No. 2 Hawkeyes Drop Road Dual in Happy Valley

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The second-ranked University of Iowa wrestling team won four matches and led 14-9 through six matches, but top-ranked Penn State claimed the final four bouts to post a 23-14 dual victory on Friday night in front of 15,998 fans at the Bryce Jordan Center.

The Hawkeyes won three matches before intermission and pushed their lead to 14-9 with a win at 165 coming out of the break, but the Nittany Lions closed out the dual with four consecutive wins to hand Iowa its first loss of the season. Iowa is 12-1 overall, 5-1 in Big Ten action.

“We have to take our medicine in this loss,” said head coach Tom Brands. “We took our medicine too much in some positions during that match and you can never take that medicine when that match is going and the clock is ticking. That happened too much, and we have to get better.”

Top-ranked Spencer Lee rolled to a first-period technical fall victory over Marco Vespa at 125 to start the dual. After getting taken down to start the match, Lee had a reversal and four four-point near falls to win 18-2. It was Lee’s 49th consecutive victory and it moved him to 11-0 this season – all via bonus points.

Penn State took its first lead at 133 when No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young locked up a cradle off a scramble in a third-period and he completed the fall in 6:49. It was Teske’s first loss of the season.

No. 2 Real Woods followed with a 4-1 win over No. 8 Beau Bartlett at 141; it was Bartlett’s first loss of the season in 15 matches. Woods led 2-0 after one, had a third-period escape and finished the match with 1:36 of riding time. The win was Woods’ fourth straight over a ranked opponent and moved him to 10-0 this season.

The Hawkeyes pushed their lead to 11-6 with a 4-1 win from No. 11 Max Murin over No. 12 Shayne Van Ness at 149. Murin used an escape and a third-period takedown to ice the match to send him to his 14th win in his return to his home state.

Penn State won the final match before intermission when No. 6 Levi Haines edged No. 17 Cobe Siebrecht at 157. Haines converted a shot in the third period to take a 3-1 lead and he held on for a 3-2 decision to bring the team score to 11-9 at the break.

No. 9 Patrick Kennedy gave the Hawkeyes a 14-9 lead with a 2-1 decision in tiebreakers over No. 13 Alex Facundo at 165. After trading escapes and wrestling a scoreless sudden victory period, Kennedy escaped in four seconds in the first tiebreaker, forcing Facundo to choose neutral. The win was Kennedy’s fourth ranked win this season.

The Nittany Lions closed out the dual with four straight victories. No. 1 Carter Starocci won a 2-1 decision over No. 15 Nelson Brands at 174. Starocci used 1:12 of riding time to post the victory.

Penn State grabbed the lead with a technical fall at 184 when top-ranked Aaron Brooks posted a 22-7 victory over freshman Drake Rhodes and the Nittany Lions followed with a 2-0 victory by No. 4 Max Dean over No. 7 Jacob Warner at 197. Dean had a second period escape and rode Warner for the entire third period to secure the riding time point.

No. 2 Greg Kerkvliet closed out the dual with a 4-1 victory over No. 3 Tony Cassioppi at heavyweight. Kerkvliet had a first period takedown before riding out Cassioppi in the second to secure the riding time point.

– Tonight’s dual was wrestled in front of 15,998 fans at the Bryce Jordan Center, tying the record for the largest indoor crowd. That dual was also against Iowa in 2018.
– Tonight’s loss snapped Iowa’s 15 dual winning streak.

#1 Penn State 23, #2 Iowa 14
125 – #1 Spencer Lee (UI) tech. fall Marco Vespa (PSU), 18-2 (2:14); 5-0
133 – #1 Roman Bravo-Young (PSU) pinned Brody Teske (UI), 6:49; 5-6
141 – #2 Real Woods (UI) dec. #8 Beau Bartlett (PSU), 4-1; 8-6
149 – #11 Max Murin (UI) dec. #12 Shayne Van Ness (PSU), 4-1; 11-6
157 – #6 Levi Haines (PSU) dec. #17 Cobe Siebrecht (UI), 3-2; 11-9
165 – #9 Patrick Kennedy (UI) dec. #13 Alex Facundo (PSU), 2-1 (TB2); 14-9
174 – #1 Carter Starocci (PSU) dec. #15 Nelson Brands (UI), 2-1; 14-12
184 – #1 Aaron Brooks (PSU) tech. fall Drake Rhodes (UI), 22-7; 14-17
197 – #4 Max Dean (PSU) dec. #7 Jacob Warner (UI), 2-0; 14-20
285 – #2 Greg Kerkvliet (PSU) dec. #3 Tony Cassioppi (UI), 4-1

Attendance: 15,998
Officials: J.R. Johnson, Conrad Duffy

The Hawkeyes remain on the road, traveling to Minneapolis to face the Golden Gophers on Friday. The dual will begin at 8 p.m. (CT) and be televised on BTN.