Lack of attitude evident in loss
By Brendan Monahan
Collegian Staff Writer
In his pre-meet interview, Penn State coach Cael Sanderson revealed No. 12 Brad Pataky's dual meet importance.
"He's always a huge piece for us," Sanderson said. "He can go out there and set the tone."
Though Pataky said all his matches are important to set the tone, against No. 3 Ohio State on Sunday, Penn State's first bout seemed all the more important.
Pataky defeated No. 19 Nikko Triggas by a 9-7 decision, but the Nittany Lions (9-4-1, 1-1-0 Big Ten) didn't respond to Pataky's example -- they lost 21-14 to the Buckeyes (12-1-0, 1-0-0).
"It was within our grasp," Sanderson said in his post-meet radio interview "and we chose not to take it."
Sanderson thought the Lions' lack of attitude caused the losses and overall defeat, but Sanderson said it was the coaching staff's fault and not the wrestlers'. The coaches, Sanderson said, need to find a way to instill the right attitude.
Penn State dropped the three matches after Pataky's win. Ohio State's Ian Paddock defeated 133-pounder Bryan Pearsall by a 13-2 major decision. No. 3 Reece Humphrey of Ohio State notched a 22-7 technical fall over 141-pounder Adam Lynch.
And in a highly anticipated bout, the Buckeyes' third-ranked Lance Palmer beat No. 5 Frank Molinaro, 5-3. Palmer's two-point reversal at the start of the third period gave him a much-needed 4-1 cushion that Molinaro couldn't close.
No. 8 Dan Vallimont's bout against No. 7 Colt Sponseller of Ohio State also pitted two closely ranked wrestlers against each other.
Vallimont took the early lead on a questionable takedown, but with the score tied in the third, Sponseller ensured a riding time point and a stall point for the 4-2 win.
"We didn't perform the best we could," Vallimont said. "Everyone is disappointed, especially the coaches."
The Buckeyes' T.C. Pendleton wrestled in place of No. 10 Mike Pucillo. Dave Erwin, ranked 12th, dispatched Pendleton by a 15-2 major decision. Erwin attempted to turn Pendleton for the pin, but the Buckeye got loose. With the Lions losing 18-7 at the time, a pin would have put Penn State into better striking distance.
No. 11 Cameron Wade defeated No. 20 Corey Morrison by a 10-4 decision despite letting up two Morrison third- period takedowns. Lion 197-pounder David Crowell lost, 10-6, to C.J. Magrum in only his second dual meet this season.
Crowell will battle Clay Steadman for the 197-pound starting spot this week. At 174 pounds, Ohio State's Dave Rella, ranked No. 12, defeated Justin Ortega 12-5.
But whether it was the 174-pound match, 133-pound match or any other, it didn't matter to Sanderson. The coach attributed the overall team loss to one thing -- no fight.
"It's not an attitude that is going to take over the world," Sanderson said.
Tags: Adam Lynch, Brad Pataky, Bryan Pearsall, Cael Sanderson, Cameron Wade, Clay Steadman, Dan Vallimont, Dave Rella, David Crowell, Frank Molinaro, Justin Ortega