If you’re a wrestling fan, and even if you’re not, the 106th meeting between Penn State and Lehigh didn’t disappoint. 5 returning national champs and several highly ranked wrestlers took the mat today and put on a show for fans. The PP&L center was filled to capacity and Lehigh set an attendance record for a home dual meet at 9,896. Lehigh set a quick and early tone with 2 falls to start off the match. Luke Karam took a match from PSU at 141, many had Cortez favored I saw it more as a toss up. Top position for Karam sealed his victory. Retherford and Nolf brought Penn State roaring back with a pin and tech fall. Nolf put on a show that left everyone in the building impressed. At intermission Lehigh was leading 15-11. Everyone that was paying attention started projecting the last 5 matches and what each team needed to do to get the victory. PSU was missing NC Vincenzo Joseph at 165 and Gordon Wolf kept his motor on to secure a major decision bumping Lehigh up to an 8-point lead. Mark Hall and Bo Nickal both won the battle of match strategy, staying in good position and capitalizing when given an opportunity in tight one-point matches. Cassar won at 197 because of his ability to get in deep on shots. This brought PSU from behind to lead for the first time 20-19
Preisch and Kutler have the potential to do something this year. I’m not sure they discovered anything when facing off with the national champions today to help them come March. I’m not sure that playing it close in December is going to help them win in March. What should they do you ask? Open it up a bit more so you get more info win or lose for championship season. But I am an old Monday morning quarterback, so what do I know.
Nevills sealed the deal at 285. While Wood was the only man to be close to a takedown during the entire match, he couldn’t get out from under Nevills and that sealed his and the Mountain Hawk’s fate.
I thought that it was a great day for wrestling and PA wrestling especially. Having a huge passionate fan base competing with their full vocal support. This kind of event further energizes their fan base and PA high school and youth wrestlers.
Lehigh is back in action December 10 in Philly. PSU is back at it after a short break December 17 vs. Indiana.
Prematch sights and sounds. Introductions
125lbs: #3 Darian Cruz (Lehigh) Fall Devin Schnupp (Penn St.) 1:13
133lbs: Scott Parker (Lehigh) Fall Domenic Giannangeli (Penn St.) 4:12
141lbs: #19 Luke Karam (Lehigh) over #16Jered Cortez (Penn St.) 2-0
149lbs: #1 Zain Retherford (Penn St.) Fall #23 Cortlandt Schuyler (Lehigh) 1:27
157lbs: #1 Jason Nolf (Penn St.) tech fall #18 Ian Brown (Lehigh) 23-8, 6:40
165lbs: #22 Gordon Wolf (Lehigh) major dec. Bo Pipher (Penn St.) 24-12
174lbs: #2 Mark Hall (Penn St.) dec. #4 Jordan Kutler (Lehigh) 3-2
184lbs: #1 Bo Nickal (Penn St.) dec. #5 Ryan Preisch (Lehigh) 3-2
197lbs: #15 Anthony Cassar (Penn State) dec. Jake Jakobsen (Lehigh) 8-3
285lbs: #4 Nick Nevills (Penn State) dec. #10 Jordan Wood (Lehigh) 2-0
Post match interviews
PSU & Lehigh
Officials – Scott Bricker and Craig Salvatore
I didn’t see any obvious officiating errors. These guys did a good job controlling the match.