After narrowly skating by Illinois in Rec Hall on Friday, the Penn State wrestling team looked a little bit more convincing on Sunday, downing top-10 ranked Northwestern 30-9.
Much of that had to do with reintegration of Roman Bravo-Young and Vincenzo Joseph into the lineup.
The dual against the Wildcats started at 133 pounds with the returning Bravo-Young against Northwestern backup Dylan Utterback, who was filling in for the injured Sebastian Rivera.
Bravo-Young started quickly, building an 8-1 lead after the first period and narrowly missing out on the fall. He continued that torrid pace throughout the match and racked up 23 points on the way to a 23-8 tech fall at the 6:26 mark.
Nick Lee followed that with a dominating performance at 141 pounds against Alec McKenna. Lee, like Bravo-Young, started fast and built a 14-4 lead after the first period. Again, like RBY, he continued to pour it on for a 20-5 tech fall in 4:51.
Up at 149. Jarod Verkleeren squared off with backup Eric Yang who was filling in for junior world team member Yahya Thomas. Verkleeren was solid, if unspectular, throughout and picked up an 8-2 victory.
We once again did not see Brady Berge, who is reportedly still dealing with post-concussion symptoms from a head-injury suffered at the UWW U23 championships. That means Bo Pipher took on top-ranked Ryan Deakin at 157 pounds. Pipher showed well, but came up a bit short as Deakin walked away a 6-0 victory.
Following that we saw the return of Vincenzo Joseph from illness. Seemingly not wanting to spread his germs and endanger his opponent, Joseph wasted little time, pinning Shayne Oster with a cradle in just 56 seconds. How thoughtful!
The intermission wrapped and we headed to 174 where Mark Hall squared off with Midlands placer Tyler Morland. Hall used a go behind and nice series of tilts to build an 8-1 lead following the first period. He extended that to 15-2 after the second and finished off the tech fall with a tilt at the 5:21 mark.
Aaron Brooks suffered what Jeff Byers described a minor injury in Friday’s dual, so Creighton Edsell got the call at 184 and remained undefeated on his career in duals with a 4-1 win over former Fargo champ Jack Jessen. Edsell and Jessen exchanged escapes to start the second and third period, then with a little under a minute remaining Edsell came out on top in a scramble for a takedown and rode out the period for a 4-1 win after adding a riding time point.
Shakur Rasheed received his first real test since returning from injury on Friday nine months after surgery to repair a torn ACL. He took on UWW junior world silver medalist Lucas Davison. Rasheed went up 2-0 early with a takedown and led 2-1 after the first period. He then build up over a minute of riding time in the second before being reversed. An escape then tied the match at 3-3 with Rasheed holding 1:05 of riding time. Rasheed chose bottom to start the third and though his riding time dipped under a minute, he got an escape to take a 4-3 lead.
The escape, however, left him in a vulnerable position and he gave up an immediate takedown. After escaping again, the score was tied at 5-5 under a minute to go. With about 30 seconds left, Davison got in on a shot that it looked like Rasheed was going to counter for two points of his own, but Davison hipped in, got the score and then rode out the match for a 7-5 upset victory.
Seth Nevills made his second dual appearance of his carer at 285 against Jack Heyob. Nevills used scrambling ability and strong top work to lead 5-0 after the second period. He then notched a takedown to go up 7-0 with under a minute to go and riding time locked, but curiously cut Heyob to make it 7-1. He was unable to get a takedown in the last 40 seconds and came away with an 8-1 win, just shy of the major decision.
Lastly, Brandon Meredith was back at it at 125 against No. 7 Michael DeAugustino. DeAugustino led 2-1 after the first and 5-1 after the second, but Meredith didn’t go away and pulled with two points at 5-3 with a takedown mid-way through the third. Unfortunately, he was not able to notch another and DeAugustino added a riding time point to grab a 7-3 win.