Standing Room Only

Standing Room Only

Cael Sanderson continues to thank students and fans as Rec Hall sells out for each and every match. This past Friday versus Illinois (No. 11) was no different. The scene was set with a spotlight on the mats to catch every drop of sweat and squirmy escape. The 31-3 conference win puts Penn State’s spotless record at 11-0 and 5-0 in the Big Ten.

Before the dual began, Coach Sanderson took the time to have a meet and greet with the student section. Sanderson covered a few topics concerning his career as a wrestler and coach, the importance of the Megaludis match, the recruitment process for Penn State, and overall atmosphere and attitude of Penn State. Students got an inside look at some of the team’s philosophy and also learned a lesson or two about attitude from Sanderson’s point of view. He concluded with a request for the student section to make a bit more noise for the boys, they deserve it.

A few switches in the line up, and Penn State took nine out of ten bouts. Vollrath took a week off in the 157-weight class as Dylan Alton took his place. While Jimmy Lawson is out with a sprained left knee, Jon Gingrich took a turn in the heavyweight class.

125 lbs.: PSU Nico Megaludis wins over ILL Jesse Delgado

133 lbs.: ILL Zane Richards wins over PSU Jimmy Gulibon

141 lbs.: PSU Zain Retherford wins by maj. dec. over ILL John Fahynico megaludis

149 lbs.: PSU Zack Beitz wins over ILL Caleb Irvin

157 lbs.: PSU Dylan Alton wins over ILL Zac Brunson

165 lbs.: PSU David Taylor wins by maj. dec. over ILL Jackson Morse

174 lbs.: PSU Matt Brown wins by maj. dec. over ILL Tony Dallago

184 lbs.: PSU Ed Ruth wins by maj. dec. over ILL Nikko Reyes

197 lbs.: PSU Morgan McIntosh wins over ILL Jeff Koepke

285 lbs.: PSU Jon Gingrich wins over ILL Chris Lopez

*maj. dec.=major decision (win by 8-14 points)

Final: PSU (No.1)- 31, ILL (No.11)- 3

There is no question the most anticipated bout of the day was the 125 Megaludis vs. Delgado. The last time Megaludis saw Delgado; it was his heart wrenching loss for the NCAA title, needless to say he was looking for a little revenge. The two had the crowd on their feet as each precious second ticked by.

Sanderson made a point to say Megaludis needed patience in this match for a win, and Megaludis followed his advice. Lots of action but no points in the first period made the two hungry for a takedown in period two. Megaludis chose down and wasted no time with a quick reverse for two to start the second. Delgado then escaped to make it 2-1. Some scrambling and a reset led Megaludis to try for a low single. A little bit of struggle for control and Megaludis finished off the low single to up his score 4-1. Of course some controversy after the take down, and Delgado was awarded an escape after video review. The third began at 4-2. Delgado chose down and mimicked Megaludis’ reverse from period two for a quick two points (4-4). Megaludis escaped and led the bout 5-4 at :55. Everyone was on their feet as Megaludis gave his all to fight off Delgado’s last attempt at a takedown. A thrilling and well-earned win started the dual with a bang.

Up next is another Big Ten dual at Michigan State. The dual starts at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 31st. Coverage provided by the Big Ten Digital Network.