By: Pat Donghia
No. 3 Penn State (5-1, 1-1 B1G) continues a near-month long road trip with two Big Ten duals. Penn State is at No. 17 Northwestern (5-1, 1-1 B1G) on Friday, Jan. 13, at 8 p.m. (Eastern) and at Wisconsin (5-3, 0-2*) on Sunday, Jan. 15, at 2 p.m. (Eastern). Wisconsin is at Northern Iowa on Friday night.
Penn State is coming off 36-6 Big Ten win over Michigan State last Sunday. The dual was wrestled at Kellog Arena in Battle Creek, Mich. The Nittany Lions won nine of ten bouts with the lone loss coming due to an illegal throw DQ in a match the Lion wrestler was dominating at the time. Penn State got key wins from All-American Frank Molinaro at 149, red-shirt freshman Dylan Alton at 157 and a pin from junior Bryan Pearsall at 141.
The Nittany Lions are being led by a balanced attack featuring eight ranked grapplers and two talented veterans, giving the team a strong line-up from top to bottom. All-American Frank Molinaro is ranked No. 1 at 149, All-American David Taylor is ranked No. 1 at 165, All-American Ed Ruth is No. 2 at 174 and All-American Quentin Wright is No. 2 at 184. Senior Cameron Wade is No. 6 at 285, red-shirt freshman Dylan Alton is No. 9 at 157, true freshman Nico Megaludis is No. 10 at 125 and classmate Morgan McIntosh is No. 12 at 197. Junior Bryan Pearsall is 8-6 at 141 with four pins (including a 3-1 dual meet record featuring two pins and a major). Sophomore Frank Martellotti made his season dual debut with a win at 133 vs. MSU on is 4-1 on the year.
Northwestern comes into the weekend's dual meet action with an identical 5-1, 1-1 B1G, mark. The Wildcats feature a strong line-up as well with four ranked wrestlers set to battle Penn State. Junior Levi Mele is 20-2 and ranked No. 7 at 125, junior Jason Welch is 13-0 and No. 3 at 157, freshman Lee Munster is 15-5 and No. 9 at 174 and classmate Mike McMullen is 14-7 and No. 19 at heavyweight. Penn State leads the all-time series with Northwestern 11-1, including nine straight. The Nittany Lions won 37-10 two years ago in Rec Hall (2/5/10). The last time the two teams wrestled in Evanston it was a tight match. The Nittany Lions won 18-15 on 2/1/08.
Wisconsin enters the weekend's action with a 5-3 mark, 0-2 in conference action. The Badgers are at Northern Iowa on Friday night, the same evening Penn State visits Northwestern. Wisconsin is being led by the ranked tandem of junior Cole Schmitt at 149 and senior Ben Jordan at 165. Schmitt is 12-2 and ranked No. 9 at 149 while Jordan is 18-5 and No. 14 at 165. The Nittany Lions own an 11-8 edge in the all-time series with Wisconsin, having won 30-12 in Rec Hall last year (2/18/11). Winners of two straight against UW, the Lions won the last meeting in Madison, a 22-15 decision on 1/31/10.
Penn State returns to action on Jan. 22 when No. 2 Iowa comes to Rec Hall for a dual that is already sold out. Penn State then hosts Ohio State on Jan. 29 and only standing room only tickets remain. Fans can purchase a very limited number of those SRO tickets by calling 814-865-5555. Tickets are priced at $8 for adults and $5 for youth (18 and under) and can be purchased from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day or in person at the Bryce Jordan Center box office. A maximum of four tickets may be purchased per person. The full season slate of live dual meet and tournament action will air locally on WRSC AM (1390 AM) with Friday evening duals being simulcast on WRSC FM (103.1 FM). Lock Haven's WBPZ (1230 AM) will also carry the entire season live and further affiliates may be added soon. WIEZ 670 AM (Huntingdon/Lewistown) will carry all Sunday duals during the regular season plus the Big Ten and NCAA Championships in March. The regular season schedule of radio broadcasts will be streamed live at www.GoPSUsports.com as part of Penn State's All-Access package, which will also feature live video streams of many home events. Ticket information is accessed easily online at www.GoPSUsports.com/tickets/m-wrestl-tickets.html . Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at www.twitter.com/pennstatepat and on Penn State Wrestling's facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling. The 2011-12 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.
#3 PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (5-1, 1-1 B1G)
125#10 Nico MegaludisFr.Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional14-4
133Frank MartellottiSo.Pittsburgh, Pa./Shady Side4-1
Derek ReberJr.Lewisburg, Pa./Lewisburg4-5
141Bryan PearsallJr.Lititz, Pa./Warwick8-6
149#1 Frank MolinaroSr.Barnegat, N.J./Southern Regional17-0
157#9 Dylan AltonR-Fr.Mill Hall, Pa./Central Mountain13-3
165#1 David TaylorSo.St. Paris, Ohio/St. Paris Graham15-0
174#2 Ed RuthSo.Harrisburg, Pa./Susquehanna Twp.17-0
184#2 Quentin WrightJr.Wingate, Pa./Bald Eagle Area14-2
197#12 Morgan McIntoshFr.Santa Ana, Calif./Calvary Chapel10-5
285#6 Cameron WadeSr.Twinsburg, Ohio/St. Peter Chanel14-4
#17 NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS (5-1, 1-1 B1G)
125#7 Levi MeleJr.Vernal, Utah/Uintah20-2
133Jameson OsterFr.Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport8-8
141Colin ShoberFr.Reading, Pa./Schuylkill Valley11-8
ORPat GrecoFr.St. Charles, Ill./Marmion Academy9-9
149Kaleb FriedleySo.Kansas City, Mo./Park Hill13-6
157#3 Jason WelchJr.Walnut Cree, Calif./Las Lomas13-0
165Pierce HargerFr.Loveland, Ohio/Archbishop Moeller13-7
174#9 Lee MunsterFr.Fox Lake, Ill./Grant15-5
184Marcus ShrewsburyJr.Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point2-7
ORRobert KelloggSr.Sioux City, Iowa/Sioux City North2-9
197John SchoenSr.Homer Glen, Ill./Marist11-10
285#19 Mike McMullanFr.Easton, Pa./Wyoming Seminary14-7
WISCONSIN BADGERS (5-3, 0-2 B1G)
125Austin HietpasFr.Kimberly, Wis.0-2
133Shane McQuadeJr.Appleton, Wis.5-8
141Tommy GlennFr.Inver Grove Heights, Minn.0-9
149#9 Cole SchmittJr.New Glarus, Wis.12-2
157Shawn PerrySo.Wausau, Wis.8-7
165#14 Ben JordanSr.St. Parish, Ohio18-5
174Frank CousinsFr.St. Cloud, Fla.8-8
184Timmy McCallFr.Hope Mills, N.C.8-6
197Jackson HeinSo.Wausau, Wis.6-5
285Cole TobinSo.Hudson, Wis.6-5
Indiv. Rankings Intermat as of 1/10; Team Rankings NWCA/USA Today as of 1/10
Tags: Bryan Pearsall, Cameron Wade, David Taylor, Derek Reber, Dylan Alton, Ed Ruth, Frank Martellotti, Frank Molinaro, Morgan McIntosh, Nico Megaludis, Quentin Wright