CU 35-10 in front of over 3,200 fans. In addition, WHVL-TV, State College's new local television station, will follow Penn State to nearby Lock Haven University to televise Penn State's Feb. 23 road dual at Lock Haven live as well. In order to accommodate the live telecast, the dual has been moved back to an 8 p.m. start (instead of the original 7:30 p.m. start). WHVL-TV is serving a growing audience in the Centre Region and can be seen on seven regional cable systems. Check www.whvl.com for a complete list of local affiliates and channels.
DECKER CLAIMS WILKES OPEN TITLE Penn State Nittany Lion junior Jack Decker (Roseland, N.J.) stormed his way to the 184-pound title at the 2007 Wilkes Open on Friday, claiming the crown in action that finished Friday evening. Decker's performance led a strong contingent of unattached Penn State grapplers as four Nittany Lions placed at the event. Decker went 5-0 on the day including two pins in his first two bouts and added two decisions and a medical forfeit to win the title. Olympic red-shirt Brad Pataky (Clearfield, Pa.) also had a strong day, going 4-1 (3-1 vs. collegiate wrestlers) with two technical falls. Pataky lost a close 4-3 decision in the finals to No. 20 Steve Mytych, unattached from Drexel. Penn State also garnered two other place-winners. True freshman Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) had a solid 4-2 day to finish fourth, including a pin. Sophomore Mike Ward (Mayfield, Ohio) went 3-2 (2-2 vs. collegiate wrestlers) to finish fourth at 184. Starting 133-pounder Tim Haas (Camp Hill, Pa.) returned to action, getting his feet wet after missing the last six-plus weeks with an injury. Haas went 2-1, 1-1 vs. collegiate wrestlers, at 133. He did not wrestle in consolations as the senior looks to prepare for Penn State's bout with No. 17 Cornell on Jan. 4. His lone loss was a tough 7-5 decision to Brandon Reasy of Pitt-Johnstown in the semifinals. Reasy is ranked No. 2 in the nation at the Division II level.
PATAKY CONTINUES OLYMPIC QUEST Penn State Nittany Lion wrestlers Brad Pataky (Clearfield, Pa.), who red-shirted last season and will seek an Olympic red-shirt this year, continues to build upon his freestyle successes. A starter for Penn State during the 2005-06 season as a true freshman, Pataky has been focused solely on class and freestyle wrestling over the course of the last two years. During the 2006-07 academic year, Pataky competed in five freestyle events. He went 5-2 at the prestigious Sunkist Open, garnering three pins along the way. He followed that up with a third place finish at the Guelph Open in Canada and then winning the Brockport Open in New York. The talented Clearfield native then went 3-1 at the Dave Schultz Memorial in February of 2007, getting all three wins with pins. In June of this past summer, Pataky competed at the World Team Trials and went 1-1. This year, Pataky has competed in two events, the Sunkist Open and the NYAC Open this past November. Pataky placed sixth at the Sunkist Open, competing at 55 kg (121 pounds). He followed that performance up with an outstanding fourth place finish at the NYAC Open. Pataky went 4-2 on his way to the consolation finals where he lost a close bout to former Penn State stand-out Adam Smith. Pataky's only other loss was a close 1-0, 1-0 decision to former Arizona State All-American Danny Felix. Along the way, Pataky grabbed a superb 4-3, 8-6 win over 2006 NCAA National Champion Joe Dubuque of Indiana.
MOLINARO CLAIMS CSU OPEN TITLE Penn State Nittany Lion wrestler Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.) stormed the field at the Cleveland State Open to claim the 141-pound weight class title. The unseeded true freshman, wrestling unattached, went 5-0 at the event to win his second open tournament crown.Molinaro began the tournament with a 7-6 win over Bucknell's Luke Chohany. A pin and a decision followed. Molinaro then got a medical forfeit win in the semifinals before posting an impressive 6-1 win over top-seeded Mike Hurley of Cleveland State in the finals.
THREE DAYS IN DECEMBER LOOKED A LOT LIKE `93! A 72 hour span, bookended by some interesting travel, looked a lot like 1993 for the Penn State wrestling team. On Friday, Dec. 7, Penn State shut-out Lehigh 33-0 in LU's Stabler Arena. The shutout was the first Nittany Lion shutout of Lehigh since a 39-0 whitewash of the then-Engineers on Feb. 13, 1993. Two days later, on Dec. 9, Penn State made an appearance in Oklahoma State's Gallagher-Iba Arena and came away with a thrilling 21-18 win at No. 3 Oklahoma State. The win was Penn State's first over Oklahoma State since a 38-7 win at OSU on Jan. 30, 1993.
DAVIS' PIN CLINCHES 21-18 WIN AT OKLAHOMA STATE Senior All-American Phil Davis picked up his first pin of the year, getting a fall over Oklahoma State's Clayton Foster (5:50) to clinch the Nittany Lions' 21-18 win at OSU on Dec. 9. The victory was Davis' fourth straight to start the 2007-08 campaign.
VALLIMONT TAKES DOWN #20 McSPADDEN AS LIONS DOWN COWBOYS IN GALLAGHER-IBA ARENA While over ten ranked grapplers were set to battle when then No. 5 Penn State visited then No. 3 Oklahoma State on Dec. 9, only one of the dual's ten bouts featured two ranked wrestlers facing each other. Penn State sophomore Dan Vallimont, ranked No. 10 nationally at 157, downed No. 20 Newly McSpadden of Oklahoma State 5-4 to help Penn State secure a 21-18 win in OSU's Gallagher-Iba Arena.
SCOTT MAKES PSU DUAL MATCH DEBUT Penn State true freshman Garrett Scott made his Penn State dual match debut on 12/9 by taking on Oklahoma State senior Nathan Morgan, who was ranked No. 6 at 141 pounds. Scott, filling in for starter Jake Strayer, battled the returning All-American tough but came away with a 6-3 loss to the veteran Cowboy.
BOMBERGER TAKES DOWN #17 CRAIG TO LEAD PENN STATE TO 33-0 SHUT-OUT OF LEHIGH Junior Phil Bomberger, ranked No. 19 in the nation at 184 at the time, downed then No. 17 David Craig 9-5 to help Penn State post a 33-0 shut-out of Lehigh in the Mountain Hawks' Stabler Arena on 12/7. The victory was Bomberger's first over a ranked opponent this year.
LABORANTI MAKES DUAL MATCH DEBUT AT LEHIGH Junior HWT John Laboranti made his Penn State dual match debut in fine fashion with a solid 12-5 win over Lehigh's Justin Allen on 12/7. The win helped Penn State post a 33-0 shut-out win at Lehigh.
EAGEN GETS FIRST DUAL MATCH WIN AT LEHIGH Red-shirt freshman Mike Eagen, filling in for starting 133-pounder Tim Haas, got his first Penn State dual match debut at Lehigh on 12/7. Eagen posted a 4-3 victory over the Mountain Hawks' Kevin Vinh to help PSU secure a 33-0 shut-out at LU.
FIVE NITTANY LIONS WIN TITLES AT 2007 NITTANY LION OPEN Sophomores Bubba Jenkins and Dan Vallimont led the charge as the fifth-ranked 149-pounder and 11th-ranked 157-pounder each held serve to win at their respective weights. Jenkins posted a perfect 5-0 mark (with an extra win over a non-collegiate wrestler) and Vallimont was 7-0 on the day. Freshman Garrett Scott blazed his way to a 6-0 mark at 141 and the title, including a win over teammate and second-ranked Jake Strayer in the semifinals. Sophomore David Erwin downed teammate Mark Friend, 6-2, in the finals at 174 to claim the title (his third open title of the year). Erwin went 6-0 and Friend went 4-1. Junior John Laboranti beat the 15th-ranked HWT in the nation, Kent State's Jermail Porter, in the finals to claim his title. Laboranti went 5-0 on the day. Friend's runner-up finish at 174 led Penn State's five other placers with Strayer taking fourth (he did not wrestle his third place bout and did not get a loss). No. 18 Phil Bomberger advanced to the quarterfinals at 184 before dropping a hard-fought decision to No. 8 and eventual champion Rocco Caponi of Virginia. Since only semifinal losers can wrestle for third place, Bomberger reeled off three straight wins in consolations to post a strong 6-1 mark and finish in fifth. Dave Rella went 5-2 to finish in sixth place at 165 and sophomore heavyweight Brendan Herlihy went 6-2 overall to finish sixth in the HWT division. In addition, recently signed Nittany Lion recruit Quentin Wright claimed the tournament title at 165 pounds.
MICHIGAN STATE DUAL BACK TO ORIGINAL 7 P.M. START TIME AS BIG TEN NETWORKS AIRS THE DUAL LIVE! The Big Ten wrestling clash between No. 3 Penn State and Michigan State on Friday, Feb. 15, in Rec Hall, will be aired live to a national television audience on the Big Ten Network. The match will start at its original scheduled time of 7 p.m. The event is the first announced live Big Ten wrestling dual for Penn State this season and will give Nittany Lion wrestling fans the chance to be a part of a live national wrestling broadcast. The Big Ten Network has not finalized its entire wrestling schedule with more dates, both live and tape delay, to be announced later. ERWIN AND LABORANTI CLAIM MAT-TOWN TITLES Penn State Nittany Lion wrestlers David Erwin (Urbana, Ohio) and John Laboranti (Pittston, Pa.) claimed titles at the 2007 Mat-Town U.S.A. Open Saturday evening with three other Penn Staters (and Lion-to-be) placing as well. Erwin won the crown at 174 while Laboranti nabbed the heavyweight title. Erwin went 4-0 at 174, winning the title bout over Nittany Lion teammate Mark Friend (Libertyville, Ill.) by a 9-8 score. Friend earned runner-up status with a 3-1 showing. Laboranti posted a 4-0 mark as well, beating Cornell's Maciej Jochem 5-3 (sv) in the finals to claim the title at HWT. He downed teammate Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) with a sudden victory decision in the semifinals. Wade, wrestling unattached, went 3-2 and took home fourth place. True freshman Micah Bollinger (Mifflinburg, Pa.), also wrestling unattached, took second at 165. He lost a 7-3 decision to Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) a high school senior who recently signed on to become a Nittany Lion next fall. Wright went a perfect 4-0 in the tournament to claim the title while Bollinger also posted a 4-0 mark (his loss to a non-collegiate wrestler does not count on his record).
STRAYER NAMED BIG TEN WRESTLER OF THE WEEK Penn State Nittany Lion wrestler Jake Strayer (South Fork, Pa.) has been named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week for the week ending on Nov. 18. Strayer, a junior 141-pounder, shares the honor with Wisconsin's Dallas Herbst. Strayer, who entered last Saturday's dual with Hofstra ranked No. 7 nationally at 141, nearly pinned No. 2 Charles Griffin before coasting to a convincing 6-1 win over the returning national semifinalist. The win helped spur No. 10 Penn State on to a 28-11 win over No. 12 Hofstra. The three-time Academic All-Big Ten pick was an All-American for Penn State last year at 133 but has moved up to 141 and has fared well so far this year, sporting a 2-0 record. Strayer is also a co-captain on this year's Nittany Lion squad for head coach Troy Sunderland. The weekly honor is Penn State's first of the year and the first since Aaron Anspach garnered the award on Feb. 7 of last year.
NITTANY LIONS DISMANTLE #12 HOFSTRA Getting three wins in match-ups of top ten wrestlers, Penn State won seven of ten bouts on its way to a thorough 28-11 dismantling of visiting Hofstra in a key Eastern wrestling dual. No. 2 Phil Davis majored No. 6 Joe Rovelli at 197 (12-1), No. 7 Jake Strayer nearly pinned No. 2 Charles Griffin on his way to a 6-1 win and No. 10 Mark McKnight beat No. 7 Dave Tomasette 3-2. Pins from Stefan Tighe at HWT and No. 20 Phil Bomberger at 184, plus decisions from No. 7 Bubba Jenkins (149) and No. 12 Dan Vallimont (157) aided in the victory.
DAVIS, STRAYER, McKNIGHT GET KEY WINS IN VICTORY OVER #12 HOFSTRA Already in top form, three-time All-American Phil Davis posted his second straight big win over a top ranked opponent. No. 2 Davis beat No. 6 Joe Rovelli of Hofstra 12-1 on 11/17, posting a major just a week after a 17-2 tech. fall over the No. 8 ranked 197-pounder from Maryland. No. 7 Jake Strayer nearly pinned No. 2 Charles Griffin, turning the defending national semifinalist to his back for a near fall and walking away with a convincing 6-1 win. Senior Mark McKnight was sound in his 3-2 win over No. 7 Dave Tomasette. The Lion 125-pounder, ranked No. 10 heading into the bout, scored the match-ups only takedown and did not allow Tomasette any openings. The three wins helped spur Penn State on to a 28-11 win.
DAVIS HANDLES TAMILLOW AT NWCA ALL-STAR CLASSIC EXHIBITION Penn State Nittany Lion wrestler Phil Davis (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 2 in the nation at 197 pounds, posted a 6-2 decision over No. 3 Mike Tamillow of Northwestern in the 2007 NWCA All-Star Classic, held at the University of Oregon. Davis and head coach Troy Sunderland attended the exhibition event in Eugene, Ore. The victory, being in an exhibition, does not count towards Davis' season record. However, in the span of nine days, Davis began his 2007-08 season with wins over the eighth, sixth and third ranked wrestlers in the country by a combined score of 35-5. Davis is 2-0 on the year with wins over No. 8 Hudson Taylor of Maryland (a 17-2 tech. fall) and No. 6 Joe Rovelli of Hofstra (a 12-1 major).
MOLINARO CLAIMS ESU OPEN TITLE AT 141 Penn State freshman Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.) made his debut at the collegiate level count, claiming the 141-pound title at the 2007 East Stroudsburg Open on Saturday. Wrestling unattached, Molinaro blazed to a 6-0 record with two pins. Freshman Garrett Scott (Alexandria, Pa.), junior Mike Ward (Mayfield, Ohio) and sophomore Brendan Herlihy (Fairfield, Conn.) were all solid as well, advancing to the quarterfinals at their respective weights.
PENN STATE HOME DUALS TO FEATURE LIVE VIDEO WEBCASTS AT GOPSUSPORTS.COM! Marrying the audio from Jeff Byers' outstanding radio broadcasts with a live video feed from center mat in Rec Hall will allow Penn State fans all over the world to watch each and every home dual meet live at www.GoPSUsports.com. Every Penn State home dual will feature the live webcast and is free to the public. Just go to GoPSUsports.com's wrestling home page, click on schedule and follow the live links!
LIONS WIN NINE OF TEN TO TAKE DOWN TALENTED TERRAPINS Penn State won nine of ten bouts to take down a young and talented Maryland Terrapin team. Senior Phil Davis got a technical fall at 197, junior All-American Jake Strayer and sophomore Dan Vallimont got majors at 141 and 157 while sophomore Bubba Jenkins thrilled the crowd with a pin at 149. Mark McKnight (125), Dave Rella (165), Mark Friend (174), Phil Bomberger (184) and Stefan Tighe (HWT) all grabbed major decisions in the victory.
DAVIS HAMMERS #8 TAYLOR FOR ROUSING SEASON OPENING WIN; STRAYER MAJORS #20 PINTO No. 2 Phil Davis met No. 8 Hudson Taylor of Maryland in his first action of the year on 11/11. What many expected to be a battle of titans turned into a short-lived bout as Davis piled on back-points and more back points on his way to a 17-2 technical fall over the talented Terrapin sophomore in only 4:12. No. 7 Jake Strayer, an All-American at 133 last year and making his collegiate debut at 141, posted a 14-0 major decision over No. 20 Charlie Pinto in Penn State's season-opening dual match win over Maryland.
ERWIN AND LABORANTI WIN MSU OPEN TITLES Not letting defeat in Wrestle-Offs last weekend dampen their aspirations at national glory this season, two Penn State sophomores traveled to East Lansing, Mich., this past weekend and came away with titles at the MSU Open. Sophomores David Erwin (Urbana, Ohio) and John Laboranti (Scranton, Pa.) won titles at 174 and heavyweight, respectively. Erwin, ranked No. 11 nationally at his new weight of 174, posted a 5-0 record with two major decisions, giving notice that the Lion sophomore is still a factor on the national scene. Laboranti went 4-0 at HWT with a major as well. True freshman Cameron Wade (Mayfield, Ohio), wrestling unattached, advanced to the semifinals at HWT before falling 3-1 to Tate. Wade went 2-3 and placed sixth.
DAVIS, HAAS AND STRAYER NAMED 2007-08 TEAM CAPTAINS Three of Penn State's most respected wrestlers have been named team captains for the upcoming 2007-08 season, Nittany Lion head coach Troy Sunderland announced. Seniors Phil Davis (Harrisburg, Pa.) and Tim Haas (Camp Hill, Pa.) and junior Jake Strayer (South Fork, Pa.) will be tri-captains during the upcoming campaign. Davis is a three-time All-American at 197 and is trying to become only the fourth four-time All-American in Penn State's 100 years of wrestling. Strayer earned All-America honors at 133 last season, placing seventh in Detroit and going 27-8 on the year. An outstanding talent, Haas has a 22-8 career record, including a 14-7 mark two years ago at 125.
LIONS RANKED #7 IN USA TODAY/NWCA POLL; LABORANTI DEBUTS AT HWT TO GIVE PSU EIGHT RANKED INDIVIDUALS The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team is ranked No. 7 in the latest USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll. The poll is compiled and released by Intermat and full details can be viewed at www.intermatwrestle.com. Penn State, now 8-2 on the year, was the latest No. 1 team to fall victim to an upset, joining the ranks of previous No. 1 squads Iowa, Iowa State and Minnesota to hold the spot briefly only to suffer an untimely loss. The Nittany Lions are coming off a 3-2 showing and a sixth place finish at the 2008 National Duals. National Duals champion Iowa has now returned to the top-spot, followed by Oklahoma State in a close second. The Hawkeyes received seven first place votes while OSU received five. Penn State downed Oklahoma State 21-18 in Stillwater earlier this year. Nebraska is now No. 3, followed by Michigan at No. 4, Minnesota at No. 5, Ohio State and No. 6 and Penn State at No. 7. Iowa State (8), Central Michigan (9) and Northwestern (10) round out the top ten. The Big Ten, with six teams in the top ten, has nine ranked altogether. Wisconsin sits at No. 13, Illinois is at No. 15 and Indiana is No. 17. Intermat will release the individual rankings later this week.
Phil Davis is No. 2 at 197 and sophomore Dan Vallimont is No. 4 at 157, leading the charge as PSU's undefeated starters. Jake Strayer is No. 5 at 141 and Bubba Jenkins is ranked No. 6 at 149. Senior Mark McKnight is ranked No. 8 at 125, junior 184-pounder Phil Bomberger is ranked No. 15 and sophomore David Erwin is No. 16 at 174. Junior HWT John Laboranti debuted in the big man rankings with a No. 15 nod, giving Penn State eight ranked individuals.
DAVIS MOVING UP CAREER LISTS! Senior Phil Davis has cracked the 100 win mark, becoming the 24th member of Penn State's 100-win club. Davis' victory over John Weakley of Ohio State on Jan. 13 was his 100th. He now stands at 100-19 overall. Davis' 51 dual wins is tied with Jeff Prescott for ninth all-time. The Harrisburg native's 26 pins (Davis is 26-1 in matches decided by a fall) is tied for ninth all-time at Penn State as well. The Nittany Lion has competed in 119 career matches, giving him a shot at reaching Glenn Pritzlaff's career total of 135, which would be 20th all-time in PSU history.
TOP RECRUIT QUENTIN WRIGHT
SIGNS NATIONAL LETTER OF INTENT
Penn State Nittany Lion head wrestling coach Troy Sunderland got some outstanding news on day one of the National Letter of Intent early signing period with the signed letter from Bald Eagle Area product Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.). Wright, who is defending his 2007 PIAA state championship this year, projects at 184 for the Nittany Lions and is the first wrestler to sign with Penn State during the early signing period. "Quentin will be an outstanding addition to this team and the entire Penn State community," said Sunderland. "His skills on the mat are equaled only by his work ethic in the wrestling room and his commitment to family and community make him a perfect fit for this program. Quentin's character, judgment and integrity exemplify what we look for in a recruit. He will represent Penn State University and our wrestling program with dignity and class. Furthermore, he will carry on our tradition and make our former alumni Penn State proud." A five-star recruit according to Intermat, the national wrestling source has Wright tabbed as the No. 12 overall recruit (regardless of weight) in the entire nation and top three at either 160 or 171. His high school accolades are outstanding. As stated, he claimed the PIAA AAA state title last year and completed his junior campaign with a perfect 41-0 record. A year before, he was a PIAA Runner-Up. Wright also claimed the 2006 Beast of the Championship and was a Cadet Freestyle All-American. As a high school junior, Wright competed in a number of collegiate level open tournaments, including a fifth place finish at last year's Nittany Lion Open and the title at the Millersville Invitational.