The Penn State wrestling team will finish off the 2011-2012 dual meet season Sunday at 2 p.m. against cross-state rival Pittsburgh. The Panthers will make the 2 ½ hour bus ride to take on the Lions in a sold out Rec Hall. Sunday’s dual is senior day and will be the last time Frank Molinaro and Cameron Wade take the mat in front of the home crowd. Both wrestlers have had good dual meet careers and get one more chance to thrill the home crowd.
|125||#8 Nico Megaludis||#15 Anthony Zanetta Jr. (24-3)|
|133||Frank Martellotti||Shelton Mack So. (16-7)|
|141||Bryan Pearsall||Travis Shaffer Fr. (16-12)|
|149||#1 Frank Molinaro||#12 Tyler Nauman Sr. (23-4)|
|157||#5 Dylan Alton||Donnie Tasser Jr. (11-9)|
|165||#1 David Taylor||Tyler Wilps R-Fr. (14-10)|
|174||#2 Ed Ruth||Ethan Headlee Sr. (11-6)|
|184||#2 Quentin Wright||Andy Vaughan Sr. (17-6)|
|197||#12 Morgan McIntosh||#4 Matt Wilps Jr. (26-2)|
|285||#6 Cameron Wade||Joel Yahner Fr. (6-18)|
Out of the two seniors, Molinaro gets the best matchup wrestling the 12thranked wrestler in the country. Hopefully Frank gets an early takedown, grinds Nauman into the mat, and goes for the major decision in the 3rd. For all the criticism I’ve thrown Cam’s way over his years at Penn State, he’s been a steady commodity and a reliable heavyweight. He’ll be missed next season for sure, but he gets Joel Yahner, a 6-18 true freshman as his parting gift, the home crowd will be looking for a pin.
Morgan McIntosh draws the toughest matchup in No. 4 Matt Wilps. Wilps, a junior, has only lost 2 matches against No. 3 Chris Honeycutt and No. 5 Matt Powless. Morgan lost to Powless as well by the same 1-point deficit. McIntosh has been winning close matches of late, look for this to be another close decision.
Nico Megaludis gets No. 15 Anthony Zanetta, a battle-tested veteran. The junior should give him a match but I look for Nico to beat Zanetta in the neutral position. Frank Martellotti gets another unranked wrestler but Shelton Mack is no fish with a record of 16-7. Frank has got to get things turned around and this is his last chance before Big Ten’s.
Then there’s Murderer’s Row. Taylor, Ruth, and Wright get three unranked and unimpressive wrestlers which won’t go well for Pitt. Wright’s opponent, Andy Vaughan has a decent record of 17-6, but he’s not in Q’s league and Quentin is in top form right now. Look for LOTS of bonus points and 1 or 2 pins from the trio.
Pitt’s a decent team and that’s reflected in their top-10 ranking, but they aren’t in Penn State’s strata yet. Having only 1 wrestler with a losing record looks good on paper but they don’t have the horses to stay with Penn State. The 3M’s (McIntosh, Megaludis, and Molinaro) will be good matches but the rest will, most likely, end up beat-downs. I went a little nuts with the final score prediction last week, I’ll tone it down a bit this week.