A Sunday afternoon home dual meet at Rec Hall is always special, and the Penn State wrestling team turned in a special performance against Oregon State.
The Nittany Lions took nine out of 10 bouts, but had close matches in many of them in a 31-3 victory over the Beavers.
Out of Penn State’s nine wins on the day, four of them came by three points or less.
“They came in here and wrestled well,” said PSU head coach Cael Sanderson of Oregon State. “They are definitely an up and coming program. I think we’re still trying to improve. We’ll keep getting better as we move along.”
“There’s a good chance you’re going to be in close matches (in the postseason). Having the experience there and being comfortable there, and being in front of a big crowd is a great experience. We’d prefer to just throw guys down and pin them, but it doesn’t always work like that.”
Penn State also had its fair share of dominating wins, as well. Heavyweight Greg Kerkvliet won by technical fall, while Roman Bravo-Young (133) and Carter Starocci (174) both picked up major decisions.
“I’m in a heavyweight division with a bunch of tough wrestlers. I’m one of those,” said Kerkvliet. “I think we’re all just getting each other better and pushing each other, and we’ll see who is the NCAA champion at the end of the day.”
Growing crowd favorite
PSU 149-pounder Shayne Van Ness has battled through injuries to get to where he is today as the starter. He is putting his time on the mat to great use, and the fans are starting to notice.
Van Ness earned a 6-1 win over Oregon State’s Noah Tolentino. He got a big applause from the crowd on a mat return in the first period.
“Shayne is a beast. He wrestles hard,” said Sanderson. “A lot of wrestlers would have cut a man loose in the first period today, but he put in a little work and got a mat return. I think the crowd really appreciated that. It took a lot out of his opponent. Those little things like that is what it takes to be a national champion. He’s on a great path right now.”
“To see one of my best friends go out there and compete tough and having success is always nice to see,” Kerkvliet said.
For the second time in a little over a week, PSU returning 184-pound national champion Aaron Brooks was out of the lineup. Donovon Ball wrestled in his place, picking up a 3-1 win over the Beavers’ Jackson McKinney.
When asked if Brooks was given the day off, Sanderson said, “Yeah, something like that.” Sanderson also reiterated that he isn’t injured.
“He’s good,” said Sanderson. “He’s bouncing around and doing some coaches and stuff like that. He’s doing well.”
Back on track
After losing in both dual meets against Rider and Lehigh, the Lions’ Max Dean got back to his winning ways with a 6-3 victory over Tanner Harvey at 197. He was given the Ridge Riley Award for the day.
Penn State will not wrestle at home again until Jan. 20 against Michigan, which will be the first of two dual meets in the Bryce Jordan Center this season.
The Lions are back in action in the Collegiate Wrestling Duals in New Orleans on Dec. 19-20. They will wrestle Central Michigan and North Carolina on the 19th, and one more to be announced on the 20th.
125 – PSU’s Gary Steen was hit for stalling in the first period, but he and Oregon State’s Brandon Kaylor spent the first period on their feet scoreless. Steen took down to start the second period, and was rode out for the period as the two went to the third period with still no score, but Kaylor with two minutes of riding time. Kaylor escaped immediately to start the third period to take the 1-0 lead, and also recorded a takedown in the middle of the period to go up 3-0. Kaylor won the match, 4-0, after three minutes of riding time.
133 – In a bit of a surprise that made the crowd woo, the Beavers’ Gabe Whisenhunt took down Roman Bravo-Young to start the match. Bravo-Young returned the favor, however, but still only led 7-5 after the first period. RBY added a couple more takedowns in the second period to take a 13-8 lead after two periods of wrestling. Bravo-Young started in the bottom position in the third period and got an escape to go up 14-8. He got the takedown he needed in the middle of the period to make it a major decision over Whisenhunt, 17-8.
141 – The move down to 141 for Beau Bartlett has been paying dividends as he’s now up to No. 9 in the country by InterMat. He took a 2-1 lead after the first period on Oregon State’s Cleveland Belton. Bartlett also got an escape point after taking down in the second period to go up 3-1 with one period of wrestling left. Belton took down to start the third and got out immediately to cut Bartlett’s lead to 3-2. Bartlett gave himself a 5-2 lead with a slick takedown in the middle of the third period. Belton got an escape with about 35 seconds left, but Bartlett hung on from there for the 5-3 win.
149 – PSU’s Shayne Van Ness is quickly becoming one of the fan favorites in State College. He’s ranked 17th and is still undefeated on the season. He took a 2-0 lead after the first period, and avoided giving up an escape point much to the crowd’s delight. Oregon State’s Noah Tolentino got an escape point in the second period as Van Ness led 2-1 but with over two minutes of riding time. Fans wanted a takedown at the end of the second, but nothing was called. Van Ness earned an escape in the middle of the third and got another takedown right away to take a 5-1 lead. Van Ness’ riding time earned him a 6-1 victory.
157 – The Nittany Lions’ Terrell Barraclough went up 2-0 late in the first period on the Beavers’ Isaiah Crosby. Barraclough added an escape in the second period, and also got an impressive double leg to go up 5-0 in the middle of the period. Barraclough took a 5-0 lead in to the third period, and Crosby escaped in nine seconds in the third period to get on the board. Barraclough added on with a takedown early in the third. With 30 seconds left, he cut Crosby looking for a takedown for a major decision. Instead, it was Crosby that got a takedown at the end, but Barraclough earned an 8-4 win.
165 – PSU’s Alex Facundo is now ranked 15th in the nation and took care of business on Oregon State’s Matthew Olguin. Despite being tied at 2 and riding time not a factor after two periods, Facundo got an escape point early in the third. That was the deciding point as Facundo got a 3-2 win.
174 – Carter Starocci has been as dominant as ever so far this season. Now 4-0 on the season, Starocci easily beat Oregon State’s Aaron Olmos. Starocci used four takedowns in the first two periods to build a 9-2 lead, and took over even more in the third period on his way to a 14-3 major decision.
184 – Donovon Ball once again wrestled for Aaron Brooks. Brooks also did not wrestle against Rider on Dec. 2. Ball and Oregon State’s Jackson McKinney spent the first period on their feet scoreless. McKinney got the first point on an escape in the second period, and that was all the action in the second period. Ball got the escape point back in the third period to tie the match at 1. Ball got the winning takedown with 10 second left on an ankle pick to take the 3-1 win.
197 – After two losses in the last two dual meets, Max Dean was in need of a win to get back on track. Dean took a 2-1 lead after one period on Oregon State’s Tanner Harvey, and also had one minute of riding time. Dean took down and escaped to start the second period and also added another takedown, while Harvey got an escape as Dean led 5-2 after two periods. Harvey got an escape point back in the third period to cut it to 5-3. That was all the action and Dean took a 6-3 win with 1:40 of riding time.
285 – PSU heavyweight Greg Kerkvliet is now ranked No. 1 in the nation. Kerkvliet hit a double leg on the Beavers’ J.J. Dixon to start the match. Kerkvliet also got the first back points of the day, getting four points in the first period. He added two more near fall points to take an 8-0 lead after the first period. Kerkvliet started the second period down, and got a reversal of Dixon to take the match to 10-0. Kerkvliet let Dixon up to get on the board, and almost immediately got another takedown to make it 12-1. Kerkvliet also got another double leg to start the third period, and worked for the technical fall. He got it in 6:08.
Penn State 31, Oregon State 3
125 – Brandon Kaylor (OSU) dec. Gary Steen (PSU), 4-0. (0-3)
133 – Roman Bravo-Young (PSU) maj. dec. Gabe Whisenhunt (OSU), 17-8. (4-3)
141 – Beau Bartlett (PSU) dec. Cleveland Belton (OSU), 5-3. (7-3)
149 – Shayne Van Ness (PSU) dec. Noah Tolentino (OSU), 6-1. (10-3)
157 – Terrell Barraclough (PSU) dec. Isaiah Crosby (OSU), 8-4. (13-3)
165 – Alex Facundo (PSU) dec. Matthew Olguin (OSU), 3-2. (16-3)
174 – Carter Starocci (PSU) maj. dec. Aaron Olmos (OSU), 14-3. (20-3)
184 – Donovon Ball (PSU) dec. Jackson McKinney (OSU), 3-1. (23-3)
197 – Max Dean (PSU) dec. Tanner Harvey (OSU), 6-3. (26-3)
285 – Greg Kerkvliet (PSU) tech. fall J.J. Dixon (OSU), 18-2 6:08. (31-3)