Anyway, last weekend Cael Sanderson and his Nittany Lions opened up the dual meet season traveling to take on old time rival Lehigh and back home to take on Bloomsburg in Sanderson's PSU home debut. The results were mixed, Penn State lost 23 – 14 at Lehigh but gave the home fans something to cheer about besting Bloom 23-15. Penn State, formerly ranked 15th dropped to 19th in this week's NWCA Coaches Poll. At the time of the duals Lehigh was ranked 17th and Bloom was unranked. For the record here are the scores:
#15 Penn State 14, #17 Lehigh 23
125: #8 Brad PatakyPSU maj. dec. John McDonald LU, 14-4
133: #12 Matt Fisk LU maj. dec. Tyler Saltsman PSU, 14-1
141: #18 Seth Ciauslli LU pinned Adam Lynch PSU, WBF (2:42)
149: #6 Frank Molinaro PSU maj. dec. Brian Tanen LU, 12-3
157: #5 Cyler Sanderson PSU dec. Sean Bilodeau LU, 5-2
165: #9 Dan Vallimont PSU dec. #12 Mike Galante LU, 5-2
174: Robert Hamlin LU maj. dec. David Erwin PSU, 17-8
184: #12 David Craig LU dec. Justin Ortega PSU, 3-1
197: Joe Kennedy LU dec. Clay Steadman PSU, 4-2
HWT: #6 Zach Rey LU dec. #20 Cameron Wade PSU, 5-2
#15 Penn State 23, Bloomsburg 15
125: #8 Brad Pataky PSU tech. fall Jason Guffey BU, 22-7 (7:00, 4-pt) 4-0
133: Dan Gaylord BU pinned Bryan Pearsall PSU, WBF (5:28) 4-6
141: Frank Hickman BU dec. Colby Pisani PSU, 19-12 4-9
149: #6 Frank MolinaroPSU maj. dec. Josh Roosa, 12-3 8-9157: #5 Cyler SandersonPSU dec. #2 Matt Moley BU, 3-2 11-9
165: #9 Dan Vallimont PSU dec. #19 Rick Schmelyun, 2-1 14-9
174: Nate Graham BU dec. Nick Fischer PSU, 11-5 14-12
184: Derek Coffey BU dec. Justin Ortega PSU, 4-0 14-15
197: Clay Steadman PSU dec. Jake Dabashinky BU, 3-1 17-15
>HWT: #20 Cameron Wade PSU pinned Zach Walsh BU, WBF (4:42) 23-15
The bad news: as expected Penn State has holes to fill at 133, 141, 184, and 197. Justin Ortega may be the answer at 184 although he's a natural 174 pounder or even less, I'm not sure what weight he's certified at. He'll need some time to adjust to bigger wrestlers and he's only a redshirt freshman.
The good news: Pataky was an absolute takedown machine last weekend. Granted it was against unranked competition but he did what good wrestlers are supposed to do against worse competition: own them. Dan Vallimont started the season strong beating two ranked wrestlers. Like Pataky, Frank Molinaro destroyed both unranked wrestlers he faced, posting identical 12-3 major decisions. Cameron Wade looks improved from last season, although he did lose it was to the 6th ranked wrestler and the score was 2-2 late in the third, Wade was trying for the takedown and got reversed for the final 5-2 score. But the big news is Sanderson's little brother Cyler who electrified the Penn State home crowd with a thrilling upset win over #2 Matt Moley of Bloom. For his efforts Sanderson was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week.
Smile Cyler Sanderson, you're Big Ten Wrestler of the Week!!
After seeing the team in person here's my first impressions:
Again with some holes in the lineup, this team is going to take some dual meet lumps in the Big Ten. Six teams are ranked ahead of Penn State and two more are ranked. To pull off some upsets the ranked guys will have to score some serious bonus points.
Sanderson and his coaching staff certainly don't subscribe to the rah-rah style of coaching. In fact they really didn't seem to say much during matches. Don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, just something I observed.
I was a little concerned that some of the wrestler wouldn't accept Sanderson's up tempo, aggressive style he preaches but pretty much the whole team was aggressive, which is definitely a great sign. Even the guys that were getting beat were, at least, still going after it.
Penn State wrestling fans have been ready for this for a while. The crowd was big and loud and it was only Bloom on a Sunday. Wait till Iowa or Minnesota come to town.
At one point Quentin Wright was standing in the middle of the floor leading the "We are…" cheer. Even redshirted he's still awesome.
Penn State unveiled their new "Premium Seating" and although it's a great thought it shoves both teams into the corners. Here's a picture from the crappy camera on my iPhone:
...and through the miracle of Photoshop, here's the layout (at least in my mind)