UNIVERSITY PARK - The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, ranked No. 1 nationally in Intermat's Tournament Power Index, opened up the home portion of its 2013-14 schedule with a dominating 34-6 win over visiting Lock Haven. A sell-out crowd of 6,498 packed Rec Hall for the event, the 12th straight home sellout for Penn State dating back to the 2011-12 season.
All-American Nico Megaludis (Murraysville, Pa.), ranked No. 3 at 125, opened the dual up with a dominating 21-6 technical fall over Lock Haven's Ronnie Perry. Sophomore Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.) followed that up with a strong 10-5 win over LHU sophomore Matt Bryer, giving Penn State an 8-0 lead heading into one of the dual's marquee match-ups at 141.
Nittany Lion true freshman Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), ranked No. 12 at 141, remained undefeated on the year with a strong 6-1 win over Lock Haven's Dan Neff. The Bald Eagles got on the scoreboard at 149 when senior Mac Maldarelli fought off a late burst from Penn State freshman Zack Beitz (Mifflintown, Pa.) to escape with an 8-7 decision. Penn State senior James Vollrath (Richboro, Pa.) closed out the dual's opening half with a 12-4 major over Lock Haven's Billy Randt. The win put Penn State up 15-3 heading into intermission.
All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), ranked No. 1 at 165, thrilled the sold out Rec Hall crowd by pinning Haven senior Jake Kemerer at the 6:09 mark to put Penn State up 21-3. The fall was the sixth for Taylor this season and the Lion is undefeated at 8-0. It is also the 43rd of his career, second all-time at Penn State and just 10 shy of the all-time Lion record of 53. All-American Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 3 at 174, dominated Lock Haven's Adam Mackie, picking up an 18-3 technical fall at the 6:02 mark, putting Penn State up 26-3.
Nittany Lion red-shirt freshman Wes Phipps (Grove City, Pa.) made his Penn State dual meet debut against 19th-ranked Fred Garcia of Lock Haven and gave the ranked junior all he could handle before dropping a tough 3-1 decision at 184. Penn State got back on the winning track at 197 when No. 4 Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.) roared to a 15-3 major over Lock Haven's Phil Sprenkle. Nittany Lion junior Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.), ranked No. 10 at 285, closed out the 34-6 victory with an impressive 14-4 major over Lock Haven's Brad Emerick.
The Nittany Lions won the takedown battle with a lopsided 40-4 margin. Penn State's eight wins brought in ten bonus points off a pin (Taylor), two tech falls (Megaludis and Brown) and three majors (Vollrath, McIntosh and Lawson). Nittany Lions Conaway and Retherford picked up decisions. The sell-out is the 12th straight for Penn State in Rec Hall, dating back to the 2011-12 season.
Junior Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 8 at 149, and twin brother Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 5 at 157, are both still recovering from off-season surgery and will return mid-December. Senior Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 184, is suspended for violation of team rules.
Penn State improves to 3-0 on the year while Lock Haven falls to 2-3. Head coach Cael Sanderson's squad returns to action in two weeks when it travels to Boston University for a 7 p.m. dual meet on Friday, Dec. 6. The Lions then trek right home for a Sunday showdown in the Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State will entertain Pittsburgh on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 2 p.m.
--Penn State Athletics Communications