Penn State Wrestling: Nittany Lions defeat the Badgers 28-11 to open up the Big Ten season

No. 1 Penn State Wrestling takes down Wisconsin 28-11 on the road in their first Big Ten dual meet of the season

Following the Nittany Lions’ win against Iowa State in the 2022 National Collegiate Duals, they were on the road in Madison to open up the Big Ten slate against a talented Badgers squad.

And Penn State wrestling pushed their dual meet winning streak to 36 straight matches as they bested Wisconsin 28-11.

Now onto the action!

The dual started out at 125 where Gary Steen had to take on the Big Ten runner-up from last season, Eric Barnett. And from the opening whistle things did not go well for Steen as Barnett was able to secure a takedown roughly 20 seconds into the match.

From there, it unfortunately got worse for the scrappy Nittany Lion grappler with Barnett riding out the remainder of the first period while racking up six near fall points. And the onsluaght continued as Barnett cruised to the 15-0 technical fall over Steen.

Wisconsin jumped out to a 5-0 lead following the first match of the night.

Next up at 133, Roman Bravo-Young settled the Badger crowd by dominating his opponent with a highlight-filled 14-5 major decision. Penn State then cut into Wisconsin’s lead 5-4 with eight matches to go.

The Badger’s No. 26 ranked Joe Zargo was a scratch in the match at 141 and Beau Bartlett went to battle with Wisconsin freshman Lettini.

And Bartlett had his way with Lettini as he cruised to a 12-3 major decision and Penn State wrestling had its first lead of the evening 8-5.

In one of the must-watch matches of the night, Austin Gomez and Shayne Van Ness locked horns in the fourth match at 149. Gomez was able to snag a takedown near the boundry line midway through the first period to strike first. He then rode Van Ness out for the remainder of the first period and held a 2-0 lead going into the second period.

Gomez pulled the quick escape in the second and proceeded to stall his way through the rest of the period to cling to a 3-0 lead going into the final time frame.

Both grapplers were gassed in the third period and action slowed considerably. Austin grabbed his second takedown of the match and Shayne countered with a reversal, but in the end Gomez won the decision 6-2. Wisconsin pulled even with Penn State 8-8 nearing the halfway mark of the dual.

Levi Haines got the call once again at 157 and he has he looked nothing short of impressive so far this year. Haines bullied his way to a 16-6 major decision over the ranked foe and Penn State led 12-8 going into the break.

At 165, Matt Lee took to the mat for Penn State and he got the action started by turning a single leg into a takedown against Hamiti. Dean eventually earned the escape and snagged a takedown of his own to lead the match 3-2 going into the second period.

In the end, Hamiti took control of the match and cruised to a 18-6 major decision over Lee. With four matches left on the night, the Badgers pulled even with the Nittany Lions 12-12.

Carter Starocci then went to work at 174 and he absolutely smothered his opponent on his way to a dominating 22-8 major decision. The takedown/escape rinse and repeat clinic gave the Nittany Lions a 16-12 lead with three matches left on the night.

Hitting the mat for the first time since losing to Iowa State’s Marcus Coleman in the National Collegiate Duals, Aaron Brooks looked to get back to his usual winning ways.

And going up against Tyler Dow was just what the doctor ordered for Brooks as he breezed to a 16-0 technical fall. But give Dow some credit, Brooks had him dead to rights several times in the match and it looked like a fall was immenent. But Tyler fought valiantly and Brooks was only able to earn near fall points each time he turned his foe’s back to the mat.

With two matches left on the night, Penn State  Wrestling opened up their lead to 21-12.

At 197, Max Dean continually prezteled Braxton Amos in positions that would make most people never want to wrestle a single match ever again. Dean earned the 11-2 major decision and Penn State pushed their lead to 25-11 following a mat control point deduction from Wisconsin.

Kerk Kong then went to work at 285 and his “completely destroy the soul of every opponent” tour of 2022-2023 still motored on. Trent Hillger is a fantastic wrestler but he was just no match for Kerkvliet as Greg cruised to a 6-2 decision victory.

Next up for Penn State wrestling is a home dual in the BJC against No. 4 Michigan on Friday, January 20th at 7pm.

No. 1 Penn State 28 No. 13 Wisconsin 11

125 No. 5 Eric Barnett (WIS) tech. fall over Gary Steen (PSU) 15-0, PSU 0 WIS 5
133 No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young (PSU) major dec. over No. 27 Taylor LaMont (WIS) 14-5, PSU 4 WIS 5
141 No. 4 Beau Bartlett (PSU) major dec. over Felix Lettini (WIS) 12-3, PSU 8 WIS 5
149 No. 2 Austin Gomez (WIS) dec. over No. 15 Shayne Van Ness (PSU) 6-2, PSU 8 WIS 8
157 Levi Haines (PSU) major dec. over No. 16 Garrett Model (WIS) 16-6, PSU 12 WIS 8
165 No. 5 Dean Hamiti (WIS) major dec. over Matt Lee (PSU) 18-6, PSU 12 WIS 12
174 No. 1 Carter Starocci (PSU) major dec. over Josh Otto (WIS) 22-8, PSU 16 WIS 12
184 No. 1 Aaron Brooks (PSU) tech. fall over Tyler Dow (WIS) 16-0, PSU 21 WIS 12
197 No. 4 Max Dean (PSU) major dec. over No. 14 Braxton Amos (WIS) 11-2, PSU 25 WIS 11
285 No. 1 Greg Kerkvliet (PSU) dec. over No. 11 Trent Hillger (WIS) 6-2, PSU 28 WIS 11