Opening night in State College showed that Penn State was ready, willing and able to repeat as national champions as they steamrolled the Lock Haven Bald Eagles, 44-3, in Rec Hall.
The Nittany Lions got pins from Shayne Van Ness (157), Max Dean (197) and Greg Kerkvliet (285). They also got technical falls from Roman Bravo-Young (133), Alex Facundo (165) and Aaron Brooks (184)
The biggest news from tonight was the arrival of Shayne Van Ness and Alex Facundo. Both wrestlers now in starting positions getting the nod from Coach Cael Sanderson and they both delivered. Van Ness and Facundo both earned the team bonus points in their debuts in front of the State College faithful.
The Nittany Lions will be back in action next weekend at the Black Knight Open tournament held at Army in West Point while their next dual meet will be at Rider University on December 2nd.
125 – The lightweights were off to a hot start, but Steen found himself down 3-1 early to nationally ranked Noto. Noto scored another takedown with just over a minute left in the second, making it 7-1. With commanding lead as the second period closed adding another takedown, Noto had a major decision in his sights. Steen didn’t have an answer for Noto as riding time was locked up, and Noto secured his first dual meet win of the year, 14-4 over Steen.
133 – RBY got to work early on Strickland with two early takedowns, giving the Rec Hall faithful something to cheer about for the first time on the night. Strickland shot in on a single-leg takedown, but the ref called a stalemate so no action was occurring. RBY led 8-3 at the end of the first period and then chose to start the second period on bottom. Strickland couldn’t keep RBY down for long as he eventually pulled off his famous— or infamous— “up and over” takedown as the second period came to a close. A few more takedowns for Bravo-Young and a near fall by “Winn-Dixie” saw the first technical fall of the season for RBY. He won, 24-8.
141 – Beau Bartlett is taking the spot of graduate Nick Lee at 141 this season after competing at 149 most of last year. Unranked Ty Linsenbigler gave Bartlett little in a passive first period, but Bartlett scored the first points of the match on a takedown with 30 seconds left in the first.
Linsenbigler started the second on top, but was pulled off by a headlock as Bartlett scored a reversal. Bartlett scored two near-fall points, and the ref hit Linsenbigler with two warnings in the second. Starting neutral in the third, the two were tied up like pretzels as Bartlett was trying to score the fall, but he settled for the takedown. Bartlett won by major decision, 10-0.
149 – Shayne Van Ness, making his Rec Hall debut, started strong, scoring a takedown within the first twenty seconds. He managed to ride Eck for almost the entire first period with more than two minutes of riding time. Van Ness quickly escaped from bottom to start the second and notched another takedown. The ref hit Eck with his first warning. After a brief stoppage for blood time, Van Ness got back to work, hit a huge double leg takedown and set up a bow and arrow pinning combination. Saved by the bell, Eck was not pinned as the second period ended. Eck, now on bottom to start the third, was hit with another stall warning and then Van Ness locked up the cradle to earn his first fall of his career.
157 – Terrell Barraclough and 28th-ranked Ashton Eyler were jockeying for position most of the first. Barraclough had the first scoring chance, but couldn’t finish the move. Another single leg shot by Barraclough led to him scoring the first takedown with four seconds left in the period, but Loch Haven threw the challenge brick immediately. That idea backfired. Lock Haven lost a point for the brick throw because it hit both wrestlers in the center of the mat. The review was quite lengthy and the takedown was taken away. With zeros on the board to start the second, Eyler got reversed by Barraclough after starting on top. Eyler was up on his head in a great scramble at the end of the second, but didn’t score any points. Eyler, now starting on bottom looking to tie up the match with an escape point, had his decision backfire. Barraclough locked up a riding time point and ended up winning, 3-1, going into the break.
165 – Alex Facundo started the second half off against Aiden Gaugler with four physical takedowns in the first, much to the delight of the home crowd. Facundo started down in the second and wasn’t down for long at all, earning his escape. Gaugler tried his best to find a way to score, but he had no choice but to take his licks. A pure takedown clinic by Facundo led to a 23-10 score after two periods. A Mark Hall-esque” duck under led to Facundo winning his much-anticipated debut, 27-12, by technical fall.
174 – Top-ranked Carter Starocci and Tyler Stoltzfus came out scrapping. Starocci got a point thanks to a headbutt by Stoltzfus. It was business as usual for Starocci, as he landed a huge double-leg takedown in a dominant first period, holding a 11-4 lead. Stoltzfus locked his hands for an illegal hold to start the second, and Starocci got another point. Stoltzfus elected top to start the final period and was putting together a good ride while Starocci was planning his move.
Finally up to his feet, Starocci tallied one more takedown to close out his major decision, 19-5.
184 – Aaron Brooks scored an early trip on Colin Fegley to get the action started and also accumulated more than two minutes of riding time in the opening period. Brooks attempted to lift Fegley over early into the second, but Fegley wiggled out. Brooks rode out the period and held a 16-5 lead with another tech fall in top ranked wrestlers’ sight. Like clockwork, Brooks secured the tech fall victory, 24-9 in his hunt for another national title.
197 – Another Penn State hammer, Max Dean had Brad Morrison reeling early with a takedown that set up a bow and arrow which turned into a cradle. Dean abandoned the cradle, went back to the bow and arrow as he secured the fall at 2:03 into the match
285 – Last but not least, Greg Kerkvliet stepped to the mat against Ethan Miller in the evening’s final bout. Kerkvliet placed Miller down with a HUGE mat return and then muscled over him for the fall at the 1:21 mark for Penn State’s third fall of the evening.
Penn State 44 Lock Haven 3
125 – Anthony Noto (LHU) maj. Gary Steen (PSU), 14-4. (4-0 LHU)
133 – Roman Bravo-Young (PSU) tech. fall Gable Strickland (LHU), 23-8 at 6:55. (5-4 PSU)
141 – Beau Barlett (PSU) maj. Ty Linsenbigler (LHU), 10-0.(9-4 PSU)
149 – Shayne Van Ness (PSU) pinned Connor Eck (LHU), 6:32 . (15-4 PSU)
157 – Terrell Barraclough (PSU) dec. Ashton Eyler (LHU), 3-1. (18-3 PSU)
165 – Alex Facundo (PSU) tech. fall Aiden Gaugler (LHU), 27-12, 5:35. (23-3 PSU)
174 – Carter Starocci (PSU) maj. dec. Tyler Stoltzfus (LHU), 19-5. (27-3 PSU)
184 – Aaron Brooks (PSU) tech. fall Colin Fegley (LHU), 24-9, 6:32. (32-3 PSU)
197 – Max Dean (PSU) pinned Brad Morrison (LHU), 2:03. (38-3 PSU)
285 – Greg Kerkvliet (PSU) pinned Ethan Miller (LHU), 1:21. (44-3 PSU)