It was another dominating performance for Penn State wrestling, and this time it netted the Nittany Lions their third straight Big Ten regular season championship.
The Nittany Lions had a 38-1 advantage in takedowns on the day, rolling to a 44-3 victory over Maryland on Sunday afternoon at Rec Hall.
“It’s a good accomplishment that we got today, but at midnight tonight, that’s over, and we’re looking forward to the next match,” PSU 149-pounder Shayne Van Ness said.
Van Ness was one of seven Nittany Lions that earned bonus points for his team. Levi Haines (157), Alex Facundo (165) and Seth Nevills (285) all got pins on the day, while Max Dean (197) received a forfeit. Roman Bravo-Young (133) and Van Ness both earned technical falls, and Carter Starocci (174) got a major decision.
“I think we all went out and competed very well today,” said Haines.
“I think we’re all a lot of fun to watch. We’re just going out there and wrestling the way we do.”
Beau Bartlett (141) and Donovon Ball (184) earned decisions.
For Nevills, Sunday was just the second time he’s wrestled all season as he filled in for starter Greg Kerkvliet. His only other match of the season came back Dec. 19, where he beat Central Michigan’s Bryan Caves in a 17-6 major decision at the Collegiate Duals.
Nevills, who also used to be a member of the Penn State football team, made the most out of his time on the mat again with a pin in 1:56 of Maryland’s Jordan Gabriel.
“He looked good,” Sanderson said of Nevills. “He got the fall in the first period, and it’s a great way to finish a dual meet. He’s only got a couple opportunities to wrestle this year, but each time he’s stepped in there. He’s one of the best heavyweights in the country. When he gets a chance to wrestle, he’s pretty darn good.”
Nevills wasn’t the only backup coming through on the day. Ball once again filled in for Aaron Brooks. Ball came away with a 10-3 decision on Kevin Makosy.
“I feel like he’s done very well filling in for Aaron,” Sanderson said. “He wins most of the time. He’s fun to watch. He gets better every time he wrestles.”
Penn State’s lone loss of the day came at 125, where Gary Steen fell to the Terps’ Braxton Brown, 1-0.
The Nittany Lions (15-0) will look to make it another undefeated regular season as they close the regular portion of the schedule next Sunday for a 1 p.m. dual meet with Clarion.
“I think the team is wrestling better every week,” Sanderson said. “These guys are gamers. They’re competitors. The bigger the match, the better they wrestle.”
125 – To put it bluntly, the opening bout for Penn State’s Gary Steen and Maryland’s Braxton Brown didn’t have much action. Brown got an escape point in the third period; that was all the scoring needed as he beat Steen 1-0. Steen had a chance at a takedown late in the third but went off the edge of the mat.
133 – Roman Bravo-Young put on another clinic, getting 14 takedowns on the Terrapins’ King Sandoval in a 28-13 technical fall in 6:45.
141 – Beau Bartlett had to work in this one against Maryland’s Kal Miller. Bartlett got the scoring started in the second period with a reversal, got a takedown in the third period and got just over a minute of riding time to take a 5-2 win.
149 – A close match after the first period turned into an easy victory for PSU’s Shayne Van Ness against Maryland’s Ethan Miller. Van Ness led 5-3 after the first period but got four back points in the second period. He also got another near fall in the third period, earning him a 19-4 technical fall in 7:00.
157 – The Nittany Lions’ Levi Haines has a knack for getting the crowd on its feet in his brief career. He did it again with a fall over the Terps’ Kevin Schork in 1:42.
165 – PSU’s Alex Facundo continued with the Lions’ dominance for the day. Facundo racked up seven takedowns in the first two periods before getting the pin on Lucas Cordio in 5:38.
174 – Carter Starocci continued his winning ways with six takedowns on his way to a 14-6 major decision over Maryland’s Dominic Solis.
184 – Donovon Ball took over in place of Aaron Brooks on Sunday. Ball has made the most of his time on the mat when starting for Brooks this year. He improved his record to 11-3 on the year with a 10-3 decision on Maryland’s Kevin Makosy. Ball had four takedowns in the bout.
197 – PSU’s Max Dean won by forfeit.
285 – Penn State went to Seth Nevills instead of Greg Kerkvliet for Nevills’ second bout of the year. Nevills also made use of his limited time on the mat, coming up with a pin in 1:56 over Maryland’s Jordan Gabriel to end the dual meet.
Penn State 44, Maryland 3
125 – Braxton Brown (M) dec. Gary Steen (PSU), 1-0. (0-3)
133 – Roman Bravo-Young (PSU) tech. fall King Sandoval (M), 28-13 6:45. (5-3)
141 – Beau Bartlett (PSU) dec. Kal Miller (M), 5-2. (8-3)
149 – Shayne Van Ness (PSU) tech. fall Ethan Miller (M), 19-4 7:00. (13-3)
157 – Levi Haines (PSU) pinned Kevin Schork (M), 1:42. (19-3)
165 – Alex Facundo (PSU) pinned Lucas Cordio (M), 5:38. (25-3)
174 – Carter Starocci (PSU) maj. dec. Dominic Solis (M), 14-6. (29-3)
184 – Donovon Ball (PSU) dec. Kevin Makosy (M), 10-3. (32-3)
197 – Max Dean (PSU) won by forfeit. (38-3)
285 – Seth Nevills (PSU) pinned Jordan Gabriel (M), 1:56. (44-3)