Penn State captures second straight NWCA National Duals Championship with win over Oklahoma State

By Pat Donghia, Penn State Sports Information

STILLWATER, Okla. – Penn State (14-0, 9-0 B1G) dominated home standing Oklahoma State (14-1, 6-0 Big 12) in the title match-up of the 2017 NWCA Dual Championship Series. Head coach Cael Sanderson’ squad posted a 27-13 victory to claim its second-straight national dual meet title.

In a dual meet featuring 18 ranked wrestlers, Penn State’s young line-up, with seven underclassmen, handled the Cowboy squad. Penn State’s win came in front of an Oklahoma State wrestling all-time record crowd of 14,059 in sold out Gallagher-Iba Arena. The win is the 31st straight dual meet victory for Penn State. The Nittany Lions, who suffered a nine-point swing with an injury default loss in the dual’s first bout, reeled off seven straight wins after dropping the first three matches to roll to the lopsided victory.

The dual began at 125. True freshman Nick Suriano (Paramus, N.J.), ranked No. 2 at 125, was lead 3-1 over No. 11 Nick Piccininni in the second period when an injury forced the Lion freshman into an injury default loss. Oklahoma State took a 10-0 lead when No. 3 Kaid Brock posted a 17-6 major over sophomore George Carpenter (Chapel Hill, N.C.) at 133. Senior Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.), ranked No. 10 at 141, took No. 1 Dean Heil to the limit, appearing to have him pinned once in the second period and once in the third. But the call never came and Heil posted a 3-2 win to give the Cowboys a 13-0 lead after three matches.

Junior Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 149, downed No. 2 Anthony Collica 2-1, using 1:51 in riding time to post the winning point. Sophomore Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 157, dominated No. 6 Joe Smith, rolling up 11 takedowns on his way to a lopsided 24-9 technical fall with 1:49 in riding time. Nolf’s tech fall cut the Cowboy lead to 13-8 at intermission, marking the first time all year Penn State trailed at a dual’s midway point.

Red-shirt freshman Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 4 at 165, rolled over No. 8 Chandler Rogers to start the second half, posting a 12-4 major with 1:39 in riding time. Joseph’s win cut the Cowboy lead to 13-12. True freshman Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 7 at 174, used a third period takedown to beat No. 9 Kyle Crutchmer for the second time this year, this time with a 3-2 decision. Hall’s win gave Penn State the lead for the first time in the dual, 15-13

Sophomore Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), ranked No. 2 at 184, added cushion to the Lion margin, locking up a cradle early and decking No. 4 Nolan Boyd at the 0:38 mark. It was Nickal’s 13th pin of the year. Junior Matt McCutcheon(Apollo, Pa.), ranked No. 9 at 197, clinched the dual victory with an impressive 4-3 win over No. 8 Preston Weigel, using two third-period takedowns to grab the victory. Sophomore Nick Nevills (Clovis, Calif.), ranked No. 3 at 285, capped the dual meet off with a solid 10-5 win over Cowboy Derek White, giving the Nittany Lions the 27-13 victory.

Despite the injury default at 125, Penn State dominated the dual meet from start to finish. Penn State won seven of ten bouts, completing a dual season that saw the squad win at least seven matches in each dual. The Nittany Lions won a lop-sided takedown battle 24-7, giving up takedowns in only three of the seven bouts. Penn State picked up six points points off a pin (Nickal), a tech (Nolf) and a major (Joseph).

Retherford is 19-0 with 13 pins, a forfeit, two techs and a major. Nolf is 19-0 with 11 pins, a major and six techs. Nickal is 18-0 with 13 pins and three majors this season. The Nittany Lions are now 14-0, 9-0 in the Big Ten, and winners of 31 straight duals. Oklahoma State falls to 14-1, 6-0 Big 12.

The Nittany Lions, now Big Ten Regular Season (dual meet) Champions and NWCA National Dual Meet Champions, will prep for the 2017 Big Ten Wrestling Championships on March 4-5. The two-day event, which serves as the NCAA qualifier for the conference, takes place at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind. Penn State is the defending Big Ten Champion and has won five of the last six Big Ten crowns.

#2 Penn State 27, #1 Oklahoma State 13
February 19, 2017 – Gallagher-Iba Arena – Stillwater, Okla.
125: #11 Nick Piccininni OKST inj. def. #2 Nick Suriano PSU, inj. def. (3:34) / 0-6
133: #3 Kaid Brock OKST maj. dec. George Carpenter PSU, 17-6 / 0-10
141: #1 Dean Heil OKST dec. #10 Jimmy Gulibon PSU, 3-2 / 0-13
149: #1 Zain Retherford PSU dec. #2 Anthony Collica OKST, 2-1 / 3-13
157: #1 Jason Nolf PSU tech fall #6 Joe Smith OKST, 24-9 (TF; 7:00) / 8-13
165: #4 Vincenzo Joseph PSU maj. dec. #8 Chandler Rogers OKST, 12-4 / 12-13
174: #7 Mark Hall PSU dec. #9 Kyle Crutchmer OKST, 3-2 / 15-13
184: #2 Bo Nickal PSU pinned #4 Nolan Boyd OKST, WBF (0:38) / 21-13
197: #9 Matt McCutcheon PSU dec. #8 Preston Weigel OKST, 4-3 / 24-13
285: #3 Nick Nevills PSU dec. Derek White OKST, 10-5 / 27-13
Attendance: 14,059

Team rankings by NWCA.

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