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Wrestling Preview: No. 2 Penn State vs No. 21 Lehigh

They’re coming home to wrestle an always-dangerous Lehigh team, with a few key dudes still out for the flu.

Syndication: The Des Moines Register Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Well, that Friday night bout was a little too close for comfort, huh? Granted, Kerkvleit probably wanted to wrestle—but Cael likely overruled him and kept the heavyweight out for one more bout until this ranked matchup on Sunday.

Lehigh is always consistent, and good, and a tough out. It helps that this bout is at home in Rec Hall, but it should be a good one for viewers if not for our cardiologists.

How To Watch

What: #2 Penn State vs #21 Lehigh*

Where: Rec Hall, University Park, PA

When: Sunday, November 5, 2 pm

Audio: Free, via GoPSUSports

Video: BTN+ ($)


#3 Penn State WT #21 Lehigh
#3 Penn State WT #21 Lehigh
Brandon Meredith (Jr., Limerick, PA) OR Baylor Shunk (So., Centre Hall, PA) 125 #14 - Jaret Lane (Jr., Catawissa, PA)
#1 - Roman Bravo-Young (Sr., Tucson, AZ) 133 #22 - Malyke Hines (Fr., Kissimmee, FL)
#1 - Nick Lee (Sr., Evansville, IN) 141 Dan Moran (Jr., Bethlehem, PA) OR Connor McGonagle (Fr., Danville, NH)
#20 - Beau Bartlett (So., Tempe, AZ) 149 Manzona Bryant IV (Fr., Columbus, OH) OR Jimmy Hoffman (Jr., Drums, PA)
Terrell Barraclough (So., Kaysville, UT) OR Joe Lee (So., Evansville, IN) 157 #10 - Josh Humphreys (Jr., Parkersburg, WV)
#32 - Creighton Edsall (Jr., Wyalusing, PA) 165 #27 - Brian Meyer (So., Phillipsburg, NJ)
#1 - Carter Starocci (So., Erie, PA) 174 Jake Logan (Fr., New Rochelle, NY)
#1 - Aaron Brooks (Jr., Hagerstown, MD) 184 AJ Burkhart (So., Athens, PA)
#4 - Max Dean (Jr., Lowell, MI) OR Michael Beard (So., Pottstown, PA) 197 JT Davis (Fr., Middletown, DE)
#4 - Greg Kerkvliet (So., Grove Heights, MN) 285 #10 - Jordan Wood (Sr., Gilberstville, PA)

125 LBS

Shunk had a tough outing on Friday but kept the bout to a decision. This one should be even closer, and I expect Baylor to try for a late takedown to win but come up just short.

Prediction: Lane by decision

Score: PSU 0, Lehigh 3

133 LBS

RBY still being out with the flu means some virtually gimme points won’t be there. Brandon Meredith was a literal last-second takedown from keeping Friday’s bout against Penn’s best wrestler to a decision but I don’t think that’ll be the case on Sunday.

Prediction: Hines by major decision

Score: PSU 0, Lehigh 7

141 LBS

Nick looked still not quite 100% on Friday, and got ridden out the entire third period, only coming out with a regular decision. I fully expect the returning National champ to learn from that, and not let it happen again—and that starts on Sunday, when Lee goes for his 100th PSU career win. This one will be bonus, but it’ll just be a question of by how much and whether it lasts all 7 minutes.

Prediction: N. Lee by major decision

Score: PSU 4, Lehigh 7

149 LBS

I would say that this bout would be a relatively easier one from Bartlett, not wrestling a ranked foe—but this is Beau Bartlett, after all. It’ll be closer than it should be on paper, but Beau prevails.

Prediction: Beau by decision

Score: PSU 7, Lehigh 7

157 LBS

Bearclaw looked good on Friday despite the loss, but this week his competition gets even tougher. I think he’ll be in deep on a few shots but Humphreys’ defense will prove to be too much and the visitor gets the win.

Prediction: Humphreys by major decision

Score: PSU 7, Lehigh 11

165 LBS - Match of the Meet

Creighton has a streak, but also has a ton of confidence. I don’t think that this week will be his first time wrestling in front of the home fans in Rec Hall, but I am sure he’ll feed off the crowd energy and will himself to the win—and in regulation this time.

Prediction: Edsell by decision

Score: PSU 10, Lehigh 11

174 LBS

I will be very, very surprised if this bout lasts seven minutes. Carter’s feeling it this year.

Prediction: Starocci by fall

Score: PSU 16, Lehigh 11

184 LBS

Donovan Ball was a big surprise on Friday, coming out on fire and looking comfortable on the road. This may be his first time wrestling at Rec, and he’ll put on a show for the home crowd by winning on a last second score.

Prediction: Ball by decision

Score: PSU 19, Lehigh 11

197 LBS

JT Davis was pinned by an LIU wrestler in November (the same LIU wrestler that Dean tech called while at Cornell). This one should be over early—-let’s call it, in the 2nd.

Prediction: Dean by fall

Score: PSU 25, Lehigh 11

285 LBS

The last time these two wrestlers met (in last year’s NCAA tournament), Wood was favored and Kerk won by major. Greg has looked very good so far this season, but is coming back from the flu after being held out on Friday; because of this, Wood keeps it closer than he otherwise would. Side note, despite these recent disparities in their recent results, wrestlestat still predicts Wood to beat the Nittany Lion.

Prediction: Kerk by decision

Score: PSU 29, Lehigh 11

Overall score prediction: PSU 29, Lehigh 11

*The Penn State athletic department, in its official capacity, uses Intermat Tournament Rankings in all its match literature; I’m using Intermat’s Dual Meet rankings because this happens to be a dual. Lehigh is ranked #21 in the dual rankings, and unranked in the tournament rankings; PSU is ranked #2 in both.