Photo Credit: Penn State Athletics (www.gopsusports.com)

Photo Credit: Penn State Athletics (www.gopsusports.com)

The No. 1 Nittany Lions handed No. 5 Michigan its first loss of the season beating the Wolverines 25-11 in a sold-out BJC on Friday night.

With a packed lineup of ranked matchups, there wasn’t as much excitement as expected. Devin Schnupp did a good job keeping his opening match to just a decision loss and not handing Michigan and extra bonus points. He dropped a 6-0 decision to No. 15 Drew Mattin.

With No. 15 Roman Bravo-Young still out at 133, senior Scott Stossel made his Penn State debut against No. 1 Stevan Micic. Michigan took a big lead after two with Micic notching the tech fall and an 8-0 lead for the team. No. 7 Nick Lee put the Nittany Lions on the board with an upset win over No. 5 Kanen Storr. Lee gained a quick lead and stayed persistent throughout the bout, taking Storr off-guard and securing Lee the victory.

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Redshirt freshmen Jarod Verkleeren dropped a hard-fought match at 149 to Michigan’s Malik Amine. Verkleeren for sure made the highlight reel with a slick duck under that completely faked out Malik and gave Verkleeren an easy two points. But, the Lion ran out of gas near the end and gave Michigan an 11-3 edge after four bouts.

The powerhouse part of the lineup started with No. 1 Jason Nolf at 157, but with Michigan’s lineup of closely ranked opponents, the Nittany Lion bonus points were far and few. Nolf edged out No. 5 Alex Pantaleo with a 9-2 win, unable to get the major. After the break, No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph made the BJC crowd hold its breath as his match with No. 7 Logan Massa went into sudden victory. Perhaps in the most exciting moments of the match, Joseph came out victorious with a takedown in the final second of sudden victory for a 4-2 win.

With the comeback in full force, No. 1 Mark Hall continued the nail-biting climb to victory defeating No. 3 Myles Amine 3-2 with a late takedown with under 30 seconds in the match. The Lions took the lead for the first time 12-11 after seven bouts. No. 2 Shakur Rasheed added on to the lead with a 5-3 victory over Jelani Embree.

The low scoring matches up to this point was not what a Penn State wrestling crowd is used to seeing. While fans were glad to be creeping up on the win, they were hungry for some action. Who else but No. 1 Bo Nickal to deliver just that.

Nickal locked up a cradle after a reset and that was that. He pinned Jackson Striggow at the 5:50 mark. With the team victory secured at 21-11 going into the heavyweight match, No. 4 Anthony Cassar finished the night with a show. Just 15 seconds into the match he went in on a high double and slammed No. 8 Mason Parris to his back. That set the tone for the rest of the bout which ended up a 19-8 major decision win in Cassar’s favor.

Penn State will be put to the test again this Friday as they travel to Columbus, Ohio to face long-time rival, No. 2 Ohio State. The match will be aired live on Big Ten Network and is set to start at 8:30 p.m. EST.

BOUT BY BOUT:

125: MI #15 Drew Mattin dec. PSU Devin Schnupp, 6-0

133: MI #1 Stevan Micic tech fall PSU Scott Stossel20-5 (TF; 7:00)

141: PSU #7 Nick Leedec. MI #5 Kanen Storr, 10-4

149: MI Malik Amine dec. PSU Jarod Verkleeren, 7-5

157: PSU #1 Jason Nolfdec. MI #5 Alec Pantaleo, 9-2

165: PSU #1 Vincenzo Josephdec. MI #7 Logan Massa, 4-2 (sv)

174: PSU #1 Mark Halldec. MI #3 Myles Amine, 3-2

184: PSU #2 Shakur Rasheeddec. MI Jelani Embree, 5-3

197: PSU #1 Bo Nickalpinned MI Jackson Striggow, WBF (5:50)

285: PSU #4 Anthony Cassarmaj. dec. MI #8 Mason Parris, 19-8

Taylor is a 2016 Penn State grad and now freelances for various clients. She specializes in communications and marketing, both print media and digital. Being a Pittsburgh girl, in her spare time she enjoys keeping up with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Pirates and Steelers.

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