Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Wrestling Wreport

Ok, so Penn State heads into the national duals ranked as the top team in the nation sporting a lineup that boasts 7 of 10 wrestlers ranked in the top 20. They thrash two ranked teams (No. 16 UT Chattanooga & No. 19 Cornell) then lose to No 10 Nebraska then beat No. 4 Iowa State then loose to No. 11 Ohio State … so what gives? I'm confused. How can this team beat Iowa State 22-16 and lose to Ohio State 24 -11? If Penn State is going to win the Big Ten and have a shot at a national title they will most certainly have to wrestle better than they did this weekend.

Match Highlights

No.1 Penn State 37 - No. 16 UT Chattanooga 2

Penn State started the duals in style winning 9 of 10 bouts in a 37-2 thrashing of UTC. Mark McKnight, Jake Strayer, Bubba Jenkins, Dan Vallimont, and Phil Davis all beat ranked wrestlers. McKnight was down 2-1 late in the second period when he countered a shot and pinned #9 Javier Maldonado of UTC. Phil Davis won a close match with #13 Matt Koz 4-2. Koz wrestled defensive the entire match and was hit with a penalty point for a stall late in the third to make the difference in the match. UTC also had a team point deducted during Davis' match to finish with the strange score of 2.

No.1 Penn State 13 - No. 10 Nebraska 19

Nebraska brought in ranked wrestlers at every weight except one. At 197 Phil Davis dominated #4 Craig Brester 8-0 notching three takedowns and dominating on top. Heavyweight John Laboranti pulled off a mild upset defeating #19 Jon May in sudden victory overtime. But the real difference in this match was at 141 where Jake Strayer, ranked #2 in the country, lost to unranked Mike Rowe of Nebraska 6-4. If Strayer had won like he should have the six point difference was the difference in the match (subtract 3 from Rowe and add three for Strayer).

No.1 Penn State 31 - No. 19 Cornell 9

A repeat of a dual meet from a week ago, Penn State once again dominated Cornell 31-9. This meeting was nearly identical to the last. Phil Davis pinned Matt Panasevich again, Bubba Jenkins pinned Adam Frey who did not wrestle the last time the two teams met, and Dan Vallimont and Mark McKnight had dominating performances. David Erwin lost a tough 4-3 decision to #8 Steve Anceravage, a wrestler he upset a week ago but John Laboranti avenged a last second loss to #10 Zach Hammond of CU with a 4-2 victory.

No. 1 Penn State 22 - #4 Iowa State 16

Bouncing back from the tough loss to Nebraska, Penn State notched an impressive win against the fourth ranked Cyclones. True freshman sensation Garrett Scott, filling in for Jake Strayer, got a major decision against #18 Nick Gallick of ISU. Phil Davis pinned #17 David Bertolino in the second period and the rest of Penn State's ranked wrestlers held serve, but the big win came at 157 where Dan Vallimont upset #5 Cyler Sanderson of ISU 7-4. Both Vallimont and Davis are undefeated on the year.

No. 1 Penn State 11, - #11 Ohio State 24

Penn State's final bout was one of the biggest train wrecks in recent memory. Mark McKnight lost to an unranked wrestler and Jake Strayer and Bubba Jenkins both lost to wrestlers ranked lower than them. Vallimont and Davis both won to remain undefeated but this is one match the team would probably like to forget.

Penn State goes on the road to take on Iowa Sunday in what should be a fantastic matchup. Iowa won the National Duals and destroyed the same Nebraska team that upset Penn State but the Nittany Lions own a 3 year winning streak against Iowa.


Anonymous said...

Couldn't be more upset about that loss to Ohio State. I mean, what the hell???? We see the stinkin' Buckeyes again in Columbus on the 25th... so I hope the loss really pissed the Lions off. I'd love to see them steamroll the Buckeyes in their own gym.

Again, honestly... how on Earth does a team like Penn State curl up and lose to an average team like Ohio State?!?!?!

Galen said...

Penn State always has a letdown during the year, last year it happened in the nationals which is the WORST time to have a letdown. Hopefully they've got it out of their systems and can bounce back. Team rankings don't mean didly anyway, it's far more important they wrestle well in the Big Ten's and get ranked as high as possible for nationals, but I'm with you it was a disappointing weekend to be sure.