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Penn State wrestlers smother Maryland


UNIVERSITY PARK – The Penn State wrestling team, fresh off a disappointing loss to top-ranked Iowa on Friday, returned to Rec Hall and took out their frustrations on Maryland.

The Nittany Lions won nine bouts, scoring bonus points in six,cruising to the 40-3 Big Ten dual meet victory on Sunday afternoon.

Second-ranked Penn State (8-2, 5-1) owned a 31-3 edge in takedowns and are now 42-4 all-time against the Terps, including 30 wins in a row.

I think these guys are competitors and they just did what they do,” Sanderson said. “It’s a trip to the Midwest and back, then getting ready to wrestle is a nice test and challenge for them. But I think the guys wrestled well, and the plan is to keep getting better as we push along here.”

The Nittany Lions received falls from Vincenzo Joseph (165) and Mark Hall (174), technical falls from Roman Bravo-Young (133), Nick Lee (141) and Nick Nevills (285) and a major decision from Jarod Verkleeren (149).

Bo Pipher (157), Creighton Edsell (184) and Austin Hoopes (197) won by decision. Edsell and Hoopes subbed for starters Aaron Brooks and Shakur Rasheed.

Maryland (2-13, 0-7) won the first match at 125 before Penn State reeled off nine straight wins to dominate the match.

Bravo-Young (14-0) kicked off the winning parade with 11 takedowns on his way to the 24-9 technical fall at 7:00 over King Sandoval. One of his takedowns happened when he performed a somersault over the Terrapin for the deuce.

“I just want to be fun to watch and let things happen, so this match allowed me to just jump in and create angles,” Bravo-Young said. “ Working on it at practice helps and lets things come naturally for me. I just want to keep scoring points and that is what happens when I get to wrestle like today.”

Lee remained unbeaten at 14-0 on the season with a 16-0 techfall over Hunter Baxter in 5:52. The Nittany Lion junior had a takedown, two reversals and eight back points.

Verkleeren (13-4) made it 14-3 with a 9-0 major over Ryan Garlitz. The Lion sophomore had a takedown in each period, to go along with two escapes and a riding-time point. Pipher kept the momentum rolling with a 3-0 victory over Jahi Jones. After a scoreless first, Pipher hit a reversal in the second and finished with a point for his tough ride, getting his first Big Ten dual victory.

“I’m just trying to be myself every match and just trying to translate what I can do in practice every day to making it happen on the weekend,” Pipher said. “I think definitely every match and every day I get better, and every match I’m more excited to compete and always grateful for the opportunity.”

Joseph and Hall followed with back-to-back pins to increase the lead to 29-3. Joseph (8-0) built an 11-2 advantage before clamping Kyle Cochran in 4:01. Hall (16-1) got back on the winning side after losing his first match of the season at Iowa with a 51-second deck job over Phillip Spadafora.

“This is the fourth year in a row they’ve (Joseph and Hall) been back-to-back (in the lineup) and they’ve done pretty darn well together,” Sanderson said. “Same technique today but different set-up so it was kind of neat to see. If you have the chance to pin somebody, we need to pin them to get bonus points. It’s good to see the guys going for those because that’s going to play a big part in the Big Tens and national championships.”

Edsell, by way of Wyalusing High School, scored the only takedown of the match in the first to hold off Kyle Jasenski by a 5-2 decision. Edsell escaped for the 3-0 lead before a takedown by Jasenski made it 3-2. An escape and riding-time point by Edsell closed things out.

With the score knotted at 1-1, Hoopes picked up a takedown in the third period to defeat Niko Capello 3-2. Nevills (11-1) ended the match with eight takedowns on his way to a 21-6 technical fall over Parker Robinson at 6:07.

More than anything it’s a test of character. Any time you go compete you want to just be yourself and I thought our guys, for the most part, did a great job. And that’s something we can build off of … that we can compete and we can score points and we just have to go do it,” Sanderson said.

Penn State hits the road again for a tough two-match stretch against No. 4 Wisconsin on Friday at 7 p.m. and No. 5 Minnesota on Sunday at 2 p.m.

#2 Penn State 40, Maryland 3

125: Brandon Cray MD dec. Brandon Meredith PSU, 8-7                                    

133: #3 Roman Bravo-Young PSU tech fall King Sandoval MD, 24-9 (TF; 7:00)    

141: #2 Nick Lee PSU tech fall Hunter Baxter MD, 16-0 (TF; 5:52)                      

149: Jarod Verkleeren PSU maj. dec. Ryan Garlitz MD, 9-0                                

157: Bo Pipher PSU dec. Jahi Jones MD, 3-0                                                    

165: #1 Vincenzo Joseph PSU pinned Kyle Cochran MD, WBF (4:01)                  

174: #1 Mark Hall PSU pinned Phillip Spadafora MD, WBF (0:51)                      

184: Creighton Edsell PSU dec. Kyle Jasenski MD, 5-2                                    

197: Austin Hoopes PSU dec. Niko Cappello MD, 3-2                                        

285: #15 Seth Nevills PSU tech fall Parker Robinson, 21-6 (TF; 6:07)                  

Records: Penn State (8-2, 5-1 B1G); Maryland (2-13, 0-7 B1G)

Up Next for Penn State: at Wisconsin, Friday, Feb. 7, 9 p.m. Eastern / 8 p.m. Central (BTN)

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