GREENSBORO, N.C.; December 29, 2010 The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, under the guidance of head coach Cael Sanderson, is in second place after the first day of the 2010 Southern Scuffle in Greensboro, N.C. Penn State is just behind pre-tournament favorite Cornell heading into the second day of the event, hosted by North Carolina-Greensboro, which concludes tomorrow.
Penn State sent 15 wrestlers into action at the Scuffle with two at 125, one at 133, two at 141, two at 149, two at 157, two at 165, and one each at 174, 184, 197 and heavyweight. The Nittany Lions had an outstanding day with all but three wrestlers staying alive through nearly 12 hours of wrestling.
Senior Brad Pataky (Clearfield, Pa.) and No. 16 Frank Martellotti (Pittsburgh, Pa.) both wrestled at 125 for the Nittany Lions, with Pataky making his season debut. Pataky shook the rust off early picking up two impressive wins before dropping a last second 5-4 decision to No. 13 Frank Perrelli of Cornell in the third round. He bounced back in fine fashion, however, with 7-1 win in his first consolation bout and he moves into the consolation's fifth round with a 3-1 mark. Martellotti got a first round bye then dropped a touch decision into Penn's Mark Rappo in the second round. The loss to Rappo was Martellotti's first of the year and the true freshman bounced back to win three straight with two majors to stay alive and move into tomorrow's fifth round of wrestle-backs. He went 3-1 on the day.
Sophomore Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) was Penn State's lone entrant at 133. Pearsall was solid, winning his first two bouts before dropping a hard-fought 5-2 decision to Edinboro's Eric Morrill in the third round. He closed out the first day with a pin of Navy's Allen Stein to go 3-1 on the day and move into tomorrow's fifth round of consolations. New Nittany Lion Andrew Long (Creston, Iowa) was not able to wrestle at the event due to NWCA weight certification guidelines. He will make his Nittany Lion debut at the Virginia Duals.
True freshman Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), undefeated at 13-0 and ranked No. 9, and senior Adam Lynch (Mifflinburg, Pa.) both wrestled at 141 for Penn State. Both Lions were superb and combined to go 6-0 with each advancing to the quarterfinals. Alton was stunning, going 3-0 with three pins. His pins came at 6:24, 0:22 and 1:23 giving him a 16-0 record as a true freshman with 13 pins. His 13 pins have him tied for sixth on Penn State's all-time pins-in-a-season list. Lynch was equally impressive, rolling to three wins, including a first round pin of No. 14 Germaine Lindsey of Ohio.
Two-time All-American Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.), ranked No. 6 nationally, and teammate James English (York, Pa.) both wrestled at 149. Like 141, both of Penn State's entries at 149 were perfect on the day, combining for a 6-0 record with each advancing to the quarterfinals. Molinaro notched a major and a technical fall on his way to a 3-0 day and a date in tomorrow's quarterfinals. English matched Molinaro's record, picking up a pin and a major on his way to a 3-0 mark and a quarterfinal appearance.
Freshman David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), undefeated at 13-0 and ranked No. 3 nationally, and teammate James Vollrath (Richboro, Pa.) wrestled at 157. Taylor was dominating, picking up two technical falls and a pin on his way to a 3-0 mark. Taylor is 16-0 on the year with four pins, five tech falls and six majors heading into his quarterfinal date tomorrow morning. Vollrath dropped a tough first round decision and then roared back with four straight wins, including two majors, to stay alive and move into tomorrow's fifth round of wrestle-backs.
Freshman Jake Kemerer (Greensburg, Pa.) returned to action for Penn State after an illness earlier in December and sophomore Nick Fischer (Unionville, Pa.) both wrestled at 165. Kemerer was perfect on the day, going 3-0 with a major and two decisions to move into tomorrow's quarterfinals. Fischer won his first bout, then dropped his second bout. He then won two consolation bouts before bowing out of the tournament with a tough 4-3 loss to Navy's Mason Bailey. Fischer went 3-2 on the day for Penn State.
Freshman Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 10 nationally, was Penn State's entrant at 174. Ruth got a first round by and then pinned Army's Robert Doyle in the second round. He followed that up with an 11-3 dismantling (including 5:28 in riding time) of Michigan's Justin Zeerip to go 2-0 on the day and move into the quarterfinals.
With All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) still recovering from an injury, freshman Andrew Church (Erie, Pa.) got the call at 184 for the Nittany Lions. Church lost two tough decisions on day one and was eliminated in the consolations, going 0-2 on the day.
Freshman Nick Ruggear (Oxford, Pa.) took to the mat for Penn State at 197. He had a first round bye and the lost his second round match-up to North Carolina's Caylor Williams. Ruggear bounced back for a strong win in the third round of consolations before bowing out of the tournament in the next conso round. Ruggear went 1-2 on the day.
Junior Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio), ranked No. 6 nationally, was Penn State's entrant at heavyweight. Wade dominated his first three opponents, getting two pins and a decision to go 3-0 and move into tomorrow morning's quarterfinals.
Penn State is second in the team race with 50.5 points (using only one scorer per weight). Pre-tourney favorite Cornell is in first with 54.0 while Michigan is in third with 49.5. Oregon State follows with 48.5 with Kent State and Minnesota tied for fifth with 43.5 each. The Nittany Lions went 40-10 overall with 10 pins.