Penn State Wrestling: Nittany Lions pummel Wolverines 30-8 in the BJC

STATE COLLEGE, PENNSYLVANIA - FEBRUARY 04: The crowd reacts as Aaron Brooks of the Penn State Nittany Lions gets a pin during the second period of a 184-pound bout against Rocky Jordan of the Ohio State Buckeyes at Bryce Jordan Center on February 04, 2022 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images)
STATE COLLEGE, PENNSYLVANIA - FEBRUARY 04: The crowd reacts as Aaron Brooks of the Penn State Nittany Lions gets a pin during the second period of a 184-pound bout against Rocky Jordan of the Ohio State Buckeyes at Bryce Jordan Center on February 04, 2022 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images) /

No. 1 Penn State Wrestling topples Michigan 30-8 in a sold out Bryce Jordan Center

The Penn State Wrestling Nittany Lions hosted the Wolverines Friday night for the first of two duals this season in the Bryce Jordan Center. The last time these two wrestling titans locked horns, Penn State demolished Michigan to the tune of 29-6 in front of a sold out and Maized-out crowd at the Crisler Center.

How would things shake out this year?

Well the venue was different, the crowd was different, and the year was different, but the result was pretty much the exact same from the previous year. Penn State completely embarrassed Michigan to the tune of 30-8

Now onto the action!

The dual started out at 125 where Gary Steen and Jack Medley kicked off the action in front of a jam packed BJC.

Steen has wrestled hard for the entire season but I’m not really sure what to say after his performance tonight. At no point was he even remotely in the match and Medley did everything he wanted to do.

Steen ultimately lost the technical fall 19-3 and Michigan jumped out to the early 5-0 lead.

RBY then hit the mat at 133 and while it wasn’t the most exciting performance, it was nonetheless a fairly one-sided win.

Bravo-Young snagged a takedown midway through the second period and he rode Medley out for the rest of that period and for the entire third period to rack up over three minutes of riding time and win the 4-2 decision.

The Nittany Lions were on the board but trailing 5-3.

The second straight ranked matchup of the evening took place in the next match at 141 where Beau Bartlett took on Cole Mattin.

Bartlett countered a Mattin shot in the first period to get on the board first. Then 40 seconds into the second period with Beau on bottom position, a scramble ensued and Bartlett was able to explode through a roll-through and get the reversal.

Bartlett added a third takedown in the final period and he cruised to a 7-2 decision. The Nittany Lions grabbed their first lead of the night 6-5.

Michigan’s No. 21 ranked Chance Lamer couldn’t go at 149 so Shayne Van Ness went to work on Fidel Mayora instead.

The first two periods were relatively pedestrian but Van Ness opened things up in the final period by repeatedly taking Mayora to the mat. Shayne won the 14-4 major decision and Penn State opened up their lead 10-5.

Levi Haines ran to the Resilite for the next match at 157 and in the process, burned his redshirt as this was his fifth match of the year. So I guess he’s the guy at 157 for the rest of the year?

In either case, his matchup against No. 10 Will Lewan represented his toughest opponent of the season.

Following a scoreless first period, Haines chose bottom in the second and earned the quick escape to lead 1-0.

It was then Lewan’s turn to pull the escape in the third period and the scored was tied 1-1. The final seconds of the third period ticked away with neither grappler able to land a decisive takedown. So it was time for sudden victory.

The first 60 seconds of SV was action packed and it looked like Lewan was going to win it as he was in deep on Haines on several occasions. But Levi fought tough and snagged a single leg and drove through to earn the takedown and win the match with 40 seconds left.

Barbeque sauce

Going into the intermission Penn State led Michigan 13-5.

Alex Facundo and Cameron Amine were next up at 165 and this represented the fourth ranked matchup of the evening.

For Facundo, this was his first ever Big Ten dual meet appearance as he had the night off in Penn State’s win against Wisconsin.

Alex struck first in the opening period with a beautiful takedown, however he was unable to ride Amine out for the rest of the time.

Facundo was on top to start the second period and Amine again pulled the quick escape. The scored was tied 2-2 as both guys were looking to get to their offense.

But no openings were presented and Facundo took bottom position in the third with the score still knotted at 2-2.

Alex pulled free of Amine’s grasp early in the final period and he held the narrow advantage 3-2. Both wrestlers took turns taking shots and Amine had Facundo in trouble with less than 30 seconds left. It looked like he may have cinched the takedown but then a scramble ensued and Facundo landed a takedown of his own.

But the Michigan corner threw the challenge brick and after a brief review, the officials confirmed the call that Amine did get the takedown so he led the match 4-3.

So with 17 seconds remaining in the third period, Facundo needed to cut loose from bottom position to force a second straight sudden victory. Which is exactly what he did!

Tied 4-4, it was onto another SV.

The two minute sudden victory was full of action but no grappler could end the match. Next it was onto TB.

Alex was on bottom and he wriggle free of Amine’s grip with 21 seconds remaining in the first TB. Time ticked away and it was Facundo’s turn.

He then rode Amine for 21 seconds and his riding time advantage sealed the TB decision win 6-5.


The Nittany Lions further added to their lead 16-5.

Carter Starocci was up at 174 and he continued to pump up the BJC crowd with two spectacular takedowns in the first period.

Then in the second period, Starocci continued to put pressure on Maylor as he locked up his near leg and arm to get four near fall points from the top position. Maylor tried to scramble away but this put him in an even worse position where Carter pounced.

Starocci forced Maylor’s back to the mat and the official awarded the fall 4:15 into the match. Penn State poured on the points and were now up 22-5.

In the eighth match of the night, and the sixth ranked matchup, Aaron Brooks was set to do battle against Matt Finesilver.

Brooks got to his offense early and often against Finesilver with two first period takedowns and going into the second period he was up 4-1.

Aaron kept his pedal to the floor in the second with an early escape and a quick takedown to extend his lead to 7-1. Riding time wasn’t much of a factor for Aaron as he cut his Wolverine counterpart lose and then promptly took him back to the mat.

It was 9-2 going into the final period and Brooks again cut Finesilver loose and he again took him right back to the mat. Aaron almost locked in a cradle but Matt fought out and both grapplers were squared up and on their feet.

Brooks tacked on one more takedown and he ultimately cruised to the 14-4 major decision. The Nittany Lions kept pouring it on with the 26-5 lead.

In the penultimate match of the night, Max Dean breezed his way to the win in a 10-1 major decision. Penn State then led 30-6.

The final match of the night was perhaps the most anticipated with Greg Kerkvliet taking on Mason Parris. The No. 1 versus No. 2 matchup could have some fireworks that would blow the BJC roof right off.

The first period was basically each grappler feeling the other one out for three minutes. Both guys took some token shots however nothing landed. The match went to the second period tied at 0-0.

Kerkvliet took top position to start the second and Parris was able to squirm free 40 seconds into the period. Greg got in deep with a single leg put Mason fought it off and the match headed to the third period with Parris up 1-0.

Kerkvliet easily spun out for the escape to tie the score at 1-1 only seconds into the final period.

With a minute remaining in the match Parris was the first to land a takedown and he took control of the match. He rode Kerkvliet out and won the decision 3-1.

No big deal. It’s only January.

Next up for the Nittany Lions is a home meet this Sunday (1/22) at 1pm in Rec Hall against Michigan State.

No. 4 Michigan 8 No. 1 Penn State 30

125  No. 23 Jack Medley (MICH) tech fall over Gary Steen (PSU) 19-3, MICH 5 PSU 0
133 No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young (PSU) dec. over No. 12 Dylan Ragusin (MICH) 4-2, MICH 5 PSU 3
141 No. 4 Beau Bartlett (PSU) dec. over No. 23 Cole Mattin (MICH) 7-2, MICH 5 PSU 6
149 No. 14 Shayne Van Ness (PSU) major dec. over Fidel Mayora (MICH) 14-4, MICH 5 PSU 10
157 No. 17 Levi Haines (PSU) dec. over No. 10 Will Lewan (MICH) 3-1 SV, MICH 5 PSU 13
165 No. 16 Alex Facundo (PSU) dec. over No. 5 Cameron Amine (MICH) 6-5 TB, MICH 5 PSU 16
174 No. 1 Carter Starocci (PSU) fall over No. 30 Max Maylor (MICH) 4:15, MICH 5 PSU 22
184 No. 1 Aaron Brooks (PSU) major dec. over No. 9 Matt Finesilver (MICH) 14-4, MICH 5 PSU 26
197 No. 4 Max Dean (PSU) major dec. over Brendin Yatooma (MICH) 10-1, MICH 5 PSU 30
285 No. 2 Mason Parris (MICH) dec. over No. 1 Greg Kerkvliet (PSU) 3-1, MICH 8 PSU 30