Penn State emerges as No. 1, NC State scored upset in NWCA National Duals

Updated: February 23, 2016

The latest edition of the National Wrestling Coaches Association’s attempt to increase the importance of college dual meets — with the NWCA’s National Duals Championship Series — came to an end Monday with the four Big Ten and four non-Big Ten teams splitting the eight football bowl-like duals.
That included Big Ten champion Penn State’s 29-18 victory over No. 3 Oklahoma State of the Big 12 to solidify the Nittany Lions’ No. 1 dual-team ranking and ACC runner-up NC State’s upset of No. 2 Iowa, 21-17, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“I think it’s a solid concept,” said Penn State coach Cael Sanderson told Sanderson was among the Division I coaches who suggested last summer this idea of eight separate duals — featuring eight Big Ten schools against eight non-Big Ten teams — instead of the past bracket NWCA National Dual tournaments. “I like the idea. I don’t think this is the time of year you have a huge tournament. I think one match is great.
“It seemed like there was some controversy in who wrestled who. That obviously doesn’t need to be a part of the process. You’re either in or you’re out of the process. That was kind of the fun part. We didn’t know who we were going to wrestle.”
“This is something that can grow,” Oklahoma State coach John Smith told the “I think we ought to put even more importance on it. If Penn State is the best team in dual meets this year, there should be points carried over into (NCAA) Nationals (which take place this season March 17-19 in New York City).
The following is a closer look at all eight duals. The teams’ rankings are those by WIN Magazine.

# 1 Penn State 29, #3 Oklahoma State 18
Feb. 21 • State College, Pa.
Nico Megaludis (125), Jason Nolf (157) and Morgan McIntosh (197) all scored pins for Penn State on a night that saw bonus points in seven of the ten matches.
“I think overall we wrestled pretty good against a good team, a solid team,” Sanderson told “Obviously when you are wrestling for the national dual championship you are going to wrestle a good team. This is a big deal to us; we want to win the dual championship, but it’s more about getting ready, as we move forward, for the Big Tens (March 5-6 in Iowa City, Iowa) and Nationals, about getting our guys where we want them to be at this point.”
“I’m a little disappointed in the pins,” said Smith, whose team will be favored to win the 2016 Big 12 Championships, March 5-6, in Kansas City. “We should do a better job, regardless of who’s out there. Getting pinned is a pride issue. We gave three up? It’s been a long time since we’ve given three pins up.”
Oklahoma State did not travel with starters Joe Smith and Kyle Crutchmer (174), while Penn State entered nationally-ranked Shakur Rasheed (165) and heavyweight Nick Nevills in the Collegiate Open, held Feb. 21, in Colorado Springs, Colo., to increase their number of regular-season matches for possible seeding consideration at the NCAAs.

125-Nico Megaludis (PSU) pinned Eddie Klimara, 3:58
133-Jordan Conaway (PSU) dec. Gary Wayne Harding, 8-4
141-Dean Heil (OSU) dec. Jimmy Gulibon, 8-4
149-Zain Retherford (PSU) dec Anthony Collica, 4-1
157-Jason Nolf (PSU pinned Ryan Blees, 6:32
165-Alex Dieringer (OSU) won by tech fall over Geno Morelli, 17-2 (4:36)
174-Bo Nickal (PSU) tech fall Heston Lamons, 17-2 (4:39)
184-Nolan Boyd (OSU) won by by injury default over Matt McCutcheon
197-Morgan McIntosh (PSU) pin Andrew Marsden, 1:59
285-Austin Marsden (O) maj dec Jan Johnson, 18-6

Pete Renda upset Iowa's Sam Brooks, 7-3, at 184 pounds to help NC State beat the Hawkeyes, 21-17, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Pete Renda upset Iowa’s Sam Brooks, 7-3, at 184 pounds to help NC State beat the Hawkeyes, 21-17, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

#5 NC State 21, #2 Iowa 17
Feb. 22 • Iowa City, Iowa
Pete Renda, ranked 17th at 184 pounds by WIN last week, scored three takedowns to upset eighth-ranked Sammy Brooks, 7-3, before two-time NCAA champ Nick Gwiazdowski clinched the Wolfpack’s upset in Carver-Hawkeye Arena when Iowa’s Sam Stoll — trailing 8-1 in the second period in the heavyweight bout — was forced to injury default.
This ends a record-setting year for the Wolfpack (23-1), who also defeated Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla., earlier this season.
“These programs all have history,” said NC State coach Pat Popolizio, who wrestled for Oklahoma State from 1998-2002. “We aren’t there in that aspect, but I think people now understand we can compete. To do it year-in and year-out like these guys do is a totally different ballgame. We have to do our job for the program to keep building momentum off this, but this is obviously a great start.”
As both teams each won five bouts, the difference came down to bonus points by the Wolfpack, especially from 141-pound Kevin Jack and 157-pound Thomas Gantt, who scored late to earn a technical fall and major decision, respectively.
The Hawkeyes’ solid light-weights got Tom Brands’ team off on the right foot. Thomas Gilman (125), Corey Clark (133) and Brandon Sorensen (149) combined to outscore their three foes, 37-12.
“It’s a combination and it’s probably all the same,” said Iowa coach Tom Brands about his team’s lack of scoring in some key matches. “It’s positions where they are essential and basic. We got beat up in more ways than one. We have to come back and we have to be strong and build. We have to have our minds right.”

125: Thomas Gilman (Iowa) major dec. Sean Fausz, 15-5
133: Cory Clark (Iowa) dec. Jamal Morris, 9-3
141: Kevin Jack (NCSU) technical fall Brody Grothus, 18-3
149: Brandon Sorensen (Iowa) major dec. Beau Donahue, 13-4
157: Tommy Gantt (NCSU) major dec. Edwin Cooper, Jr., 13-5
165: Max Rohskopf (NCSU) dec. Patrick Rhoads, 6-3
174: Alex Meyer (Iowa) dec. Nicky Hall, 4-2
184: Pete Renda (NCSU) dec. Sammy Brooks, 7-3
197: Nathan Burak (Iowa) dec. Michael Boykin, 9-4
285: Nick Gwiazdowski (NCSU) injury default #6 Sam Stoll, 4:46

#4 Virginia Tech 24, #8 Michigan 11
Feb. 21 • Ann Arbor, Mich.
The Hokies won five of the final six matches, including Ty Walz’ victory over 2015 NCAA finalist Adam Coon to claim the victory.
“We came out flat today until Nick Brascetta hit the mat at 157 (where Brascetta beat Brian Murphy, 4-3),” said Hokie coach Kevin Dresser. “He ignited the team and we rolled from there! I’m so proud of this staff and this team. We have been on the road for the past four weekends in front of a lot of crowds cheering against us and we ran the table. I love this team and their fight! We are excited for the postseason!”

125: Joey Dance (Va. Tech) dec. Conor Youtsey, 11-9 sv
133: Rossi Bruno (Michigan) dec. Dennis Gustafson, 5-1
141: Solomon Chishko (Va. Tech) dec. George Fisher, 6-5
149: Alec Pantaleo (Michigan) won by tech. fall over Sal Mastriani, 19-4
157: Nick Brascetta (Va. Tech) dec. Brian Murphy, 4-3
165: David McFadden (Va. Tech) major dec. Jordan Amine, 11-3
174: Zach Epperly (Va. Tech) won by tech. fall over Aaron Calderon, 20-5
184: Domenic Abounader (Michigan) dec. Zack Zavatsky, 5-3 tb
197: Jared Haught (Va. Tech) dec. Max Huntley 5-1
Hwt: Ty Walz (Va. Tech) dec. Adam Coon, 3-2

#6 Missouri 19, #10 Nebraska 14
Feb. 21 • Lincoln, Neb.
Trailing 10-6 after five bouts, the Tigers then won four straight matches, including Willie Miklus’ 5-4 victory over T.J. Dudley at 184 pounds as Miklus scored the winning takedown with seconds left.
“I didn’t panic when I fell behind in the match,” said Miklus. “I still wrestled until the end. I was just happy to get the win for the team and that we were able to get the win as a team.”
125: Barlow McGhee (Mizzou) dec. Tim Lambert, 5-3
133: Eric Montoya (Nebraska) dec. Zach Synon, 4-0
141: Matt Manley (Mizzou) dec. Anthony Abidin, 6-2
149: Jake Sueflohn (Nebraska) dec. Lavion Mayes, 4-1 tb
157: Tyler Berger (Nebraska) major dec. Le’Roy Barnes, 10-2
165: Daniel Lewis (Mizzou) dec. Austin Wilson, 4-0
174: Blaise Butler (Mizzou) def. Micah Barnes, 7-5
184: Willie Miklus (Mizzou) dec. TJ Dudley, 5-4
197: J’den Cox (Mizzou) major dec. Aaron Studebaker, 16-7
Hwt: Collin Jensen (Nebraska) major dec. Cody Johnston, 9-1

#14 Rutgers 18, #7 Lehigh 15
Feb. 21 • Piscataway, N.J.
Rutgers heavyweight Billy Smith clinched the Scarlet Knights upset of the Mountain Hawks with a 3-2 overtime win over Max Wessell in the final bout of the night.
“You have teams like that, and they almost look down upon Rutgers … I’m proud to be the foundation and see this program grow in a bigger direction,” Smith said. “There’s so much more that needs to be done. This is just the beginning and you’ll see that in two weeks or so.”
“In the grand scheme of things, what does this win mean? It’s huge for our program,” said Rutgers coach Scott Goodale, whose team fell behind 8-0 after two bouts. “It’s Lehigh, tremendous tradition, a ton of respect for those guys. I have all the respect in the world for [Lehigh head coach] Pat Santoro and that staff. We’re just fighting really, really hard for those guys just like they’re doing. Every point mattered. We knew that. It means a lot to beat Lehigh, there’s no question about it. Now let’s move onto the Big Ten Championships.”

125: Darian Cruz (Lehigh) major dec. Sean McCabe, 15-7
133: Mason Beckman (Lehigh) major dec. Josh Patrick, 19-7
141: Anthony Ashnault (Rutgers) dec. Randy Cruz, 9-2
149: Tyson Dippery (Rutgers) dec. Ian Brown, 6-0
157: Richie Lewis (Rutgers) dec. Drew Longo, 12-7
165: Anthony Perrotti (Rutgers) dec. Ryan Preisch, 8-5
174: Phillip Bakuckas (Rutgers) dec. Gordon Wolf , 9-2
184: Nate Brown (Lehigh) dec. Nicholas Gravina, 3-2
197: John Bolich (Lehigh) major dec. Hayden Hrymack, 11-0
285: Billy Smith (Rutgers) dec. Max Max Wessell, 3-2 tb

#9 Ohio State 26, Edinboro 13
Feb. 22 • Columbus, Ohio
Ohio State coach Tom Ryan hopes for a similar fate for his Buckeyes as last year. Ohio State lost last year in the first round of NWCA National Duals, then Ohio State responded by tying for a Big Ten championship before capturing the NCAA championship.
“We are likely a better tournament team than a dual team,” said Ryan. “Last year we needed two freshmen (Nathan Tomasello, champ at 125, and Kyle Snyder, second at 197) to win. We are going to be in the same position this year.”
Ryan said he wants more Buckeyes to become offensively explosive.
“We have to wrestle fearless and those are the guys who score lots of points,” he said. “You have to excite the crowd.”
125: Nathan Tomasello (OSU) pinned Sean Russell, 4:00
133: Anthony Rivera (Edinboro) dec. Mike Manuche, 6-0
141: Micah Jordan (OSU) major dec. Tyler Vath, 22-9
149: Patricio Lugo (Edinboro) dec. Cody Burcher, 2-1
157: Jake Ryan (OSU) dec. Austin Matthews, 4-3
165: Bo Jordan (OSU) pinned Casey Fuller, 3:34
174: Myles Martin (OSU) major dec. Patrick Jennings, 13-4
184: Vic Avery (Edinboro) major dec. Dominic Prezzia, 19-7
197: Mark Martin (OSU) dec. Vince Pickett, 2-1
285: Billy Miller (Edinboro) dec. Nick Tavanello, 5-1

#17 Minnesota 30, #20 Iowa State 10
Feb. 19, 2016 • Minneapolis, Minn.
The 20-point victory margin was the biggest win by Minnesota this season as Jake Short (157) and Brandon Kingsley (165) scored pins and heavyweight Michael Kroells added a 15-0 technical fall.
“That’s the way you want to look,” said Minnesota coach J Robinson. “You want to feel positive about what we’re doing, where we are. The hard work we’re putting in, it’s going to pay off for us.”

125: Steve Polakowski (Minnesota) dec Kyle Larson, 3-2
133: Earl Hall (ISU) dec Ben Morgan, 10-5
141: Tommy Thorn (Minnesota) dec Nathan Boston, 4-0
149: No. 16 Jake Short (Minnesota) pinned Dante Rodriguez, 1:46
157: Brandon Kingsley (Minnesota) pinned Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer, 4:31
165: Tanner Weatherman (ISU) major dec. Brandon Krone, 13-2
174: Nick Wanzek (Minnesota) dec. Lelund Weatherspoon, 8-6
184: Dane Pestano (ISU) dec. Chris Pfarr, 9-2
197: Brett Pfarr (Minnesota) major dec. Patrick Downey, 12-1
Hwt: Michael Kroells (Minnesota) won by tech fall over Marcus Harrington, 15-0 (6:11)

Appalachian State 21, Indiana 13
Feb. 21, 2016 • Bloomington, Ind.
The Mountaineers trailed 13-9 before winning the final three bouts, including Mike Longo’s pin over Tommy Cash with seven seconds left in the 141-pound match.
“I’m so proud of this team and how they fought when our backs were against the wall,” said head coach JohnMark Bentley. “This is a very big statement for our program, athletics department, and university.”

157: David Peters-Logue (ASU) dec. Jake Danishek 6-4 sv
165: Bryce Martin (IU) dec. Forrest Przybysz, 5-4
174: Nate Jackson (IU) major dec. Nick Kee, 12-4
184: Matt Irick (IU) dec. Taylor Jackson, 7-5
197: Randall Diabe (ASU) dec. Jake Masengale, 6-3
Hwt: Denzel Dejournette (ASU) dec. Garret Goldman, 5-1
125: Elijah Oliver (IU) dec. Vito Pasone, 10-9
133: Irvin Enriquez (ASU) dec. Alonzo Shepherd, 6-2
141: Mike Longo (ASU) pinned Tommy Cash, 6:53
149: Matt Zovistoski (ASU) dec. Luke Blanton, 6-5