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No.1 Penn State Shuts Down No. 6 Virginia Tech

A pair of upsets, but a dominant performance overall from our Lions.

Blacksburg's Cassell Coliseum was packed.   The old attendance record was 2,873.  The new record is now 5,097.  Everyone hoped for another incredible dual, given last year's action.

Not so much, actually.  125, 133, and 141 ended scoreless after the first period, and not a single stall was issued.  Unlike last season at Rec Hall, when VaTech came out swinging, Dance (125), Norstrem (133), and Chisko (141) never attempted a shot.  Tech didn't score a first period takedown until 184lbs - the eighth match.  It was their only 1st period takedown, and really, their only 1st period shot.  Only three Hokies registered a takedown at all.

Penn State wasn't much better, really, to start the meet.  But all of that changed when Zain Retherford took the mat, and tech falled Sal Mastriani in the second period.  Zain's your BSD Wrestler of the Meet.  His performance gave the team such energy, and the freshmen picked up on it.

WT Penn State Result Lock Haven Team Score
125 #2 - Nico Megaludis L, 3-4 SV2 #6 Joey Dance PSU 0, VT 3
133 #8 - Jordan Conaway DEC 4-1 #18 Kevin Norstrem PSU 3, VT 3
141 #2 - Jimmy Gulibon L, 3-1 UR - Solomon Chisko PSU 3, VT 6
149 #2 - Zain Retherford TECH (15-0) 5:50ish #13 Sal Mastriani PSU 8, VT 6
157 #6 - Jason Nolf DEC 4-1 #3 Nick Brascetta PSU 11, VT 6
165 UR - Shakur Rasheed L, 8-10 OT UR - Dave McFadden PSU 11, VT 9
174 #14 - Bo Nickal DEC 6-2 #3 Zach Epperly PSU 14, VT 9
184 #14 - Matt McCutcheon MAJ 18-4 UR - Zack Zavatsky PSU 18, VT 9
197 #1 - Morgan McIntosh MAJ (13-2) #18 Jared Haught PSU 21, VT 9
285 FORFEIT FFT #2 Ty Walz PSU 21, VT 15


Penn State 13,  Virginia Tech 5

125 LBS

#6 Joey Dance DEC 4-3SV2 PSU #2 Nico Megaludis (1-1, 0-0)

Nico led off for our Lions, and dropped a painful overtime rideout decision to #6 Joey Dance.  The first period ended scoreless, with Nico working his ties, but Dance playing solid defense.  In the second period, Nico escaped immediately, and then converted a takedown with about 20 seconds remaining.  Dance escaped to end the period with Nico leading 3-1.  In the third, Nico built over 1 minute in riding time.  But with about 30 seconds remaining, and Nico moving to the side to work for exposure, Dance stepped over Nico, earning the reverse.  Dance threw in boots, and kept Nico down to end the 3rd and erase the riding time point.

In overtime, Dance played defense from neutral.  In sudden victory 2, Dance rode double grapevine again to ride Nico out.  Dance escaped from Nico in the second with :10 seconds remaining, and came away with the win.

It sucked.

133 LBS

PSU #8 Jordan Conaway (2-0, 0-0) DEC 4-1 #18 Kevin Norstrem

Another scoreless first period in this one.  Conaway built riding time in the second, though Norstrem escaped with 12 seconds remaining.  In the third period, Conaway escaped immediately, and then used an underhook throwby to score the bout's first takedown, and lead 3-1.  Conaway rode Norstrem out to win 4-1 with the RT point.

141 LBS

UR Solomon Chisko DEC 3-1 PSU #2 Jimmy Gulibon (1-1, 0-0)

Jimmy had what looked to be a takedown at the edge of the mat in the first, but never got the call.  He switched to a cradle, but ran out of real estate.  The first period - shocker - ended scoreless.  Jimmy escaped immediately to start the second, and came close to another takedown, but Chisko fought it off.  The second ended 1-0.  Chisko escaped quickly in the third to knot the score at 1.  Jimmy got in deep on a head inside single with about a minute remaining.  He stood with Chisko's leg in the air, and as he attempted to trip Chisko, he tripped himself.  Chisko fell on top of Jimmy, and was given the deuce, with about 5 seconds left.  Match over.

Un - be - lievable.

149 LBS

PSU #2 Zain Retherford (2-0, 0-0)  TECH FALL (15-0, under 5 minutes) #13 Sal Mastriani

Zain hit a low single to Mastriani's lead foot for this meet's initial first period takedown.  He scissored Mastriani's midsection and used a power half to get 2 back points to finish the 1st period with a 4-0 lead.  The points were a welcome change.

Zain escaped quickly to start the second, and used another low single to score a takedown.  Repeat the scissors and power half for more swipes - this time for 11.  He let the hold go, repeated it for four more back, and that was it.  Match over, with time remaining in the second.  Awesome job here from Zain, who is looking awfully tough.

157 LBS

PSU #6 Jason Nolf (2-0, 0-0) DEC 4-1 #3 Nick Brascetta

Nolf hit a low single off the whistle, but Brascetta funk rolled to a stalemate.  Nolf, though, didn't let up.  He hit an ankle pick a short while later for a 2-0 lead.  Nolf kept incredible top pressure while working a chicken wing to ride out the first period.

Nolf chose down to start the second and escaped immediately for a 3-0 lead.  Sadly, Nolf switched to defense in the second.  Brascetta tried a high crotch, but Nolf was a step ahead of him.  The second ended with Nolf leading 3-0.

Brascetta took down in the 3rd, and Nolf kept him there for a minute.  After the escape, Nolf became offensive again, as if he was trailing (he wasn't).  Nolf took several excellent shots, but couldn't convert.  With the RT time, Nolf won easily, 4-1.

165 LBS

UR Dave McFadden DEC 10-8 OT PSU #14 Shakur Rasheed (1-1, 0-0)

Shakur looked pretty good to me.  He's long, quick, and aggressive, and used a sick low single to register the first takedown just 20 seconds into the match.  Then with his go-go-Gadget arms, he rode out the first, totally in control and working for points, but never really close to anything.

Rasheed started down in the second, got into some really dangerous spots with some curious decisions, but funked his way into a reversal - so who am I to judge? - and a 4-0 lead.  McFadden escaped off a restart to make it 4-1 Rasheed.

McFadden chose down in the 3rd, and escaped with 1:30 remaining.  Leading 4-2, Rasheed shot in again, but McFadden sprawled successfully.  As Rasheed came back up, his head caught McFadden on the chin, and McFadden needed injury time.  Given his choice to restart, Shakur chose down, and McFadden cut him.  McFadden scored three quick takedowns in the final minute to knot the score at 8.  Rasheed looked gassed, and was, giving up a 4th takedown 20 seconds into OT.

174 LBS

PSU #14 Bo Nickal (1-0, 0-0) DEC 6-2 #3 Zach Epperly

Bo started with an ankle pick on #3 Epperly to score the match's first points.  Epperly escaped quickly.  Epperly tried a duck under, Nickal caught him, but they rolled out with no points scored.  The first ended with Bo leading 2-1.

Bo escaped quickly to start the second period, leading 3-1. Bo tried his underhook / knee pick and missed it, but in the resulting tie, he used a dirty throw by for his second takedown, and a 5-1 lead.  Bo rode Epperly out.

Epperly started down in the 3rd, with Nickal close to 2 minutes RT before Epperly escaped out the back door.  That ended the scoring, and if you didn't know better, you'd think the rankings should have been reversed.  Bo's feet are outstanding, and he looked like the better wrestler here.

184 LBS

PSU #14 Matt McCutcheon (1-0, 0-0) MAJOR 18-4 Zack Zavatsky

Zavatsky hit a nice ankle pick to start the first period - Virginia Tech's first 1st period TD.  Mouse reversed Zavatsky.  Zavatsky escaped, but McCutcheon scored a TD and got 2 near fall.  Then he got 4 more NF off a wrist tilt to lead 10-3.  He titled him again for 4 more to finish the 1st period 14-3.

Zavatsky escaped to start the second period.  Mouse scored another TD off a throwby on a reshot.   He worked for another turn, but didn't get it.  The second period ended with Mouse leading 16-4.

Mouse escaped quickly to start the 3rd period.  Mouse had one good shot attempt after that, and missed the tech fall by a single point.

197 LBS

PSU #1 Morgan McIntosh (1-0, 0-0)  DEC 9-2 #18 Jared Haught

Another scoreless first period.

Morg escaped quickly to start the 2nd, and used a great head inside single to stake himself to a 3-0 lead.  Figure-four the lead, crank his head, and Morg had the bow-and-arrow working for 4 near fall.   7-0 after two.

Haught chose neutral to start the 3rd period.  Morg took a horrendous shot, and Haught went behind for a takedown.  Morgan escaped immediately.  Leading 8-2, needing another TD for the major, Morg never mounted much of a shot.  The match ended 9-2.  This clinched the dual.

285 LBS

With the dual victory secured, and PSU's true frosh Jan Johnson paired with Tech's #2 Ty Walz, Cael forfeit.  That was in Jan's best interests, we suppose.

It wasn't in the fans' best interest though.  As the boos rained down, I was reminded of a similar situation that I sat through.  A record crowd had packed then-new Bryce Jordan Center to watch PSU wrestle Iowa, in December 1996.  Iowa had the dual secured, and Dan Gable chose to forfeit heavyweight, rather than put freshman Wes Hand onto the mat against Penn State's Kerry McCoy.

I'd sat through that dual, grimacing as Iowa pulled away, but content in the knowledge that I'd get to watch "our guy", Kerry, beat the tar out of a Hawkeye to end the meet.  When that didn't happen, I felt cheated.  And I've hated Iowa ever since.

So, apologies Hokie fans.  I know how you feel.  But, hopefully, we've just provided the kindling for a new bonfire of a rivalry.  And if so, then it's worth it.

Final score: Penn State 21, Virginia Tech 15