Nittany Lion Wrestling Kicks Off Season to 3-0 Start

Nittany Lion Wrestling Kicks Off Season to 3-0 Start

Penn State's wrestling season fires off to an impressive 3-0 start, but not without a significant setback as Shayne Van Ness, a key contender at 149 pounds, is ruled out for the remainder of the season due to an undisclosed injury, as confirmed by head coach Cael Sanderson. Despite this, the team has displayed dominance, with standout performances from newcomers and seasoned wrestlers in the first three dual meets. As Van Ness steps aside, Tyler Kasak steps up to fill the void, showcasing promise and resilience.

In other Big Ten wrestling news, we saw one of our Big Ten rivals go down early in the season as the University of Pittsburgh shocked Ohio State 21-13. Also, No. 4 Iowa Hawkeyes took down No. 8 Iowa State Cyclones 18-14 in front of a sold-out crowd for the in-state rivals. 


PSU vs Lehigh – Rec Hall, December 3, 2023


In their first dual meet, Penn State's wrestling team dominated against Lehigh, securing a 30-10 victory in front of a packed Rec Hall. Despite early losses, they rallied with standout performances from newcomers and seasoned wrestlers alike. Key moments included Bartlett's commanding win, Mesenbrink's impressive technical fall, and Starocci's swift pin. The team showcased its prowess, winning seven out of ten matches and scoring bonus points through pins, tech falls, and majors, ending with a convincing 30-10 triumph.


No. 1 Penn State- 30,  No. 20 Lehigh- 10

125: Sheldon Seymour dec. PSU Gary Steen, 4-1

133: LU No. 5 Ryan Crookham dec. PSU No. 3 Aaron Nagao, 6-4

141: PSU No. 2 Beau Bartlett maj. dec. LU Carter Bailey, 14-6

149: PSU Tyler Kasak dec. LU Drew Munch LU, 7-6

157: PSU No. 1 Levi Haines dec. LU No. 24 Max Brignola LU, 12-6

165: PSU No. 16 Mitchell Mesenbrink tech. fall LU No. 32 Jake Logan, 17-2 (TF; 6:13)

174: PSU No. Carter Starocci pinned LU Thayne Lawrence, WBF (2:07)

184: PSU No. Bernie Truax PSU tech fall Jack Wilt LU, 19-4 (TF; 7:00)

197: LU No. 10 Michael Beard maj. dec. PSU Lucas Cochran, 20-6

285: PSU No. 1 Greg Kerkvliet maj. dec. LU No. 12 Nathan Taylor, 11-1


PSU vs Hofstra – Rec Hall, December 10, 2023


In their second dual meet against Hofstra, the team secured a resounding 43-10 victory in front of another packed Rec Hall. Notably, four freshmen made their dual meet debuts, adding excitement to the team's lineup.

The newcomers made a notable impact, with Braeden Davis starting strong at 125 with an 11-2 major decision, and David Evans impressing at 141 with a dominant 19-4 technical fall. Despite a setback for redshirt freshman Connor Pierce at 149, Levi Haines, a sophomore, swiftly pinned his opponent at 157, setting the tone for the team's halftime lead of 20-4.

The second half saw more freshman prowess as Mitchell Mesenbrink secured a quick fall at 165, followed by standout performances from senior Carter Starocci and graduate Bernie Truax, both achieving tech falls and a pin respectively. The veteran Aaron Brooks continued the trend with another pin at 197.

However, true freshman AJ Fricchione, making his debut at 285, faced a tough battle resulting in a fall for Hofstra. Despite this, the Nittany Lions concluded with a dominant victory, winning eight out of ten bouts and accumulating 19 bonus points through pins, tech falls, and a major decision. Their 30-6 takedown advantage highlighted their overall dominance in the dual meet.


No. 1 Penn State- 43, Hofstra- 10

125: PSU Braeden Davis maj. dec. HOF Dylan Acevedo-Switzer, 11-2

133: PSU No. 4 Aaron Nagao tech fall HOF Ryan Arbeit, 21-6 (TF; 4:20)

141: PSU David Evans tech fall HOF Alex Turley, 19-4 (TF; 6:13)

149: HOF Noah Tapia maj. dec. PSU Connor Pierce, 11-2

157: PSU No. 1 Levi Haines pinned HOF Dylan Zenion, WBF (1:02)

165: PSU No. 14 Mitchell Mesenbrink pinned HOF Matt Waddell, WBF (1:24)

174: PSU No. 1 Carter Starocci tech fall HOF Eric Shindel, 19-3 (TF; 5:38)

184: PSU No. 2 Bernie Truax pinned HOF Will Conlon, WBF (1:51)

197: PSU No. 1 Aaron Brooks pinned HOF Nikolas Miller, WBF (4:22)

285: HOF No. 21 Keaton Kluever pinned PSU AJ Fricchione, WBF (4:32)


PSU vs Oregon State – Corvallis, OR, January 5, 2023


In Penn State's third dual meet against Oregon State, the Nittany Lions roared to an impressive 36-3 victory on the road in front of a record-breaking crowd at Oregon State's Gill Coliseum.

The meet began with true freshman Braeden Davis setting the tone with a commanding win at 125 pounds, followed by standout performances from Aaron Nagao and senior Beau Bartlett. Notably, freshmen Tyler Kasak and sophomore Levi Haines contributed crucial victories, building a 16-0 lead at halftime for Penn State.

The second half continued the Lions' momentum as freshman Mitchell Mesenbrink kicked off with an outstanding technical fall, swiftly followed by senior Carter Starocci's resounding tech fall. Although graduate Bernie Truax faced a tough battle, senior Aaron Brooks and senior Greg Kerkvliet rallied with impressive tech falls, sealing the Lions' dominance.

The team cumulated nine bonus points through four tech falls and a major decision, elevating their season record to an undefeated 3-0, while Oregon State fell to 4-2.


No. 1 Penn State- 36,  No. 18 Oregon State- 3

125: PSU Braeden Davis dec. OSU No. 15 Brandon Kaylor, 11-6

133: PSU No. 4 Aaron Nagao maj. dec. OSU No. 26 Gabe Whisenhunt, 9-0

141: PSU No. 2 Beau Bartlett dec. OSU No. 25 Cleveland Belton, 8-5 (sv)

149: PSU Tyler Kasak dec. OSU No. 12 Nash Singleton, 4-1

157: PSU No. 1 Levi Haines dec. OSU Isaiah Crosby, 10-8

165: PSU No. 12 Mitchell Mesenbrink tech fall OSU No. 10 Matthew Olguin, 17-2 (TF; 3:44)

174: PSU No. 1 Carter Starocci tech fall OSU No. 7 Travis Wittlake, 19-3 (TF; 6:32)

184: OSU No. 6 Trey Munoz dec. PSU No. 2 Bernie Truax PSU, 5-2

197: PSU No. 1 Aaron Brooks tech fall OSU No. 30 Justin Rademacher, 19-4 (TF; 4:53)

285: PSU No. 1 Greg Kerkvliet tech fall OSU No. 12 Boone McDermott, 21-5 (TF; 5:17)

Penn State kicks off Big Ten action on Sunday, January 14th against Indiana in Rec Hall at 1 p.m. You can catch the match with a BTN+ subscription for streaming or listen on the Lion Vision broadcast.