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

Unbeaten Penn State finishes regular season No. 1 in USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll

Manheim, Pennsylvania — With Penn State’s 55-0 win over Buffalo on Sunday, the Nittany Lions capped off a perfect 14-0 dual meet record and finished the regular season where they began, atop the USA Today/NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll.

Penn State received all 16 first-place votes as the final poll of the season was released on Tuesday. Ohio State ended the season ranked second, finishing with a 14-1 mark, while Missouri, the nation’s only other unbeaten squad, was third after picking up a pair of weekend wins to finish 19-0. Nine of the top 10 teams saw action in the season’s final week of dual meet competition. Continue reading

Penn State sets indoor attendance record, remains No. 1; Drexel enters Top 25 for first time this season

Manheim, Pennsylvania — Penn State remained unbeaten and set a new Division I dual meet record for indoor attendance over the weekend, keeping the Nittany Lions No. 1 in the most recent USA Today/NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll released on Tuesday.

The Nittany Lions drew 15,998 at the Bryce Jordan Center in their 28-13 win over seventh-ranked Iowa on Saturday. Penn State held the previous record at 15,996 in a dual against Pittsburgh at the Bryce Jordan Center on December 8, 2013. The two largest crowds for dual meets were both held at football stadiums, with Iowa’s 42,287 setting the mark on November 14, 2015, against Oklahoma State. Iowa’s Alex Marinelli did notch a notable upset win, picking off returning national champion Vincenzo Joseph at 165 pounds. Continue reading

Penn State unanimous No. 1 after weekend win over No. 2 Ohio State; Utah Valley breaks into Top 25 for first time in school history

Manheim, Pennsylvania — Sold out Rec Hall was the place to be on Saturday night as No. 1 Penn State remained unbeaten with a 19-18 victory over No. 2 Ohio State. Even without the services of returning NCAA champion Jason Nolf at 157 pounds, the Nittany Lions pulled out the victory and earned a share of the Big Ten regular-season title. The win was sparked by the performance of Penn State 197-pounder Anthony Cassar, who upset top-ranked and previously unbeaten Kollin Moore.

The team victory solidified Penn State’s standing as the nation’s No. 1 team as they garnered all 16 first-place votes in the USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll released on Tuesday. The Nittany Lions improved to 12-0 and join third-ranked Missouri (13-0) as the nation’s last two unbeaten teams in Division I. Continue reading

Unbeaten Penn State, Ohio State remain 1-2 heading into this weekend’s massive Big Ten dual

Manheim, Pennsylvania — Two of the nation’s final three unbeaten Division I wrestling teams are set to meet this coming weekend as No. 1 Penn State will host No. 2 Ohio State at Rec Hall on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 8 p.m. Both Penn State and Ohio State won a pair of conference duals over the weekend to remain atop of the USA Today/NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll released on Tuesday.

Penn State (11-0) topped then-No. 14 Minnesota 35-8 on Friday at Rec Hall before topping then-No. 18 Rutgers 25-15 in what could be described as a fiesty dual in front of 8,319 fans at the Rutgers Athletic Center on Sunday. In the victory, returning 157-pound NCAA champion Jason Nolf of Penn State lost his first match of the year, falling by injury default to John Van Brill. The Nittany Lions won seven of the other nine bouts. Nolf is expected to miss the rest of Penn State’s regular season schedule due to the injury.

Ohio State (12-0) had little problem with victories over Michigan State 35-12 and No. 24 Purdue 35-7. The only other unbeaten team in the nation, Missouri, improved to 16-0 with a wild 21-19 victory over host Oklahoma State (9-2) on Saturday. Key victories from the Tigers were from 141-pounder Jaydin Eierman, who pinned two-time NCAA champion Dean Heil, and 197-pounder Willie Miklus, who upended fellow All-American Preston Weigel. Continue reading