MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University wrestling team was defeated by No. 1 Penn State, 44-3, on Sunday afternoon in front of 1,631 fans at the WVU Coliseum.
The Nittany Lions, who defeated No. 24 Lehigh 29-6 on Friday evening, were dominant in the contest, as they won nine of the 10 bouts in the dual meet.
“We understood the challenges that we faced coming into this match,” said associate head coach Greg Jones. “Some of the guys were able to rise up in some spots and compete, but others were unable to sustain anything throughout the match. We feel really good about this group of guys, but we understand that it may take a little bit of time.”
After Shane Young
(125) was forced out of the lineup due to an injury, the Mountaineers turned to Gage Swartz
. In his first varsity action, Swartz was pinned by No. 2 Nico Megaludis.
With Bubba Scheffel
(174) also out of the lineup due to injury, Jason Luster
(157) also saw his first varsity action, while Dominic Prezzia
(165) and Ross Renzi
(174) moved up one spot from their usual weight classes of 157 and 165, respectively.
At 133 pounds, WVU scored its lone win of the day, with Colin Johnston
earning a 6-2 decision victory over Penn State’s Nate Morgan, 6-2.
“We definitely tried to come out and compete, but that is the No. 1 team in the nation without a doubt,” said Johnston. “We are only going to build confidence and character with today’s result. We need to get this result out of our head and prepare for the challenges that are ahead.”
With the Mountaineers seizing a bit of momentum after Johnston’s win, they looked to tie the match with a win by No. 19 Nathan Pennesi
(141). The Latrobe, Pa., native was unable to do so, however, as PSU’s Bryan Pearsall slowed the pace of the match and worked his way to 2-0 decision win.
“Nathan allowed his opponent to wrestle in a match that made Nathan uncomfortable,” Jones said. “He is going to continue to get better. Obviously, we didn’t want to lose that match but Nathan is going to grow from that it.”
After the 141-pound match, the Nittany Lions strung together seven-bonus point earning victories, including wins by fall at 157, 174 and 197 pounds. Penn State also recorded a tech fall at 165 pounds.
“Our schedule isn’t built with any breaks or low-level competition in it,” said Jones. “We are going to have to use the time in between now and our tournament in Las Vegas wisely. We will be addressing a lot of key areas during this break.”
WVU will return to action on Nov. 30, when it travels to Las Vegas to compete in the two-day Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.Results
125: No. 2 Nico Megaludis (PSU) win by fall Gage Swartz
133: No. 17 Colin Johnston
(WVU) dec. Nate Morgan (PSU), 6-2
141: Bryan Pearsall (PSU) dec. No. 19 Nathan Pennesi
149: James English (PSU) maj. dec. Brutus Scheffel
157: No. 2 Dylan Alton (PSU) win by fall Jason Luster
165: No. 2 David Taylor (PSU) tech fall Dominic Prezzia
174: No. 5 Matt Brown (PSU) win by fall Ross Renzi
184: No. 1 Ed Ruth (PSU) maj. dec. Lance Bryson
197: No. 3 Quentin Wright (PSU) win by fall A.J. Vizcarrondo
HWT: Jimmy Lawson (PSU) maj. dec. Phil Mandzik
Final Score: 44-3, Penn State