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Penn State Wrestling

Penn State Wrestling: Tyler Kasak Gives No. 1 Ridge Lovett all he can Handle

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Tyler Kasak

Tyler Kasak has had quite a year for someone that wasn’t a starter at the beginning of the season for Penn State wrestling. He was the backup at 149 pounds to Shayne Van Ness, who was injured in November and was done for the season.

Kasak has turned the opportunity into a No. 9 ranking at the weight to go with a 12-2 record for the season going into Sunday.

That’s when he had his toughest test so far this season in top-ranked Ridge Lovett of Nebraska. Although Kasak came close, Lovett ultimately got the better of him in a 7-3 defeat.

“I think he did well,” Penn State wrestling coach Cael Sanderson said. “It was a tied score in the third period. He’s close. I think he’s right there. He’s a freshman and he’s going to get better each match. He just needs more experience.”

Kasak got the bout’s opening takedown rather quickly, but Lovett reversed him almost immediately. Lovett rode out Kasak the rest of the way, but Kasak led 3-2 after a period.

Lovett took down to start the second period and got an escape point, but that was all as the two went to the third period tied at 3.

Rather than go on bottom where he didn’t have any success in the first period, Kasak chose neutral to start the third. Lovett got the winning takedown with about 10 seconds left, and had just enough riding time to get the extra point for the 7-3 win.

“I think Tyler believes he can beat anybody,” Sanderson said. “It was a tough opponent for him today, but a good experience for him.”

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