No. 7 Penn State Wrestlers Host Hofstra on Sunday in Dual Meet Opener
Nov. 12, 2008
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -
Nov. 12, 2008
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, ranked No. 7 nationally, hosts (RV) Hofstra in its dual meet season opener. Action takes place on Sunday, Nov. 16, at 1 p.m. in Rec Hall. Penn State enters the dual 0-0 overall while Hofstra hosts Wagner on Wednesday, 11/12/08, post-press time.
Penn State sent a strong contingent of 14 wrestlers to the MSU Open this past Sunday.Junior David Erwin (Urbana, Ohio) took second place at 174 pounds at the MSU Open, leading three Nittany Lions who placed at the event. In all, 14 Nittany Lions competed at the event for head coach Troy Sunderland. Five of Penn State's projected dual meet starters took part, including two of the Nittany Lions' six ranked grapplers. Erwin, ranked No. 18 nationally, went 3-0 to start the tournament but did not wrestle in the finals, taking an injury default after his semifinal win. Erwin's 3-1 finish was good enough for second place. Sophomore Brad Pataky (Clearfield, Pa.) advanced to the semifinals before losing to No. 4 Brandon Precin of Northwestern. Pataky went 2-2 on the day and placed fourth. Freshman Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.) was also solid at 141, advancing to the semifinals before losing to No. 18 Ryan Williams of Old Dominion. Molinaro wrestled back well, went 5-1 on the day and took third place.
Hofstra will have one dual under its belt, having hosted Wagner on Wednesday night (post-press time). The Pride will be led by a strong contingent of four ranked grapplers, including No. 6 Alton Lucas at 174. The Pride recently took fifth place at the Oklahoma Gold Tournament in Brockport, N.Y. No. 7 Lou Ruggirello took the title at 133 and Lucas took the title at 174.
Key match-ups include Penn State's Dan Vallimont, ranked No. 3 at 157, taking on No. 15 Jonny Bonilla Bowman of Hofstra. Erwin, ranked No. 18 at 174, will tangle with No. 6 Lucas in another battle of ranked grapplers. The two teams met last year in Rec Hall with Penn State posting an impressive 28-11 win over the 11th-ranked Pride. The Nittany Lions lead the all-time series 5-1
Penn State heads to New York next weekend for four duals. The Nittany Lions visit No. 4 Cornell on Friday, Nov. 21, at 7 p.m. and then head to Binghamton to take part in the Sprawl and Brawl Duals on Sunday, Nov. 23. Penn State will face No. 21 Virginia (at 10 a.m.), No. 15 Edinboro (at 12 p.m.) and Binghamton (at 3:30 p.m.). Penn State's next home action will take place on Dec. 7 when it takes part in the Nittany Lion Open. The next home dual is Dec. 14 when Penn State hosts West Virginia at 1 p.m. 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 to wrestling events for free! Season tickets are $28 for adults and seniors, youth 18 and under season tickets are $21. Fans can call 814-863-1000 or 800-833-5533 to order tickets. All home duals will be streamed live at gopsusports.com and over the air on WBLF 970 AM and WKVA 920 AM.
POSSIBLE LINE-UPS - as of 11/12/08 **SUBJECT TO CHANGE **
Freshman Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) had a solid tournament as well. After opening with a pin in the first round, Wade dropped a tough 4-1 decision to No. 14 Nathan Everhart of Indiana. Wade responded by notching three straight wins (including another pin) before bowing out of the tournament with a loss and a 4-2 record. Senior Andrew Haile (Crabtree, Pa.), seeing his first collegiate action 2005-06, prepped for his Nittany Lion dual meet debut next weekend with 2-2 showing at 197. Other Nittany Lions competing at the event included sophomore Eric Caschera (South Williamsport, Pa.), who went 0-2 at 125; sophomore Adam Smetana (Valencia, Pa.), who went 2-2 at 125; junior Adam Lynch (Mifflinburg, Pa.), who went 3-2 at 133; sophomore Christian Harr (Hollidaysburg, Pa.), who went 0-1 at 149; freshman Tim Darling (Nazareth, Pa.), who went 3-2 at 165; junior Matt Dodds (Leola, Pa.), who went 2-2 at 174; sophomore Clay Steadman (McKean, Pa.), who went 1-1 at 197; freshman J.R. Brown (Bellefonte, Pa.), who went 0-2 at 197; and sophomore Nathan Andrews (Spring Mills, Pa.), who went 1-2 at 197.
MOLINARO AND WADE SHINE IN WRESTLE-OFFS; RED-SHIRT FRESHMEN CLAIM TITLES AT 141 AND HWT Two red-shirt freshmen stood out at Penn State's Wrestle-Offs on November 2. Frank Molinaro went 2-0 against No. 7 (at 133) Jake Strayer at 141 pounds to claim the title and the starting spot while Cameron Wade went 2-0 against 2007-08 early-season starter Stefan Tighe, including a pin, to claim the starting spot at HWT.
FRIEND AND ERWIN STRONG AT WRESTLE-OFFS; VETERANS SECURE STARTING SPOTS AT 165 AND 174 Senior Mark Friend and junior David Erwin were both strong at Wrestle-Offs on November 2. Friend won among a crowded field at 165, going 3-0 on the day, including two solid wins over talented red-shirt freshman Tim Darling. This marks the third straight year that Friend emerged victorious in Wrestle-Offs. Erwin was also outstanding, downing true freshman Quentin Wright twice at 174 to secure his starting spot as well.
HAAS, STRAYER, JENKINS, VALLIMONT NAMED TEAM CAPTAINS FOR 2008-09 SEASON The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team has named a talented foursome as co-captains for the 2008-09 season. Senior Tim Haas (Camp Hill, Pa.), junior Bubba Jenkins (Virginia Beach, Va.), senior Jake Strayer (South Fork, Pa.) and junior Dan Vallimont (Lake Hopatcong, N.J.) will share team leader duties this year. Haas, a sixth year senior who was given an extra year of eligibility due to having two seasons shortened by injuries, will wrestling at 133 this year after going 7-15 last season. Haas was 5-11 in duals with a solid 3-5 Big Ten dual meet record. Haas has a 29-23 career record. Jenkins is the defending national runner-up at 149. The Virginia-native went 26-6 last season, including a 4-1 showing at nationals and an appearance in the NCAA title tilt. The All-American, who is now 49-18 overall at Penn State, has a 10-6 career Big Ten dual meet record, including a 6-2 mark last season. Jenkins begins his run at a national title with 82 career dual meet points.
Strayer was a 2007 All-American at 133 and moved up to 141 last season where he went 11-5. A two-time NCAA qualifier (he reached the `Round of 12' at 133 in 2006), Strayer returns to 133 this season. Strayer has a 64-19 career record, including a 53-14 mark at 133 pounds. Strayer's 39-9 career dual match record his highlighted by a 30-5 mark at 133 (12-4 in Big Ten action). He has 133 career dual match points.Vallimont earned his first All-America honor last year with a superb third place finish at 157 pounds. It was the New Jersey-native's first season at 157 pounds. Vallimont posted a superb 32-3 mark last year, including a 5-1 performance at nationals to take third place. Vallimont, who reached the `Round of 12' at nationals at 149 in 2007, has a 54-15 career record including a 29-8 dual match mark (12-4 in Big Ten action). He has 100 career dual match points as well.
PENN STATE RANKED NO. 7 IN USA TODAY/NWCA COACHES POLL The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, under the guidance of head coach Troy Sunderland, is ranked No. 7 in the latest USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll as compiled and released by Intermat and viewable at www.intermatwrestle.com. Four Nittany Lion individuals are ranked among the nation's top 20 as well.
Defending national champion Iowa is ranked No. 1, followed by in-state rival Iowa State. Ohio State (3), Cornell (4) and Missouri (5) round out the top five. Nebraska (6), Penn State (7), Oklahoma State (8), Illinois (9) and Michigan (10) comprise the rest of the top ten.
With five teams in the top ten, the Big Ten is once again seen as the nation's elite wrestling conference. Northwestern (11), Minnesota (T12), Wisconsin (T12) and Indiana (16) are also ranked in the top 25, meaning nine of the conference's 11 teams are in the pre-season rankings. Purdue is receiving votes.
Four Nittany Lions are ranked among the top 20 at their respective weights. All-American Bubba Jenkins (Virginia Beach, Va.) is ranked No. 2 at 149, All-American Dan Vallimont (Lake Hopatcong, N.J.) is ranked No. 3 at 157, senior Phil Bomberger (Port Royal, Pa.) is ranked No. 15 at 184 and junior David Erwin (Urbana, Ohio) is ranked No. 18 at 174. Erwin is the only one of this group who has wrestled this year; he is 3-0 to date. Senior All-American Jake Strayer (South Fork, Pa.) was ranked No. 7 at 133 to start the season but, since he will not wrestle at that weight until later this season, is no longer ranked.
JENKINS AND VALLIMONT TO TAKE PART IN NWCA ALL-STAR CLASSIC Penn State Nittany Lion wrestler Bubba Jenkins (Virginia Beach, Va.) has been selected to participate in the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic. The exhibition event will take place at Ohio State's St. John's Arena on Monday, November 24, at 7 p.m. Jenkins, ranked No. 2 at 149 in the NWCA's pre-season rankings, will face No. 1 Brent Metcalf of Iowa. Jenkins, the defending national runner-up, lost to Metcalf 14-8 in the 2008 NCAA Championships at 149 last year. Metcalf served as Jenkins' foil last year, handing the Nittany Lion All-American three of his six losses during the campaign (Jenkins went 26-6 overall). Vallimont, ranked No. 3 at 157 in the NWCA's pre-season rankings, will face No. 1 Jordan Leen of Cornell. Vallimont, who was an All-American last year with a third place finish, never met Leen during the regular season. Leen went on to win the NCAA title. The selection of Jenkins and Vallimont marks the third straight year that a Nittany Lion has been represented at the prestigious event, annually pitting the top two pre-season wrestlers at each weight class against each other in an exhibition. In 2006, Penn State sent Phil Davis and James Yonushonis and last year Davis took part again.
The ten-bout exhibition features a full list of the nation's best wrestlers: 125: #2 Troy Nickerson (Cornell) vs. #3 Charlie Falck (Iowa) 133: #1 Joey Slaton (Iowa) vs. #2 Jayson Ness (Minnesota) 141: #1 J Jaggers (Ohio State) vs. #2 Nick Gallick (Iowa State) 149: #1 Brent Metcalf (Iowa) vs. #2 Bubba Jenkins (Penn State) 157: #1 Jordan Leen (Cornell) vs. #3 Dan Vallimont (Penn State) 165: #1 Nick Marable (Missouri) vs. #2 Mack Lewnes (Cornell) 174: #1 Steve Luke (Michigan) vs. #2 Jay Borschel (Iowa) 184: #1 Mike Pucillo (Ohio State) vs. #3 Phil Keddy (Iowa) 197: #1 Jake Varner (Iowa State) vs. #2 Hudson Taylor (Maryland) HWT: #1 Jared Rosholt (Oklahoma State) vs. #3 Kyle Massey (Wisconsin)
PENN STATE WRESTLING RADIO! All Penn State wrestling duals and the post-season will be aired live locally on WRSC (1390 AM State College) and regionally on WHUN (1150 AM Huntingdon) and streamed live at GoPSUsports.com. Jeff Byers will once again serve as the voice of Penn State wrestling!
LIVE AUDIO WEBCASTS ONLY $9.95 PER MONTH! All of Penn State's wrestling duals, the Big Ten Championships and the NCAA Championships (as well as the Troy Sunderland Show), will once again be webcast live at www.GoPSUsports.com. Fans just go to GoPSU and click on All-Access. From there, just sign up for the All-Access package of your choice for as little as $9.95 per month. The All-Access package gives fans all of Penn State's audio and video feeds for every Penn State sporting event that features audio or video, not just wrestling!
THE Troy Sunderland SHOW! Penn State head wrestling coach Troy Sunderland will once again host his weekly coaches show. This year's show will be broadcast each week on WMAJ (1450 AM State College). The starting date will be determined soon and announced later!
PENN STATE & TAKEDOWN RADIO
This year, Penn State is a proud premier sponsor of the nation's top wrestling radio network, Take Down Wrestling Radio. The Nittany Lions have joined forces with TDR and will be featured regularly on the national network. Fans can listen to TDR simply by visiting www.takedownradio.com.