Penn State travels to Boston University to wrestle the Terriers for the first time ever this Friday at 6pm. Then the squad returns home to a SOLD OUT BRYCE JORDAN CENTER, to take on Pitt, Sunday at 2pm. It's going to be a great weekend.
at BU Terriers
When: Friday 6pmET
Video: YES!!!! Thanks to the FREE Patriot League streaming site, which you can watch right here. Thanks again, Patriot League!
"When we heard that BU's program was in trouble, we called them up and asked how we could help. They said, 'will you come for a dual?'. And we said, 'sure'." That's how Cael explained BU on the Penn State schedule. Unfortunately, BU's administration has yet to see the light - BU's program is still on the chopping block, scheduled for execution at the end of this season. Hopefully the BU administration is in attendance Friday night, and sees a packed house.
#3 Nico Megaludis vs. Sr. Bubba McGinley (Central Bucks)
Bubba is 7-6 this season. He was a 3-time PIAA state qualifier, and placed 8th his senior year. He's facing Nico, who lost a grand total of 1 match in four years at PIAAs, and has lost just 2 matches in 2 years at NCAAs.
Line: Nico minus 12
#11 Jimmy Gulibon vs. So. Dane Harlowe (Annadale, VA)
Dane qualified for NCAAs as a frosh last season, and was knocked from the tournament by Jordan Conaway in a close 6-4 decision. Dane already ran into Jimmy this season at the Binghamton Open, and was majored 13-0.
Line: Jimmy minus 13
#11 Zain Retherford vs. Jr. Tyler Scotton (Willingboro, NJ)
Scotton finished 15-15 last season, and 8-8 in duals for the Terriers. That's all I have.
Line: PAIN minus 8
Zach Beitz vs. Sr. Nick Tourville (Bloomington, MN)
Nick went 2-2 at Binghamton.
Line: Zach minus 2.5
157 LBS - Match of the Meet
Jimmy Vollrath vs. #13 Sr. Nestor Taffur (Bound Brook, NJ)
This is a rematch of the Binghamton Open final, which Taffur won 9-8.
Line: Pick 'Em
#1 David Taylor vs. Jr. Mitchell Wightman (Warwick, NY)
Wightman placed 4th at Binghamton, losing the consi final to PSU's Garrett Hammond, 5-3.
Line: Taylor minus 15
#3 Matt Brown vs. Jr. Andrew Maksimovic (Northbrook, IL)
This could get ugly.
Line: Hulk Hands minus 15
Wes Phipps vs. Fr. Aaron Conrad (Bridgewater, MA)
Wes wrestled well against Lock Haven's Fred Garcia two weeks ago. Expect to see him notch his first official dual meet victory on Friday against fellow frosh Aaron Conrad.
Line: Wes minus 2.5
#4 Morgan McIntosh vs. Sr. Kristian Meyer (Lincolnshire, IL)
I could be wrong, and I'm not writing this to be funny - I think Meyer may have just walked on at BU because he enjoys wrestling.
Line: Morg by Fall
#10 Jimmy Lawson vs. Sr. Kevin Innis (Secaucus, NJ)
Innis is a 2x NCAA qualifier.
Line: Jimmy minus 3.5
I hope BU shows well, impresses fans and administrators, and the program gets saved, because wrestling is the greatest sport in the world.
Line: Penn State minus 40
vs. #23 Pitt, at SOLDOUT Bryce Jordan Center
The national attendance record for a single dual meet is 15,955, set at Carver Hawkeye in 2008, for an Iowa vs. Iowa State dual. When Penn State released its 2013 schedule, showing Pitt as the guest for wrestling's return to BJC (instead of Iowa or Okie State or Ohio State), I blew a gasket.
there's nothing wrong with trying to grow the sport top down, either, Mr. Jim Delany. You bring in Johns Hopkins as "an affiliate member" - whatever the heck that means - in order to have your own personal lacrosse conference. Yet.....what could have been 15,000 rabid, foaming at the mouth fans in the Bryce Jordan Center, eager for revenge (on Iowa) over an otherwise meaningless dual meet from last year, will instead be about 10,000, mostly polite fans, cheering for PA wrestling in general, and fondly remembering PIAAs. That's not a bad thing - it's just not what it could have been.
So - let me apologize. I thought PSU v Pitt would top out around 10,000. Instead, the barn is sold out. That's somewhere around 15,500 cheering, screaming fans. And if you've never been inside the BJC when its packed? It gets loud. Really loud. Depending upon how the floor seats get arranged, Penn State - Pitt is going to take a serious run at re-setting the national attendance record. (Note: it will probably be re-broken in 2 more weeks, when Penn State visits Iowa, 12/21). Anyhow - great job Penn State wrestling. You created a hallmark event out of a regular, ho-hum dual vs. Pitt. That's awesome for Pennsylvania, and the sport.
Let's get to the matchups:
125 LBS - Match of the Meet #1
#3 Nico vs. #8 Sr. Anthony Zanetta (Keystone Oaks)
Nico and Zanetta have split their last two matches. Nico's the better wrestler, in my opinion, and I don't think it's all that close. However, Zanetta will not take one real shot all 7 minutes, choosing instead to play defense and hope to score the lone, winning takedown on a counter - probably a go behind. It's boring wrestling. But it's a great opportunity for Nico to measure his improvement from neutral.
Line: Nico minus 1.5
133 LBS - Match of the Meet #2
#11 Jordan Conaway vs. Sr. #17 Shelton Mack (Meadville)
Until Cael declares an official winner, BSD will be alternating Jimmy and Jordan in the previews. Jimmy wrestled Friday, Jordan gets a rematch with Shelton Mack, whom Jordan defeated at Pitt last year, 5-3 in Sudden Victory.
Line: Jordan minus 1.5
#11 PAIN vs. Jr. Travis Shaffer (Derry)
I might be an idiot, but I thought Shaffer would be a good one coming out of high school. Things haven't worked out that way for him, and an off-season incident with authorities didn't help, either. I don't know what to expect from this matchup, although the way PAIN has wrestled....yup, probably PAIN.
Line: PAIN minus 6.5
Jim English vs. Fr. Mikey Racciato (Pen Argyl)
Cael's been resting English's shoulder, but I think he puts the senior on the mat at the BJC. Racciato is a talented true frosh - but a true frosh nonetheless.
Line: Jim minus 3
Rath of Voll vs. Fr. Cole Sheptock (Northampton)
Yup - brother of Jimmy Sheptock, Maryland's highly rated 184lber. But Cole's still a young 'un, and Vollrath is going to explode in the BJC. Rumor has it that Vollrath will put on a dunk contest at intermission.
Line: Rath of Voll minus 5.5
#1 Dave vs. Fr. Geno Morelli (DuBois)
Welcome home, Geno (sorta).
Line: Magic Man by Fall
#3 Hulk Hands vs. Jr. #9 Tyler Wilps (Chartiers Valley)
Tyler is pretty good. That's not enough to stop Hulk Hands.
Line: Hulk Hands minus 8
Wes Phipps vs. #6 Max Thomusseit (St. Paris Graham)
David Taylor's high school teammate avoids a suspended Ed Ruth, and instead gets his shot at young Wes Phipps. I think Wes keeps it close, and might even surprise Max.
Line: Wes plus 3.5
#4 Morg vs. Nick Bonaccorsi (Bethel Park)
I could have sworn that Bonaccorsi was at 174 last year. This seems like a hell of a bump up, if that's true. Oh well - Nick gets Penn State's newest sledgehammer: Morgan McIntosh. Two young wrestlers go at it.
Line: Morg minus 5.5
#10 Jimmy vs. Sr. PJ Tasser (Belle Vernon)
Not a good matchup for PJ.
Line: Jimmy minus 8
Pitt's not winning this dual, which tells you a little bit about the direction change the two programs have taken since the Sandersons showed up from Ames 4 years ago.
Line: Penn State minus 29
Around the Resilite
- Not that it matters today, but Intermat's new #1 team is Iowa. They surpassed Penn State based on projected tournament scoring, because the Hawkeye's 165-lber Nick Moore beat Iowa State's Mike Moreno last week, and Moore climbed the rankings from #8 up to #4.
- #5 Oklahoma wrestled #3 Okie State last week. OU won, 16-15. OSU's Josh Kindig upset OU's Kendric Maple at 149. It was Maple's 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) loss on the season already, having been upset by Bloomsburg's Bryce Busler a couple of weeks ago (and, losing to Stieber at NWCA). Maybe 149 is more up for grabs than I originally thought.
- Oh - Okie State studs #2 Alex Dieringer and #2 Tyler Caldwell wrestled a pair of un-ranked Sooners at 157 and 165, respectively. Total bonus points for the team? Zero. Dieringer won 11-5, and Caldwell won 10-4.
- #1 Andrew Howe beat #2 Chris Perry 4-2, in a snooze fest. Hoo---(yawn)---ray!
- Any other wrestling news of interest? Slap it into the comments friends.
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