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Dec. 11, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
The Penn State Nittany Lions (5-0, 0-0 B1G), three-time defending NCAA and Big Ten Champions, will open up Big Ten action on Sunday, Dec. 15, when they welcome No. 6 Ohio State (4-0, 0-0 B1G) to Rec Hall. The dual is set for 12 p.m. and airs live on the Big Ten Network. It already a sell-out, which will be Penn State's 14th straight.
Penn State is coming off a record setting weekend. The Nittany Lions travelled to Boston on Dec. 6 and downed the Terriers 34-6. The dual meet was wrestled in front of a BU record crowd in Case Hall of 1,664, the first ever sell out in Boston wrestling history. Two days later, the Lions hosted Pittsburgh in a sold-out Bryce Jordan Center and downed the Panthers 28-9. The dual's attendance mark of 15,996, which was Penn State's 13th straight home sell out, set a new NCAA dual meet attendance record and new Penn State records for a wrestling dual meet and an athletics event in the BJC.
Sanderson's squad features ten ranked grapplers. Junior All-American Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.) continues to hold the No. 3 spot at 125 with a 9-1 mark while red-shirt freshman Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.) is No. 15 at 133 with a 4-4 mark. True freshman Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.) jumped up to No. 8 at 141 with a perfect 10-0 mark. Junior Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) is No. 7 at 149 and twin brother Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) is No. 5 at 157. The brothers are expected to return mid-to-late December after off-season surgeries. With both Alton's doubtful for the dual, look for senior James English (York, Pa.) or red-shirt freshman Zack Beitz (Mifflintown, Pa.) to go at 149 and senior James Vollrath (Richboro, Pa.) to get the call at 157.
Senior All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) is No. 1 at 165 with a 10-0 mark while junior All-American Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah) is No. 3 at 174 with an identical 10-0 record. Senior All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) is 10-0 and ranked No. 1 at 184 while sophomore Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.) has moved up to No. 3 at 197 with 10-0 record. Junior Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.) rounds out Penn State's ten ranked grapplers, ranked No. 12 at 285 with a 9-0 mark.
Ohio State is coming off an outstanding third place finish at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational last weekend. The Buckeyes are led by top-ranked Logan Stieber, who is 9-0 at 141. Senior Nick Heflin is 8-0 and No. 5 at 197, sophomore Johnni DiJulius is 14-1 and No. 6 at 133, sophomore Kenny Courts is 17-2 and No. 12 at 184, Nick Roberts is 18-4 and No. 19 at 125 and senior Ian Paddock is 16-5 and No. 19 at 149.
The Nittany Lions lead the all-time series against Ohio State 16-11, including the last three straight. Penn State won 34-9 in Rec Hall on Jan. 29, 2012, and won last year's meeting in Columbus, 29-18, on Feb. 10, 2013.
Penn State returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 21, when it treks to Iowa for a non-conference dual in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The match-up airs live on the Big Ten Network as well and starts at 9 p.m. Eastern/8 p.m. Central.
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.
The Penn State Nittany Lions (5-0, 0-0 B1G) will open up Big Ten action in a sold out Rec Hall on Sunday, Dec. 15, at 12 p.m. against No. 6 Ohio State (4-0, 0-0 B1G). The dual, which will be Penn State's 14th straight home sell-out, is also a live Big Ten Network telecast.
The Nittany Lions travel to Iowa on Saturday, Dec. 21, for a NON-CONFERENCE dual meet in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The dual is set for 9 p.m. Eastern/8 p.m. Central.
ON THE AIR
TV - Big Ten Network LIVE/also available live via the BTN2go app
Live Web Video - Not allowed (due to being live on the BTN)
Radio - Full season live on WRSC (103.1 FM/1390 AM) State College; WPBZ 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.
#2 PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (5-0, 0-0 B1G)
WT NAME EL HT/HS / REC
125 #3 Nico Megaludis Jr. Murraysville, Pa./Franklin Regional / 9-1
133 #15 Jimmy Gulibon Fr. Latrobe, Pa./Derry Area / 4-4
OR Jordan Conaway So. Abbottstown, Pa./New Oxford / 9-2
141 #8 Zain Retherford Fr. Benton, Pa./Benton / 10-0
149 James English Sr. York, Pa./Central York / 3-2
OR Zack Beitz Fr. Mifflintown, Pa./Juniata / 5-4
#7 Andrew Alton (doubtful) Jr. Mill Hall, Pa./Central Mountain / 0-0
157 James Vollrath Sr. Richboro, Pa./Council Rock South / 7-3
#5 Dylan Alton (doubtful) Jr. Mill Hall, Pa./Central Mountain / 0-0
165 #1 David Taylor Sr. St. Paris, Ohio/St. Paris Graham / 10-0
174 #3 Matt Brown Jr. West Valley City, Utah/Cyprus / 10-0
184 #1 Ed Ruth Sr. Harrisburg, Pa./Susquehanna Township / 10-0
Wes Phipps Fr. Grove City, Pa./Grove City / 2-1
197 #3 Morgan McIntosh So. Santa Ana, Calif./Calvary Chapel / 10-0
285 #12 Jimmy Lawson Jr. Tom's River, N.J./Manchester Township / 9-0
Jon Gingrich Jr. Wingate, Pa./Bald Eagle Area / 13-1
#6 OHIO STATE BUCKEYES (4-0, 0-0 B1G) / trend it at #PSUwrOSU
WT NAME EL HT/HS / REC
125 #19 Nick Roberts Fr. Hooversville, Pa./North Star / 18-4
133 #6 Johnni DiJulius So. Aurora, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit / 14-1
141 #1 Logan Stieber Jr. Monroeville, Ohio/Monroeville / 9-0
149 #19 Ian Paddock Sr. Warsaw, N.Y./Warsaw / 16-5
157 Randy Languis Jr. Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Scioto / 11-6
165 Joe Grandominico Jr. Westerville, Ohio/Olentangy / 7-7
174 Mark Martin So Strongsville, Ohio/St. Edward / 16-6
184 #12 Kenny Courts So. Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin / 17-2
197 #5 Nick Heflin Sr. Massillon, Ohio/Massillon Perry / 8-0
285 Nick Tavanello Fr. Wadsworth, Ohio/Wadsworth / 15-7
Individual rankings are Intermat and team rankings are Intermat TPI as of 12/10
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 fourth 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 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 105-19-2 dual meet mark in this, his seventh year as a head coach. He is 61-9-2 and in his fifth year at Penn State.
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 PITTSBURGH
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 AS LIONS ROAR PAST 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 FIRST 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 FAIR 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 50 SROs FOR FOUR 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 50 SROs remain for Purdue, Northwestern and Clarion (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. 3 at 125, Jimmy Gulibon is No. 15 at 133, Zain Retherford is No. 8 at 141, Andrew Alton is No. 7 at 149, Dylan Alton is No. 5 at 157, David Taylor is No. 1 at 165, Matt Brown is No. 3 at 174, Ed Ruth is No. 1 at 184, Morgan McIntosh is No. 3 at 197 and Jimmy Lawson is No. 12 at 285.
DUAL TIME CHANGES ANNOUNCED
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team has announced dual meet time changes due to national television broadcast requests. Two of Penn State's Big Ten duals have had their times switched for national TV. Penn State's home dual against Ohio State on Sunday, Dec. 15, will now begin at noon in Rec Hall. 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. The live broadcasts are confirmed but the network they will appear on will be announced later with the full release of Penn State's extensive live television schedule. Additional live TV dates are confirmed and possible time changes for more broadcasts are possible. Penn State's full television schedule will be announced soon.
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.