January 11, 2011

Wrestling Wreport: PSU wins Virginia Duals

Penn State entered last weekend's Virginia Duals as the top ranked team in the tournament and did what a top ranked team does: cruise to a fairly easy win. The Lions hammered VMI 42 -3, then beat Edinboro 37- 12, #23 Kent State 27 -15 and #15 Michigan 24-12 in the championship. The team seemed to walk through the Kent State match but other than that, they wrestled very well.

The best news of the weekend was the return of Brad Pataky who returned in last week's Southern Scuffle but did not seem himself. Pataky went 4-0 on the weekend beating two wrestlers that beat him previously. Also worth mentioning was the debut of All-American Andrew Long who wrestled in the Penn State singlet for the first time going 4-0 although he really wasn't challenged.

The Good

Pataky beats #10 Bedelyon of Kent State
Pataky was back to his normal aggressive self, attacking from the first whistle. He started out with a tech fall and a pin against VMI and Edinboro. He followed that up by pinning #10 Nick Bedelyon a wrestler that knocked him out of the NCAA's last season one bout shy of All-American status. Pataky caught Nick in a cement mixer with the bout tied at 2 (although Bedelyon had 2 minutes of riding time accrued). It was a great win for Brad but I'm sure those two will meet again before the season's over and if they do you better believe Bedelyon will be watching out for that mixer. After beating Bedelyon, Brad followed that up by beating Sean Boyle of Michigan 8-2, a wrestler that beat him by major decision just last week at the Scuffle. The score could have been worse but Brad re-injured his knee during the win and had to just gut the rest of the bout out. Penn State fans will be holding their collective breath every time Brad grabs that knee in the final few months.

It's safe to say that Frank Molinaro is also fully recovered from his injury and back to full strength. Frank had a tech fall and destroyed #14 Torsten Gillespie of Edinboro 10-2 while going 4-0 for the tournament. David Taylor continues to be one of Penn State's most complete wrestlers and ran his record to 23-0 by going 4-0 with two tech falls a fall and a major decision. For his efforts he was named the tournament's most outstanding wrestler. Andrew Alton did lose to #1 Kellen Russell for the second time, again by one point, but the rest of the weekend went as usual: 2 pins and a major. The difference in the Russell match (a 2-1 loss) was a riding time point. Russell rode Alton out for most of the third period which was the difference. One of the downsides of coming straight out of high school with a pedigree of Alton's is that most of the time guys like Andrew aren't used to being on bottom in high school. It usually takes some time in college to adjust to good riders and the top-10 is filled with them. Most of Andrew's high school matches didn't last longer than one period so he didn't get much experience against good competition. I'm sure it's something Cael and the coaching staff will work hard on before the Big Ten's get here.

The Bad

Ed Ruth had a decent weekend with the lone exception of a 11-8 win over unranked Brandon Johnson of Kent State. It was the kind of match that Ed should have dominated, against a much lesser opponent. He did bounce back and pin Jonathan Beck of Michigan but that kind of lackluster effort won't fly against the upper echelon of the Big Ten. Cameron Wade also decided to do a sleepwalking act against Kent State losing to #13 Brendan Barlow by a 10-5 decision. He did bounce back to beat #8 Ben Apland of Michigan for the second time but it wasn't the kind of effort we've seen from Wade for most of the season. I realize I may be a tad on the picky side here but it's hard to come up with something 'bad' to say when the closest match was 12 points


Penn State ran its record to 11-0 on the season beating two ranked opponents in the process. While there were some actual negative things that could be said about the effort, for the most part, the team wrestled really well. The team is finally getting back to being fully healthy and with two weeks off until the next action, Penn State should be facing cross-state rival Pitt with a fully loaded clip. 

Next Up

Penn State takes on #20 Pittsburgh, Friday, Jan. 21, 6 p.m. in Rec Hall which can be seen live on the Big Ten Network.


  1. Great stuff, Galen. I look forward to the return of Q Wright vs. Pitt.

  2. Thanks wvlion, I'm looking forward to the Pitt dual because Penn State should finally be completely healthy. In case you missed it here's an article about Wright. He's just about fully recovered but they are taking caution with him.