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Wrestling Session 4 Recap

Penn State pushes five into the finals in an impressive Friday night showing.

Richard Immel


Our Guy


Field Notes

Spencer Lee will return to the finals for Iowa after a thoroughly impressive 11-4 victory over Nick Piccininni of Oklahoma State.

He will not, however, have a third meeting with Northwestern’s Sebastian Rivera. The undefeated top seed from Northwestern was dominated from start to finish by Virginia’s Jack Mueller who racked up over six minutes of riding time in an 8-2 win.

On the back side, Ronnie Bresser, Vito Arujau, RayVon Foley and Pat Glory became All-Americans.


Our Guy

RBY came out and got on his attacks early in a 4-3 win over Pitt’s Micky Phillippi. His second match of the evening was a different discussion as Mizzou’s John Erneste punished the freshman on top on the way to a 10-0 major decision. Bravo-Young will wrestle Ethan Lizak tomorrow morning for seventh.

Field Notes

Nick Suriano looked as strong as ever in a 4-1 win over Stevan Micic to advance to finals for the second consecutive year. He’ll meet up with Daton Fix who topped Luke Pletcher via a 4-2 score.

In the wrestlebacks, Erneste, Lizak, Bravo-Young and Austin DeSanto reached All-American status.


Our Guy

Nick Lee had yet another tight match against a guy who has become his greatest college rival. Joey McKenna used a strong second-period ride and a third-period takedown to grab a narrow 4-3 win and advance to the finals where he’ll meet Cornell’s Yianni Diakomihalis.

Lee will wrestle tomorrow morning against Dom Demas of Oklahoma. A win would send him to the third-place match against either Mitch McKee of Minnesota or Jaydin Eierman of Mizzou.

Field Notes

Diakomihalis, the defending champ, won a fun one with Eierman to reach the finals.

Demas, McKee, Chad Red and Kyle Shoop all won blood round matches to grab All-American spots.


Our Guy

Brady Berge’s first tournament ended in the morning session after going 2-2.

Field Notes

We’ll have a No. 1 vs. No. 2 rematch in the finals as Anthony Ashnault and Micah Jordan put in workmanlike performances to reach the finals. Ashnault is 2-0 on the year against Jordan including a win in the Big Ten Tournament finals.

Blood round matchups saw Mitch Finesilver, Pat Lugo, Jarrett Degen and Brock Mauller become All-Americans.


Our Guy

In what was the probably the strangest match in Jason Nolf’s college career, the senior had to hold on for a 3-2 win over NC State’s Hayden Hidlay. Hidlay appeared to have a takedown in short time to end the first period but after review the call was overturned.

Nolf scored on a go behind in the second period then fought off a deep shot by Hidlay as time expired in the match.

He’ll have Tyler Berger of Nebraska in the finals. Nolf is 2-0 against Berger this year and 5-0 in their respective careers.

Field Notes

Berger defeated Iowa’s Kaleb Young to reach the final from the bottom side of the bracket.

On the back side, Alec Pantaleo, Christian Pagdalio, Larry Early and Ryan Deakin became All-Americans.


Our Guy

Vincenzo went a bit conservative in this one after a first-period takedown gave him a 2-1 lead, but Shields was unable to make him pay for doing so as Cenzo held on for a 3-2 win.

He’ll have Mekhi Lewis in Saturday night’s final as he attempts to win his third NCAA title in three years.

Field Notes

Lewis, a Junior World Champion, looked fantastic in a 5-2 victory over Wisconsin’s Evan Wick in the other semifinals.

Joining the four aforementioned wrestlers as All-Americans were Alex Marinelli, Chance Marsteller, Bryce Steiert and Isaiah White.


Our Guy

Mark Hall certainly does love high drama, doesn’t he? Hall left it until tiebreakers to pull out a 2-1 win over Myles Amine. The two have now wrestled five times in college with Hall winning all five by one point.

Field Notes

Zahid Valencia looked as terrifying as ever in an 11-3 major decision victory over Daniel Lewis of Mizzou to reach the finals.

On the back side, Jordan Kutler, David McFadden, Devin Skatzka and Mikey Labriola claimed All-American honors.


Our Guy

Shakur Rasheed’s second tournament ended in the morning session after going 2-2.

Field Notes

The big upset in the semis came at 184 as Max Dean of Cornell upended top seed and previously undefeated Myles Martin of Ohio State. Martin had topped Dean 13-6 in a dual in early February.

Dean will wrestle Northern Iowa’s Drew Foster after Foster dispatched of North Carolina’s Chip Ness 7-4.

Joining those guys as AAs are Dakota Geer, Ryan Preisch, Zack Zavatsky and Emery Parker.


Our Guy

Bo Nickal was our hero, or healer tonight. He helped wash the stress of five one-point semifinal bouts away with a second-period pin of Princeton’s Pat Brucki.

In the words of Nickal himself in a post-match interview, “he put his head close to his knees, so that’s over.”

Field Notes

Ohio State’s Kollin Moore, who has twice fallen to Nickal this year, will stand across him yet again in the finals after a 12-4 major decision victory over Preston Weigel.

Ben Honis, Willie Miklus, Josh Hokit and Jacob Warner each earned All-American status on the back side.


Our Guy

He left it late yet again, but on the strength of a third-period takedown and a riding time point Anthony Cassar is an NCAA finalist following a 4-3 win over Gable Steveson.

He’ll square off with Oklahoma State’s Derek White in the finals. White topped Lehigh’s Jordan Wood 3-1 in sudden victory. Cassar’s only loss of the year came to White in the finals of January’s Southern Scuffle.

Field Notes

Rounding out the field of All-Americans are Youssif Hemida, Matt Stencel, Trenrt Hillger and Amar Dhesi.

Team Race

  1. Penn State 120.5
  2. Ohio State 88.5
  3. Oklahoma State 73.5
  4. Iowa 68.0
  5. Missouri 54,0

The Nittany Lions are just three points away from clinching yet another national title and will have a chance to do so in tomorrow morning’s session with Bravo-Young and Nick Lee in action.