No. 14 Penn State Wrestlers Trek to New York for Four Duals In Key Weekend
Nov. 19, 2008
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -
The Nittany Lions are coming off a hard fought 18-15 upset loss to Hofstra on Sunday. Penn State got strong performances of a pair of freshman, but were stunned down the stretch in its 2008-09 season opener. In a bout showcasing Penn State's youth and emerging talent, four Nittany Lions made their dual meet debuts in the match. Hofstra already had a full team tournament and one dual meet under its belt while Penn State was making its' season debut in front of over 3,200 fans. Each team won five bouts, but the Pride won the bonus point battle 3-0 to secure the upset victory. True freshman Quentin Wright, making his collegiate debut just three days after learning he would start due to an injury to junior David Erwin, gave notice to the nation with a last-second takedown and a stunning 4-3 win over returning Hofstra All-American Alton Lucas at 174. Lucas was ranked No. 6 and undefeated heading into the dual. Red-shirt freshman Cameron Wade notched a critical win at HWT in his Penn State dual meet debut, downing Hofstra's Jordan Enck 4-2. But the victories would not be enough as the Pride stormed back from a 15-11 deficit with two bouts left to steal an 18-15 win.
Cornell enters Friday's dual ranked No. 4 and will be making its dual meet debut. The Big Red had an outstanding day at its season opening tournament, with four different wrestlers going 5-0 at the event. Cornell is led by seven ranked grapplers. Virginia is coming off a 1-2 showing at the ACC/Big Ten Clash. The Cavaliers downed Michigan State but fell to nationally ranked Wisconsin and Illinois. Virginia is being led by two ranked men. Edinboro is coming last wrestled two weeks ago, finishing a strong second at the Brute Oklahoma Gold Classic. The Fighting Scots are 3-0 and are led by seven ranked individuals. Binghamton also enters the week having not wrestled in a dual, but the Bearcats hosted the Brute Oklahoma Gold Classic. Binghamton is being led by Josh Patterson, ranked No. 17 at 184.
Penn State returns to action on Sunday, Dec. 7, when it takes part in the Nittany Lion Open at Rec Hall. Action begins at 8:30 a.m. and tickets can be purchased at the door on the day of the event. Penn State students, Nittany Lion Wrestling Club Members and season ticket holders get in for free. Ticket prices for the general public are $5 for adults, $3 for students and $2 as the group rate. Penn State's 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 11/19/08 **SUBJECT TO CHANGE **
HAILE OUT INDEFINITELY Penn State suffered the loss of a second starter in the season's opening week when junior 197-pound starter Andrew Haile suffered an injury in his dual meet debut against Hofstra on Sunday, Nov. 16. Haile will be out and his scheduled date of return is yet to be determined.
WRIGHT TOPPLES #6 LUCAS IN COLLEGIATE DEBUT True freshman Quentin Wright, thrust into the Penn State line-up just days before the Lions' season opening dual vs. Hofstra, downed returning All-American and 6th-ranked Alton Lucas 4-3 in his collegiate debut. Wright used a last second takedown to send over 3,200 Rec Hall fans into a frenzy and claim the victory on 11/16.
WADE WINS IN HIS PENN STATE DUAL MEET DEBUT Red-shirt freshman heavyweight Cameron Wade was solid in claiming a 4-2 win over Hofstra's Jordan Enck in his Penn State dual meet debut. Wade claimed one of Penn State's five wins in the dual in front of over 3,200 cheering Rec Hall fans on 11/16.
VALLIMONT DOWNS #15 BONILLA-BOWMAN OF HOFSTRA Penn State All-American Dan Vallimont, ranked No. 3 in the nation, downed No. 15 Jonny Bonilla-Bowman of Hofstra 11-8 in his season opening action against the Pride on 11/16.
LIONS SPLIT BOUTS WITH PRIDE; UPSET ON BONUS POINTS No. 7 Penn State split its dual meet with the visiting Hofstra Pride, 5-5, but gave up the only three bonus points in the match on three major decisions and fell victim to an 18-15 upset loss in front of over 3,200 fans in Rec Hall. All-Americans Bubba Jenkins and Dan Vallimont grabbed wins at 149 and 157 as did No. 15 Phil Bomberger at 184. Freshmen Quentin Wright and Cameron Wade also got wins in their dual meet debuts on 11/16.
DECKER AND BOLLINGER PLACE AT ESU OPEN The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team had nine wrestlers compete in the East Stroudsburg Open yesterday, six attached and three unattached. Senior Jack Decker (Roseland, N.J.) led Penn State with a fifth place finish at 184 while red-shirt freshman Micah Bollinger (Mifflinburg, Pa.) placed seventh at 165. Decker went 2-1 at the event and received a bye in the fifth place bout to claim fifth. His only loss was a quarterfinal defeat to Tom Shovlin of Penn, who placed second. Bollinger went 3-2 with a pin to tie for seventh place as the seventh place bout was not contested. Also wrestling attached for Penn State were freshman Eric Caschera (South Williamsport, Pa.), who went 1-2 at 125; classmate Adam Smetana (Valencia, Pa.), who went 1-1 at 125; freshman Shane Everett (Saylorsburg, Pa.), who was 2-2 at 157; and sophomore Nathan Andrews (Spring Mills, Pa.), who was 2-2 at 197. Wrestling unattached were true freshman Jack Chidester (Conestoga, Pa.), who was 2-2 at 133; classmate Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.), who was 0-2 at 133; and Shane Donnelly (East Smithfield, Pa.), who was 2-2 at 165.
ERWIN TO MISS 2008-09 SEASON Penn State Nittany Lion wrestler David Erwin (Urbana, Ohio) will miss the entire 2008-09 season after suffering an injury on Nov. 9 at the Michigan State Open. The junior 174-pounder was ranked No. 18 nationally at his weight at the time. Erwin's injury forces the two-year Penn State starter to end his campaign with a 3-0 mark. Erwin was hurt in the semifinals at the MSU Open and took an injury forfeit before the finals bout. With Erwin out, true freshman Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) will forgo a red-shirt season and man the 174-pound spot. Wright, a two-time PIAA State Champion from nearby Bald Eagle Area High School, was one of the nation's top recruits coming out of high school.
ERWIN LEADS 14 NITTANY LIONS AT MSU OPEN; MOLINARO AND PATAKY PLACE AS WELL 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. 20 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.), ranked No. 20 at 125, 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. 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. 14 IN USA TODAY/NWCA COACHES POLL The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, under the guidance of head coach Troy Sunderland, is ranked No. 14 in the latest NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll, as compiled and released by Intermat. The full release can be viewed at www.intermatwrestle.com. Freshman Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) makes his debut in the national rankings as one of four ranked Penn State individuals. The Nittany Lions fell to No. 14 after a season-opening upset loss to Hofstra, which how checks in at No. 16 in the latest poll. Defending national champion Iowa maintains its hold on the No. 1 spot, followed by Iowa State and Ohio State. In all, nine of the Big Ten's 11 teams are ranked in the top 25. Joining Iowa and Ohio State in the rankings are Illinois (8), Michigan (9), Northwestern (10), Minnesota (11), Wisconsin (12), Penn State (14) and Indiana (18). Purdue is also receiving votes. Junior All-Americans Bubba Jenkins (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Dan Vallimont (Lake Hopatcong, N.J.) lead Penn State's ranked contingent. Jenkins maintains his hold on No. 2 at 149 while Vallimont moves up one spot to No. 2 at 157. Senior Phil Bomberger (Port Royale, Pa.) moves up to No. 13 at 184 as well. Wright, fresh off a win over then No. 6 Alton Lucas of Hofstra (a returning All-American), debuts in the No. 16 spot at 174.
JENKINS AND VALLIMONT WITHDRAW FROM NWCA ALL-STAR CLASSIC Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling All-Americans Bubba Jenkins (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Dan Vallimont (Lake Hopatcong, N.J.) will not participate in the NWCA All-Star Classic. The exhibition is slated for Monday, November 24, in Columbus, Ohio. "In no way do we want to disappoint our fans, who were excited to see Bubba and Dan wrestle in the Classic, but we feel that in order to continue to work towards our goal of conference and national titles, we need to focus on this team as a unit," said head coach Troy Sunderland. "Bubba and Dan are team leaders and at this time of the year, we need them to unite this team. Consequently, the coaching staff has asked that they sacrifice their individual pursuits for the continued development of our young squad." Penn State will wrestle four duals in three days this weekend, including facing three nationally ranked opponents. The Nittany Lions visit Cornell on Friday night, and then face Virginia, Edinboro and Binghamton on Sunday at the Sprawl and Brawl Duals in Binghamton.
NITTANY LIONS SIGN HARRISBURG STAND-OUT EDWARD RUTH TO NATIONAL LETTER OF INTENT The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, under the direction of head coach Troy Sunderland, has signed Harrisburg-native Edward Ruth to a National Letter of Intent. Ruth will join the Nittany Lions next season for the 2009-10 campaign. The talented 171-pounder wrestled at Susquehanna Township High School from his freshmen to junior years and has since moved on to the Blair Academy in New Jersey where he will compete this year and matriculate this spring. "We are very excited that Edward has chosen to continue his career with us at Penn State," said first assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Matt Dernlan. "He is a unique talent and has been blessed with a God-given skill set that few possess. These talents, combined with our tradition, could translate into a truly special career. With Edward's commitment and the talent on our team now, we believe Penn State Wrestling has solidified its status as one of the nation's elite wrestling teams." Ruth is a two-time PIAA Triple-A place-winner, finishing fourth and fifth in his final two years at STHS. Ruth fell to current Nittany Lion 174-pound starter Quentin Wright in the state semifinals each of those seasons. In 2008, he won the NHSCA High School Junior National Championship. "Edward has shown that he has all the ability in the world and his work ethic and attitude make him a great fit for our squad," Sunderland said. "We're very pleased to welcome him to the Penn State wrestling family and look forward to him donning the blue and white singlet." Ruth was coached by Joey Scott at Susquehanna Township and is being coached by Jeff Buxton at The Blair Academy this season. He is the son of Eddie and Thanayi Ruth. The Ruth's reside in Harrisburg, Pa., home of four-time All-American and 2008 National Champion Phil Davis.
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.