Penn St. claims Virginia Duals title
Taylor named most outstanding wrestler for performance
Penn State Athletics
HAMPTON, Va. – Penn State, ranked No. 2 nationally, dominated No. 15 Michigan 24-12 in the championship final of the Virginia Duals. The victory gave the Nittany Lions the Virginia Duals title for the first time since 1991 and keeps head coach Cael Sanderson’s squad undefeated on the year.
Senior Brad Pataky completed an undefeated weekend with a strong 8-2 win over Michigan’s Sean Boyle at 125 pounds, giving Penn State an early 3-0 lead. All-American Andrew Long posted a major decision against No. 18 Zac Stevens 12-3 at 133 to give the Lions a 7-0 lead after two bouts.
In the dual’s premier match-up, top-ranked Kellen Russell of Michigan notched another one-point win over Penn State’s seventh-ranked Andrew Alton 2-1 at 141. No. 7 Frank Molinaro then dominated Michigan's Eric Grajales 6-2 at 149, including collecting 2:50 in riding time before freshman David Taylor, ranked No. 3 at 157 pounds, put on a clinic on his way to a 19-4 technical fall over Aaron Hynes.
With Penn State ahead 15-3, Michigan’s Dan Yates posted a tough 8-2 win over Nittany Lion freshman James Vollrath but that win was answered by Nittany Lion Ed Ruth. Ranked No. 2 at 174, Ruth pinned Michigan’s Jonathan Beck at the 1:06 mark to put Penn State on top 21-6.
Michigan’s Hunter Collins then posted a 9-4 win over Lion sophomore Nick Fischer at 184. Fischer had moved up a couple weight to take on the Wolverine. No. 15 Anthony Biondo of Michigan downed Penn State’s Justin Ortega 9-4 at 197, cutting Penn State’s lead to 21-11 before Nittany Lion junior Cameron Wade, ranked No. 7 at heavyweight, beat ninth-ranked Ben Apland 3-0 in the final bout to give the Lions the 24-12 final margin.
Penn State moves to 11-0 on the year, it’s best since going 12-0 in 1971-72 (no losses or ties).
Taylor was named the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler for his performance at 157 as well. Penn State won the takedown battle 19-8 and notched a 6-0 edge in bonus points.
The Nittany Lions now own a 25-24 edge in the all-time series with the Wolverines. The two teams will meet again in Ann Arbor on Feb. 6 in the conference dual.
No. 2 Penn State 24, No. 15 Michigan 12
Hampton Coliseum – Hampton, Va.
125: Brad Pataky PSU dec. Sean Boyle UM, 8-2
133: No. 6 Andrew Long PSU maj. dec. No. 18 Zac Stevens UM, 12-3
141: No. 1 Kellen Russell UM dec. No. 7 Andrew Alton PSU, 2-1
149: No. 7 Frank Molinaro PSU dec. Eric Grajales UM, 6-2
157: No. 3 David Taylor PSU tech fall Aaron Hynes UM, 19-4 (TF; 4:53)
165: Dan Yates UM dec. James Vollrath PSU, 8-2
174: No. 2 Ed Ruth PSU pinned Jonathan Beck UM, WBF (1:06)
184: Hunter Collins UM dec. Nick Fischer PSU, 9-4
197: No. 15 Anthony Biondo UM dec. Justin Ortega PSU, 9-4
285: No. 7 Cameron Wade PSU dec. No. 8 Ben Apland UM, 3-0