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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- No. 1 Penn State (5-0, 0-0 B1G) will visit Rider (3-3, 0-1 EWL) on Saturday, Dec. 19, for a 4 p.m. dual in Lawrenceville, N.J. The dual meet will air live on The Comcast Network (TCN). Head coach Cael Sanderson's squad will be looking to finish the first semester undefeated and maintain momentum heading into the 2016 Southern Scuffle on Jan. 1-2 in Chattanooga.
Penn State features a talented line-up with nine ranked wrestlers and five returning All-Americans. All-American Morgan McIntosh is ranked No. 1 at 197 and is 8-0 on the year and All-American Zain Retherford is ranked No. 1 at 149 with a 9-0 mark to lead Penn State's nine ranked wrestlers. Red-shirt freshman Jason Nolf is ranked No. 3 at 157 with a 10-0 record and All-American Nico Megaludis is ranked No. 4 at 125 with a 9-1 mark. Red-shirt freshman Bo Nickal is ranked No. 5 at 174 with a 10-0 record, giving Penn State five wrestlers ranked in the top five.
All-American Jimmy Gulibon is ranked No. 6 at 141 at 5-2 while All-American Jordan Conaway is ranked No. 6 at 133 with an 8-1 record. Sophomore Matt McCutcheon is ranked No. 13 at 184 with a 7-1 record. Junior Geno Morelli makes his rankings debut as a Nittany Lion with a No. 19 nod at 165 and is 11-2 on the year. Red-shirt freshman Shakur Rasheed (Coram, N.Y.) has also been ranked and started at 165 and is 6-3 on the year while true freshman Jan Johnson (Mohnton, Pa.) has been out of the line-up at 285 with an injury. Red-shirt freshman Devon Van Cura (Washington, N.C.) started at 285 for Penn State against Wisconsin this past Sunday.
Penn State is coming off a dominating 36-7 win over No. 15 Wisconsin in front of nearly 13,000 fans in the Bryce Jordan Center this past Sunday. Retherford and Nolf got pins (their fifth and sixth of the year respectively) while Megaludis, Nickal and McCutcheon picked up majors. The win improved Penn State to 5-0 on the year and was the Big Ten opener for Sanderson's squad.
Rider enters the dual meet with a 3-3 mark, 0-1 in the EWL, and has not wrestled since a 27-19 win over Big Ten foe Northwestern back on Dec. 5. Rider is being led by a trio of talented middle weights. B.J. Clagon is ranked No. 14 at 149, Chad Walsh is No. 20 at 157 and Conor Brennan is No. 15 at 165.
Penn State leads the all-time series 5-0, including a 30-3 win in Rec Hall last year on Feb. 22, 2015. Penn State also won the last meeting at Rider, a 34-8 win on Nov. 16, 2013.
Penn State will look for its sixth straight Southern Scuffle title at the 2016 Southern Scuffle, hosted by Chattanooga on Jan. 1 and 2, 2016. The Nittany Lions' next home dual is not until Friday, Jan. 15, when the Lions host Nebraska at 7 p.m. in Rec Hall. Fans may purchase singles to Penn State's two BJC Duals (Wisconsin on 12/13 and Ohio State on 2/5) online at www.GoPSUsports.com/accountmanager or by calling 1-800-NITTANY. BJC Dual public tickets are $16 for adults and $8 for youth (12-and-under). Group tickets for the BJC Duals are now available as well, allowing fans to purchase 20 or more tickets at only $8 per ticket.
Group tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-NITTANY. With the five Rec Hall duals already at seated capacity, a limited number of Standing Room Only tickets (SROs) can be purchased for each of those five duals as well. Rec Hall SROs may only be purchased by calling 1-800-NITTANY and are $15 per person. Penn State Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at @pennstateWREST, on Penn State Wrestling's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/pennstatewrest. The 2015-16 Penn State wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline. This is PENN STATE. WRESTLING lives here.
#1 PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (5-0, 1-0 B1G)
WT NAME EL HT/HS / REC
125 #4 Nico Megaludis Sr. Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional / 9-1
133 #6 Jordan Conaway Sr. Abbottstown, Pa./New Oxford / 8-1
141 #6 Jimmy Gulibon Jr. Latrobe, Pa./Derry / 5-2
149 #1 Zain Retherford So. Benton, Pa./Benton / 9-0
157 #3 Jason Nolf Fr. Yatesboro, Pa./Kittanning / 10-0
165 #19 Geno Morelli Jr. DuBois, Pa./DuBois / 11-2
Shakur Rasheed Fr. Coram, N.Y./Longwood / 6-3
174 #5 Bo Nickal Fr. Allen, Texas/Allen / 10-0
184 #13 Matt McCutcheon So. Apollo, Pa./Kiski Area / 7-1
197 #1 Morgan McIntosh Sr. Santa Ana, Calif./Calvary Chapel / 8-0
285 Jan Johnson Fr. Mohnton, Pa./Governor Mifflin / 1-1
Devon Van Cura Fr. Washington, N.C./Washington / 6-4
RIDER BRONCS (3-3, 0-0 EWL)
WT NAME EL HT/HS / REC
125 Brenden Calas Jr. Clark, N.J./Seton Hall Prep / 2-5
133 Zach Valcarce So. Villas, N.J./Lower Cape May / 0-3
OR Rob Deutsch Sr. Cherry Hill, N.J./Eastern Regional / 4-4
141 Paul Kirchner Jr. Somerville, N.J./Somerville / 7-4
149 #14 B.J. Clagon So. Toms River, N.J./Toms River South / 5-6
157 #20 Chad Walsh So. Cherry Hill, N.J./Camden Catholic / 8-2
165 #15 Conor Brennan Sr. Brick, N.J./Brick Township / 10-0
174 Wayne Stinson So. Wrightstown, N.J./Northern Burlington / 5-5
184 Steve Nelson Jr. Haddonfield, N.J./Haddon Township / 0-2
197 Ryan Wolfe Jr. New Castle, Del./Caravel Academy / 8-3
285 Mauro Correnti So. Delran, N.J./Holy Cross / 6-4
Team ranking is Intermat Tournament Power Index (TPI) as of 12/15/15
All Individual Rankings are Intermat as of 12/15/15
#1 Penn State (5-0, 1-0 B1G) will visit Rider (3-3, 0-1 EWL) on Saturday, Dec. 19, for a 4 p.m. dual in Lawrenceville, N.J.
Penn State will look for its sixth straight Southern Scuffle title at the 2016 Southern Scuffle, hosted by Chattanooga on Jan. 1 and 2, 2016.
ON THE AIR
TV - TCN (The Comcast Network)
Live Web Video - None
Radio All Season - Penn State Wrestling Radio Network (1390 WRSC AM locally); go to http://www.gopsusports.com/sports/m-wrestl/spec-rel/110915aad.html for full listing. All audio is streamed live thru GoPSUsports and College Sports Live (CBS).
HEAD COACH Cael Sanderson
Cael Sanderson completed sixth season as head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team. The veteran head coach already has four NCAA and four Big Ten titles in hand. He has been named Big Ten Coach of the Year four times and was named the 2013 National Coach of the Year (his second such honor).
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.
In 2012-13, 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 2013-14, Sanderson led Penn State to a 15-1 overall record, yet another share of the Big Ten dual meet title with a 7-1 mark, a fourth straight Southern Scuffle title, a fourth straight Big Ten title and a fourth straight NCAA Championship. He was once again named Big Ten Coach of the Year, the third time he has been so honored.
In 2014-15, Sanderson led Penn State to an 11-4 dual meet record, a fifth straight Southern Scuffle title and garnered five All-Americans and another National Champion at the NCAA Championships. Sanderson has now coached 80 NCAA qualifiers, 46 All-Americans and 11 NCAA Champions.
In only six seasons as Penn State's coach, Sanderson has led the Nittany Lions to five straight Southern Scuffle titles, two B1G dual meet titles (co-), four Big Ten Championships, four NCAA Championships, collected 31 All-Americans, eight National Champions, three Gorriaran winners, two NCAA tourney Outstanding Wrestlers, one CoSIDA Academic All-American of he Year, one NCAA Top 10 Award winner and two Hodge Trophy winners. Sanderson, who has coached 46 total All-Americans and 11 total National Champions (including his three years at Iowa State) heads into the 2015-16 season with a 126-24-2 dual meet mark, 82-14-2 at Penn State.
NOLF AND NICKAL WIN BIG TEN DUAL DEBUTS TO SPARK PENN STATE OVER #15 WISCONSIN
Red-shirt freshmen Jason Nolf and Bo Nickal each won big in their Big Ten dual meet debuts, sparking Penn State to a dominating 36-7 win over #15 Wisconsin in the first of two BJC Duals this year. Penn State downed visiting Wisconsin on Sunday, Dec. 13, in front of nearly 13,000 fans and Nolf and Nickal were each among eight victorious Nittany Lions. Nolf pinned Wisconsin's TJ Ruschell at the 6:00 mark and Nickal posted a 16-2 major over #16 Ricky Robertson. Zain Retherford also got a pin while both Nico Megaludis and Matt McCutcheon picked up majors in the lop-sided victory. Junior Geno Morelli made his Penn State dual meet debut, nearly upsetting #3 Isaac Jordan before a last-second take down led to a 5-4 loss. Red-shirt freshman Devon Van Cura also made his Penn State dual meet debut, losing up a weight at 285 to Badger Brock Horwath.
SEVEN LIONS WIN NITTANY LION OPEN TITLES
Head coach Cael Sanderson's squad crowned seven champions at the event, which featured over 300 wrestlers. Senior Nico Megaludis, ranked No. 4 at 125, notched Penn State's first individual title of the day, posting a 15-5 major over Virginia's Joseph Martinez. Megaludis went 5-0 with three pins, a technical fall and a major on the day. Red-shirt freshman Jered Cortez used a reversal in the tie-breaker to notch a thrilling 5-4 (tb) win over teammate Jordan Conaway in the finals at 133. Cortez took the crown with a 4-0 record, including a fall. Conaway, ranked No. 8 nationally, took second place with a 3-1 mark, including a tech and a major. Sophomore Zain Retherford (, ranked No. 1 at 149, posted an 8-1 win over Rutgers' Ken Theobold in the finals at 149 to win the title. Retherford went 4-0 with a pin, a tech and a major (plus a win over a non-collegiate wrestler, which does not count as a match). Red-shirt freshman Jason Nolf, ranked No. 3 at 157, pinned Lehigh's Drew Longo at the 1:23 mark in the finals to the NLO. He went 5-0 with three pins, a tech and a major (plus a win over a non-collegiate, which does not count as a match). Junior Geno Morelli used riding time to post a 3-2 win over teammate Shakur Rasheed in the finals at 165. Morelli went 5-0 with two tech falls to win the championship. Rasheed, ranked No. 20 nationally, went 4-1 with three majors and a tech to place second. Red-shirt freshman Bo Nickal, ranked No. 6 nationally, won the NLO title at 174 with a 4-3 victory over Ohio State's Myles Martin in the finals. Nickal went 5-0 with three pins and a tech fall. Senior Morgan McIntosh, ranked No. 1 at 197, won the title with a strong 15-6 major over Army's Rocco Caywood. McIntosh went 3-0 with two techs and a major (plus two more wins over non-collegiate wrestlers that do not count as matches).
GROUP TICKETS TO WISCONSIN DUAL TO BE SOLD AT REC HALL TICKET OFFICE DURING NLO
Tickets for the BJC Duals will be sold at the Rec Hall ticket office during the first portion of the 2015 Nittany Lion Open. Fans looking to get group tickets (or others) to Penn State's Dec. 13 Big Ten Opener against Wisconsin in the BJC can purchase 20 or more tickets for only $8 per ticket from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Rec Hall ticket office. Tickets to the Ohio State BJC Dual on February 5 will also be sold.
NICKAL NAMED BIG TEN WRESTLER OF THE WEEK (11/22)
Penn State Nittany Lion wrestler Bo Nickal was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week for the week ending Nov. 22, 2015. Nickal's honor is the first of his young collegiate career and the first for Penn State as a team this year. Nickal remained unbeaten on the year during Penn State's 2-0 road swing in California. The Allen, Texas, native pinned returning All-American Bryce Hammond (ranked No. 16) in the first period, decking the CSU Bakersfield wrestler at the 1:57 mark. He followed that up with a strong 12-4 major over Stanford's Keaton Subjeck in Maples Pavilion. Penn State rolled to two more wins, 39-3 over Bakersfield and 31-12 over No. 18 Stanford, to stay unbeaten on the year.
LIONS DOMINATE NO. 18 STANFORD IN PALO ALTO
Penn State won six of nine contested bouts in front of over 2,500 fans in Stanford's Maples Pavilion to dominated the Cardinal 31-12 on Nov. 22. The Nittany Lions got pins from California native Morgan McIntosh at 197, Zain Retherford on 149 and Jason Nolf at 157 to roll to victory.
RASHEED AND NICKAL LEAD LIONS OVER BAKERSFIELD
Red-shirt freshmen Shakur Rasheed and Bo Nickal posted impressive wins over ranked wrestlers to lead Penn State to a 39-3 win at CSU Bakersfield on Nov. 20. Rasheed shut out No. 13 Adam Fierro 6-0 at 165 and Nickal pinned returning All-American and 16th-ranked Bryce Hammond at the 1:57 mark as Penn State rolled to victory in front of a record crowd of nearly 2,000 in Bakersfield.
NOLF AND NICKAL DOWN #3-RANKED OPPONENTS IN PENN STATE'S WIN AT #7 VIRGINIA TECH
The top-ranked Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team won six of ten bouts and grabbed an impressive 21-15 win at No. 7 Virginia Tech in Penn State's first road dual of the year on 11/15. In a dual meet featuring 15 ranked grapplers, head coach Cael Sanderson's crew took control late with three straight victories to grab the win. The Nittany Lions rode the strong performances of red-shirt freshmen Jason Nolf and Bo Nickal, both of whom downed third-ranked opponents, to the road win. The dual was wrestled in front of 5,097 fans, a new Virginia Tech attendance record for wrestling. Nolf took down No. 3 Nick Brascetta 4-1 at 157 and Nickal took care of No. 3 Zach Epperly 6-2 at 174. In addition to those wins, Jordan Conaway beat No. 18 Kevin Norstrem 4-1 at 133, Zain Retherford tech falled No. 13 Sal Mastriani 15-0 (4:25) at 149, Matt McCutcheon got an 18-4 major over Zack Zavatsky at 184 and Morgan McIntosh took care of No. 17 Jared Haught 9-2 at 197.
4 FRESHMEN WIN AS LIONS SHUT-OUT LOCK HAVEN
Penn State shut-out visiting Lock Haven 50-0 on Nov. 13 in the season opener for the Lions. Four red-shirt freshmen won in their collegiate debuts. Jason Nolf got a pin, Shakur Rasheed was up 2-0 when his foe injury defaulted, Bo Nickal got a tech fall and Jan Johnson downed a fourth-year junior after only two-plus weeks of practice. In addition to those victories, Jimmy Gulibon posted a strong 3-1 win over No. 12 Dan Neff at 141.
HAMMOND WINS ESU OPEN TITLE
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team sent eight wrestlers to the East Stroudsburg Open Sunday at East Stroudsburg University. Three of the eight Nittany Lions reached the finals with sophomore Garett Hammond claiming the crown at 165. Hammond went 5-0 at the event, including two technical falls, a pin and a major. He took the title by medical forfeit. Teammate Cody Law went 4-0 at 165 to reach the finals but did not wrestle, allowing Hammond to take the title uncontested. Law had two majors and a tech fall. Junior Zack Beitz reached the finals at 157 and went 3-1 overall to take second place. Beitz had a pin and a major. Red-shirt freshman George Carpenter went 3-2 at 133 and sophomore Kade Moss went 2-1 at 141 with two pins. Triston Law wrestled unattached at 141 and went 2-2 with two pins as well. Junior Geno Morelli picked up a win at 165 while junior Caleb Livingston posted a 3-2 record with a pin and a tech at 165 as well.
MORELLI RUNNER-UP TO LEAD STRONG LION SHOWING AT 2015 BEARCAT OPEN
Nine members of the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team opened up the open tournament season at the 2015 Bearcat Open in Binghamton, N.Y., which wrapped up late Sunday night. Five Nittany Lions wrestled attached while four more wrestled unattached. Junior Geno Morelli led Penn State with a 5-1 run at 165, advancing all the way to the finals before dropping a match. Morelli notched a tech fall and a major during his run. True freshman Kellan Stout posted a 5-1 mark at 184 to place sixth, including two majors. Red-shirt freshman Kenny Yanovich was a strong fourth at 125 after going 4-1 with a major. Senior Caleb Livingston went 2-2 at 165 with a pin while red-shirt freshman Devon Van Cura went 1-2 with a pin at 184. True freshman Dom Giannangeli went 2-2 at 141 while classmate Francisco Bisono went 1-2 at 165. True freshman Scott Stossel went 1-2 at 125 and sophomore George Carpenter also competed at 125 for Penn State.
Nick Nevills OUT
Red-shirt freshman Nick Nevills will be out to start the season with an injury. No time table has been set for his return.
BJC DUAL TIX STILL AVAILABLE, GROUP RATES SET!
Penn State athletics has set the group prices for the 2015-16 BJC Duals. With ticket demand at an all-time high, Penn State wrestling will appear twice in the near-16,000 seat Bryce Jordan Center this season and group tickets are now available. Fans can now purchase 20 tickets or more for just $8 per ticket for the two events by calling 1-800-NITTANY. The public sale of single dual tickets under the group level (20 or more) are also available at $16 for adults and $8 for youth (12-and-under).
The Nittany Lions hosted Wisconsin on Dec. 13 in the first of two BJC Duals this year. Penn State will then welcome Ohio State to the BJC on Friday, Feb. 5, at 6 p.m. in a BTN nationally televised match-up, with limited tickets remaining. A limited number of Standing Room Only (SRO) tickets for Penn State's five Rec Hall home dual meets are also set to go on sale Tuesday, Oct. 20, beginning at 10 a.m. Fans may purchase these single-match tickets only by calling 1-800-NITTANY. SRO's for Rec Hall are $15 per person.
LIONS RANKED #1 ON INTERMAT'S TPI
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team (5-0, 1-0 B1G) remains the top-ranked team in the country in the Dec. 15 release of InterMat Wrestling's Tournament Power Index (TPI). Head coach Cael Sanderson's squad also tops InterMat's Dual Meet Rankings. This marks the eighth straight week that Penn State, with nine ranked individuals, holds the No. 1 spot in the TPI. Penn State sits in the No. 1 spot with 113 points while Oklahoma State is in second at 103.5. Iowa is third at 100.0 while Cornell is fourth with 73.0. Virginia Tech sits in fifth with 72.0.
Senior Morgan McIntosh is ranked No. 1 at 197 and is 8-0 on the year and sophomore Zain Retherford is ranked No. 1 at 149 with a 9-0 mark to lead Penn State's nine ranked wrestlers. Red-shirt freshman Jason Nolf is ranked No. 3 at 157 with a 10-0 record and senior Nico Megaludis is ranked No. 4 at 125 with a 9-1 mark. Red-shirt freshman Bo Nickal is ranked No. 5 at 174 with a 10-0 record, giving Penn State five wrestlers ranked in the top five. Junior All-American Jimmy Gulibon is ranked No. 6 at 141 at 5-2 while senior All-American Jordan Conaway is ranked No. 6 at 133 with an 8-1 record. Sophomore Matt McCutcheon is ranked No. 13 at 184 with a 7-1 record. Junior Geno Morelli makes his rankings debut as a Nittany Lion with a No. 19 nod at 165 and is 11-2 on the year.