Without complete lineup, Penn State dominates talented field for third straight Southern Scuffle championship

Updated: January 4, 2013

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Despite missing two of its starters, and seeing its 2012 Hodge Trophy winner lose an official match for the first time since the 2011 NCAAs, the Penn State wrestling team captured three individual titles and added eight other place-winners to easily capture the 2013 Southern Scuffle, Jan. 2.

The Lions were without the Alton twins — Andrew and Dylan (who are nationally ranked at 149 and 157 pounds) — after the pair broke team rules during the Christmas break. (Penn State coach Cael Sanderson would not say how long the Altons, who made the trip to Chattanooga, would be out of the lineup.)

But James Vollrath, subbing for No. 3 Dylan Alton, was one of five Nittany Lions to reach the finals of the tenth annual tournament, which was held in Chattanooga’s McKenzie Arena.

While Vollrath lost his title bout, a trio of other Lions — Nico Megaludis (125), Ed Ruth (184) and Quentin Wright (197) — won their championship matches. The victory by Ruth, who won an NCAA title at 174 pounds last March, was against Cornell’s Steve Bosak who won the 184-pound national title in 2012.

Kyle Dake (right) got a leg up against Penn State's David Taylor during their 165-pound championship match at the 2013 Southern Scuffle. (Billy Weeks photo)

Kyle Dake (right) got a leg up against Penn State’s David Taylor during their 165-pound championship match at the 2013 Southern Scuffle. (Billy Weeks photo)

The only other notable setback for the Lions came when 2012 NCAA champion David Taylor lost to Cornell’s three-time national champ Kyle Dake, 3-2, in the much anticipated 165-pound final. This was considered an official match between the two defending national champions — Dake at 157 and Taylor at 165 — who also met in the NWCA All-Star Classic in early November, when Dake also won in overtime. (The All-Star match did not count towards their record or NCAA seeding.)

The following are highlights from this year’s event. For additional information on the event, including quotes from many of the champions, check out WIN’s next issue, which will be printed on Jan. 10.

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Southern Scuffle Highlights
Jan. 1-2 • Chattanooga, Tenn.

Top Ten Schools
Pl. School (Champ/Placers) Points
1. Penn State (3/11) 178.5
2. Oklahoma State (3/8) 158.0
3. Missouri (1/9) 147.5
4. Minnesota (0/9) 139.5
5. Cornell (2/7) 136.0
6. Virginia (1/6) 109.5
7. Ohio (0/5) 64.5
8. Air Force (0/3) 62.5
9. Arizona State (0/4) 58.0
10. Army (0/2) 48.0

Championship Matches
125 pounds
1st Place — Nico Megaludis (Penn State) dec. Matt Snyder (Virginia), 8-4
Highlights — Last year’s national runner-up overcame a 4-2 first-period deficit and iced the championship by scoring his second takedown with 1:34 left, then added a 1:44 riding-time advantage. Snyder, who scored three pins to reach the finals, put the PSU sophomore on his back for a two-point nearfall before Megaludis tied the bout 4-4 on a last-second reversal in the first frame. A Megaludis escape with 28 seconds left in the second period gave him a 5-4 lead.

Other Place Matches
3rd Place — Nahshon Garrett (Cornell ) major dec. Josh Martinez (Air Force), 17-5
5th Place — Jerome Robinson (Old Dominion ) dec. Rob Deutsch (Old Dominion), 4-2
7th Place — Eric Montoya (Campbell ) dec. David Terao (American), 4-2 sv3

133 pounds
1st Place — Jon Morrison (Oklahoma State) dec. Chris Dardanes (Minnesota), 3-2
Highlights — The Cowboy junior avenged an earlier-season overtime loss to the Gopher when Morrison scored the match’s only takedown with 21 seconds left.

Other Place Matches
3rd Place — Nathan McCormick (Missouri) pinned James Gulibon (Penn State), 4:44
5th Place — George DiCamillo (Virginia) won by medical forfeit over Zach Watson (Virginia)
7th Place — Mark Grey (Unattached) dec. Jordan Thome (Army), 2-0

141 pounds
1st Place — Michael Nevinger (Cornell ) dec. Undrakhbayar Khishignyam (The Citadel), 3-2
Highlights — The Big Red All-American clinched the Scuffle championship when he countered a throw by Khishignyam with 45 seconds left. After a scoreless first period, Nevinger chose up but gave up a reversal to the Citadel freshman seven seconds into the second period. An escape by Nevinger later in the second frame cut the lead to 2-1. The third period began with both wrestlers in neutral position.

Other Place Matches
3rd Place — Nick Dardanes (Minnesota) dec. Chris Mecate (Old Dominion ),10-4
5th Place — Connor Hanafee (Army) dec. Julian Feikert (Oklahoma State), 7-4
7th Place — Dean Pavlou (Chattanooga) dec. Bryan Pearsall (Penn State), 4-2

149 pounds
1st Place — Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State) major dec. Cole VonOhlen (Air Force), 21-8
Highlights — The Cowboys senior — up two weights after finishing first and second, respectively, the past two NCAAs at 133 pounds — put on a takedown clinic against Von Ohlen. Oliver tallied a total of nine takedowns — three in each period — and added a 2:09 riding-time advantage.

Other Place Matches
3rd Place — James English (Penn State) dec. Drake Houdashelt (Missouri), Dec 5-2
5th Place — Chris Villalonga (Cornell ) won by medical forfeit over Dylan Ness (Minnesota)
7th Place — Luke Frey (Penn State) dec. Dustin Walraven (South Dakota State), 4-3

157 pounds
1st Place — Jedd Moore (Virginia) dec. James Vollrath (Penn State), 3-1 sv
Highlights — The Cavalier senior scored the match’s only takedown 13 seconds into the first sudden victory period. Prior to that, both men earned escapes after a scoreless first period. Vollrath was wrestling in place of sophomore All-American Dylan Alton, who sat out the tournament after breaking team rules.

Other Place Matches
3rd Place — Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State) dec. Kyle Bradley (Missouri), 3-2
5th Place — Daniel Zilverberg (Minnesota) dec. Spartak Chino (Ohio), 11-8
7th Place — Robert Burg (Navy) dec. Matthew Frisch (The Citadel), 7-6

165 pounds
1st Place — Kyle Dake (Cornell ) dec. David Taylor (Penn State), 3-2
Highlights — In a rematch of the two defending national champions from their NWCA All-Star matchup in November, when Dake won in a 2-1 tiebreaker, Dake’s riding ability once again earned the Big Red senior a victory over the 2012 Hodge Trophy winner.
After a scoreless first period, Taylor rode Dake for the first 1:35 of the second frame before Dake finally escaped. In the third period, Taylor scored a reversal to lead 2-1 with 1:20 left. But 40 seconds later, Dake scored a reversal as the wrestlers rolled out of bounds to lead 3-2 with 40 seconds left. In the end, Dake rode out Taylor the rest of the match to erase the Lion’s 1:34 riding-time advantage and held on to Taylor’s leg to prevent a last-second escape.

Other Place Matches
3rd Place — Tyler Caldwell (Oklahoma State) dec. Nick Sulzer (Virginia), 5-2
5th Place — Zach Toal (Missouri) pinned Zach Strickland (Appalachian State), 2:12
7th Place — Cody Yohn (Minnesota) dec. Harrison Hightower (Ohio), Dec 5-2

174 pounds
1st Place — Chris Perry (Oklahoma State) dec. Logan Storley (Minnesota), 7-6
Highlights — The Cowboy junior clinched the bout when a 1:47 riding-time advantage — most of which was built in the third period — broke a 6-6 deadlock. This was the first meeting between these wrestlers — who captured Junior Hodge Trophies in 2010 and ’11, respectively — this season after Storley missed the earlier-season dual between the teams.

Other Place Matches
3rd Place — Matt Brown (Penn State) dec. Jon Fausey (Virginia), 10-3
5th Place — Todd Porter (Missouri) won by medical forfeit over Blake Stauffer (Arizona State)
7th Place — Cody Walters (Ohio ) dec. Marshall Peppelman (Cornell), 4-1

184 pounds
1st Place — Ed Ruth (Penn State) dec. Steve Bosak (Cornell), 7-3
Highlights — In a battle between 2012 NCAA champions, Ruth — who is up a weight after winning the 174-pound title last March — scored two first-period takedowns and added a second-period reveral over Bosak, who claimed the 184-pound NCAA title last spring. Ruth’s final point came with 2:55 riding-time advantage.

Other Place Matches
3rd Place — Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota) dec. Mike Larson (Missouri), 7-3
5th Place —- Chris Chionuma (Oklahoma State) dec. Kevin Radford (Arizona State), 9-3
7th Place — John Eblen (Missouri) dec. Mason Bailey (Navy), 6-3 sv

197 pounds
1st Place — Quentin Wright (Penn State) pinned Jake Meredith (Arizona State), 5:34
Highlights — After trailing 2-0 in the first period, Wright battled back to tie the match with escapes in the first and second frames … then caught the Sun Devil in a ‘banana split’ to score the fall. Meredith scored the match’s only takedown with 2:17 in the first period.

Other Place Matches
3rd Place — Brent Haynes (Missouri) dec. Phillip Wellington (Ohio), 4-3)
5th Place — Scott Schiller (Minnesota) dec. Conner Hartmann (Duke), 8-3
7th Place — Jace Bennett (Cornell ) dec. Joshua Mohr (Air Force), 9-3

1st Place — Dom Bradley (Missouri) dec. Anthony Nelson (Minnesota), 2-1 tb
Highlights — The Tiger can lay claim to the No. 1 ranking after he edged the defending national champion from Minnesota; one match after beating No. 2 Alan Gelogaev in the semifinals. Bradley’s ability to get off the bottom in the tiebreaker phase and ride the Gopher for 30 seconds gave him the title.

Other Place Matches
3rd Place — Nick Gwiazdowski (North Carolina State) won by medical forfeit over Alan Gelogaev (Oklahoma State)
5th Place — Jeremy Johnson (Ohio ) won by medical forfeit over Odie Delaney (The Citadel)
7th Place Match – James Lawson (Penn State) pinned Levi Cooper (Arizona State), 6:11