Connect with us


Penn State wrestling dominates No. 3 Michigan

Penn State wrestling cruised to a 30-8 victory against No.3 Michigan Friday night in front of a sold-out crowd at the Bryce Jordan Center.



© Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

No.1 Penn State wrestling (9-0, 2-0) cruised to a 30-8 victory against No.3 Michigan (7-1, 2-1) Friday night in front of a sold-out crowd at the Bryce Jordan Center. Despite falling in the opening and concluding matches, the Nittany Lions dominated this much-anticipated dual. 

The win gives Penn State even more momentum to start a critical week of conference dual meets. It also puts Cael Sanderson two victories away from 100 Big Ten conference wins for his career.

Overtime drama

The Nittany Lions found themselves in an early 5-0 deficit to Michigan when Gary Steen lost by a technical fall to Jack Medley in the opening 125 match. However, that would be the only time Penn State was threatened on the evening.

Roman Bravo-Young (133) fell behind 2-0 to Dylan Ragusin after suffering only his second takedown of the season. But Bravo-Young responded with a quick escape and takedown in the second period to reclaim the lead. Bravo-Young sealed the match with over three minutes of riding time, securing his 44th consecutive victory by a 4-2 margin.

Penn State wrestling would then score 30 unanswered points, spurred on by overtime upsets from the program’s promising freshmen. After forcing sudden victory, Levi Haines (157) used a single-leg takedown to defeat No. 10 Will Lewan 3-1.

Following a controversial late takedown call from Michigan’s Cameron Amine (No.5 at 165), Alex Facundo was able to perform a quick escape with less than 20 seconds remaining to force sudden victory. Following a stalemate, Facundo used 14 seconds of riding time to defeat Amine 6-5 in tiebreakers to get the first Big Ten dual victory of his career. 

No contest

The Nittany Lions stepped on the accelerator in the later matches.

Carter Starocci (174) defeated Max Maylor by a pin, the seventh of his career. Aaron Brooks (184) was not tested in his match against No. 9 Matt Finesilver. Brooks forced several early takedowns en route to a commanding 14-4 victory.

Max Dean also made easy work of Brendin Yatooma at 197, securing the 10-1 victory. The match was the 59th bonus point win of Dean’s career.

Disappointing defeat

The only real blemish on the night for Penn State came in the heavyweight match. After a third takedown, the Wolverines’ Mason Parris (No. 2) was able to ride out a victory against top-ranked Greg Kerkvliet.

The loss is Kerkvliet’s first on the season, moving him to 7-1. Odds are, however, that Parris has not gotten the final word, as the two will most likely meet again at the Big Ten Championships.

Defining week ahead

The win nicely sets up the Nittany Lions for a critical conference slate over the next week.

On Sunday afternoon, Penn State wrestling will return to a sold-out Rec Hall to host Michigan State. Although the Spartans have started Big Ten play 0-2, they are still ranked 20th in the latest NWCA Coaches Dual Poll.

However, the most significant matchup of the week is next Friday. In their final Bryce Jordan Center dual of the season, the Lions will take on the second-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes. The only remaining undefeated teams in the conference, Friday’s dual will go a long way towards deciding the regular season Big Ten race.

Matt is a co-owner and Editor in Chief of Basic Blues Nation. Launched in 2022, Basic Blues Nation is one of the fastest-growing websites covering all Penn State athletics, with over 3.5 million readers in 2023. Matt is also a credentialed member of the Penn State football beat, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.


Spinstralia Casino: online pokies real money, real fun! Get in on the action today!