Penn State Wrestling takes down Indiana, and their 54th consecutive dual win

Nittany Nation

No. 1 Penn State (9-0, 5-0 B1G) took down home standing Indiana (4-9, 1-5 B1G) to close out a Big Ten road swing through the Hoosier state on Sunday.  Penn State downed Indiana 35-9 in Bloomington to remain unbeaten on the year.

Penn State won all but one off the contested bouts (giving up a forfeit loss at 133), including one Nittany Lion’s first-ever Big Ten dual victory.

The dual began at 184 where junior Francisco Bisono (Hauppauge, N.Y.) stepped in at 184 for No. 3 Shakur Rasheed (Coram, N.Y.) for the second time this weekend. Bisono was once again tough but dropped a hard-fought 5-1 decision. Junior Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), ranked No. 1 at 197, made short work of IU’s Jake Kleimola.  Nickal turned an early scramble into a cradle and a fast fall, getting the pin at the 0:58 mark to put Penn State up 6-3.

Senior Anthony Cassar (Rocky Hill, N.J.), ranked No. 4 at 285, downed Indiana’s Fletcher Miller in an 11-5 win, rolling up over 2:00 in riding time to put Penn State up 9-3.   Sophomore Devin Schnupp (Lititz, Pa) thrilled the many Lion faithful at the dual by picking up his first Big Ten dual meet victory in a 5-2 win over Indiana’s Liam Cronin.  True freshman Roman Bravo-Young (Tucson, Ariz.) was injured in the first period of his match at Purdue Friday night and did not wrestle.  Indiana’s Garrett Pepple won by forfeit at the weight and Penn State led 12-9 at intermission.

Sophomore Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), ranked No. 7 at 141, got Penn State started on the right foot in the second half.  He posted a 4-0 takedown edge in front of many home-state fans to roll to a 13-3 major over Kyle Luigs.  Redshirt freshman Jarod Verkleeren (Greensburg, Pa.) once again stepped in for No. 11 Brady Berger (Mantorville, Minn.) at 149 and notched a 6-4 win over Fernie Silva to give the Lions a 19-9 lead.

Senior Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 157, picked up his second first period of the weekend with a fall over Breyden Bailey at the 2:46 mark. The fall was the 56th of Nolf’s career. Junior Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 165, also picked up his second pin of the weekend.  The Lion got his tenth pin of the year with a fall over Bryce Martin at the 1:20 mark.  Junior Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 1 at 174, closed out the dual with a dominating 12-4 major over IU’s Jake Covaciu.   Penn State won eight of ten bouts (and eight of nine contested) to roll to the 35-9 dual meet victory.

Penn State dominated the dual, rolling up a 21-3 takedown advantage.  The Nittany Lions grabbed 11 bonus points off three pins (Nickal, Nolf, Joseph) and two majors (Lee, Hall).  Nickal’s pin was his 11th this year and the 52nd of his career. Nolf has 11 this year and 56 for his career.  Joseph’s pin was his tenth of the season.

The Nittany Lions have now won 54-straight dual meets dating back to the end of the 2014-15 season.  Sanderson’s Lions won their last dual of that campaign, went 16-0 in 2015-16, went 14-0 in 2016-17 and went 14-0 in 2017-18. Penn State is now 9-0 overall, 5-0 in Big Ten action, while Indiana falls to 4-9, 1-5 B1G.  The Nittany Lions return to Happy Valley for the 2019 BJC Dual when Michigan invades the 16,000-seat venue on Friday, Feb. 1, for a 7 p.m. dual.

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