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

Streaking South Dakota State moves to No. 12, highest Division I ranking in school history

Manheim, Pennsylvania — A pair of notable performances this past week helped South Dakota State extend its winning streak to nine and move to No. 12 in the most recent USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll released on Tuesday.

The Jackrabbits (9-2) beat No. 22 Wyoming 20-18 and then-No. 11 Northern Iowa 22-16 to climb three spots to No. 12, reaching the program’s highest Division I ranking in school history. Part of the energy surrounding the Jackrabbits’ program this week was due to top-ranked 133-pounder Seth Gross bumping up to face top-ranked 141-pounder Bryce Meredith of Wyoming in a Thursday night dual in Brookings. Meredith would win the battle of NCAA finalists 4-2, but the hype around the matchup had fans talking across the country.

Despite the individual loss, South Dakota State registered one of its biggest wins in program history with the win over new Big 12 rival Northern Iowa. Falls by Connor Brown at 125 and Gross at 133 set the tone in the Jackrabbits’ Sunday win. Continue reading

Iowa vaults to No. 4 in USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll after home win over rival Oklahoma State

Manheim, Pennsylvania — The weekend’s marquee wrestling dual had the biggest impact on the most recent USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll released on Tuesday. Iowa (9-0) beat then-No. 3 Oklahoma State 20-12 in front of 13,485 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Hawkeyes jumped three spots, while Oklahoma State (6-1) slid two spots to No. 5. Spencer Lee’s win at 125 pounds over All-American Nick Piccininni and Sam Stoll’s overtime win over Derek White at 285 were key wins for the unbeaten Hawkeyes. Unbeaten Missouri moved up one spot to No. 3. The Tigers beat a pair of MAC rivals, Buffalo and Eastern Michigan, to improve to 14-0, tops in Division I.

Penn State (7-0) remained atop the poll, gathering 11 of 16 possible first-place votes. The Nittany Lions triumphed over two Big Ten schools over the weekend, topping No. 8 Michigan 25-12 in Ann Arbor before trouncing Michigan State 48-3. Penn State also inserted true freshman Nick Lee into the lineup at 141 pounds. Lee was the runner-up at the Southern Scuffle two weeks ago. Continue reading

Wyoming, Northwestern move into USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll

Manheim, Pennsylvania —  Two new teams entered the USA Today/NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll released on Tuesday. Wyoming (5-2) and Northwestern (6-1) entered the poll for the first time this season.

The Cowboys are fresh off a 4-0 weekend which saw them head to North Carolina and pick up wins over American, Army West Point, Duke, and then-No. 19 North Carolina. Northwestern slid up to No. 25 despite losing by a point to No. 12 Illinois. Losses by previously ranked Oklahoma and North Dakota State aided the Wildcats move up.

The top 17 positions remained unchanged although there were a number of head-to-head duals between ranked teams with the biggest held on international soil. Third-ranked Oklahoma State (6-0) split five matches with fifth-ranked NC State (10-1) but it was bonus victories by heavyweight Derek White and All-American Kaid Brock at 133 that was the difference in the 19-16 Cowboys win in Naples, Italy. The Tussle for the Troops was the first NCAA dual meet held outside of North America. Continue reading

South Beach Duals shake things up in first USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll of 2018

Manheim, Pennsylvania —  A number of ranked teams collided over the holiday break at the South Beach Duals in Deerfield Beach, Florida, and the results caused a bit of a shakeup in the USA Today/NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll released on Wednesday.

The top seven teams remained the same, but fourth-ranked Missouri improved to 12-0 with four wins, including three over ranked teams. The Tigers beat No. 12 Cornell 27-11, No. 22 Rider 31-8 and No. 24 North Carolina 24-9. The biggest Tiger win of the weekend came at 141 pounds where Jaydin Eierman defeated Yianni Diakomihalis of Cornell with some third-period heroics. Diakomihalis was ranked anywhere from first to third in the various media rankings. Continue reading

North Carolina re-enters Top 25; Penn State, Ohio State still ranked 1-2 heading into Holiday tournaments

Manheim, Pennsylvania — The nation’s top five teams have combined to go 34-0 in the first month and a half of the college wrestling season as the final USA Today/NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll was released on Wednesday for the 2017 calendar year.

Penn State (5-0) remains No. 1, while Ohio State (6-0), Oklahoma State (5-0) and Missouri (8-0) maintained their positions over the past week. NC State (10-0) moved up to No. 5, jumping one spot over Lehigh (6-1). The rest of the top ten was unchanged as the Big Ten took three of the four spots at 7-10 with Iowa, Minnesota, and Michigan staying put as did No. 10 Virginia Tech from the ACC.

Penn State beat Indiana 44-3 to open up its Big Ten schedule, while Ohio State dropped one individual bout in two neutral-site victories. The Buckeyes shut out Princeton prior to the Beast of the East in Newark, Delaware on Friday and then beat Chattanooga 39-3 at The Cooler in suburban Atlanta. Continue reading

Navy breaks into Top 25, few shifts in USA Today/NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll

Manheim, Pennsylvania — Exams are in full swing as the first semester comes to an end at college campuses across the nation, which means it was another short week of competition in Division I wrestling as there were only a few changes in the USA Today’s NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll released on Tuesday.

The United States Naval Academy (3-0) made its first appearance in the Top 25 since the preseason poll in 2008-09. Coach Joel Sharratt’s Midshipmen picked up a sound 22-13 victory over up-and-coming Drexel. Overall, its the 123rd time in program history Navy’s been ranked in the Coaches Poll. Continue reading