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Live Blog: No. 1 Penn State wrestling vs. No. 2 Iowa

Follow along with Penn State’s 1 vs. 2 matchup via the Basic Blues Nation live blog coverage.

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Mar 19, 2022; Detroit, MI, USA; Penn State wrestler Carter Starocci celebrates after defeating Virginia Tech wrestler Mekhi Lewis (not pictured) in the 174 pound weight class final match during the NCAA Wrestling Championships at Little Cesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State wrestling (10-0, 3-0 Big Ten) hosts the Iowa Hawkeyes (12-0, 5-0 Big Ten) tonight before a sold-out Bryce Jordan Center. The winner of this highly anticipated matchup will take the driver’s seat in the Big Ten regular season rankings and claim the title as the top program in the country. In addition, a win for Cael Sanderson would be his 100th in Big Ten duals as head coach of the Penn State wrestling program.

Follow along with Basic Blues Nation as we provide updates to this match in real-time. Please note that all rankings are according to the InterMat individual polls as of January 24, 2023.

Starting Lineups

According to Penn State’s official program and dual notes, the projected starting lineups as of 7:15 PM EST are below. Of course, these are subject to change, and we will update them as necessary during the match.

125 pounds: No. 1 Spencer Lee, Iowa (10-0) vs. Marco Vespa, Penn State (0-2)

133 pounds: No. 17 Brody Teske, Iowa (4-0) vs. No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young, Penn State (9-0)

141 pounds: No. 2 Real Woods, Iowa (9-0) vs. No. 4 Beau Bartlett, Penn State (14-0)

149 pounds: No. 7 Max Murin, Iowa (13-3) vs. No. 13 Shayne Van Ness, Penn State (11-2)

157 pounds: No. 15 Cobe Siebrecht, Iowa (8-2) vs. No. 9 Levi Haines, Penn State (12-1)

165 pounds: No. 13 Patrick Kennedy, Iowa (12-2) vs. No. 5 Alex Facundo, Penn State (11-1)

174 pounds: No. 16 Nelson Brands, Iowa (4-3) vs. No. 1 Carter Starocci, Penn State (10-0)

184 pounds: Drake Rhodes, Iowa (5-3) vs. No. 1 Aaron Brooks, Penn State (6-1)

197 pounds: No. 7 Jacob Warner, Iowa (11-2) vs. No. 4 Max Dean, Penn State (12-2)

285 pounds: No. 3 Tony Cassioppi, Iowa (16-0) vs. No.2 Greg Kerkvliet, Penn State (8-1)

If these lineups hold, then the first seven duals would feature wrestlers facing each other for the first time.

125 pounds: No. 1 Spencer Lee vs. Marco Vespa

Marco Vespa received the unanticipated start over Gary Steen. Vespa came out with a quick reversal to start the match 2-0. However, Spencer Lee proved why he’s the top wrestler in the weight class. Lee won by technical fall in the first period. But the Nittany Lions were fortunate not to give up the full pin. Iowa leads 5-0.

133 pounds: No. 17 Brody Teske vs. No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young

Roman Bravo-Young took control in the first period, securing a 2-0 lead and over 30 seconds of riding time. Former Nittany Lion and current Hawkeye Brody Teske slowed the match for most of the second period. But, RBY was able to quickly score another takedown in the final seconds of the period to enter the third up 4-1. RBY pounced in the last 30 seconds of the final period, pinning Teske in a cradle to get the win by a fall. Penn State leads 6-5.

141 pounds: No. 2 Real Woods vs. No. 4 Beau Bartlett

Real Woods was able to roll out of a Beau Bartlett headlock in the opening 20 seconds of the first period. Woods secured 1:40 of riding time and finished the first up 2-0. Bartlett gained his first point with a quick escape to start the second but still finished the period trailing Woods. Woods played fantastic defense in the third period. Bartlett couldn’t overcome the deficit in riding time gained throughout the bout, and Woods takes the 4-2 win. Iowa leads 8-6

149 pounds: No. 7 Max Murin vs. No. 13 Shayne Van Ness

Both wrestlers had opportunities in the first period, but hard hand-fighting led to a stalemate. Max Murin rode Shayne Van Ness for over half the second period, but Van Ness was able to get an escape with under 30 seconds remaining to take the 1-0 lead. Murin tied the match with an escape to start the third. With 30 seconds remaining, Murin secured his first takedown of the match. Murin wins 4-1. Iowa needed to win at least one of the matches at 141 and 149 to have a chance tonight. They won both. Iowa leads 11-6.

157 pounds: No. 15 Cobe Siebrecht vs. No. 9 Levi Haines

With this start, freshman Levi Haines officially burns his redshirt for Penn State. Haines made his advance in the final 15 seconds but was called for a potentially dangerous move on Cobe Siebrecht to end the first. Siebrecht took Haines to his back to start the second but was unable to secure the takedown. Haines took the 1-0 lead with an escape, which is where the score remained to end the period. Siebrecht tied the match with a quick escape to start the third period. Haines secures the takedown with 1:20 remaining to go up 3-1. An escape by Siebrecht brought the match within one, but Haines was able to hold out for the victory, 3-2. Iowa leads 11-9 at the midway point of the dual

165 pounds: No. 13 Patrick Kennedy vs. No. 5 Alex Facundo

These wrestlers have previously competed against each other in high school, but this match is the first time doing so at the collegiate level. Escapes by both wrestlers evened the match at 1-1 early in the third period. The third period ended in a tie to force overtime. Patrick Kennedy made two impressive attempts in sudden victory, but Alex Facundo was able to fend both off to force tiebreakers. Kennedy was able to escape from underneath Facundo in four seconds during the first tiebreaker, and that was enough for him to take the 2-1 win. Iowa leads 14-9. Penn State’s margin for error is rapidly depleting

174 pounds: No. 16 Nelson Brands vs. No. 1 Carter Starocci

Another match that ends 0-0 after the first. Carter Starocci started the scoring off with an escape in the second period. The crowd hasn’t been pleased with the lack of stall calls on Nelson Brands throughout the first two periods. Starocci took over riding time while on top of Brands to start the third. Brands tied the match using an escape with under 30 seconds remaining. But, with the riding time point, Starocci wins 2-1. Iowa leads 14-12.

184 pounds: Drake Rhodes vs. No. 1 Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks started this match extremely strong, taking the 10-2 lead over Drake Rhodes in the first period. The domination continued into the second, as Brooks easily secured the riding time point in the second period. Already up 20-7, Brooks captured the technical fall in the third period to win. Penn State leads 17-14 with two matches remaining.

197 pounds: No. 7 Jacob Warner vs. No. 4 Max Dean

After remaining scoreless for nearly a period and a half, Max Dean finally got the scoring started with an escape from Jacob Warner in the second period. Warner aggressively tried to escape from Dean to start the third, but Dean was able to erase 45 seconds of riding time and then add some of his own. Dean brought the 16,000 fans at the BJC to their feet as he rode Warner for the entire third period. Dean wins 2-0. Penn State leads 20-14 going into the final bout.

285 pounds: No. 3 Tony Cassioppi vs. No.2 Greg Kerkvliet

Greg Kerkvliet absolutely bodyslammed Tony Cassioppi to get the first takedown points of the match. It certainly looked like he was taking out his anger after losing his first match of the season last week. Cassioppi had nowhere to run in the second period as Kerkvliet rode him for the entire two minutes. Kerkvliet had this one from start to finish, winning 4-1. Penn State wins the dual 23-14.

Historic Night

Tonight was billed as a historic night, and the dual certainly delivered. Iowa won several of the swing matches early and appeared to have the Nittany Lions on the ropes. But after winning the final four matches, Penn State was able to pull out the comfortable win in front of a record-setting crowd in Happy Valley. Penn State wrestling has won 39 dual meets in a row and moves to 11-0 on the season.

The Nittany Lions now sit firmly atop the Big Ten standings. Most importantly, Penn State put the nation on notice with a tone-setting win. Cael Sanderson’s group isn’t going anywhere.

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Penn State hockey ranked in preseason poll

The Penn State hockey team has learned its presesaon ranking.

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Penn State hockey, USCHO
Michigan State scores past the Penn State goalie Liam Souliere (31) in the second period at Munn Arena Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023. Michigan State Penn State 7

Penn State hockey is coming off one of their best seasons in program history. The Nittany Lions finished the 2022/23 season ranked #8 in the country after an overtime loss to Michigan in the quarterfinals. This year Guy Gadowsky’s squad will look to make a return to the NCAA tournament and are receiving some national recognition. Where does Penn State rank in the preseason USCHO poll?

Nationally Ranked

The United States College Hockey Online (USCHO) has released its preseason top 20 rankings for the 2023/24 season. Penn State will enter this year ranked #16 and look to make their second consecutive and 4th overall NCAA tournament appearance. The Nittany Lions will look to replace a bunch of key contributors from last year’s Top 10 team and will rely on a few seniors to help transition the program.

Potential Record-Breaking Year

The Nittany Lions will be led by goaltender Liam Souliere who is on track to break multiple Penn State hockey records. The senior currently sits 1st all-time at Penn State with a 2.72 goals against average and 2nd all-time with a .908 save percentage. Souliere ranks 3rd in all-time wins (27), games played (56), games started (55), minutes (3192:43), saves (1430), and shutouts (3). He is expected to break at least a few of those records and is thought by many as the best goalie that Penn State has had in its 11-year history.

Talented Big Ten

The Big Ten conference has been gaining strength the past few seasons in the world of college hockey and that has continued into the 2023/24 season.  A stunning 6 of the 7 members are ranked in the preseason Top 20 in the USCHO. Headlining are frozen four contenders Minnesota (3), Michigan (5), and Michigan State (9). Ohio State (13), Penn State (16), and Notre Dame (20) are all capable of making an NCAA Tournament appearance. It is clear that the transfer portal and NIL have greatly helped strengthen the conference, which is still looking for its first national championship since forming in 2013/14.



Thank you for reading Basic Blues Nation. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and insights on your favorite Penn State athletics. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email us at [email protected] or direct message us on our social media. Also, be sure to check out our new site shop. It’s due to your support that we can become one of the market’s fastest-growing Penn State sports outlets!

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ICYMI: Penn State lands No. 1 recruit in the nation for 2025

Penn State just landed the No. 1 recruit in the nation for the 2025 cycle. What does this mean for the Nittany Lions’ dominance moving forward?

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Penn State wrestling, No. 1 recruit in the nation, PJ Duke
Penn State head coach Cael Sanderson, left, high-fives wrestler Drew Hildebrandt after his major decision win at 125 pounds during a NCAA Big Ten Conference wrestling dual against Iowa, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. 220127 Penn St Iowa Wr 033 Jpg

The Penn State Wrestling dynasty continues to roll along, as Cael Sanderson picked up another major commitment last night. The Nittany Lions landed PJ Duke, the No. 1 recruit in the nation for the 2025 cycle. What does the commitment mean for the program, and what are the expectations moving forward for Penn State wrestling?

No. 1 recruit in the nation PJ Duke picks Penn State wrestling

PJ Duke, the No. 1 recruit in the nation for the 2025 class, has decided to take his talents to State College. Duke currently wrestles at 150 pounds and projects to wrestle at 157 when he arrives in Happy Valley.

Penn State currently has Levi Haines at 157, who was an NCAA finalist last season as a true freshman. There also is 2024 No. 6 overall recruit Joe Sealey, who could wrestle at 157. There will be plenty of teammates to train with as Penn State wrestling continues to solidify the middle of its lineup. PJ Duke, who currently wrestles at powerhouse Minisink Valley High School (NY), will join former teammate Zack Ryder, a member of the 2024 Penn State recruiting class.

Recruiting Dominance

Duke’s commitment marks back-to-back classes where Penn State wrestling has landed the No. 1 recruit in the nation. This commitment builds off an already stacked 2024 class, that is already the best in the country.

The Nittany Lions currently have the No. 1 (Luke Lilledahl), No. 5 (Zack Ryder), No. 6 (Joseph Sealey), No. 10 (Connor Mirasola), No. 13 (Mason Gibson), and No. 21(Cole Mirasola) nationally ranked wrestlers across all weight classes committed for 2024. The Penn State wrestling program has a lot of momentum on the recruiting trail, including stacking wrestlers at similar weight classes.

Quest for a 3-peat for Penn State

Penn State wrestling enters the 2024 season as a heavy favorite to win a third straight national championship. If accomplished, it would be the 12th 3-peat in NCAA wrestling history and the 3rd in Penn State history. The other two occurrences were 4-peats under Cael Sanderson between 2011-2014 and 2016-2019.

The Nittany Lions have a wrestler ranked in the top 20 in all 10 weight classes entering the season. Eight of those 10 wrestlers rank in the top 3 of their respective weight classes. Penn State will have 4 wrestlers ranked No. 1 to enter the season: Levi Haines (157), Carter Starocci (174), Aaron Brooks (197), and Greg Kerkvliet (HWT).

The Nittany Lions will have an opportunity this season for multiple individual national champions, all while putting up a monster team score at the NCAA Tournament in March.



Thank you for reading Basic Blues Nation. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and insights on your favorite Penn State athletics. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email us at [email protected] or direct message us on our social media. Also, be sure to check out our new site shop. It’s due to your support that we can become one of the market’s fastest-growing Penn State sports outlets!

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ICYMI: Penn State hockey announces non-conference schedule

The first portion of the Penn State hockey schedule was released this week.

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Penn State hockey
Mar 14, 2021; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Penn State's Evan Bell (7) looks to shoot against Note Dame at the Compton Family Ice Arena. Mandatory Credit: Michael Caterina/South Bend Tribune-USA TODAY NETWORK

With football just days away and the summer heat still present, not many people are thinking about hockey right now. That is, except for the administrators working on scheduling the upcoming 2023-2024 Penn State hockey campaign.

There is still a lot of work to be done, as the whole Big Ten schedule has yet to be announced, but the first pieces of the Penn State schedule were released this week. It is a typical Penn State hockey non-conference schedule, full of cupcake opponents and lacking a marquee matchup. Let’s break it down.

October 7th @ Long Island

Penn State will travel to Long Island to play one of Division I hockey’s newest foes. Long Island University started its hockey program in the 2020-2021 shortened season and has yet to make much noise. Long Island played two games at Pegula Ice Arena in 2021, both of which were Penn State wins. This is an odd trip for a program like Penn State to make, as the Nittany Lions will play in a community ice rink with almost no seating capacity. Long Island is almost guaranteed a bottom-20 finish, so this is a must-win for Penn State.

October 13/14 @ Clarkson/St. Lawrence

Penn State will continue on the road with a two-game Upstate New York ECAC road trip against Clarkson and St. Lawrence. The Nittany Lions made the same trip in 2017 to open the season, splitting the two games. Clarkson looks to be a contender in the ECAC this year, while St. Lawrence will likely slot in its typical spot near the bottom of the conference. A road win against Clarkson could look very nice on Penn State’s resume come March.

October 20/21 vs. AIC

Continuing the rerun of the 2017 schedule, Penn State will open the home portion of its schedule against AIC. The only time these two teams met was an October 2017 series, in which the teams split. Since then, AIC has been a consistent contender in the Atlantic Hockey Conference and even notched a few NCAA Tournament wins. Still, this is a series Penn State will want to sweep.

October 26/27 vs. Alaska-Anchorage 

This Thursday/Friday series will see Alaska-Anchorage travel to Pegula for the first time since 2016, in which it was swept by the Nittany Lions. Alaska-Anchorage is another perennial bottom-dweller, and a loss could damage Penn State’s postseason hopes. 

November 24/25 vs. Lindenwood

Even though the schedule looks like Penn State will have a month off, the Nittany Lions won’t. Big Ten play will kick off the first weekend of November and fill the gap between non-conference series. Lindenwood played its first Division I season last year, and this will be the first meeting between the two schools. Again, this is another must-win for Penn State.

January 6 vs. Army

The final non-conference game of the regular season will be against Army on January 6th at Pegula. This will mark the first time Army has come to Pegula since the building’s opening night in October 2013. Army has never been much of a threat on the ice, and there is no reason to see that changing this year, likely with another bottom-20 finish.



Thank you for reading Basic Blues Nation. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and insights on your favorite Penn State athletics. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email us at [email protected] or direct message us on our social media. Also, be sure to check out our new site shop. It’s due to your support that we can become one of the market’s fastest-growing Penn State sports outlets!

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