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Penn State Downs Virginia Tech

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Updated: December 20, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, downed Virginia Tech in front of a sold out Rec Hall crowd of over 6,300 Friday night. Head coach Cael Sanderson’ssquad won six of ten bouts and won 20-15, led by junior Jordan Conaway(Abbottstown, Pa.) and senior Jimmy Lawson (Toms River, N.J.)

The dual began with one of its most anticipated match-ups, with No. 10 Conaway taking on No. 5 Joey Dance of Virginia Tech. Conaway came back from an early 2-1 deficit with a slick four-point move at the end of the second period and posted a 7-5 win over fifth-ranked Dance. At 133, No. 5 Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.) notched a workmanlike 9-4 win over No. 19 Kevin Norstrem to give Penn State a 6-0 lead. Hokie Devin Carter, ranked No. 3 at 141, pinned Lion junior Michael Waters (Advance, N.C.) at the 1:56 mark of the first period to tie the dual at 6-6.

Sophomore Nittany Lion Zack Beitz (Mifflintown, Pa.), ranked No. 13 at 149, suffered a 7-5 upset loss to Virginia Tech’s Sal Mastriani, giving the Hokies a 9-6 lead. Red-shirt freshman Cody Law (Windber, Pa.) was strong at 157, rolling to a convincing 10-4 win over Tech’s David Wesley. The sent the teams into the break tied 9-9

At 165, Lion Garett Hammond (Chambersburg, Pa.) dominated Virginia Tech senior Chris Moon, rolling to a 17-2 technical fall to put Penn State up 14-9. Hammond picked up the tech fall at the 7:00 mark thanks to a gaudy 4:19 riding time total. Two-time All-American Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 2 at 174, battled No. 9 Zach Epperly in another top-ten showdown. The Lion senior opened up an early lead but Epperly was able to tie the bout late with a takedown and ride out. Brown looked to score early in the extra period but Epperly countered the Lion’s move and won the bout with a takedown. The 8-6 (sv) decision cut Penn State’s lead to 14-12.

Virginia Tech then took a 15-14 lead as junior Austin Gabel posted a 5-3 win over red-shirt freshman Matt McCutcheon (Apollo, Pa.), ranked No. 18, at 184. At 197, No. 4 Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.) retook the lead for Penn State, downing Jared Haught. The Lion All-American nearly picked up a last second pin, turning a third period ride out into three near fall points as the bout ended While time ran out on McIntosh’s efforts at a pin, the 5-0 victory put Penn State back up on top, 17-15.

In the dual’s final bout, Penn State senior Jimmy Lawson (Toms River, N.J.) faced off against No. 6 Ty Walz of Virginia Tech with the dual meet in the balance. Lawson took a 2-1 lead in the second period with a strong takedown. An escape to start the third period gave the Lion a 3-1 lead only to see Walz take Lawson down with just seconds left to tie the bout. Lawson appeared to escape as time expired and was awarded the takedown. But the official reviewed the call and reversed it, sending the bout into sudden victory. Undaunted, Lawson turned a single leg into a dual clinching takedown in extra time. The 5-3 (sv) win over fifth-ranked Walz clinched Penn State’s 20-15 victory.

The dual was tight from start to finish, with Penn State winning six of ten bouts and claiming a slim 16-12 takedown edge. The Nittany Lions improved to 5-0 with the win while Virginia Tech suffered its first loss, falling to 4-1.

Penn State returns to action on New Year’s Day. The Nittany Lions will carry four straight Southern Scuffle titles into the 2015 Southern Scuffle on Jan. 1-2 at UT-Chattanooga. Penn State’s next home dual is set for Friday, Jan. 9, when Indiana visits Rec Hall for a 7 p.m. match-up. A limited number of SRO tickets are available for select Penn State Rec Hall dual meets, although the SROs for the Lehigh dual are sold out. For ticket inquiries, call 1-800-NITTANY. Penn State Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at www.twitter.com/pennstateWREST and on Penn State Wrestling’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling. The 2014-15 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.

Penn State 20,  Virginia Tech 15
December 19, 2014 – Rec Hall – University Park, Pa.

125: #10 Jordan Conaway PSU dec. #5 Joey Dance VT, 7-5 / 3-0
133: #5 Jimmy Gulibon PSU dec. #19 Kevin Norstrem VT, 9-4 / 6-0
141: #3 Devin Carter VT pinned Michael Waters PSU, WBF (1:56) / 6-6
149: Sal Mastriani VT dec. #13 Zack Beitz PSU, 7-5 / 6-9
157: Cody Law PSU dec. David Wesley VT, 10-4 / 9-9
165: Garett Hammond PSU tech fall Chris Moon VT, 17-2 (TF; 7:00) / 14-9
174: #9 Zach Epperly VT dec. #2 Matt Brown PSU, 8-6 (SV) / 14-12
184: Austin Gabel VT dec. #18 Matt McCutcheon PSU, 5-3 / 14-15
197: #4 Morgan McIntosh PSU dec. Jared Haught VT, 5-0 / 17-15
285: Jimmy Lawson PSU dec. #5 Ty Walz VT, 5-3 (SV) / 20-15
Attendance: 6,352
Records: Penn State 5-0, 1-0 B1G; Virginia Tech 4-1
Up Next for Penn State: at 2015 Southern Scuffle, Jan. 1-2, 2015; Chattanooga, Tenn.

BOUT-BY-BOUT:

125: Junior Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.), ranked No. 10 at 125, battled No. 5 Joey Dance in one of the dual meet’s premier bouts. Dance got in on a low single at the 2:15 mark, forcing a scramble in the center circle. The Hokie finished off the move and took an early 2-1 lead after quick Conaway escape. The duo battled evenly for the rest of the period and Dance carried the 2-1 lead into the second period. Conaway chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 2-2 tie. Dance quickly got in on a low single, forcing another scramble on the Lion Logo. Conaway worked his way out of trouble and action resumed with both men on their feet. Conaway shot low with a quick ankle pick, controlled the action and picked up the takedown with :15 left in the period. The Lion then turned Dance for two back points and led 6-2 after two periods. Dance chose down to start the third period and escaped to a 6-3 score at the 1:37 mark. Riding time was not an issue. Dance worked his way in on a high single with :40 left and finished off the move to cut Conaway’s lead two 6-5. The Lion escaped to a 7-5 lead with :15 left and held on for the thrilling 7-5 victory.

133: Lion sophomore Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.), ranked No. 5 at 133, wrestled No. 19 Kevin Norstrem in a second straight top-20 match-up. Norstrem picked up an early takedown to open up a 2-1 lead with 2:00 on the clock. The Lion sophomore picked up the tempo, got in on a single leg with 1:10 on the clock and nearly scored. But a stalemate was called with :50 on the clock. Forcing a reset. Gulibon scored quickly off the reset and the bout was tied 3-3 after a quick Norstrem escape. Gulibon continued his offensive pressure and picked up another takedown as the period ended to lead 5-3 after one. Gulibon chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 6-3 lead. Trailing by three, Norstrem chose down to start the third period and escaped to a 6-4 score with 1:19-4 win. 7 left in the bout. Gulibon blew through a high single and took an 8-4 lead just seconds later and controlled action from the top long enough to build up a 1:00 plus riding time edge. He then continued his ride for the rest of the period and, with the bonus point, posted the 9-4 win with 1:25 in riding time.

141: Junior Michael Waters (Advance, N.C.) took to the mat against No. 3 Devin Carter of Virginia Tech. Carter scored quickly, taking a 2-0 lead and cutting Waters loose to a 2-1 score. The Hokie senior added another quick takedown and led 4-1 with 1:34 left. He then turned Waters and, after a brief fight, got the quick pin at the 1:56 mark.

149: Sophomore Zack Beitz (Mifflintown, Pa.), ranked No. 13 at 149, faced off against Tech sophomore Sal Mastriani. The duo traded quick early shots with neither wrestler able to finish off a takedown and a reset was called with 2:15 on the clock. Action continued at a high pace into the final minute of the opening period with Beitz first pushing off a Mastriani shot and then the Hokie returning the favor on the outside circle. Tied 0-0, Beitz got in on a low single but once again, action was halted with :45 on a stalemate. Mastriani posted the first score at the :15 mark, turning a low single into a takedown and a 2-0 lead after one period. Beitz chose down to start the second stanza and quickly escaped to a 2-1 deficit. Beitz was unable to break through Mastriani’s defense as the Hokie was able to hold off Beitz shots for the next minute and then gained control of the Lion’s ankle with :30 left in the period. Beitz fought off the shot for a bit but Mastriani got the call on the edge of the mat with :18 left, taking a 4-1 lead. Beitz managed a late escape and trailed 4-2 after two periods. Mastriani chose down to start the third and quickly escaped to a 5-2 lead. Beitz shot high at the :48 mark but Mastriani countered and upped his lead to 7-3 with :40 on the clock. Beitz added a late takedown but Mastriani held on for the 7-5 win.

157: Nittany Lion red-shirt freshman Cody Law (Windber, Pa.) met Tech junior David Wesley at 157. Law wasted no time opening up a lead, notching a quick takedown to lead 2-1 just seconds into the bout. Law’s constant offense allowed him to turn a low single into a takedown with 1:38 on the clock, opening up a 4-2 lead after a quick Wesley escape. Law’s pressure forced Wesley into a first stall warning at the :40 mark and the Lion freshman led 4-2 after one period. Law chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 5-2 lead. The Windber native quickly tacked on a third takedown, taking a 7-3 lead after cutting Wesley loose at the 1:18 mark. Law blew through a low single and led 9-3 at the :40 mark. He then maintained control for the rest of the period and led 9-3 with 1:12 in riding time after two periods. Wesley chose down to start the third period and escaped to a 9-4 score seconds in. Law fought off two solid Wesley shots over the next minute, maintaining his lead. He nearly scored on a single leg with :30 left but a stalemate was called, forcing a reset. With :10 left, Law got in on a low single and nearly picked up a major with a final takedown, but Wesley was able to hold firm. Law’s strong 10-4 win included 1:12 in riding time.

165: Red-shirt freshman Garett Hammond (Chambersburg, Pa.) took on Virginia Tech’s Kevin Moon at 165. Moon got in on a quick single, forcing a scramble in the center circle. But Hammond was able to counter the move, nearly scoring himself at the 2:00 mark. After a brief, fight, Hammond picked up the takedown and then worked Moon to his back, nearly getting the fall. Three back points, however, gave the Lion freshman a 5-0 lead. He then controlled action from the top for over a minute and picked up two more back points to lead 7-0. A short ride out and Hammond led 7-0 with 1:51 in riding time after one period. Hammond chose down to start the second period, quickly escaped to an 8-0 lead but was taken down. Another Hammond escaped gave the Lion a 9-2 lead and he then took Moon down again to lead 11-2. Trailing by nine, Moon chose neutral to start the third period but Hammond was relentless. He picked up another takedown and the turned the Hokie senior over to his back for three more near fall points and a 16-2 lead. With the riding time clinched, Hammond then rode Moon out and posted the 17-2 tech fall at the 7:00 mark thanks to 4:19 in riding time.

174: Two-time All-American Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 2 at 174, faced No. 9 Zach Epperly in another of the dual’s key bouts. Brown scored first quickly, using a quick low single to pull Epperly in from out of bounds at the 1:39 mark to lead 2-0. Epperly escaped to a 2-1 score and held off a late Brown shot as the period ended. Brown chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 3-1 lead. Epperly briefly tied the bout with a solid takedown but Brown’s quick escaped allowed the Lion senior to lead 4-3 with :45 on the clock. The Lion All-American then worked his way in on another high single and finished off the move for a 6-3 lead after two periods. Epperly chose down to start the final stanza but Brown was able to control action long enough to build up a 1:04 riding time edge before the Hokie escaped to a 6-4 Brown lead. Epperly tied the match at 6-6 with a scrambling takedown and cut Brown’s riding time edge down under 6-6. Brown nearly escaped to the win with :10 left but action moved out of bounds with Epperly still on top. Epperly was able to ride Brown out and the match moved into sudden victory. Brown shot low on Epperly and looked to score, but the Hokie was able to counter, and worked his way on top of Brown for the takedown and the upset win, 8-6 in sudden victory.

184: Red-shirt freshman Matt McCutcheon (Apollo, Pa.), ranked No. 18 at 184, tangled with Virginia Tech’s Austin Gabel. The duo battled evenly for the half the opening stanza and the Gabel drew first blood with a solid takedown at the 1:31 mark to take a 2-0 lead. McCutcheon escaped to a 2-1 score. McCutcheon was unable to break through Gabel’s defense and trailed 2-1 after one period. McCutcheon chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 2-2 tie. Gabel worked his way in on another high single but this time McCutcheon was able to counter the effort and force a reset with 1:10 left in the period. Neither wrestler scored after that and the bout moved to the third period tied 2-2. Gabel chose down to start the final period and quickly escaped to a 3-2 lead. McCutcheon shot low on Gabel but the Hokie junior was able to counter the move and scored on a counter takedown to lead 5-3 after a quick McCutcheon escaped with :42 left. McCutcheon was unable to score down the stretch and Gabel posted the 5-3 win.

197: All-American Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.), ranked No. 4 at 197, met freshman Jared Haught. The duo battled evenly for the full opening three minutes, with each wrestler unable to put together a scoring combination. McIntosh chose down to start the second stanza and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. McIntosh continued to look for an opening to score, but Haught was able to push off the Lion’s efforts and keep the score at 1-0 until under :30 on the clock. McIntosh shot low as the second period ended but Haught stepped back and the bout moved to the third period with the Lion junior up 1-0. Haught chose down to start the third period and McIntosh was able to control the action from the top. He built up over 1:00 in riding time with a strong ride and then turned Haught with just :03 left, nearly picking up the pin. The move, with 1:57 in riding time, gave McIntosh the 5-0 win.

285: Senior Jimmy Lawson (Toms River, N.J.) took on Ty Walz, ranked No. 6, in the dual’s final bout. The duo battled evenly for the first two minutes with neither wrestler creating a solid scoring chance. Gabel looked to score on a late shot but Lawson was able to muscle his way out of trouble. Tied 0-0 after one period, Walz chose down to start the third period and escaped to a 1-0 lead. Lawson quickly got in on a low single leg but Walz was able to work his way out of bounds and force a reset with 1:27 on the clock. With just :10 left in the period, Lawson bulled through Walz’s chest for a late takedown and a 2-1 lead. Lawson chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 3-1 lead. Walz got in on a low single and forced a scramble in the center circle. Lawson was able to fight off the move and force a stalemate with 1:25 on the clock. Walz worked his way in on a high single once again and Lawson scrambled his way to another stalemate at the :40 mark. With :10 left, Walz scored a takedown to tie the bout at 3-3. Lawson appeared to escape and was awarded the point. But the official waved the escape off and the bout moved into extra time. Lawson was undaunted, however. The senior turned a low single into a dual clinching takedown, sending over 6,300 Rec Hall faithful to their feet and securing the 5-3 (sv) win.

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