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Top-10 Matches Highlight Penn State Wrestling’s Trip to Nebraska

by on January 23, 2020 2:51 PM

No. 2 Penn State wrestling will travel to Lincoln on Friday to face off against No. 7 Nebraska in a match that will have many high-profile matchups.

Three of Penn State’s top wrestlers will all face top-10 opponents with whom they’ve each become quite familiar over the years. Given their preparation in perhaps the best wrestling room in the country, head coach Cael Sanderson is confident that the three will be mentally prepared for their tough bouts come Friday night.

“Attitude is often the big decider in big matches, so we try to focus more on the attitude and perspective,” he said. “A lot of times you just got to go out there and make things happen.”

No. 2 Nick Lee is undefeated this season at 141 lbs., but he will face his toughest opponent thus far when he squares off against No. 8 Chad Red.

The two wrestled last year in a battle that Lee came out on top of with a close 5-4 decision. Back in high school, they wrestled one of the greatest state finals matches in Indiana as a pair of top-five, nationally ranked wrestlers. Red won that match 6-5. In what will likely be another close match, Lee is looking for his first top-10 win of the year, which would give him momentum as he moves toward some tougher competition later in the schedule.

At 165 lbs., No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph will wrestle No. 5 Isaiah White. Joseph is 3-0 all-time against White, but the wins have not come easily by any means. Joseph has won the three matches by a total of six points, including twice in sudden victory at the NCAA Championships.

A win in this top-five bout would be big for Joseph, considering he’s only wrestled in six matches so far this season. As he gets set to meet White for a fourth time, Joseph isn’t too caught up with their history.

“At this point we’re both pretty familiar with each other’s tendencies so you got to go in ready to battle,” he said.

No. 1 Mark Hall will square off with No. 6 Mikey Labriola at 174 lbs. Hall won a close 5-3 decision against Labriola when the two wrestled last year, and will look to post a similar result this match.

Hall has been dominant so far this season, scoring bonus points in all of his matches but one, when he defeated No. 3 Jordan Kutler of Lehigh 7-2. Hall is trying to notch another impressive win on the year as he looks to win his second national championship.

The dual will start at 7 p.m. on Friday and be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.

 



Max Tolson is a Penn State student and writer for Onward State.
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