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PSU wrestling back to its winning ways; dumps Penn

photo by Tim Weight



UNIVERSITY PARK – Mark Hall scored his 100th career win but a newcomer to the lineup stole the show.

Brandon Meredith kicked things off in a big way to lead third-ranked Penn State to the 33-7 rout over Pennsylvania at Rec Hall on Sunday.

The Nittany Lions (3-1) won eight of ten bouts scoring bonus points in five (a fall, two technical falls and two major decisions). The Quakers fell to 0-1 on the season.

“The name of the game is just getting better and progressing, and that’s attitude and effort and everything,” Penn State coach Cael Sanderson said. “I think we wrestled better today…a little more loose, a little more relaxed. That’s what we want; we want to be excited to be out there. I thought the guys did a nice job and we have a lot to build from.”

Vincenzo Joseph and Hall had impressive outings but the big win of the match came at 125 when Meredith, who made his varsity debut against Lehigh on Friday, upset tenthranked Michael Colaiocco by an 8-5 score.

“That was a big boost for us,” Sanderson said. “Something to build off of, that’s for sure.

Meredith (8-4) rallied from a 4-1 deficit after the first period with a takedown in the second and an escape, takedown, stall point and riding time in the five-point third period.

“I’m just trying to focus on getting better and just being grateful every time I step on the mat,” Meredith said. “Not a lot of people get to do this and wrestle in Rec Hall. People dream about that as a kid, so I just focus on getting better and good things will happen.”

Roman Bravo-Young (7-0) followed with 10 takedowns in a 21-9 major decision over Carmen Ferrante at 133. Nick Lee (8-0)made it 11-0 with a 13-4 major over former PIAA champion Doug Zapf at 141. The Nittany Lion junior had five takedowns in the match.

At 149, Luke Gardner (4-1) held on for a 7-6 victory over Lucas Revano. Gardner collected two takedowns in the first and an escape in the second for the 6-3 lead. Revano chose down, got free for one and scored a takedown to make it 6-6. Gardner escaped with less than a minute to go in regulation and held off Revano for the win.

Pennsylvania (0-1) avoided the shutout when tenth-ranked Anthony Artalona defeated Bo Pipher 5-2 at 157. Pipher subbedfor starter Brady Berge, who picked up a victory against Lehigh on Friday.

The heavy hitters, Joseph, Hall and Aaron Brooks, clinched the meet with three straight bonus-point victories.

Joseph (4-0) took a quick 6-2 lead after one period, thanks to a slick ankle pick. Joseph added four near-fall points with a back bow reminiscent of former Penn State standout Zain Retherfordand ended it with a cross-face cradle for the fall in 4:25 of the second period at 165. Joseph was more excited for his teammates than his pin.

“So that was the goal (getting the pin). B-Money (Meredith) said he was putting a lot of work in over the summer and I watched him, I’ve seen him put the hours,” Joseph said. “He’s been working his butt off and he looked really good out there. The progress they make, that’s pretty cool.”

Hall (7-0) made it 27-3 with a 19-4 technical fall in seven minutes over Neil Antrassian at 174. He racked up six takedowns and a four-point nearfall in the victory. Hall is now 100-5 for his career. When asked about 100 wins, Hall took it in stride.

“It’s pretty cool, but I got a few more wins to get this season,” he said.

Super frosh Aaron Brooks, who burnt his redshirt in a win against Lehigh, looked impressive with a 19-4 tech fall in 6:03 over Jesse Quatse at 184. Seven takedowns and a four-point nearfall gave Brooks (5-0) the bonus points.

“I think he wrestled pretty darn good,” Sanderson said. “He’s one of our guys who wrestled the best this weekend, so I think that’s pretty impressive. I think he brings a lot to the team.”

At 197, Kyle Conel (3-3) injured his shoulder in the second period but gutted out a 6-5 victory over former State College High wrestler Cole Urbas.

The Kent State transfer started hot with a six-point move for a 6-1 lead after one. After the injury, it was all Urbas, who had a takedown in the second and two stall points in the third. Urbas finished with 59 seconds riding time, one second off forcing overtime.

The Quakers closed out the meet with a victory when JoeySlackman, who outweighed Austin Hoopes by almost 80 pounds, recorded the 14-4 major.

Penn State won the takedown battle 37-10. The Nittany Lions return to action in January hosting Illinois in their Big Ten opener on Jan. 10 at Rec Hall.

Penn State 33, Penn 7

(at Rec Hall)

125: Brandon Meredith, PSU dec. Michael Colaiocco, P, 8-5.

133: Roman Bravo-Young, PSU major dec. Carmen Ferrante, P, 21-9

141: Nick Lee, PSU major dec. Doug Zapf, P, 13-4.

149: Luke Gardner, PSU dec. Lucas Revano, P, 7-6.

157: Anthony Artalona, P dec. Bo Pipher, 5-2.

165: Vincenzo Joseph, PSU pinned Jacob Lizak, P, 4:25.

174: Mark Hall, PSU technical fall Neil Antrassian, P, 19-4 (7:00).

184: Aaron Brooks, PSU technical fall Jesse Quatse, P, 19-4 (6:03).

197: Kyle Conel, PSU dec. Cole Urbas, P, 6-5.

285: Joey Slackman, P major dec. Austin Hoopes, PSU, 14-4.

Takedowns: PSU 37-10

Next Match: Friday, January 10 hosting Illinois at 7 p.m.

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