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No. 1 Penn State Wrestling Clinches Big Ten Regular Season Title with Win over No. 19 Illinois

by on February 17, 2019 8:20 PM

No. 1 Penn State wrestling clinched a share of the regular season Big Ten title when it beat up on No. 19 Illinois and cruised to a 39-9 win on Sunday afternoon. The Nittany Lions won eight bouts, including two by fall and two by technical fall to run their winning streak to 58 duals.

How It Happened

Penn State once again fell behind early, trailing 6-0 after the first bout. No. 12 Travis Piotrowski of Illinois pinned Devin Schnupp in just more than a minute to give the Illini a quick lead.

Scott Stossel, filling in for No. 11 Roman Bravo-Young at 133, got his first win as a Nittany Lion to put his team on the board and start a streak of six straight wins. Stossel notched a 6-4 come-from-behind win over Josh Contreras. Contreras led 2-0 after the first period and took a 3-2 lead into the third period, before Stossel escaped, scored a takedown, and clinched a riding time point to win 6-4.

No. 2 Nick Lee continued his rampage of late by scoring 17 points in less than two periods to beat Abdullah Asaf via technical fall. Lee’s win gave the Nittany Lions an 8-6 lead, a margin that would eventually grow to 30 points.

After missing five duals, No. 11 Brady Berge finally broke back into the lineup at 149. He rolled to a 15-4 major decision over Christian Kanzler. Berge picked up five takedowns and a near fall in the win.

Things got worse for Illinois when No. 1 Jason Nolf took the mat at 157. He led Eric Barone 12-1 in the third period before the Illini took an injury default that made the score 18-6.

After the intermission, No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph secured more bonus points at 165 when he majored Nick Gasbarro. Joseph scored six takedowns and had nearly five minutes of riding time in the match, which he won 15-4.

No. 1 Mark Hall made it six in a row for Penn State when he pinned Carver James late in the first period to make the team score 26-6, before Illinois finally got back on the board at 184. Yet again wrestling up two weight classes with No. 2 Shakur Rasheed out and Francisco Bisono dancing in THON, Mason Manville dropped another tough decision. He lost to No. 7 Emery Parker, 7-3.

At 184 pounds, Manville has now faced the Nos. 1, 5, 7, and 15 wrestlers in the country. He’s lost to three of those by decision and dropped a major to top-ranked Myles Martin of Ohio State. Nonetheless, he’s proved his worth by limiting bonus points to keep things in check.

No. 1 Bo Nickal resumed the onslaught by the Nittany Lions when he locked Matt Wroblewski up with a late cradle and came dangerously close to pinning him. Instead, Nickal came away with a 19-3 technical fall win after picking up seven takedowns and a near fall.

The dual concluded at 285, when No. 3 Anthony Cassar pinned Deuce Rachal in the first period.

What’s Next

Penn State wrestling returns to Rec Hall to face Buffalo on Sunday, Feb. 24 for the last dual of the season.


Anthony Colucci is a writer for Onward State
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