By Pat Donghia
Penn State Sports Information
The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team opened up the 2013-14 dual meet season with a convincing 34-8 win over Rider in a Comcast Sports Network national telecast. Wrestled in front of a sold out crowd, head coach Cael Sanderson’s squad won eight of ten bouts to roll to the victory.
Two-time All-American Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.) got Penn State off to a hot start, posting a strong 5-0 win over No. 17 Robert Deutsch in the dual’s first bout. Sophomore national qualifier Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.) then used four third period takedowns to roll to a 12-4 major over Rider’s Chuck Zeisloft at 133, giving Penn State an early 7-0 lead.
True freshman Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.) made his Penn State dual meet debut in fine fashion, dominating Rider’s Paulie Kirchner at 141. Retherford used two late third period takedowns to roll to a 12-3 major and up Penn State’s lead to 11-0. Rider then got on the board when Bronc Curt Delia got a late takedown in extra time to post a 6-4 (sv) win over Nittany Lion James English (York, Pa.) at 149. Senior James Vollrath (Richboro, Pa.) got Penn State back in the win column with a strong 10-2 major over Rider’s Wayne Stinson. Vollrath racked up 2:53 in riding time in the win, putting Penn State up 15-3 at intermission.
Three-time All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), ranked No. 1 at 165 continued to add to his pin total, this time dominating Ramon Santiago and getting a second period fall at the 4:27 mark. The pin was Taylor’s fifth in six bouts this year and the 42nd of his career, putting him just 11 shy of tying the all-time Penn State career record of 53. Junior All-American Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah) followed Taylor’s pin up with one of his own. Brown quickly turned Rider’s Conor Brennan to his back for a first period pin at the 1:14 mark, putting the Nittany Lions up 27-3.
Rider cut into Penn State’s lead as Clint Morrison posted a 16-2 technical fall over Lion sophomore James Frascella (Carmel, Ind.) at 184. But Penn State quickly answered. Sophomore Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.) returned to dual meet action after a red-shirt season and posted a convincing 8-2 win over Rider junior Donald McNeil. Junior Jimmy Lawson (Toms River, N.J.) closed out the dual meet with a convincing 10-2 major over Rider’s Greg Velasco. The win gave Penn State the 34-8 season opening win.
Penn State won the takedown battle 28-5 and amassed ten bonus points off two pins and four majors, winning eight of ten bouts.
The Nittany Lions moved to 1-0 on the year while Rider falls to 2-1. Penn State will visit Lehigh on Sunday for a 3 p.m. dual meet. Penn State then returns to action next weekend for the home opener on Sunday, Nov. 24, against Lock Haven. The dual starts at 2 p.m. in Rec Hall and will be preceded by the raising of the 2013 Big Ten and NCAA title banners. The dual meet, as is every home dual for the Nittany Lions, is sold out. As of press time, less than 80 Standing Room Only tickets remain.
With the full season of Rec Hall duals sold out prior to the start of the campaign, a very limited number of standing room only tickets are available to a few of the seven Rec Hall duals. Also, there are still tickets available for Penn State’s Dec. 8 dual against Pitt in the Bryce Jordan Center. People may purchase tickets by calling 1-800-NITTANY or by visiting the Penn State Athletics ticket office located in the BJC. 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 2013-14 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.
#1 Penn State 34, #25 Rider 8
November 16, 2013 – Lawrenceville, N.J.
125: Nico Megaludis PSU dec. Robert Deutsch RID , 5-0 3-0
133: Jordan Conaway PSU maj. dec. Chuck Zeisloft RID, 12-4 7-0
141: Zain Retherford PSU maj. dec. Paulie Kirchner RID, 12-3 11-0
149: James Delia RID dec. (sv) James English PSU, 6-4 (sv) 11-3
157: James Vollrath PSU maj. dec. Wayne Stinson RID, 10-2 15-3
165: David Taylor PSU pinned Ramon Santiago RID, WBF (4:27) 21-3
174: Matt Brown PSU pinned Conor Brennan RID, WBF (1:14) 27-3
184: Clint Morrison RID tech fall James Frascella PSU, 17-2 (TF; 7:00) 27-8
197: Morgan McIntosh PSU dec. Donald McNeil RID, 8-2 30-8
285: Jimmy Lawson PSU maj. dec. Greg Velasco RID, 10-2 34-8
Attendance: 1,650 (SOLD OUT)
Records: Penn State 1-0, Rider 3-1
Up Next for Penn State: at Lehigh, Sunday, Nov. 17, 3 p.m.