Wrestling news and notes: Kerkvliet expected to miss the 2021 season

Nittany Nation

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WTAJ) – Don’t expect to see one of Penn State’s heavyweights on the mat this season.

Reporters caught up with Penn State coach Cael Sanderson Wednesday morning to talk all things wrestling.

Greg Kerkvliet done for the year

You might have wondered why you have not seen highly-prized heavyweight transfer Greg Kerkvliet this season. After all, Penn State has only had three duals.

Sanderson announced Kerkvliet is not expected to wrestle this season.

“If Greg was available, he would be wrestling. We are not expecting to get him back this year unfortunately,” Sanderson said.”

“It is (Seth) Nevills opportunity to step up and get things done.”

It is unclear if an injury is keeping Kerkvliet out of the lineup. It is clear that he is not cleared to wrestle. He transferred from Ohio State and went 8-0 in a redshirt season in 2019-20.

Iowa dual postponed

As you know by now, Penn State’s home dual with No. 1 Iowa was postponed earlier this week because of COVID concerns with the Hawkeyes.

The dual would have featured many top matchups. At 141 pounds, Penn State’s Nick Lee would have had a matchup with Iowa’s Jaydin Eierman. Intermat ranks Eierman No. 1 in the country with Lee coming in at No. 2

“It sucks that we are missing the match. I have wrestled him twice in my career and he is a really funky wrestler. He is strong in the basics too,” Lee said.

“It is not a regular match that you would see on television. It is always going to be exciting. It is a good opportunity to test your skills. Not just your basic skills, but your skills that you wouldn’t know you had otherwise if you didn’t wrestle a guy like that.”

Intermat’s team rankings place Penn State at No. 3 and Iowa at No. 1.

Possible replacement duals

It is unclear if Penn State will be able to make up the Iowa dual. With only about three weeks before the Big Ten tournament, there is little time to squeeze in another dual. It is also unclear how long the Hawkeyes will have to pause team activities because of COVID-19.

Sanderson did mention a possible replacement tri-meet for the upcoming weekend. Penn State is in the process of trying to set up competitions with No. 2 Michigan and Michigan State this weekend.

There is no formal announcement yet on if the schools can make the duals happen. With wrestlers needing four matches to qualify for the postseason, it is important for Penn State to get as many competitions in as it can.

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