MATCH NOTES: Sold Out Rec Hall set for #1 Penn State vs. #11 Illinois Friday Night

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Two-time national finalist Nico Megaludis and the Nittany Lion wrestlers host Illinois on Friday night.


Two-time national finalist Nico Megaludis and the Nittany Lion wrestlers host Illinois on Friday night.

Jan. 22, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -

WR Notes 13-14 IllinoisGet Acrobat Reader

TODAY'S ACTION

The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestlers (10-0, 4-0 B1G), ranked No. 1 in the nation, host No. 11 Illinois (6-4, 0-3 B1G) on Friday, Jan. 24, in a 7 p.m. dual meet in an already sold out Rec Hall. The dual meet is Penn State's lone action of the weekend and will be Penn State's 17th-straight home sell out.

Penn State is coming off an outstanding away/home weekend of Big Ten duals. Head coach Cael Sanderson's squad travelled to No. 19 Indiana on Friday, Jan. 17, and dominated the Hoosiers in front of the largest IU wrestling crowd in recent memory. Penn State won eight of ten bouts to roll to the 36-6 win. Two days later, back in Happy Valley, the Nittany Lions hammered No. 14 Northwestern in front of a jam-packed Rec Hall. The Lions, once again, won eight of ten bouts, and came away with a 39-8 victory over the Wildcats. In all, Penn State went 16-4 over the weekend, including five majors, five technical falls and two pins. The Nittany Lions posted an outstanding 53-6 combined takedown advantage in the duals as well.

The Nittany Lions feature an extremely balanced and deep line-up. Penn State has 10 ranked wrestlers, led by unbeatens David Taylor (20-0 and No. 1 at 165) and Zain Retherford (20-0 and No. 2 at 141). Ed Ruth (19-1 and No. 2 at 184), Nico Megaludis (19-2 and No. 2 at 125), Matt Brown (20-1 and No. 3 at 174) and Dylan Alton (12-0 and No. 4 at 157) give Penn State six wrestlers ranked in the top four. Morgan McIntosh (19-2 and No. 7 at 197) and Andrew Alton (8-0 and No. 8 at 149) are in the top ten while Jimmy Lawson (16-4 and No. 12 at 258) and Jimmy Gulibon (11-8 and No. 15 at 133) give Penn State ten grapplers ranked in the top 15.

Red-shirt freshman Zack Beitz has been getting the nod at 149 as well and is 10-7 while senior James Vollrath has been going at 157 and is 11-7. With Lawson out for two-to-three weeks, junior Jon Gingrich (Wingate, Pa.) gets the call at 285. Gingrich is 18-3 this year, including a dual meet win over No. 19 Doug Vollaro of Lehigh on Nov. 17 and a victory over No. 17 Amar Dhesi of Oregon State at the Southern Scuffle.

Illinois comes in with a 6-4 mark, 0-3 in Big Ten action. The Illini are coming off a tough 19-13 loss to Michigan last Friday night. The Illini also feature a talented line-up that includes seven ranked wrestlers. Jesse Delgado is 14-1 and ranked No. 4 at 125. Delgado downed Megaludis in the national finals last year, setting up a rematch of that penultimate bout. Mario Gonzalez is 7-0 and ranked No. 4 at 197 while Steven Rodriguez is 7-2 and No. 8 at 141. Zane Richards sports a 12-2 mark and is ranked No. 11 at 133. Zac Brunson is 16-4 and No. 12 at 157 while Jackson Morse is 15-2 and No. 12 at 165. Caleb Erwin is No. 19 at 149 with a 2-3 mark.

Illinois leads the all-time series 9-5 but Penn State has won the last three. The Nittany Lions grabbed a 37-0 win last year at Illinois on 2/3/13. Penn State won the last meeting in Rec Hall, a 23-13 victory on 2/11/11.

The Illinois dual will be a BTDN production, streaming live online via GoPSUsports.com's All-Access channel.

Penn State makes a two dual swing through the state of Michigan next weekend. The Nittany Lions visit Michigan State on Friday, Jan. 31, for a 7 p.m. dual and then travel to Michigan for a 3:30 p.m. dual on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 2). The Michigan dual is a live BTN broadcast. 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 remaining Rec Hall duals. 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 NITTANY LIONS (10-0, 4-0 B1G)
WT NAME EL HT/HS -- REC
125 #2 Nico Megaludis Jr. Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional 19-2
133 #15 Jimmy Gulibon Fr. Latrobe, Pa./Derry Area -- 11-8
Jordan Conaway So. Abbottstown, Pa./New Oxford -- 13-5
141 #2 Zain Retherford Fr. Benton, Pa./Benton -- 20-0
149 #8 Andrew Alton Jr. Mill Hall, Pa./Central Mountain -- 7-0
OR Zack Beitz Fr. Mifflintown, Pa./Juniata -- 10-7
157 #4 Dylan Alton Jr. Mill Hall, Pa./Central Mountain -- 12-0
OR James Vollrath Sr. Richboro, Pa./Council Rock South -- 11-7
165 #1 David Taylor Sr. St. Paris, Ohio/St. Paris Graham -- 20-0
174 #3 Matt Brown Jr. West Valley City, Utah/Cyprus -- 20-1
184 #2 Ed Ruth Sr. Harrisburg, Pa./Susquehanna Township -- 19-1
197 #7 Morgan McIntosh So. Santa Ana, Calif./Calvary Chapel -- 19-2
285 Jon Gingrich Jr. Wingate, Pa./Bald Eagle Area -- 18-3
OUT #12 Jimmy Lawson Jr. Tom's River, N.J./Manchester Township -- 16-4

#11 ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI (6-4, 0-3 B1G) / trend it at #PSUwrILL
WT NAME EL HT/HS -- REC
125 #4 Jesse Delgado Jr. Gilroy, Calif./Gilroy -- 14-1
133 #11 Zane Richards Fr. Carbondale, Ill./Carbondale Community -- 12-2
141 #8 Steven Rodriguez So. Mount Kisco, N.Y./Rutgers -- 7-2
OR John Fahy Fr. Pewee Valley, Ky./Trinity -- 9-6
149 #19 Caleb Ervin So. Morganfield, Ky./Union County -- 2-3
157 #12 Zac Brunson Fr. Eugene, Ore./Churchill -- 16-4
165 #12 Jackson Morse Jr. Alto, Mich./Lowell -- 15-2
174 Tony Dallago Sr. Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin -- 13-4
184 Nikko Reyes Fr. Fresno, Calif./Clovis West -- 12-6
197 #4 Mario Gonzalez Sr. Aurora, Ill./West Aurora -- 7-0
OR Jeff Koepke So. Prospect Heights, Ill./Hersey -- 7-6
285 Chris Lopez So. Chicago, Ill./Carl Stanburg -- 10-8

Individual rankings are Intermat and team rankings are Intermat TPI as of 1/21

THIS WEEK
No. 1 Penn State (10-0, 4-0 B1G) hosts No. 11 Illinois (6-4, 0-3) on Friday, Jan. 24, in a 7 p.m. dual meet in an already sold out Rec Hall.

UP NEXT
Penn State makes a two dual swing through the state of Michigan next weekend. The Nittany Lions visit Michigan State on Friday, Jan. 31, for a 7 p.m. dual and then travel to #13 Michigan for a 3:30 p.m. dual on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 2). The Michigan dual is a live BTN broadcast.

ON THE AIR
TV - None
Live Web Video - Both duals are BTDN (via GoPSUsports.com's All-Access)
Radio - Full season live on WRSC (103.1 FM/1390 AM) State College; WBPZ 1230 AM Lock Haven; 1370 WWCB Corry; WLAK (103.5 FM) Huntingdon; WMRF (95.7 FM) Lewistown; WIEZ (670 AM) Lewistown. Also live at GoPSUsports.com as part of the All-Access package as are select home duals.

HEAD COACH Cael Sanderson

Cael Sanderson is in his fifth season as head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team. The veteran head coach now has three straight NCAA and three straight Big Ten titles in hand. He has been named Big Ten Coach of the Year three straight times and was named the 2013 National Coach of the Year after guiding Penn State to yet another NCAA title in Des Moines.

THE PENN STATE YEARS...
In his first year at Penn State (2009-10), he guided the Lions to a 13-6-1 dual meet mark, 5-3 in Big Ten action, and crowned his first Big Ten Champion. The Lions finished No. 10 in the final USA Today/Coaches dual meet poll and placed ninth at NCAAs.

In 2010-11, Sanderson guided the Nittany Lions to its first-ever Southern Scuffle Co-Championship and its first Virginia Duals Championship since 1991. In guiding Penn State to a 6-1-1 conference mark, Sanderson equaled the most Big Ten dual meet wins in Penn State history in just his second year at the helm of the Nittany Lions (Penn State won six Big Ten duals in 1998). Sanderson led Penn State to the school's first ever Big Ten Championship on March 5-6 and was named 2011 Big Ten Coach of the Year. Saving the best for last, he led the Nittany Lions to the 2011 NCAA National Championship in Philadelphia on March 17-19, Penn State's first since 1953 and Sanderson's first as a collegiate head coach.

In 2011-12, Sanderson led Penn State to a school record 7-1 Big Ten dual record and a share of the 2012 Big Ten dual meet championship. Sanderson then made it two in a row by leading Penn State to the 2012 Big Ten Championship at Purdue on March 3-4 and was named 2012 Big Ten Coach of the Year, earning the honor for the second straight season. Two weeks later, Sanderson led Penn State to a second straight NCAA crown, helping Penn State to become just the sixth team in NCAA history to win back-to-back titles.

Last year, Penn State went 13-1 overall in dual meets this year and won its third straight Southern Scuffle title in early January. The Nittany Lions followed that up with a third straight Big Ten Championship on March 9-10 at Illinois and a third straight NCAA National Title in Des Moines on March 21-23. He was named Big Ten Coach of the Year for the third straight season (sharing this year's honor as a co-CotY) and 2013 National Coach of the Year (the second time he has earned that honor).

In this, his fifth season as Penn State's coach, Sanderson has led the Nittany Lions to four straight Southern Scuffle titles (including this year's), three straight conference titles, three straight national titles, collected 19 All-Americans, five national champions, three Gorriaran winners, one NCAA tourney OW and one Hodge Trophy winner. He and his coaching staff have a perfect 13-0 record in Big Ten championship finals. Coach Sanderson now sports a 110-19-2 dual meet mark in this, his seventh year as a head coach. He is 66-9-2 and in his fifth year at Penn State.

LIONS STRONG IN TWO-DUAL BIG TEN WEEKEND WITH WINS AT #19 INDIANA AND V. #14 NORTHWESTERN
Penn State had an outstanding split weekend of home/away Big Ten duals on 1/17 and 1/19. The squad travelled to No. 19 Indiana on Friday, Jan. 17, and dominated the Hoosiers in front of the largest IU wrestling crowd in recent memory. Penn State won eight of ten bouts to roll to the 36-6 win. Two days later, back in Happy Valley, the Nittany Lions hammered No. 14 Northwestern in front of a jam-packed Rec Hall. The Lions, once again, won eight of ten bouts, and came away with a 39-8 victory over the Wildcats. In all, Penn State went 16-4 over the weekend, including five majors, five technical falls and two pins. The Nittany Lions posted an outstanding 53-6 combined takedown advantage in the duals as well.

GULIBON NOTCHES FIRST TWO DUAL WINS
Red-shirt freshman Jimmy Gulibon picked up his first two dual meet victories as a Nittany Lion, both in Big Ten action. The nationally ranked 133-pounder posted a 15-0 first period technical fall (2:57) over Indiana's Chris Caton on 1/17 as Penn State downed the Hoosiers 36-6 in Bloomington. Two days later, Gulibon posted a convincing 8-2 win over Northwestern junior Pat Greco in Penn State's 38-8 victory over the Wildcats in Rec Hall.

LIONS STRONG AT HITCHCOCK MEMORIAL
Nine members of the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team competed at the Floyd `Shorty' Hitchcock Open today at Millersville University, wrestling both attached an unattached. Penn State advanced three wrestlers to the finals and went 1-1 with one medical forfeit. Junior Dylan Alton, ranked No. 4 at 157, stayed unbeaten on the year with a strong 5-0 performance to win the 157-pound title. Alton had a pin and a major in his title run. Junior Andrew Alton ( ranked No. 7 at 149, went 3-0 (plus a win over a non-collegiate) with a quick pin (in 0:31) and a tech fall, to advance to the finals before taking a medical forfeit to place second. True freshman Matt McCutcheon advanced to the finals at 184 before losing, going 3-1 with two pins to take second. True freshman Garret Hammond went 6-1 with a pin to take third at 165 and classmate Cody Law was outstanding at 157, going 7-2 with a pin and advancing to the consolation semifinals.

McINTOSH DOWNS #16 ATWOOD AS LIONS BEAT PURDUE
In the only match-up of ranked foes, sophomore Morgan McIntosh, ranked No. 8 at 197, beat No. 16 Braden Atwood 6-4. The Lion sophomore notched the bout's only three takedowns to roll to the win, helping Penn State to a lop-sided 34-3 win over the visiting Boilermakers. The dual was wrestled in front of Penn State's 15th straight sell-out and also featured David Taylor's 10th pin of the year at 165. The Lions posted a 36-2 takedown margin as well. Penn State got four majors in the dual from Nico Megaludis (125), Zain Retherford (141), Matt Brown (174) and Ed Ruth (184).

ALTONS MAKE SEASON DUAL DEBUTS WITH WINS
Juniors Andrew and Dylan Alton both made their season dual meet debuts with solid wins in Penn State's 34-3 victory over Purdue on 1/12. The twin brothers each had off-season shoulder surgeries and were wrestling in their first dual meets after seeing just limited action from late December on in open tournaments. Andrew posted a 7-6 win over Brandon Nelsen at 149 and Dylan notched a 6-1 victory over Dustin Schultz at 157.

NITTANY LIONS POST OUTSTANDING 3.13 TEAM GPA FOR FALL SEMESTER
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, under the direction of head coach Cael Sanderson, is coming off a strong performance in the classroom this past Fall. The No. 1-ranked, three-time defending NCAA and Big Ten Champions posted a 3.13 team grade point average for the 2013-14's first semester. While the outstanding team GPA is a combined team-effort, there are a number of individual performances of note. Red-shirt junior Matt Brown posted a perfect 4.0 GPA this fall, as did senior James English. Brown is a Crime, Law and Justice major. English, a '13 Chemical Engineering grad, is pursuing a second degree in Energy, Business and Finance. True freshman Zain Retherford posted a 3.82 GPA in his first collegiate semester. He is a Business Administration major. Red-shirt freshman Caleb Livingston posted a 3.77 GPA in DUS as well. Red-shirt sophomore Luke Frey earned a 3.7 GPA in Bio-behavioral Health. David Taylor posted a 3.67 GPA this Fall. A '13 RPTM/Business major, Taylor is pursuing his graduate degree in Education Administration. Red-shirt junior Kyle Moran had a 3.61 GPA in Finance and junior Nico Megaludis earned a 3.60 GPA in Finance as well. Red-shirt junior Cameron Kelly had a 3.52 GPA in Kinesiology. Twin brothers Andrew Alton and Dylan Alton, both red-shirt juniors as well, posted identical 3.33 GPAs this fall. Both are RPTM majors.



LIONS WIN FOURTH STRAIGHT SOUTHERN SCUFFLE TITLE
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestlers broke away from the competition at the 2014 Southern Scuffle in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Jan. 1-2, to roll to their fourth straight Southern Scuffle title. Penn State won by nearly 30 points, posting a crown clinching total of 189.0 points while Oklahoma State was second with 164.5. Minnesota (161.0), Cornell (114.5) and Missouri (102.5) rounded out the top five. The winning point total was three points shy of the all-time Scuffle team point total and Penn State's fourth crown is a Scuffle best.

RETHERFORD AND TAYLOR REMAIN PERFECT WITH TITLE RUNS AT SOUTHERN SCUFFLE; TAYLOR EARNS B1G WoW
A true freshman and a graduate student remained unbeaten through the Southern Scuffle as rookie Zain Retherford and fifth-year grappler David Taylor each went 5-0 to win Southern Scuffle titles. Retherford rolled to five win, including a major and a pin. He downed the #11, #7 and #19 ranked wrestlers on his way to his first Scuffle title. Taylor's 5-0 run included all bonus point victories. The three-time All-American had two pins, a tech fall and two majors. He majored #15 Dylan Palacio of Cornell, pinned #9 Zach Toal of Missouri and majored #2 Tyler Caldwell of Oklahoma State in the finals. Taylor was honored as Big Ten Wrestler of the Week (1/5) for the third time this year after his tourney title.

11 OF 17 LIONS PLACE AT SOUTHERN SCUFFLE
With Zain Retherford and David Taylor leading the way with titles at 141 and 165, 11 of Penn State's 17 entrants placed at the Southern Scuffle as Penn State ran away with its fourth straight crown. Nico Megaludis (125), Jimmy Gulibon (133), Matt Brown (174) and Ed Ruth (184) all placed second; Jimmy Lawson (285) took third; Morgan McIntosh (197) placed fourth; Jordan Conaway (133) and Jon Gingrich (285) were sixth and Luke Frey (149) was eighth.

Jimmy Gulibon STRONG AT SOUTHERN SCUFFLE
Red-shirt freshman Jimmy Gulibon had an exception Southern Scuffle tournament, going 5-1, advancing to the finals and ending the tournament as the 133-pound Runner-Up. Gulibon downed #5 Ryan Mango of Stanford and #10 David Thorn of Minnesota to get to the title bout where he dropped a tough 4-0 decision to #1 Jon Morrison of Oklahoma State.

RUTH'S HISTORIC WIN STREAK ENDS
Three-time All-American, two-time NCAA Champion Ed Ruth had one of the nation's most historic win streaks snapped on Jan. 2 in the finals of the Southern Scuffle. Ruth had rolled off 84-straight wins dating back to the NCAA quarterfinals his freshman year (a year he wrestled back to third) before dropping a tough 7-4 decision to #7 Gabe Dean of Cornell in the Scuffle finals. Ruth had pinned Dean earlier in the year.

Dylan Alton AND Rex Lutz STRONG AT F&M
Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling All-American Dylan Alton, ranked No. 5 nationally 157, went 4-0 at the Franklin and Marshall Open today and placed second, withdrawing as planned after wrestling in four bouts. Sophomore Rex Lutz led Penn State in wins at the open tournament, taking third at 174. Dylan rolled to four wins, including a major and a shut-out in the semifinals before withdrawing from the event as a precaution as planned. The Lion is now 6-0 on the year. Dylan's twin brother Andrew Alton, ranked No. 7 at 149, made the trip but an illness as the event began kept the Lion from competing. The juniors are continuing their planned schedules following off-season surgeries as Penn State preps for its next dual on Jan. 12. Sophomore Lutz went 7-1 at 174 to place third. The Easton native reeled off seven straight wins after a first round loss. His run included three pins, including one over Tyler Askey of Virginia in the third place bout (2:54).

ALTONS UNBEATEN IN SEASON DEBUTS AT WILKES
Penn State Nittany Lion wrestlers Andrew Alton and Dylan Alton made their season debuts today at the Wilkes Open, competing at the open event after off-season surgeries delayed their season starts. The twin brothers, ranked No. 7 at 149 and No. 5 at 157 respectively, combined to go 5-0 before taking medical forfeits as planned. Wrestling in their first live action in almost nine months and after off-season shoulder surgery, the duo fared very well. Andrew went 3-0 at 149, including a technical fall and a fall before medically forfeiting out of the tournament as previously planned. Dylan posted a 2-0 mark at 157 including a pin before taking medical forfeits as planned as well. The wins do count towards each grappler's season records and so the tandem heads into the New Year with 3-0 and 2-0 marks respectively.



LIONS WIN SEVEN OF TEN BOUTS IN 24-12 VICTORY AT IOWA
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team rolled into Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Dec. 21 and walked out of the venerable wrestling venue with a convincing 24-12 win in its pocket. Penn State won seven of ten bouts, including three majors, to notch the school's first victory in CHA since a 21-12 win on Feb. 3, 2006. The victory was head coach Cael Sanderson's first coaching win in CHA as well.

TAYLOR & McINTOSH WIN BIG, RUTH MAJORS LOFTHOUSE AND EARNS B1G WoW, AS LIONS DOWN HAWKEYES
Top-ranked seniors David Taylor and Ed Ruth, as well as No. 3 Morgan McIntosh, picked up impressive major decisions in Penn State's 24-12 win at Iowa on 12/21/13. Taylor rolled up five takedowns and 4:21 in riding time to take care of No. 4 Nick Moore 12-3 while Ruth collected an equal five takedowns to go along with 2:21 in riding time to beat No. 2 Ethan Lofthouse 12-4. Ruth was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week (12/22) for his efforts as well. McIntosh was equally dominant, posting four takedowns on his way to a 16-4 major over Sam Brooks.

BROWN AND RETHERFORD TAKE DOWN TOP TEN FOES IN PENN STATE VICTORY AT IOWA
Junior All-American Matt Brown was untouchable in a 4-1 win over No. 6 Mike Evans at 174 in Penn State's 24-12 victory in Iowa City on 12/21/13. Brown used a first period takedown and dominating rides to roll to the 4-1 win with 1:40 in riding time. True freshman Zain Retherford posted a 4-2 win over Hawkeye junior Josh Dziewa, ranked No. 2 at 141. Retherford used a third period takedown and another stellar ride out to roll to victory. In addition, red-shirt freshman Zack Beitz picked up a key 6-1 win over Michael Kelly at 149 and Nico Megaludis downed Thomas Gilman 4-1 at 125.

RETHERFORD DOWNS 2X NCAA CHAMP AND #1 STIEBER; NAMED BIG TEN WRESTLER OF THE WEEK (12/17)
True freshman Zain Retherford sent Penn State's 14th-straight home sell out crowd through the Rec Hall roof on Sunday with a 4-2 sudden victory decision over No. 1 Logan Stieber of Ohio State. Trailing 2-1 after one period, Retherford, in his first year of collegiate wrestling, rode Stieber out for the entirety of the second period to build up a one-minute riding time edge. That riding time edge would send the match to extra time after a scoreless third period (tied 2-2). Retherford, at 18 years of age, then electrified the crowd with a quick shot in sudden victory and a short scramble to post the deciding takedown over Stieber, a two-time defending NCAA Champion (and undefeated heading into the dual). Penn State downed Ohio State 31-6 in front of nearly 6,400 fans. Retherford was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week (12/17) for his efforts.

Zack Beitz DOWNS #19 PADDOCK IN WIN OVER OHIO STATE
Freshman Zack Beitz made a statement in his Big Ten dual meet debut on Sunday, 12/15, when he took down #19 Ian Paddock of Ohio State. Beitz notched the bout's only takedown on his way to a 5-3 decision, helping Penn State to a 31-6 win over the Buckeyes in front of a Rec Hall sell out.

MEGALUDIS, TAYLOR, BROWN, RUTH,LAWSON BIG IN WIN OVER #6 OHIO STATE
Penn State's 31-6 win over #6 Ohio State on 12/15 in sold out Rec Hall was highlighted by five bonus point victories from a handful of veteran Nittany Lions. Nico Megaludis posted a 21-4 tech fall over #19 Nick Roberts, David Taylor notched a 20-5 tech fall over Joe Grandominico, Matt Brown majored Mark Martin 16-4, Ed Ruth posted a 14-3 major over #12 Kenny Courts and Jimmy Lawson notched a 15-4 major over Nick Tavanello. Senior James Vollrath picked up Penn State's eighth win.

PENN STATE/PITT DUAL IN BJC SELLS OUT IN ADVANCE; SETS NCAA AND PSU/BJC ATTENDANCE RECORDS
Penn State welcomed Intrastate rival Pittsburgh to the Bryce Jordan Center on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013. Six days prior to that, on Dec. 2, the dual meet in the 15K-plus venue was sold out. At the end of the day on the 8th, Penn State claimed a 28-9 win over the Panthers and wrestling fans from all over the region could say they helped make history. The sold-out attendance figure of 15,996 set three records. First, it sets the new NCAA all-time record for dual meet attendance, out-doing the mark set by Iowa on Dec. 6, 2008, against Ohio State. It is an all-time best for a wrestling dual meet in Nittany Lion grappling history, besting the old mark of 11,245 set on Dec. 6, 1996, when Penn State hosted Iowa in the BJC (a 22-15 Iowa win early in the '96-97 season). It is also the largest ever crowd in the Bryce Jordan Center for a Penn State Athletics event. The old mark was 15,472, set on Feb. 1, 1997, when the Nittany Lion basketball team entertained Purdue. The sell-out is also the 13th straight home sell-out for Penn State, dating back to the 2011-12 season (with the prior 12 occurring in Rec Hall).

MEGALUDIS DOWNS #9 ZANETTA OF PITT
Two-time All-American Nico Megaludis, ranked No. 3 at 125, downed No. 9 Anthony Zanetta 4-1, including nearly 2:00 riding time. The win helped spark the Lions to a 28-9 win over the Panthers in front of a sold-out crowd in the Bryce Jordan Center on 12/8/13.

BROWN HANDLES #9 WILPS OF PITT
All-American Matt Brown, ranked No. 3 at 174, took care of No. 9 Tyler Wilps of Pittsburgh 9-3 on 12/8/13. The victory was one of eight Penn State wins in a 28-9 dual meet win over the Panthers in front of a sold out Bryce Jordan Center crowd.

PHIPPS HAS MAJOR WEEKEND VS. BOSTON AND PITT
Red-shirt freshman Wes Phipps got the call at 184 for Penn State during a two-dual weekend on 12/6 and 12/8 and made the most of the opportunity. The Grove City native majored Boston's Aaron Conrad 9-1 in front of a sold out BU crowd in Boston for his first dual meet win as a Nittany Lion. Two days later, he thrilled an NCAA dual meet record crowd of nearly 16,000 with a 13-3 major over Pitt's Aaron Rothwell in the Bryce Jordan Center.

Zack Beitz PICKS UP 1ST DUAL WIN AS A LION
Red-shirt freshman Zack Beitz withstood a raucous Boston University crowd on 12/6 to beat Terrier Nick Tourville 9-3, picking up his first dual meet win as a Nittany Lion. The victory helped spark Penn State to a 34-6 road dual win in Boston.

NITTANY LIONS & TERRIERS MAKE BU WRESTLING HISTORY
Penn State travelled to Boston University on 12/6 for a road dual with the Terriers and the two teams made BU Wrestling history. While Penn State won eight of ten bouts and rolled to the 34-6 victory, 1,664 fans packed BU's Case Hall, marking the first time in Boston's history that a wrestling dual was sold out and, of course, setting a new BU attendance record.

CONAWAY WINS OW AT THUNDER WOLVE, ONE OF 6 PSU CHAMPS, THEN TAKES THE MAT IN BJC THE NEXT DAY
Sophomore Jordan Conaway went 3-0 to roll to the 133-pound title at the Thunder Wolve Open outside Buffalo on Saturday evening, one of six Penn State champions at the event on Saturday, Dec. 7. Conaway returned to State College after midnight that evening and then prepped for Penn State's sold-out BJC dual against Pitt on Sunday, Dec. 8. The Lion gave up two third period takedowns to No. 17 Shelton Mack before dropping a close 5-2 decision to the Panther. Joining Conaway as champs at the Thunder Wolve were Nate Morgan (3-0 at 141), Seth Beitz (4-0 at 157), Rex Lutz (3-0 at 174 with another win over a non-collegiate), Josh Rogers (3-0 at 197) and Jon Gingrich (5-0 with four pins at 285).

LIONS DO WELL AT MAT-TOWN
Four members of the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team competed unattached at the Mat-Town Open hosted by Lock Haven University. Senior All-American Ed Ruth, wrestling unattached as he continues a month-long suspension from team competition, blazed his way through the 184-pound weight class. He went 5-0 with two pins, a tech fall and two majors to remain unbeaten on the year. He posted a resounding 20-6 major over No. 19 Fred Garcia of Lock Haven in the finals. Ruth's matches do count towards his season and career totals. True freshman Matt McCutcheon saw his first collegiate level action at Mat-Town, rolling to a third place finish with his only loss being a close 2-1 tiebreaker decision to No. 19 Garcia of host Lock Haven. McCutcheon ended the day with a 4-1 mark and two majors. He downed Cornell's William George 5-3 (tb) for third place.

SELL-OUT CROWD IN REC HALL SEES NITTANY LIONS DOWN LOCK HAVEN 34-6
Three Penn State All-Americans notched falls or tech falls while three freshmen made Rec Hall debuts as the Nittany Lions downed Lock Haven 34-6 in front of 6,500 fans the 12th-straight sell out for the Lions in the venerable building. David Taylor got a pin, Nico Megaludis and Matt Brown posted tech falls and true freshman Zain Retherford downed Dan Neff at 141 in his Rec Hall debut. Red-shirt freshmen Zack Beitz and Wes Phipps debuted in Rec Hall with very close losses (8-7 and 3-1 respectively, with Phipps' loss to #19 Fred Garcia).

TAYLOR'S 100TH CAREER BONUS POINT VICTORY LEADS LOINS TO WIN AT #25 LEHIGH; NAMED B1G WoW
Senior David Taylor dominated Lehigh's Brian Brill to the tune of a 20-7 major, sparking Penn State to a 22-12 dual meet win at #25 Lehigh on 11/17. With the Lions wrestling without four ranked wrestlers, Taylor's bonus point win helped secure the victory for Penn State going away. The win was Taylor's 100th bonus point win. At the conclusion of that dual, Taylor had 100 bonus point wins in 110 matches wrestled. Taylor was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week for the second consecutive week for his efforts.

GINGRICH DOWNS #19 VOLLARO OF LEHIGH
Junior heavyweight Jon Gingrich capped off Penn State's 22-12 win at #25 Lehigh on 11/17 with a strong 5-2 win over #19 Doug Vollaro. Gingrich stepped in at 285 and helped put the finishing touches on a strong team showing as Penn State wrestled without four ranked wrestlers.

MEGALUDIS, RETHERFORD, TAYLOR LEAD PENN STATE TO WIN AT RIDER IN FRONT OF SELL OUT CROWD
Wrestling in front of packed Alumni Gymnasium at Rider University, the Penn State Nittany Lions rolled to a 34-8 win over the Broncs, who were ranked 25th in the Coaches Poll at the time (not the Intermat TPI). Junior All-American Nico Megaludis downed #17 Robert Deutsch 5-0 at 125, true freshman Zain Retherford made his Penn State dual meet debut with a 12-3 major over RU's Paulie Kirchner at 141 and senior All-American David Taylor pinned #13 Ramon Santiago at the 4:27 mark to highlight the lopsided Lion victory.

HAMMOND WINS TITLE AT ESU OPEN
Ten members of the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team took part in the East Stroudsburg Open today, both attached and unattached. True freshman Garett Hammond won the 165-pound title to lead Penn State's efforts. Hammond was a perfect 5-0 on the day, putting forth a dominant performance with five bonus point wins. Hammond had two majors, a tech fall and two pins on the day and improved his record to 16-3 as an unattached Nittany Lion. Junior heavyweight Nick Ruggear went 3-1 on the day plus grabbing a win over a non-collegiate grappler (which does not count in his results). Ruggear's performance included a pin and a major was good enough for third place at 285. Two Nittany Lion 141-pounders placed. Sophomore Michael Waters went 5-2 to place fourth at 141 while junior Nate Morgan went 6-2 to take seventh with two pins and a tech fall.

ALL REC HALL DUALS SOLD OUT; LESS THAN 20 SROs FOR SELECT DUALS REMAIN
With the entire dual meet season of Rec Hall action sold out prior to the start of the season, a limited number of Standing Room Only tickets were made available in October for fans to purchase. Three sets of those SROs quickly sold out (Oklahoma State, Ohio State and Illinois). Less than 20 SROs remain the Clarion dual (the final home action for seniors David Taylor and Ed Ruth). Fans may purchase those tickets by calling 1-800-NITTANY.

LIONS CROWN SIX CHAMPS AT BINGHAMTON
Penn State wrestled well at the Binghamton Open on Sunday, Nov. 10. Six Nittany Lions won individual titles at the event with three other Penn Staters making the finals and dropping close decisions to ranked wrestlers. In addition, Penn State notched two third place finishes and a fourth place finish. True freshman Zain Retherford (141), senior David Taylor (165), junior Matt Brown (174), senior Ed Ruth (184), sophomore Morgan McIntosh (197) and junior Jimmy Lawson (285) all went 5-0 to win titles and ride into the first duals with a full head of steam. Junior Nico Megaludis (125), sophomore Jordan Conaway (133) and senior James Vollrath (157) all went 4-1 and lost heart-breakers in the finals. Junior Jon Gingrich (285) and true freshman Garett Hammond (165) each went 7-1 to place third and red-shirt freshman Jimmy Gulibon (133) went 4-2 to place fourth.

TAYLOR B1G WRESTLER OF THE WEEK FOR 11/10/13
David Taylor has been named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week for the week ending Nov. 10, 2013. The honor is the first for Penn State this year and the second of Taylor's career. Taylor, ranked No. 1 at 165 by Intermat, was simply unstoppable in his first action of the 2013-14 season. Coming off an impressive exhibition win in Washington, D.C., the prior weekend, Taylor destroyed the field at the Binghamton Open on Sunday. The Lion 165-pounder went 5-0 with four pins, all in the first period. His only non-pin was an 18-2 technical fall in the semifinals. His four pins came at 1:13, 2:00, 2:41 and 1:51 in the championship bout.

TAYLOR AND BROWN AT THE NWCA ALL-STAR CLASSIC
Two members of the top-ranked Penn State wrestling team took part in the 2013 NWCA All-Star Classic in Fairfax, Va. Held in George Mason University's Patriot Center, All-Americans David Taylor and Matt Brown each competed at the exhibition event. Taylor rolled to an 13-2 major decision over No. 4 Michael Moreno of Iowa State while Brown, ranked No. 3 at 174, dropped a tough 4-3 decision to No. 1 Andrew Howe of Oklahoma on riding time.

CHURCH AND HAMMOND AT THE CLARION OPEN
Senior Andrew Church and true freshman Garrett Hammond each competed unattached at the Clarion Knight Point Open, the season's first open tournament, on Nov. 3. Church worked his way into the quarterfinals before dropping into the consolation bracket. The fifth-year senior ended a strong opening run with a 4-2 record. Hammond, seeing his first action at the collegiate level, dropped his first match and then reeled off four straight dominating wins in consolation action. Hammond posted an identical 4-2 record. His four wins included three pins and a technical fall. One of his pins was in just 0:42.

LIONS WITH TEN RANKED INDIVIDUALS BY INTERMAT
Ten members of the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team are now ranked at their individual weights in the latest Intermat Rankings. Nico Megaludis is ranked No. 2 at 125, Jimmy Gulibon is No. 15 at 133, Zain Retherford is No. 2 at 141, Andrew Alton is No. 8 at 149, Dylan Alton is No. 4 at 157, David Taylor is No. 1 at 165, Matt Brown is No. 3 at 174, Ed Ruth is No. 2 at 184, Morgan McIntosh is No. 7 at 197 and Jimmy Lawson is No. 12 at 285.

MICHIGAN DUAL TIME CHANGED
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team has announced dual meet time changes due to national television broadcast requests. The Nittany Lions' match-up at Michigan will start at 3:30 p.m. instead of 2 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 2.

FANS ARE REMINDED ABOUT REC HALL'S NEW NO BAG POLICY
To enhance public safety and improve fan access, no bags are permitted inside Penn State sports venues during a game. A single one-gallon clear plastic bag (Ziploc or similar) is permitted for the things you have to have, like medicine, child care supplies, keys, phone, wallet, etc. Questions, call 1-800-NITTANY. Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics thanks you for your cooperation.

 

 

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