It’s easy to take the greatness of Penn State wrestling for granted.
We at BSD try our best not to do so, but even the best of us fall victim every now and then.
That was the case on Friday night as the Nittany Lions went into Welsh-Ryan Arena and rolled past Northwestern 33-8 in a matchup that was, frankly, boring.
The Wildcats actually jumped out to an early 5-0 lead as Sebastian Rivera, fresh off a win over Spencer Lee and sporting a shiny new No. 1 ranking, walloped Devin Schnupp for an 18-3 tech fall in the first period.
At 133, Roman Bravo-Young topped Colin Valdiviez 15-9 in a match that made it clear early on that the ‘Cats were out there to do damage control.
The lack of engagement from Northwestern continued up at 141 as Nick Lee hung a 16-6 major decision up on backup Alec McKenna.
One of the bright spots of the night came at 149. Brady Berge, who said he needed to do this much in an interview with GoPSUSports earlier in the week, got on his offense and picked up a 14-6 major decision victory over a stingy Shane Oster to lead into the most anticipated contest of the evening.
About that anticipation...
Jason Nolf made it clear early on that the hype surrounding his bout with No. 3 Ryan Deakin was much ado about nothing. Nolf dominated Deakin, who went into survival mode early on, from start to finish on his way to a 17-7 major decision victory to give Penn State a 15-5 lead at the intermission.
After the break, we got a look at Bo Pipher as he filled in up a weight for Vincenzo Joseph who was out for undisclosed reasons. It’s uncertain whether Cenzo will be good to go for Sunday’s dual where he’d see third-ranked Evan Wick of Wisconsin.
Pipher fought valiantly but fell 11-9 to Northwestern’s Tyler Moreland.
The malaise continued at 174 where Mark Hall put in a workmanlike performance to top Johnny Sebastian, 10-4.
Shakur Rasheed woke things up a bit at 184 as he steamrolled Brendan Devine to the tune of an 18-2 second period technical fall.
Bo Nickal followed, as he does, will a fall over Zack Chakonis with a cradle at the 6:12 mark.
To cap the show, Anthony Cassar got back to his winning ways with a dominant 12-2 major decision victory over No. 19 Conan Jennings who outweighed Cassar by more than 50 pounds.
The man of the match was Nolf, who reminded the wrestling world that he has an extra gear whenever he needs it and that 157 will be more of coronation ceremony than a tournament in Pittsburgh.
125: Sebastian Rivera TF. Devin Schnupp, 18-3.
133: Roman Bravo-Young dec. Colin Vadiviez, 15-9.
141: Nick Lee MDec. Alec McKenna, 16-6.
149: Brady Berge MDec. Shayne Oster, 14-6.
157: Jason Nolf MDec. Ryan Deakin, 17-7.
165: Tyler Moreland dec. Bo Pipher, 11-9.
174: Mark Hall dec. Johnny Sebastian, 10-4.
184: Shakur Rasheed TF. Brendan Devine, 18-2.
197: Bo Nickal FALL Zack Chakonis, 6:12.
285: Anthony Cassar MDec. Conan Jennings, 12-2.