BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Fifth-ranked Penn State dominated No. 10 Lehigh in the 100th dual meet between the two schools and rolled to a 24-12 win in LU’s Stabler Arena. The Nittany Lions won six of 10 bouts, bolted out to a big early lead and coasted to the victory to take a 63-34-3 lead in the all-time series.
Freshman Nico Megaludis, ranked No. 15 nationally at 125 pounds, put Penn State up 3-0 early with a resounding 4-0 win (with 2:44 in riding time) against Lehigh’s Mason Beckman. Lehigh countered with a 10-7 win for Chris Dinnien against Lion junior Derek Reber at 133 pounds. Junior Bryan Pearsall made his season debut in fine fashion with a dominating 12-2 major against LU’s Jimmy Carucci (with over 4:00 in riding time) at 133 pounds.
Three-time All-American Frank Molinaro, ranked No. 1 at 149 pounds, then dominated Lehigh’s Anthony Salupo to the tune of a 14-3 major with 3:53 in riding time. Redshirt-freshman Dylan Alton , ranked No. 10 at 157 pounds, majored Sean Bilodeau 10-1 to give Penn State a 15-3 lead at the break.
In marquee match-up at 165 pounds, Penn State All-American David Taylor, ranked No. 1, downed No. 9 Brandon Hatchett 8-5 with 1:09 in riding time. All-American Ed Ruth, ranked No. 2 at 174 pounds, then built up a 12-1 lead against LU’s Nathaniel Brown after two periods before Brown injury defaulted, giving Ruth the six team points and clinching the dual meet victory for Penn State (24-3).
In a rematch of last year’s national championship bout at 184 pounds, Nittany Lion Quentin Wright, the defending national champion, dropped a tough 8-3 decision to top-ranked Robert Hamlin, whom he defeated in the finals last year. At 197 pounds, 10th-ranked Lion freshman Morgan McIntosh was held out of action after being a bit banged up from the Nittany Lion Open last Sunday. Junior Justin Ortega stepped in and nearly upset No. 7 Joe Kennedy of Lehigh before dropping a hard-fought 2-0 decision. Nittany Lion senior Cameron Wade, ranked No. 8 at heavyweight, then lost a hard-fought 3-2 decision to defending national champion Zach Rey.
Penn State moves to 2-1 on the year while Lehigh falls to 5-3. Penn State dominated the dual statistically as well, winning the takedown battle 16-7 and picking up riding time points in six matches (while Ruth had over 3:00 in his injury default win). Penn State picked up six bonus points to none for LU as well.