Quarterfinal Matches – Championship Bracket
No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young (PSU) vs. No. 25 Brian Courtney (UVA)
Result: Roman Bravo-Young dec over Brian Courtney 13-6
RBY got on the board early as he scooped both of Courtney’s knees and drove him to the match. Roman then went to work on the top position trying to grind his opponent into the Resilite.
The second period started with Bravo-Young on the bottom position and he was able to quickly spin out of Courtney’s grasp and snag the reversal for a 4-1 lead. RBY then gave up the escape and promptly took Courtney to the mat once again.
The third period picked up exactly where the second period ended. It was grab a single leg, takedown, give up the escape, grab a single leg, takedown, and rinse and repeat.
Next up in the semifinals for Roman Bravo-Young will be No. 5 Austin DeSanto (IOWA).
No. 1 Nick Lee (PSU) vs. No. 8 Grant Willits (ORST)
Result: Nick Lee fall over Grant Willits 3:45
Midway through the first period, Lee was finally able to land a shot and take Willits to the mat. Nick then put on a hard ride to finish out the remainder of the period and it was 2-0 going into the second.
Lee started on the bottom position in the second period and after pulling out of Grant’s hands for the escape, Nick went back to work on his offense.
Following a shot at the top left of the mat, it appeared Lee was in a great position to land another takedown. However, Willits was able to grab Nick’s knee and a brief scramble ensued.
What followed is hard to describe but Lee somehow used his leverage to maneuver Willits to his back and forced him down on the mat. The referee slapped the mat and Nick Lee had the pin!
This win makes Nick Lee the first Penn State Nittany Lion wrestler to ever be a 5-time All-American.
Next up for Nick Lee is No. 4 Real Woods (STAN) in the semifinals.
No. 1 Carter Starocci (PSU) vs. No. 9 Mikey Labriola (NEB
Result: Carter Starocci dec over Mikey Labriola 6-1
The match was knotted at 0-0 heading into the second period with Starocci in the bottom position.
Carter pulled himself from Labriola’s clutches to earn the escape and then swiftly took his foe to the mat to open up a 3-0 lead. Starocci then grinded out Labriola as the final seconds of the second period ticked away.
Carter started the third on top and Mikey snuck out to make the score 3-1 midway through the period. Both wrestlers took turns attempting shots and looking for a huge takedown.
However, it was Starocci who landed the decisive blow and push his lead to 5-1. Carter finished the third period by padding his riding time and capped the win 6-1.
Next up for Starocci is a semifinals matchup against No. 4 Hayden Hidlay (NCST).
No. 2 Aaron Brooks (PSU) vs. No. 7 Kaleb Romero (OSU)
Result: Aaron Brooks maj dec over Kaleb Romero 13-2
Man is Aaron Brooks simply amazing to watch.
I’m not sure what else can be said but Brooks wrestled almost a perfect match against Romero. It was the proverbial clinic in wrestling technique, explosiveness, and finishing ability.
Next up for Brooks is a rematch from last year’s finals in No. 3 Trent Hidlay (NCST).
No. 1 Max Dean (PSU) vs. No. 8 Lou Deprez (BING)
Result: Max Dean dec over Lou Deprez 4-3
Dean was in trouble early as Deprez got a takedown in the first period. Max earned an escape point but Lou was able to add to his riding time and the first period ended with Dean down 2-1.
Max started the second period in the bottom position and once again Deprez proved tough on top. After extending his riding time to over a minute, Lou let Dean out and the two went toe to toe.
The second period ended and Deprez elected to start the third at neutral. Midway through the third period, it appeared Dean earned a takedown at the bottom portion of the mat, however, the referee did not award it.
The Penn State coaching staff threw the challenge brick and after a lengthy review, the officials awarded the takedown.
With Dean on top following the restart, he rode his opponent until the final 15 seconds of the period. Max let Deprez up and the third period came to an end.
Next up for Dean is a semifinal match against No. 21 Gavin Hoffman (OSU).
No. 4 Greg Kerkvliet (PSU) vs. No. 12 Christian Lance (NEB)
Result: Greg Kerkvliet dec over Christian Lance 7-1
Kerk and Lance danced around the mat for most of the first period looking for their shots. However, it was Kerkvliet who was the first wrestler to pounce and finish.
He then rode Lance out for the rest of the first period.
Kerk was up 2-0 heading into the second period and the two grapplers started at neutral. And Greg again was able to finish a shot towards the bottom right of the mat to extend his lead to 4-0.
Now in the top position, Kerkvliet was looking to do more damage and possibly turn his opponent for some back points or more.
However, nothing materialized and the match went into the third period with Kerkvliet up 4-0.
If Lance wasn’t already tired enough, he started the third period in the bottom position with the massive Kerkvliet on top once again. Greg let Christian up for the free escape late in the third and after locking horns, Kerk slipped through and snagged another takedown to essentially finish the match.
Next up for Kerkvliet is a semifinal match against No. 1 Gable Steveson (MINN).