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Lauren Muthler | Centre Daily Times | January 16, 2019

Here's how Penn State wrestlers fall in the rankings after their Big Ten opening weekend

Will a freshman dominate the mat in the 285 lb weight class this year?

After its first week of Big Ten action, Penn State wrestling remains the unanimous No. 1 in the NWCA team coaches poll, although some individuals did take hits in the InterMat rankings.

MORE: Penn State on top of NWCA poll again after two Big Ten wins

Returning All-American Nick Lee fell two spots in the rankings to No. 6 at 141 pounds, after his sudden-victory loss to Wisconsin's Tristan Moran, an Oklahoma State transfer who entered the rankings this week at No. 16. Lee was jumped in the rankings by Illinois' Mike Carr and Michigan's Kanen Storr, both of whom he's set to hit in dual action in February.

Carr, a two-time Pennsylvania state champ out of South Fayette High School, made the leap from No. 9 to No 4, after his 3-2 defeat of Storr — who remained No. 5 — on Saturday. Carr holds a 1-0 all-time record over Lee, beating the Nittany Lion 10-6 in the semifinals of last season's Big Ten tournament.

The damage was minimal for Penn State's Brady Berge, after he also dropped a tight decision to an unranked Wisconsin grappler Sunday. The redshirt freshman dropped just one spot at 149 pounds to No. 10, as his opponent, Cole Martin, entered the rankings at No. 19.

The top two at 149, Princeton's Matthew Kolodzik and Rutgers' Anthony Ashnualt, further cemented their hold on the top as they both recorded solid wins over Oklahoma State's No. 5 Kaden Gfeller and extended their undefeated records. The two will settle things when they meet on Feb. 3 at Rutgers.

One of the weight classes with the most movement this week was 133 pounds. Oklahoma State freshman Daton Fix topped Rutgers' Nick Suriano in a controversial, four-overtime match that was ultimately decided by a locked-hands call. With the loss, the former Nittany Lion stayed put at No. 3, while Fix jumped up two spots to No. 2.

Reigning 133-pound national champ Seth Gross, of South Dakota State, fell out of the rankings this week having not wrestled a match since the first week of the season, due to injury. With Gross' absence, Michigan's Stevan Micic took over the top spot. Penn State true freshman Roman Bravo-Young also moved up one spot, to No. 13, after a pair of wins last weekend.

MORE: Penn State wrestling looks almost unbeatable. Here are 3 teams that could unseat the champs

Having a lack of matches also claimed another No. 1 this week, as Iowa's Sam Stoll fell to No. 3 after having wrestled in only one dual this season and two bouts at Midlands before medically forfeiting. Minnesota's true freshman Gable Steveson took over at No. 1, and Oklahoma State's Derek White slid up to second. Penn State's Anthony Cassar holds steady at No. 4, after knocking off a pair of ranked wrestlers last weekend in No. 9 Trent Hillger and No. 19 Conan Jennings.

Penn State wrestlers still hold the top spots at 157, 165, 174 and 197 pounds, with, respectively, Jason Nolf, Vincenzo Joseph, Mark Hall and Bo Nickal.

Having just earned a major decision over No. 3 Ryan Deakin at Northwestern on Friday, Nolf will get another test when he faces No. 2 Tyler Berger on Sunday when Nebraska comes to Rec Hall. The Cornhusker is 15-1 on the season, with wins over Deakin, last year's runner-up Hayden Hidlay (North Carolina State), and Ohio State's Ke-Shawn Hayes.

MORE: College wrestling weight-by-weight power rankings

Penn State's No. 3-ranked Shakur Rasheed will also face his toughest test of the season on Sunday, when he's set to face No. 5 Taylor Venz at 184 pounds. Venz finished fourth last season at NCAAs and is 12-3 so far this season, his losses coming at the hands of No. 1 Myles Martin (Ohio State), No. 4 Nick Reenan (N.C. State), and No. 14 Chip Ness (North Carolina).

There was some shakeup this week in the National Wrestling coaches Association Division I team rankings, as injury-riddled Lehigh scored a big win over Cornell. The Big Red fell to 5-2 on the season, and slipped three spots to No. 10. With losses last weekend to Penn State and Rutgers, Wisconsin dropped out of the top 10 to No. 11.

Nebraska moved up two spots to No. 9 after knocking off No. 16 Iowa State over the weekend, setting up Penn State for its second consecutive dual against a top-10 squad.

One of the biggest movers this week in the team rankings was No. 14 Pittsburgh, which continues to impress as the Panthers move to 8-0 on the season after sweeping North Dakota State and South Dakota State over the weekend. With the loss, North Dakota State tumbles out of the top 25 and Stanford enters at No. 25.

No. 1 Penn State and No. 9 Nebraska are set to battle at 1 p.m. Sunday at Rec Hall.

MORE: Ryan Deakin wrestling with expectations of a national championship at Northwestern

This article is written by Lauren Muthler from Centre Daily Times and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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