Penn State Wrestling Shuts Out Rider in Final Home Dual of the Season
By Penn State Sports Information
The Penn State wrestling team, ranked No. 1 nationally in Intermat's Tournament Power Index, closed out the home portion of its schedule with a 48-0 shutout win over visiting Rider. Seniors Quentin Wright and Bryan Pearsall thrilled a sold-out, standing-room-only crowd of more than 6,500 with big wins in their final home appearances.
All-American Nico Megaludis, ranked No. 2 at 125, opened up the dual by pinning Bronc Patrick Skinner, getting the fall at the 3:48 mark. Redshirt freshman Jordan Conaway, ranked No. 14 nationally at 133, then rolled to a 19-5 major with 3:19 in riding time over Mike Shupin.
Pearsall, wrestling for the final time in Rec Hall, then got a pin in his final appearance in front of the home crowd. Pearsall completed a cradle and pinned Rob Cigna at the 2:01 mark. Sophomore Andrew Alton, ranked No. 12 at 149, rolled to a 12-4 major over Curt Delia. Brother Dylan Alton, ranked No. 5 at 157, posted a 5-2 win over Rider's Zac Cibula to give the Nittany Lions a 23-0 lead at intermission.
Junior All-American David Taylor, ranked No. 2 at 165, then pinned No. 20 Ramon Santiago in the only bout pitting ranked wrestlers against each other. Taylor got the fall early in the second period, getting a pin at the 3:48 mark. Sophomore Matt Brown, ranked No. 7 at 174, then matched Taylor, getting a fall of his own. Brown pinned Rider junior James Brundage at the 4:06 mark.
Junior All-American Ed Ruth, ranked No. 1 at 184, kept the pin parade going, picking up yet another first period pin. This one, over Rider freshman Ryan Wolfe at the 2:38 mark to put Penn State up 41-0. The three-time All-American Wright, ranked No. 2 at 197, then made his final appearance in Rec Hall count, rolling to a 12-4 major (with 4:44 in riding time) over Donald McNeil. Sophomore heavyweight Jimmy Lawson, ranked No. 12 nationally, then secured the shutout with a dominating 3-0 decision (including 3:46) in riding time over Greg Velasco.
The Nittany Lions compiled a lop-sided 30-1 margin in takedowns and rolled up 18 bonus points thanks to five pins and three majors. Ruth and Wright remain undefeated on the year, checking in at 24-0 and 23-0 respectively while Taylor improves to 22-1. The shutout was Penn State's fourth of the year, marking the first time in Nittany Lion history the team has logged four shutouts in one season. The blanking was the eighth under Sanderson in this, his fourth year at the helm of the program. Penn State moves to 12-1 on the year (having finished its Big Ten slate with a 7-1 mark). Rider falls to 10-7.
Penn State ends its dual meet season next Sunday with a road trip to Rutgers. The Lions and Scarlet Knights tangle at 2 p.m. on Feb. 24.