January 7, 2010

Wrestling Wreport: 1.7.11

Catching up: I'll start off my inaugural post here at Linebacker-U with some background information to catch everyone up. In the latest NWCS/USA Today Coaches Poll, the Penn State wrestling team (6-1-1) is ranked 14th. In the Big Ten, Iowa, Ohio State, Minnesota, and Indiana are all currently ranked ahead of Penn State as seven of the eleven Big Ten teams total are ranked in the top 25. Of Penn State's 6 dual meet victories only Harvard (18th) and Edinboro (23rd) are currently ranked. PSU also has a tie with No. 21 Pitt, but as Coach Sanderson said, "A tie is a loss." Penn State's only "true" loss came at the hands of Lehigh, currently ranked 11th.

Penn State Ranked Wrestlers
wt. – name (rank)157 - Cyler Sanderson (#2)
149 - Frank Molinaro (#5)
165 - Dan Vallimont (#8)
125 - Brad Pataky (#14)
184 - David Erwin (#14)
HWT - Cameron Wade (#21)
Bad News: Although it's not shocking news as rumblings of this have been around for some time, All-American Bubba Jenkins has left the team. Jenkins says that it was Sanderson's decision but has taken the high road.
"It was a decision that was given to me," Jenkins said about his departure from the team. "I had no choice."
Jenkins, who redshirted the first half of the 2009-10 season because of academic ineligibility, said he still has the utmost respect for the Penn State wrestling program and Sanderson.
During an interview on Flo Wrestling, Jenkins says he intentionally failed classes so he was academically ineligible in hopes that the coaches would give him the redshirt year he wanted. Apparently Jenkins also had problems buying into Cael's wrestling philosophy so the two parties have parted ways. Jenkins leaves with an 81-22 record, an All-American and a national runner-up.
Jenkins isn't the only person to leave the team lately as starting 141 pounder Colby Pisani and freshman 197-pounder Luke Macchiaroli have also bolted. Macchiaroli, a three time Arizona state champ is transferring to Arizona State to be closer to home.
Up Next: Penn State travels to Hampton, Virginia for the 2010 Virginia Duals this weekend. Tomorrow at 9AM PSU will take on #24 Virginia Tech (7-1) in the opening round. Penn State is the 4th seed in the tournament as there are 4 teams ranked higher nationally than the Lions and eight ranked teams altogether.
Matches of interest
There are several matchups of ranked wrestlers in this dual that will go a long way in deciding the winner.
125 - #14 Brad Pataky vs. #13 Jarrod Garnett
149 - #5 Frank Molinaro vs. #14 Pete Yates
157 - #2 Cyler Sanderson vs. #6 Jesse Dong
165 - #8 Dan Vallimont vs. #28 Matt Epperly
184 - #14 David Erwin vs. #19 Tommy Spellman

Virginia Tech also boasts the 10th ranked wrestler at 141 in Chris Diaz. Penn State will have to try and keep the match at 141 manageable, not give up bonus points and hopefully Cameron Wade can get bonus points of his own at Heavyweight. Penn State is in for a rough match as all of their ranked wrestlers expect Wade are going up against ranked opponents. Vallimont and Molinaro will have to try for bonus points because the Pataky and Erwin matches are basically a push, either wrestler could win. If Penn State wins they will get the winner of Kent State (#5) and Drexel.

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