Penn State Wrestling Tops Illinois 31-3
Top-ranked Penn State wrestling continued its winning ways Friday night, defeating No. 11 Illinois 31-3, dropping only one match at 133. In the premiere bout of the night, Penn State’s Nico Megaludis (#2) sneaked out a victory against rival Jesse Delgado (#4) 5-4 in front of a sold-out Rec Hall.
Despite a stall warning on Delgado in the first period, the bout was scoreless into the second. Megaludis started from down and reversed Delgado for the first score of the match. Delgado escaped and attempted to take down Megaludis. Instead, Megaludis took Delgado down for a 4-1 lead.
With 30 seconds left in the period, Delgado and Megaludis had a flurry. Illinois believed Delgado should have been awarded an escape. After a review, the officials awarded Delgado the escape point to cut Megaludis’ lead to 4-2 into the third period. To start the third period, Delgado was on bottom but reversed Megaludis to tie the bout. Megaludis escaped for an eventual 5-4 win.
Delgado defeated Megaludis last year to win the Big Ten Championship and NCAA Championship at 125. Megaludis defeated Delgado twice before, but the wins were at the NCWA All-Star Match and last year’s dual meet.
“I want to do it when it matters,” Megaludis said on Friday night.
Top-ranked David Taylor led No. 12 Jackson Morse 5-0 after a takedown and three back points in the first period. After Morse escaped in the second period, he took down Taylor and rode him out for the rest of the period, the lead was quickly cut to 5-3. Taylor managed to turn the third period into a major decision though, after a reversal and two sets of two back points.
Zach Beitz wrestled for Andrew Alton at 149 against No. 19 Caleb Ervin. Beitz led 2-1 after a takedown and an escape by Ervin. An escape by Ervin from down in the second period tied the match at two. Beitz had a reversal from down to start the third for a 4-2 victory over Ervin.
Penn State improves to 11-0 overall and 5-0 in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions next match is Friday Jan. 31 in East Lansing against Eastern Michigan at 7 p.m., followed by a trip to Michigan on Sunday Feb. 2 at 3:30 p.m. The Michigan State match will be streamed on the Big Ten Digital Network and the Michigan dual will be aired live on the Big Ten Network.