IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team (8-0, 4-0 B1G) rolled to a 26-11 win at No. 3 Iowa (7-2, 3-1 B1G) in the year's biggest Big Ten dual meet to date. Head coach Cael Sanderson's squad won seven of ten bouts to remain unbeaten on the year.
The Nittany Lions increased their dual match win streak to 25 straight dating back to the end of the 2014-15 season. Penn State sent seven underclassmen into the bout against the senior-laden Hawkeyes.
The dual began at 125 with one of the year's most anticipated match-ups. Nittany Lion true freshman Nick Suriano (Paramus, N.J.), ranked No. 3 at 125, met senior Thomas Gilman of Iowa, ranked No. 1. Gilman used a first period takedown and good defense against a late Suriano flurry to post a hard-fought 3-2 win. Sophomore George Carpenter (Chapel Hill, N.C.) dropped a 19-4 technical fall at the 7:00 mark to No. 3 Cory Clark at 133, giving the Hawkeyes an early 8-0 lead. Senior Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.), ranked No. 12 at 141, stunned No. 18 Topher Carton with a furious third period. The Lion senior fell behind early and then roared back with four third period takedowns to walk away with an 8-6 win.
Zain with a hard-fought 9-8 (TB 2) decision, Lions trail 8-6 #PSUwr— pennstateWREST (@pennstateWREST) January 21, 2017
Junior Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 149, met No. 3 Brandon Sorensen in a rematch of last year's national title bout (won by Retherford with a major). Sorensen pushed the defending NCAA champion to the limit, but Retherford's strong ride in a second tie-breaker allowed Retherford to stay unbeaten with 9-8 (TB 2) decision. Sophomore Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 157, closed out the first half with a dominating 9-4 win over No. 3 Michael Kemerer. Nolf posted four takedowns to none for the Hawkeye. The decision put Penn State up 9-9 heading into the halftime break.
Red-shirt freshman Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 4 at 165, opened up the second half with a tough 7-4 win over Iowa's Joey Gunther, thanks to a three takedown first period. At 174, true freshman Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.) made his Penn State dual meet debut against No. 13 Alex Meyer. The fifth-year Iowa senior and returning All-American used a late takedown to post a tough 7-5 win over Hall and cut Penn State's lead to 12-11.
"Bo's Bo. He's dangerous from any position." Coach Cael after Penn State's 26-11 win at Iowa! https://t.co/U0vFHxyYD0— pennstateWREST (@pennstateWREST) January 21, 2017
Sophomore Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), ranked No. 2 at 184, silenced the Hawkeye crowd by countering a shot and scramble by No. 5 Sammy Brooks and pinning the Hawkeye senior at the :38 mark. The fall put Penn State up 18-11 and stopped the Hawkeye momentum. Junior Matt McCutcheon (Apollo, Pa.), ranked No. 10 at 197, held on for an 8-7 (TB 2; RT) win over Cash Wilcke to put Penn State up 21-11 and clinch the dual meet. Sophomore Nick Nevills (Clovis, Calif.), ranked No. 5 at 285, closed out the victory with a dominating 21-6 technical fall over Steven Holloway, giving the Lions a 26-11 win.
Retherford has now won 48 straight matches dating back to the end of the 13-14 season. Retherford is now 13-0 with ten pins, a tech and a major. Nolf is 13-0 with seven pins, a major and four techs. Nickal is 12-0 with ten pins and a major this season. Nevills is 12-0 with four pins and three techs.
The Nittany Lions are now 8-0 on the year, 4-0 in the Big Ten, and have won 25 straight duals dating back to the end of the 2014-15 campaign. Iowa is 7-2, 3-1 B1G. Penn State has won in Iowa City in its last two trips to Carver-Hawkeye Arena.