Handful of duals lead to minimal changes in Theraworx NWCA Division I Coaches Poll

Manheim, Pennsylvania – With only five Division I duals taking place over the Thanksgiving holiday, there were only slight changes in the Theraworx NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll released on Tuesday.

Penn State was a unanimous No. 1 for the fourth straight week. The only shifts in the rankings came as No. 14 North Carolina (3-0) moved up a spot, swapping positions from last week with No. 15 Purdue (2-1) and Lock Haven and Wyoming switched positions, with the Bald Eagles moving up to No. 20 from No. 21.

No. 3 Iowa (4-0) rested half of the team’s expected starters in its 26-9 Big Ten win over visiting Purdue. Fourth-ranked Oklahoma State improved to 3-0 after beating then-No. 20 Wyoming 27-6 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Continue reading

Pittsburgh moves into Top 25; Missouri extends dual meet win streak with win over Virginia Tech

Manheim, Pennsylvania – A couple of falls by Micky Phillippi and Taleb Rahmani and a win at heavyweight by transfer Demetrius Thomas were crucial on Saturday as unranked Pittsburgh upended then-No. 14 Northern Iowa at home in a battle of Panthers. The victory was noticeable enough as second-year head coach Keith Gavin’s squad improved to 2-0 and moved into the Theraworx NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll at No. 24 this week.

With 30 dual meets involving Division I teams over the past week, there was enough action to see the rankings jumbled, but the top five teams remained steady. No. 2 Ohio State (3-0) headed west and topped transitional Division I member Cal Baptist 42-0 before getting past then-No. 11 Arizona State in Tempe 22-18. The Buckeyes accomplished the feat without All-Americans Myles Martin and Kollin Moore, who were both representing Team USA in Bucharest, Romania at the U23 World Championships. Moore will come back to Columbus with a silver medal. Continue reading

Utah Valley’s upset over Rutgers moves Wolverines into NWCA Top 25

Manheim, Pennsylvania – For just the second time in school history, Utah Valley University finds itself ranked in the Top 25 as the NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll was released on Tuesday.

The Wolverines (2-1) weren’t flawless this past weekend at the Journeymen MyHouse Northeast Duals in Troy, New York, but they were good enough to beat then-No. 15 Rutgers 24-14. The only other time Utah Valley was ranked in the Top 25 in school history came last season when they appeared at No. 25 on February 8. Utah Valley enters this week at No. 21, the highest in the program’s 15-year history. Continue reading

North Dakota State moves into Top 25 after weekend win over Northwestern

Manheim, Pa. – North Dakota State was the lone new entry into the NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll this week after the Bison upset visiting Northwestern 26-17 in Fargo, North Dakota on Sunday.

The win makes North Dakota State (1-0) the fifth Big 12 team to appear in this week’s poll, which was released on Tuesday by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. With only limited dual meets in Division I’s opening weekend, there was little movement otherwise.

No. 2 Ohio State (1-0) opened with a 28-9 win over Navy at McDonogh School Owings Mills, Maryland, the alma mater of Ohio State 184-pounder Myles Martin. No. 7 Missouri (1-0) topped No. 15 Illinois (0-1) 30-8 in an outdoor dual prior to Illinois’ home football game dubbed “Grapple at the Grove.” The win was Missouri’s 21st consecutive dual win, dating back to February 15, 2017. The Tigers went 19-0 during the 2017-18 season. Continue reading

Penn State opens season unanimous No. 1 in NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll

Manheim, Pa. – Penn State received all 16 first-place votes in the NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll to start the 2018-19 season at No. 1, the NWCA announced Wednesday. In addition to the Nittany Lions, the Big Ten Conference has four of the top-five teams in No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Iowa and No. 5 Michigan.

Penn State is coming off its seventh NCAA championship in the last eight years, while also wrapping up its third straight undefeated campaign. PSU head coach Cael Sanderson’s squad returns past NCAA Division I champions Jason Nolf, Vincenzo Joseph, Mark Hall, and Bo Nickal. Entering his 10th year as head coach in Happy Valley, Sanderson is aiming to extend the Nittany Lions’ school-record 45-dual winning streak when they open the season against Kent State at home on November 11.

Overall, the 11 of the Big Ten’s 14 schools are in the top 25 to start the season. Among the top-five squads, Ohio State returns a host of All-Americans including past NCAA champion Myles Martin. Bolstered by returning NCAA and Big Ten 125-pound champion Spencer Lee, Iowa is expected to contend for Big Ten and NCAA team championships. The Hawkeyes also will put a formidable dual team on the mat. Continue reading