Penn State Wrestling Wins Two Duals Over Wisconsin and Purdue
By Katie Blitz
The top-ranked Penn State wrestling team played in front of a sold-out Rec Hall crowd Friday night against No. 24 Wisconsin. Penn State lost only two bouts in the match, which gave it a 36-6 win. Sunday night, it beat Purdue on the road, 35-3, losing only one bout in the match.
No. 2 Nico Megaludis won Friday’s match over Wisconsin’s Matt Cavallaris on a 22-7 tech fall at the seven-minute mark in the 125-pound bout. At Purdue, Megaludis faced No. 17 Camden Eppert. Megaludis had the first takedown of the match against Eppert and led, 2-1 at the end of the first period. Eppert started down for the second period, which allowed Megaludis to ride him out for the entire period. Megaludis chose to start down for the third and worked Cavallaris into a reversal to lead, 4-1. Megaludis accumulated 3:43 in riding time to win, 5-1.
Unranked Jordan Conaway took on No. 3 Tyler Graff, of Wisconsin, in the 133-pound bout. Conaway had been undefeated in dual meets this season. Graff had three takedowns in the first period, leading, 6-3. Graff had an easy escape after starting down in the second to lead, 7-3 into the third. Conaway started down in the third and quickly escaped to close the gap to 7-4. Conaway then had his first takedown of the bout, but Graff quickly escaped. Conaway had his second takedown with 28 seconds left to send the match into sudden victory. Conaway had the winning takedown at the 22-second mark to win, 10-8. At Purdue, Conaway pulled away in the third period over Danny Sabatello winning a major decision, 13-4.
Senior Bryan Pearsall faced Tom Kelliher at 141 pounds. Pearsall had an immediate takedown and a near fall. Pearsall pulled off the pin at the 1:22 mark, the quickest pin of the bout. Pearsall took on another unranked wrestler on Sunday — Brandon Nelsen. After a scoreless first period, Nelsen started down and reversed Pearsall to lead, 2-0. Pearsall escaped to go into the third trailing, 2-1. Pearsall started down for the third period and worked Nelsen into a reversal, giving himself a 3-2 lead. After gaining enough riding time, Pearsall won, 4-2.
With No. 3 Andrew Alton and No. 6 Dylan Alton both out still because of a violation of team rules, James English and James Vollrath both got the start at 149 pounds and 157, respectively. English’s opponent was unranked Cole Schmidt. The two fought evenly for the first three periods, with the bout tied at 2-2. The bout went into two sudden victories when Schmidt reversed English and gained back points to win, 8-4 over English. English faced No. 13 Ivan Lopouchanski at Purdue. English and Lopouchanski were tied without a score going into the second. English chose to start down and escaped. Lopouchanski had the first takedown of the bout, and English escaped to tie the bout back up at 2-2. Lopouchanski took down English again, which he rode out through the end of the second period. Lopouchanski chose to start down in the third and escaped to give him a 5-2 win.
James Vollrath took on Kalvin York, of Wisconsin. York called for an injury timeout early on, which Vollrath took advantage of by starting down on the restart. Vollrath escaped and took York down quickly after to lead, 3-0. Vollrath added another escape after starting down in the second period. York took down Vollrath to cut the lead down to 5-2. York started down in the third and escaped, but Vollrath won, 5-3. In Purdue, Vollrath faced Tommy Churchard. Vollrath had the first takedown of the bout, but Churchard responded with an escape. After a second takedown, Vollrath led, 4-1 going into the second period. Churchard started down in the second and escaped, but Vollrath responded with another takedown to extend his lead to 6-2. Churchard reversed Vollrath, but Vollrath escaped to end the second period with a 7-4 lead. Vollrath escaped after starting down in the third. Vollrath took Churchard down one last time, and after Churchard’s escape, Vollrath led, 10-5. Churchard took Vollrath down for the first time in the bout, only to be countered by a Vollrath reversal. Vollrath won, 12-9.
No. 2 David Taylor, at 165 pounds, wrestled Frank Cousins, of Wisconsin, on Friday night. To start off the first period, Taylor took down Cousins four times in the first 90 seconds of the period. After a fifth takedown, Taylor was able to gain three back points on Cousins to maintain a 15-5 lead going into the second period. Cousins chose to start neutral, which allowed Taylor to immediately take him down. Cousins escaped at the end of the period to give Taylor a 17-6 lead going into the third. Taylor chose to start neutral and took Cousins down and gained a point due to Cousins stalling. After Cousins escaped, Taylor took Cousins down again, followed by back points which would give Taylor a tech fall at the 6:22 mark. At Purdue, Taylor took down Doug Welch in five seconds to give Taylor an early lead. After three more takedowns, Taylor was able to turn Welch on his back for the pin at the 2:41 mark.
No. 3 Matt Brown faced Scott Liegal, of Wisconsin, at 174. After a takedown by Brown followed by an escape from Liegal, Brown led, 2-1 going into the second period. Liegal started down and escaped followed by a takedown of Brown. Brown escaped and took Liegal down to go into the third period with a 5-4 lead. Brown started down and escaped. Brown took Liegal down with 45 seconds left in the third. Liegal escaped and took Brown down to cut the lead to 10-8. Brown escaped and gained a point for riding time to win, 12-8. Brown faced Kyle Mosier, of Purdue, on Sunday. Brown took down Mosier twice while gaining three back points on the second takedown to have a 7-1 lead into the second period. Mosier started down in the second period, which gave Brown the opportunity to build up riding time. After a Mosier escape, Brown added another takedown to lead, 9-2. Brown started down for the third and escaped. Brown added two more escapes to have a 15-3 major decision.
Top ranked Ed Ruth was not challenged at 184 pounds by Wisconsin much to the dismay of the fans at Rec Hall. At Purdue, Ed Ruth took on Dion Crowder. With 55 seconds left in the first period, Ruth had the first takedown and gained two near fall points. Crowder started down for the second period, and Ruth got the takedown. Crowder escaped, and Ruth took him down again followed by the pin at the 3:42 mark.
At 197 pounds, No. 3 Quentin Wright faced No. 20 Jackson Heim, while Wright was looking for his 100th career win. At the 2:02 mark, Wright had the first takedown followed by the pin at the 1:24 mark. Wright followed the matchup by facing No. 17 Braden Atwood at Purdue. Wright had the first takedown at the two-minute mark and rode him out for the entirety of the first period. Wright started down in the second and added an escape point to lead, 3-0 into the third period. Atwood started down and escaped, but his point was countered by a stalling call to give Wright a 4-1 lead. Wright took Atwood down a final time and clinched an additional point for riding time to win, 7-1.
In the heavyweights, No. 16 Jon Gingrich was up against No. 11 Connor Medbury. After no score in the first period, Gingrich started down in the second and escaped. Medbury countered with a takedown, which Gingrich escaped to tie the bout at 2-2 going into the second period. Medbury escaped after starting down in the third and took Gingrich down near the end of the bout. After a point for riding time, Medbury won, 6-3. Gingrich took on Purdue’s Alex White on Sunday. After no score in the first period, Gingrich started down and escaped to start the second period. Gingrich took down White and led, 3-1 after an escape from White. White chose down to start the third, but Gingrich rode him out the entire period for a 4-1 victory after the riding time point.
Penn State (7-0) returns to Rec Hall at 2 p.m. Sunday to face Nebraska to round out its Big Ten home schedule.