The Grapple Firm of Nickal, Nevills & Nolf walked out to center mat as captains for the last time today, and the rest of the afternoon the Rec Hall crowd applauded their gratitude with standing ovation after standing ovation.
The Nittany Lion wrestlers made it easy by entertaining them with 9 wins, 5 pins, 2 majors and a forfeit en route to routing the Bulls of Buffalo, 47-3.
The result wrapped up Penn State’s 4th straight undefeated season, and all the vibes were celebratory and appreciative.
Before the action kicked off, the team and crowd honored the Seniors.
Penn State’s all-time pin leader, three-time All-American and two-time NCAA Champion Jason Nolf is honored on Senior Day. pic.twitter.com/EifS8arNwF— Ben Jenkins (@Benjenkins67) February 24, 2019
Bo Nickal is honored on Senior Day as a three-time All-American and two-time NCAA Champion. pic.twitter.com/BtIGXrc9X0— Ben Jenkins (@Benjenkins67) February 24, 2019
After missing the majority of his senior year, two-time All-American Nick Nevills is honored on Senior Day. pic.twitter.com/xwpO7NuG1B— Ben Jenkins (@Benjenkins67) February 24, 2019
Noteworthy Achievements in Today’s Result
- PSU under Cael Sanderson is now 140-14-2 in Dual Meets and 74-10-1 in Big Ten Dual Meets
- From 157 through 197, Penn State had 5 straight pins
- Penn State earned 33 takedowns in a meet in which they had 4 first-period pins
Streak Summaries & Updates
- Penn State’s overall Dual Meet winning streak is now at 59. Penn State hasn’t lost any dual meet since a 21-18 defeat to Oklahoma State, in Stillwater, on February 15, 2015
- Speaking of the Cowboys, they own the record for longest Dual Meet Winning Streak at 76, which began March 5, 1937 and ended January 19, 1951 with a loss to Oklahoma
- Additionally, Iowa owns the record for longest Dual Meet Unbeaten Streak, at 84. Would you be surprised to know that this streak was under Tom Brands and not Dan Gable? This streak began after a 19-15 loss to Oklahoma State on January 5, 2008, and continued as both a Winning AND Unbeaten streak until a 15-15 tie with OkSt on January 16, 2011 ended the Winning Streak at 69. From there, it continued as an Unbeaten Streak, until Oklahoma State again ended it, with a 17-16 victory on January 8, 2012, via the then-newly-introduced tiebreaker criteria rules
- Pete the Streak is a good commentator at Black Shoe Diaries dot com
- 84: Iowa’s record Unbeaten Streak (includes a tie, at meet #70)
- 76: Oklahoma State’s record Winning Streak
- 69: Iowa’s second-place record Winning Streak
- 59: Penn State’s current Winning Streak
125 Kyle Akins DEC Justin Lopez, 5-0; Buffalo 3-0
Jeff Byers reported that Devin Schnupp had “a bit of a skin condition,” so Lopez got tabbed to compete.
In a separate report, Pat Donghia, who is believed to run the @PennStateWREST twitter account, reported it another way: “Schnupp being held out, precautionary.”
- No action
- Akins chose down, reversal, heavy ride
- Stall warn Lopez
- Lopez chose neutral
- Akins TD2
133 #11 Roman Bravo-Young MD Derek Spann, 14-5; PSU 4-3
Roman Bravo-Young was out of action last weekend, for a funeral in Arizona, but returned to action today.
PSU’s Team Twitter said he was ready to rumble
RBY is ready to rumble! pic.twitter.com/j5woIjObm4— Penn State WRESTLING (@pennstateWREST) February 24, 2019
His right knee brace was gone, but there was still a fair bit of tape on the leg. You would have to look extremely closely to find any evidence of a lack of mobility. I tried, but only really got myself to a point where I wasn’t sure if I was making it up (a lack of mobility) or not.
- Left leg single, nice lift & trip for TD1
- Tough top ride for 1:27 or RT, then cut him
- Beautiful blast double, with big lift and return for TD2
- Looked relaxed and in control on top
Period Two, 4-1
- RBY chose neutral, shot off the whistle, Spann sprawled into a stalemate
- Another nice double, a little longer to finish, but got it on the edge, for TD3
- Cut him after a restart
- And yet another sick double, for TD4!
- Cut him, but couldn’t get another before time ran out
Period Three, 8-3
- Spann chose down, RBY cut
- Spann stall 1
- Locked a standing cradle for TD5, couldn’t finish the pin, but got 2NF
- Cut him, then an unreal duck under, for TD6. Dag, that was quick!
- Stall 2, Point 1
Here’s a look at the end of RBY’s 14-5 major decision! pic.twitter.com/8m23cAMQSg— Penn State WRESTLING (@pennstateWREST) February 24, 2019
That was a nice final tuneup before B1Gs! RBY looked good—certainly plenty ready to try to tackle the massive blockers between him and a true freshman National Championship.
141 #2 Nick Lee Received a Forfeit; PSU 10-3
Byers reported Lantry has a knee injury and did not weigh in.
Nick Lee is now 56-8 in his career.
149 #11 Brady Berge DEC Jason Estevez, 11-4; PSU 13-3.
Byers noted that Berge owns a 31-3 TD advantage in dual meets this year, heading into this bout.
- Nice duck under, but didn’t finish
- Estevez active on Berge’s head, shot a double, but Berge sprawled into a stalemate
- Slick low shot on left leg, shelved and finished smoothly for TD1
- Estevez chose down, escaped
- Estevez active on Berge’s head, again shot a double, and again Berge sprawled into a stalemate
- Estevez lots of motion, Berge stalked him steadily
- Berge knee tap, but no serious attempt
- Berge chose down
- Easy stand, then Estevez cut
- Nice double leg to single back to double, lots of conviction and flexibility, for TD2
- Hooked a leg and got under the chin, nearly turned him, but no NF
- Cut him on restart, but still going for the Major
- Berge controlling middle mat
- Sloppy Estevez shot, Berge go behind for TD3
- Shot a double, sloppy sprawl, Berge go behind
- Cut him again, but ran out of time
- Earned a stall point though
- Berge 1:38 in riding time
If there were any unanswered questions about who might man this weight for Penn State in the postseason, I think that, as they say, is that.
Barring any new developments, or any return of old developments, such as weight cut struggles, it looks like Brady Berge again has the stranglehold on PSU’s 149 pound representation.
157 #1 Jason Nolf WBF Kyle Todrank (5:41); PSU 19-3
Man, was it ever refreshing to watch this opponent take on the challenge that is Jason Nolf!
Look how ready he was from the get-go:
One final time at Rec Hall, Jason Nolf! pic.twitter.com/CxVZBkUPJ3— Penn State WRESTLING (@pennstateWREST) February 24, 2019
Byers noted that this season Nolf has scored 115 points in 22 bouts, which seems pretty good.
- Single on left leg, but Todrank kicked free
- Todrank shot, big scramble to stalemate
- Head outside single, finishes for TD1
- Cut him
- Todrank shot, Nolf countered to crotch lift and finish for TD2
- Cut, sick ankle pick, but Todrank kicked out and got away
- Second ankle pick, but with lots of patience, before finishing for TD3
- Cut him after restart
- Blast double for TD4
- Todrank chose down
- Archery Season! Nolf ran the bow & arrow for 4NF
- Cut him, Todrank shot, Nolf go-behind for TD5
- Stall 2, Point 1
- Cut him after a restart
- Todrank with a goofy leg-wag at Nolf as the period ended. Something like “come and get it?”
Period Three, 12-1
- Todrank down, Nolf got too high going for the cradle, Todrank popped out the back and reversed him
- Nolf escaped and Todrank danced! My man danced mid-match on Jason Nolf!
- Nolf answered with a big blast double for TD6, cut him and dove in on the standing cradle, locked it up and got that bro straight turnt and stuck
- Nolf stood up, shaking his head, as Byers shouted: “You gotta be careful when you mess with the tiger’s cage!”
- Byers added: “JASON NOLF SAYS YOU’RE DONE”
Well that sure was a different kind of Nolf-match fun!
I absolutely loved Todrank’s attitude out there competing against a monster: dude was there to bring the energy, keep his body moving and looking to score.
Can you imagine if more wrestlers did that?
And it looked to me like Todrank had a good attitude about his own antics as well. At post-bout hand-shake he appeared to have some kind-looking words. I’m guessing something along the lines of “no disrespect intended.” Nolf responded with an shoulder pat acknowledgement.
Here, peep the whole finish:
JASON. NOLF.— Penn State WRESTLING (@pennstateWREST) February 24, 2019
A fitting finale at Rec Hall. pic.twitter.com/AQutcoyqja
I’m grateful we got to see such an opponent, to properly honor Jason Nolf in his last college match in Rec Hall.
Sincere thank you to Kyle Todrank for his part in such a glorious send-off for such an entertaining wrestler.
165 #1 Vincenzo Joseph WBF Noah Grover (1:03); PSU 25-3
- Big blast double, got him stuck on his butt, but Cenzo was still too low on his legs to deck him, and he rolled through
- But as he did, Cenzo locked up a quick cradle and stuck him!
Pay attention now, the action came fast and furious from here.
174 #1 Mark Hall WBF Jake Lanning (2:13); PSU 31-3.
- Sloppy upper body work by Hall resulted in Lanning dropping to Hall’s right leg and getting it in the air...
- Hall, relaxed, waited for the finish attempt, countered beautifully for TD1
- Hall double, patient again during Lanning’s attempted ankle pass, came up through the legs and finished for TD2
- Then an absolutely gorgeous Cement Mixer for the stick!
Lordy, cement mixers are gorgeous! They really do look like their name.
And Hall has become a cement mixing maestro.
184 Shakur Rasheed WBF Logan Rill (1:16); PSU 37-3
There was a pretty big knee brace on Rasheed’s right leg, but his mobility looked decent.
- Single leg for TD1
- Working hard for the far side cradle
- Got it and stuck him him!
Rasheed’s length continues to be a problem for many of his opponents.
197 #1 Bo Nickal WBF Brett Perry (1:19); PSU 43-9.
- Left leg high-crotch for TD1, then cut
- Standing head & arm bar, threw him to his back and stuck him!
The team twitter just missed the throw in this video (I empathize; Bo works quickly)
Another look at how Bo Nickal closed out his career at Rec Hall! pic.twitter.com/OzieRrR0y9— Penn State WRESTLING (@pennstateWREST) February 24, 2019
285 #3 Anthony Cassar MD Sam Schuyler, 16-5; PSU 47-3
- Cassar 229.6
- Skyler 212.4.
- Math: Cassar outweighed an opponent! By 17.2 pounds.
Byers: Penn State will petition for 2 more years of eligibility for Cassar!
- Single to right leg for TD1
- Still has head gear problems!
- Sloppy Schuyler shot, Cassar go-behind for TD2
- While riding, he had to adjust his head gear, again
- Schuyler chose down
- After a bit of a ride, cut him
- Ankle pick to double leg for TD3, then cut
- Head inside single to right leg, 5-second finish for TD4
- Cassar chose down, got hand control and escape
- Big, Bad, Anthony Double Leg, for TD5
- 31 TDs, with a forfeit and 4 p1 pins
- Lordy his double legs! Another BBAD for TD6
- Looked for a nearside cradle, but couldn’t lock it
- Cut and TD7
- 4:24 in RT
Man, are we going to miss these guys!
Shakur Rasheed and Anthony Cassar are likely, if recent NCAA trends are any indication, to receive additional eligibility years. But the collegiate careers of Nickal, Nevills & Nolf are coming to an end.
Nick Nevills was victimized during his last year this year by the “iron sharpens iron” mentality Cael and staff have instilled throughout the program, as Anthony Cassar has ascended. He finishes his career with 69 wins against 17 losses, and two All-American finishes: 5th in 2017 and 7th in 2018.
Jason Nolf and Bo Nickal are not yet finished, so we’ll wait to lay out their many accomplishments until after Pittsburgh, but none of these three studs have ever participated in a Dual Meet that Penn State lost.
59-0 is Penn State’s Dual Meet record since these began their collegiate eligibility and entered the starting lineups.
That’s really cool.
Thanks for all the memories, fellas. And best of luck with your next steps.