The No. 1-ranked Penn State wrestling team went into Ann Arbor, Michigan on Friday night and walked out of the Crisler Center with a 29-6 victory over the No. 3 Michigan Wolverines.
The match was tight early, but the Nittany Lions brought down the hammer in the latter half of the dual and earned the win.
“It was a great effort,” Penn State associate head coach Cody Sanderson said on Penn State’s radio broadcast of the dual. “That’s a great team out there, that’s a great crowd they had, what a great environment. ... Proud of our guys to come through and just fight and win some close matches.”
The matchup’s first top-10 bout of the night opened the dual at 125 pounds with Michigan’s No. 1 Nick Suriano taking on Penn State’s No. 7 Drew Hildebrandt.
The two went scoreless in the first period with Suriano nearly scoring a takedown and Hildebrandt getting warned for stalling. Suriano scored the first point of the match after going down to start the second period and escaping in under 10 seconds.
Hildebrandt earned an escape of his own to begin the third period, but Suriano was able to secure the riding time point before the Nittany Lion got out from under him, earning the 2-1 decision victory for the Wolverines.
Penn State was able to turn to its own No. 1 ranked wrestler at 133 pounds in Roman Bravo-Young against No. 8 Dylan Ragusin. Bravo-Young, riding a 23-match win streak, took Ragusin down with less than a minute left in the first period and rode him out from there.
Bravo-Young went down at the beginning of the second period and escaped in under 50 seconds in scoring the only point of the period.
He opened the third period on top, earning four near-fall points with a tilt and riding long enough to earn a riding time point. Ragusin escaped with under 20 seconds left in the match to make it 7-1 and taking away the major decision, losing by decision, 8-1 with Bravo-Young’s riding time point.
The last of the three straight matches featuring a No. 1-ranked wrestler came next with Penn State’s Nick Lee at 141 pounds taking on Michigan’s Drew Mattin, who wrestled in place of No. 4 Stevan Micic, who was ruled out prior to the dual.
Lee earned a takedown just 30 seconds in before cutting Mattin loose to make it 2-1. Lee got Mattin back on the mat shortly thereafter, with Mattin escaping after the Nittany Lion already had gone over a minute in riding time. The senior from Penn State took the Wolverine one final time in the first period to make it 6-2.
Lee continued scoring to open the second period, reversing Mattin. Lee continued his takedown clinic, cutting his opponent before bringing him back down to the mat. Lee earned four more points with a near-fall tilt to make it 14-3.
Mattin was cut by Lee again to open the third period before he found himself under Lee again, down 16-4 with Lee having secured the riding time point. He cut Mattin two more times and took him down twice more, before earning a technical fall at 22-6 with a second stalling warning and his riding time point.
“I was really happy with Nick Lee,” Sanderson said. “The way he wrestled, the way he pursued; it was smart. He cut him when he needed to cut him, he worked to turn him when he needed to turn him.”
Cole Mattin, Drew’s younger brother, was up next for the Wolverines at 149 pounds, taking on No. 19 Beau Bartlett for Penn State. Bartlett shot in for a takedown and four near-fall points, but Mattin had his leg caught underneath him and was forced to take an injury default, giving Bartlett the victory and Penn State the 14-3 lead in the dual.
Michigan bounced back in the next bout, with No. 15 Will Lewan taking on Terrell Barraclough at 157 pounds. Lewan got on the board first by escaping in the second period, and earning a takedown in the waning moments of the period. Barraclough got out to start the third period to make it 3-1, but a second Lewan takedown late in the match made it 5-1, before another Barraclough escape gave the Wolverine a decision victory at 5-2, and making it 14-6 Penn State at the halfway point of the dual.
The action resumed with another ranked matchup between Penn State’s No. 16 Brady Berge and Michigan’s No. 10 Cameron Amine at 165 pounds.
Berge opened the match’s scoring with an ankle pick for a takedown to go up 2-0 with 52 seconds left in the first period. He rode Amine out in the first period to keep it 2-0 heading into the second period. He allowed Amine to escape just 4 seconds into the second period to make it 2-1 with neither getting on the board the rest of the period.
The Nittany Lion senior took the bottom to open the final period, escaping in 21 seconds to make his lead 3-1. Berge fended off Amine from there, earning the 3-1 decision win.
The third matchup between top-10 wrestlers came next with No. 1 Carter Starocci taking on Michigan’s No. 6 Logan Massa at 174 pounds.
Starocci took Massa down in the first period before giving up an escape to make it 2-1 after one. A Starocci escape to begin the second made it 3-1 heading into the final period. Massa got out from the bottom to make it 3-2, but Starocci staved off the Wolverine’s attempts to score, earning the decision win.
The headliner of the dual followed, with No. 1 Aaron Brooks taking on Michigan’s No. 2 Myles Amine at 184 pounds. The bout remained scoreless through the first period, with Amine taking the bottom to begin the second. He escaped 51 seconds into the period, with neither wrestler scoring from there, giving Amine a 1-0 lead with one period remaining.
Brooks got out in 25 seconds to knot the match up at one apiece. Amine got in deep on a single leg takedown attempt, but Brooks broke his grip and turned it into a takedown of his own, and a 3-1 victory to secure the dual win for Penn State.
“Myles Amine is tough,” Sanderson said. “One of the best guys in the world, he’s got an Olympic bronze medal. ... At one point (Brooks) was in trouble, but he kept adjusting his hips and just found a way to find himself on top again. That was really impressive.”
The clash continued at 197 pounds with No. 2 Max Dean and No. 8 Patrick Brucki of Michigan. Brucki scored first with a takedown in the first period, but Dean escaped to make it 2-1 after one.
Dean tied it up at 2-2 with an escape to open the second, but gave up another takedown shortly thereafter. He escaped again to make it 4-3, which is where the period ended. Dean opened the third period on top and rode Brucki out to secure a riding time point at 4-4 and force sudden victory.
The Nittany Lion was able to collect a takedown just 18 seconds into the two minute sudden victory period to earn the 6-4 win.
The final bout of the night featured two more top-five wrestlers at heavyweight in Penn State’s Greg Kerkvliet (No. 4) and Michigan’s Mason Parris (No. 2).
Kerkvliet scored first, earning a takedown early in the match and immediately cut Parris loose to make it 2-1. He secured a second takedown and again cut Parris to make it 4-2 before the Wolverine knotted it up at four with a takedown.
Parris took the bottom to start the second and escaped to take the 5-4 lead, his first of the match. Neither wrestler scored the rest of the period and went into the match’s last two minutes at the same score.
Kerkvliet escaped to open the third to tie it back up at five. The Nittany Lion took Parris down for the third time in the match with about a minute left to take a 7-5 lead. He continued riding Parris through the end of the match to secure the upset victory, 8-5 with the riding time point, to close out the dual.
“What a great match,” Sanderson said. “I had some concerns coming into that match from their bouts in the past. Was (Kerkvliet) gonna be able to get out from bottom? How was his conditioning going to hold up? ... It was a lot of great stuff in that match.”
No. 1 Penn State 29, No. 3 Michigan 6
Friday at Ann Arbor
125: No. 1 Nick Suriano, UM, dec. No. 7 Drew Hildebrandt, 2-1
133: No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young, PSU, dec. No. 8 Dylan Ragusin, 8-1
141: No. 1 Nick Lee, PSU, tech. fall, Drew Mattin, 21-6 (6:36)
149: No. 19 Beau Bartlett, PSU, inj. def., Cole Mattin
157: No. 15 Will Lewan, UM, dec., Terrell Barraclough, 5-1
165: No. 16 Brady Berge, PSU, dec., Cameron Amine, 3-1
174: No. 1 Carter Starocci, PSU, dec., No. 6 Logan Massa, 3-2
184: No. 1 Aaron Brooks, PSU, dec., No. 2 Myles Amine, 3-1
197: No. 2 Max Dean, PSU, dec., No. 8 Patrick Brucki, 6-4 (SV)
285: No. 4 Greg Kerkvliet, PSU, dec., No. 2 Mason Parris, 8-5
Takedowns: PSU 17, UM 5
Records: Penn State (12-0, 4-0 Big Ten), Michigan (5-1, 1-1 Big Ten)
Next match: Penn State at Michigan State, Sunday, 1 p.m.