The #2 Penn State Nittany Lions took on the American University Eagles at home in front of a packed Rec Hall crowd. The atmosphere, while still energetic, had a twinge of bittersweet sadness mixed in; today was Senior Day. Before the wrestling began a brief ceremony was had to celebrate and congratulate PSU’s senior wrestlers, which included some familiar faces in Mark Hall, Vincenzo Joseph, Kyle Conel, and Devin Schnupp, all of whom had been in the starting lineup for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State won the dual meet 40-3 with a total of four falls, four decisions and a major, while only dropping one bout in overtime at 125 pounds to American’s 2x NCAA qualifier Gage Curry. Curry overcame a 2 point deficit to take the match into overtime against Brandon Meredith of Penn State. Gage had a quick shot off of the whistle, sitting Meredith to his rear and collected the ankles to earn the takedown and his 26th win of the season.
Other matches of note were #1 Mark Hall, #1 Vincenzo Joseph, and #17 Shakur Rasheed all ending their collegiate dual meet careers with pinfalls. #4 Roman Bravo-Young also collected a fall of his own, but only after scoring nine takedowns in one minute and 50 seconds. I’m not great at math, but with the help of a calculator, I can tell you that RBY was averaging a takedown every 12 seconds! An incredible performance from Bravo-Young to be sure.
The post-match press conference was interesting as well, as Cael Sanderson disclosed that Brady Berge, after going only 1-1 in collegiate matches this year, will not be wrestling in the Big 10 conference tournament. It can only be assumed that the concussion he suffered at U23 World Championships in the summer of 2019 is holding him off of the mat. Cael said that the 157 pound starting spot would either go to Bo Pipher (9-11) or Luke Gardner (7-2), but the decision has not been finalized yet. Gardner won by 7-5 decision over Ethan Karsten of American today.
Lastly, PSU Head Coach Cael Sanderson announced that the 2021 Big 10 Championships would be held in State College, PA. No other information on the dates, venue, or ticketing was mentioned.
The #2 Penn State Nittany Lions closed its season with a dual meet record of 12-2 and with eight nationally-ranked wrestlers. The next we will see them compete will be March 7-8 at the Big 10 Championships in Rutgers, New Jersey.