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NOTES: Lions Battle Lehigh in PPL Center

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Nov. 29, 2017

VIDEO: Trio Poised to Continue Momentum


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State Nittany Lions (3-0, 0-0 B1G), ranked No. 1 on InterMat's Tournament Power Index (TPI),will head to the Lehigh Valley on Sunday, Dec. 3, for a dual meet against No. 7 Lehigh (*3-0). The dual will take place in the PPL Center in Allentown, Pa., and starts at 2 p.m. *Lehigh is at Princeton on Friday, Dec. 1, post-press.

Head coach Cael Sanderson's squad is coming off a resounding road trip two weekends ago. The Nittany Lions won at Binghamton 40-2 on Friday, Nov. 17 and then dominated the Keystone Classic on Nov. 19. Penn State went seven-for-seven in the finals to win the team race for the second straight year. Penn State enters the dual meet riding a 34-dual win streak dating back to the end of the 2014-15 season. The Nittany Lions won the last dual of that year, went unbeaten in 2015-16 (16-0), unbeaten in 2016-17 (14-0) and are 3-0 this year.

Penn State will send a talented line-up into the dual with the Mountain Hawks, one that piles up bonus points with abandon. Graduate transfer Corey Keener will enter the dual ranked No. 18 at 133 by InterMat with a 5-0 mark, including two pins and a major. Junior Jered Cortez is a perfect 7-0 on the year at 141 with two pins and a major. Senior Zain Retherford, ranked No. 1 at 149, is 7-0 with five pins, a tech and a major. Junior Jason Nolf, No. at 157, is 7-0 on the year, all by fall.

Sophomore Vincenzo Joseph is No. 1 at 165 with a perfect 3-0 mark, including two majors and a tech. Sophomore Mark Hall, ranked No. 2 at 174, is 8-0 with five pins and three techs. Junior Bo Nickal, ranked No. 1 at 184, is 7-0 on the year with four pins, a tech and two majors. Sophomore Anthony Cassar, ranked No. 11 at 197, is 6-1 with a major. Junior Nick Nevills is ranked No. 3 at 285 and is 8-0, including two pins and two majors. Penn State is 26-4 in dual meets this year, with 20 wins for bonus, including 10 pins.



Lehigh is at Princeton on Friday, Dec. 1, post press. The Mountain Hawks enter their weekend with a 3-0 record. Lehigh is ranked No. 7 in InterMat's TPI and No. 5 in InterMat's dual meet rankings (Penn State is No. 1). The Mountain Hawks also have a talented and powerful line-up, including six ranked grapplers. Defending NCAA champion Darian Cruz is ranked No. 5 with a 5-0 mark at 125. Junior Scotty Parker is 6-0 and ranked No. 3 at 133. Junior Gordon Wolf is 4-1 and ranked No. 15 at 165. Sophomore Jordan Kutler is 6-0 at 174 and ranked No. 5. Junior Ryan Preisch is 5-0 at 184 and ranked No. 4. Freshman Jordan Wood is 5-1 and ranked no. 14 at 285.

Penn State owns a substantial 68-34-3 lead in the long-time series, including having won the last seven straight. Penn State beat Lehigh 33-6 on 12/4/16 last year in the BJC. Penn State won the last meeting at Lehigh, a 28-9 victory on 2/12/16.

The Nittany Lions open up Big Ten action on Sunday, Dec. 17, when the Indiana Hoosiers invade Rec Hall at 1 p.m. at 1 p.m. in Rec Hall. With all home dual meets sold out, a limited number of Standing Room Only (SRO) tickets are available to select Rec Hall duals based on availability. Call 1-800-NITTANY for information or to purchase tickets.

Penn State Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at @pennstateWREST, on Penn State Wrestling's Facebook page at and on Instagram at The 2017-18 Penn State wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline. This is PENN STATE. WRESTLING lives here.


125 Devin Schnupp Fr. Lititz, Pa./Warwick / 1-5
133 #18 Corey Keener Sr. Schuylkill Haven, Pa./Blue Mountain / 5-0
141 Jered Cortez Jr. Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North / 7-0
149 #1 Zain Retherford Sr. Benton, Pa./Benton / 7-0
157 #1 Jason Nolf Jr. Yatesboro, Pa./Kittanning / 7-0
165 #1 Vincenzo Joseph So. Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic / 3-0
174 #2 Mark Hall So. Apple Valley, Minn./Apple Valley / 8-0
184 #1 Bo Nickal Jr. Allen, Texas/Allen / 7-0
197 #11 Anthony Cassar So. Rocky Hill, N.J./Montgomery / 6-1
Matt McCutcheon Sr. Apollo, Pa./Kiski Area / 4-2
285 #3 Nick Nevills Jr. Clovis, Calif./Clovis / 8-0


125 #5 Darian Cruz Sr. Allentown, Pa./Bethlehem Catholic / 5-0
133 #3 Scotty Parker Jr. Sellersville, Pa./Pennridge / 6-0
141 Luke Karam Fr. Bath, Pa./Bethlehem Catholic / 4-2
149 Jon Mele Sr. Berkeley Heights, N.J./Governor Livingston / 2-3
OR Cortlandt Schuyler Jr. Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township / 2-2
157 Ian Brown Jr. Hanover, Pa./Hanover / 5-1
165 #15 Gordon Wolf Jr. Lawrenceville, N.J./Lawrence / 4-1
OR Cole Walter So. Millmont, Pa./Mifflinburg / 2-2
174 #5 Jordan Kutler So. Sparta, N.J./Blair Academy / 6-0
184 #4 Ryan Preisch Jr. New Columbia, Pa./Milton / 5-0
197 Jake Jakobsen Fr. Scotia, Pa./Stroudsburg / 5-1
OR Chris Weiler Fr. Biglerville, Pa./Wyoming Seminary / 2-1
285 #14 Jordan Wood Fr. Gilbertsville, Pa./Boyertown / 5-1

Individual rankings are InterMat, team ranking is InterMat TPI
(Tournament Power Index) as of 11/28/17)
* Lehigh is at Princeton on Friday, 12/1, post-press


No. 1 Penn State (3-0, 0-0 B1G) will head to the Lehigh Valley on Sunday, Dec. 3, for a dual meet against No. 7 Lehigh (*3-0). Lehigh is at Princeton on Friday, Dec. 1, post-press. The dual will take place in the PPL Center in Allentown, Pa., and starts at 2 p.m.


Penn State will open up Big Ten action at home when the Indiana Hoosiers visit Rec Hall on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 2 p.m. in a BTN national telecast.


TV - SE2 (Lehigh Area)
Live Web Video - Patriot League Network (
Radio All Season - FREE!!! Penn State Radio Network. All live streaming of Penn State audio is free this year. All audio and some video (both free and $) can be accessed through Lionvision ( ).


True freshman Nick Lee, wrestling unattached at Lock Haven, won the Mat-Town Open title on Sunday, 11/26, at 141 pounds. Lee went 4-0 with two pins, a tech and a major to win the crown. Red-shirt freshman Patrick Higgins also competed, going 2-2 with a tech fall to finish fourth at 133 as well.

Penn State's hot start to the season, 3-0 in duals and winners of the Keystone Classic, comes on the shoulders of a bonus point bonanza. Penn State has utilized the same starting line-up for its three duals and through the Keystone Classic. Penn State is 26-4 in its three duals, with 20 of those wins coming via bonus (10 pins, three tech falls and seven majors).

The race for the Penn State pin crown has gotten off to a fast start and the title is official up for grabs. Jason Nolf (157) is 7-0 on the with seven pins; Mark Hall (174) is 8-0 with five pins; Zain Retherford (149) is 7-0 with five pins and Bo Nickal (184) is 7-0 with four pins. Shakur Rasheed has added six pins in open tournaments at 197 as well.

Okay, so Bo Nickal's fast falls are, well, fast. Nickal is 7-0 on the year with four pins. All four have come in under 60 seconds. That's quick. His fast falls have come in 0:26, 0:53, 0:38 and 0:48 (over #16 Mitch Sliga of Northwestern).

Jason Nolf has had a pretty solid start to the 2017-18 season. The junior 157-pounder is 7-0 on the year and all seven of his wins are by fall. He won the Keystone Classic on 11/19 with four pins and is 3-0 in duals (all falls).

Penn State rolled to its second straight Keystone Classic title on 11/19. The Nittany Lions posted a perfect 7-0 mark in the finals and won the team crown with 190.5 points, ahead of second place Northwestern's 156.5. Penn State's title winners were: Jered Cortez (141), Zain Retherford (149), Jason Nolf (157), Mark Hall (174), Bo Nickal (184), Anthony Cassar (197) and Nick Nevills (285).

Penn State picked up its first road win of the season, winning at Binghamton 40-2 on 11/17. The Lions won nine of ten bouts, including Bo Nickal's 15-6 major over #14 Steven Schneider and three pins (Zain Retherford, Jason Nolf and Mark Hall).

The Nittany Lions won eight of ten bouts in a lopsided 36-6 victory over visiting Bucknell on 11/12. Penn State picked up pins from Jason Nolf and Zain Retherford, tech falls from Vincenzo Joseph and Mark Hall and majors from Corey Keener and Bo Nickal.

Penn State opened up its 2017-18 season with a resounding 45-3 win over visiting Army West Point on 11/9. The Nittany Lions rode five pins to the victory. Senior Corey Keener made his Penn State debut with a pin at 133, Jason Nolf had a fall at 157, Mark Hall pinned #19 Ben Harvey at 174, Bo Nickal picked up a pin in 0:26 at 184 and Nick Nevills had a pin at 125. The five pins in one dual is the most by a Nittany Lion team since pinning five Maryland Terrapins last year on Feb. 12, 2017.

True freshman Jerod Verkleeren competed unattached at 149 and rolled through the field for the 149-pound title at the Bearcat Open in Binghamton on 11/12. The Greensburg native went 5-0 in his first open tournament as a collegian to lead Penn State, which had six of its 13 entrants place. Verkleeren had two tech falls. True freshman Nick Lee went 3-1 with two tech falls and a major to place third at 141. Junior Shakur Rasheed went 3-1 with three pins to take fourth place at 197. Junior Devon Van Cura wrestled at 184 and posted a 5-1 record with a major to place fifth. Sophomore Dominic Giannangeli wrestled at 133 and posted a 5-1 mark as well to finish fifth.

True freshman Brady Berge, wrestling unattached at 157, had a strong debut wrestling at the collegiate level to pace Penn State at the Princeton Open on 11/4. The true freshman, redshirting this season, advanced to the semifinals with two major decisions before dropping a match. He rebounded from that loss to win twice including in the consolation finals, placing third at his first tournament. Berge went 4-1 with two majors.

True freshman Nick Lee competed unattached at 141 in his first open tournament as a Penn Stater and led the Lions at the Clarion Open on 11/5. Lee was impressive, advancing all the way to the finals. Lee went 4-1 on the day with three dominating tech falls and a major. He dropped a hard-fought 6-4 decision to No. 10 Brock Zacherl of Clarion in the finals. Junior Shakur Rasheed, wrestling at 197, went 4-1 with three pins and a tech fall. The Lion junior placed third, winning the consolation finals with a pin in just 0:39. Redshirt freshman Bo Pipher wrestled at 149. Pipher posted a 3-2 mark, with all three wins coming by fall. Junior George Carpenter competed at 133 and posted a solid 4-2 mark including four straight wins in consolation action.

Penn State All-Americans Mark Hall and Nick Nevills competed in the 2017 NWCA All-Star Classic on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 3 p.m. The exhibition took place at Princeton University. The results from the NWCA All-Star Classic do not count as official wins or losses. Nevills, a 2017 All-American at 285 after placing fifth last year, battled Tanner Hall, also an All-American from Arizona State who placed third last season. Nevills posted a 2-0 win with riding time. Lion sophomore Hall, the 2017 NCAA Champion at 174 as a true freshman, took on Arizona State All-American Zahid Valencia, who finished third last year at nationals. Valencia notched a takedown with just :18 left to grab the 3-2 win. The results are not official wins or losses as the event was an exhibition.

The Penn State wrestling team, winner of six of the last seven NCAA titles, will enter the season ranked No. 1 in the nation in InterMat's preseason Tournament Power Index (TPI). Eight Nittany Lions are listed in InterMat's pre-season weight-by-weight rankings as well. Corey Keener is ranked No. 18 at 133, Zain Retherford No. 1 at 149, Jason Nolf No. 1 at 157, Vincenzo Joseph No. 1 at 165, Mark Hall No. 2 at 174, Bo Nickal No. 1 at 184, Anthony Cassar No. 11 at 197 and Nick Nevills No. 3 at 285.

Nittany Lion head coach Cael Sanderson will serve as the guest speaker at the Blair County Sports Hall of Fame banquet and induction ceremony on Saturday, April 7, 2018. The event will take place at the Blair County Convention Center. Advance orders for tickets, priced at $75 (or $750 for a table of 10) before Dec. 31 and $85 ($850 for a table of 10) after Dec. 31, are currently being accepted. Checks can be made payable to the Blair County Sports Hall of Fame, P.O. Box 162, Altoona, Pa., 16603. Tickets can be purchased online at the HOF's website at For more information contact Kathy Millward at 814-312-0151. Former guest speakers at the prestigious event include Joe Paterno (1987), James Franklin (2015), Terry Bradshaw, Bobby Knight, Dick Vitale, Joe Theisman, Mary Lou Retton, Bobby Bowden, Jim Boeheim, Hines Ward, Chris Fowler, Ben Rothlisberger and Jay Bilas.


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