UNIVERSITY PARK — The top-ranked Penn State wrestling team closes out December by welcoming No. 9 Arizona State to Rec Hall for the first time ever tonight.
The Nittany Lions (3-0) and Sun Devils (1-2) will meet in sold-out Rec Hall at 6 p.m. in a dual that will air live nationally on ESPN2. Arizona State has made a trip to Happy Valley, however, competing in the BJC in the National Duals.
Penn State is coming off a pair of dual victories two weekends ago. The Nittany Lions won nine of 10 bouts in a 42-3 win at Bucknell on Nov. 30, the first-ever trip for Penn State at Lewisburg.
Two days later, the Nittany Lions shut out No. 10 Lehigh, 42-0, winning all 10 bouts against the short-handed Mountain Hawks at Rec Hall. Penn State got ranked wins from Mark Hall at 174, Bo Nickal at 197 and Anthony Cassar at 285.
Sophomore Devin Schnupp is 4-3 at 125, having won his last two dual outings. True freshman Roman Bravo-Young is 6-0 at 133 and coming off a win in the Lehigh dual. Sophomore Nick Lee sports an 8-0 mark at 141 and is ranked No. 4 by InterMat. Redshirt freshman Brady Berge is 5-0 at 149 and ranked No. 12 while classmate Jarod Verkleeren is 6-2 at that weight.
Senior Jason Nolf is 7-0 and ranked No. 1 at 157, and junior Vincenzo Joseph is 7-0 and ranked No. 1 at 165. Junior Mark Hall is 7-0 and No. 2 at 174, while senior Shakur Rasheed is 7-0 and No. 4 at 184. Senior Bo Nickal is 6-0 at 197 and ranked No. 1 nationally, and senior Anthony Cassar is 6-0 and No. 5 at 285. Nick Nevills sports a 3-1 mark at 285.
Arizona State enters the dual ranked No. 9 in the TPI with a 1-2 mark. The Sun Devils beat No. 16 South Dakota State, 30-9, and lost close matches to No. 24 North Carolina, 20-15, and No. 2 Ohio State, 22-17.
Arizona State features a talented lineup that includes No. 1 Zahid Valencia at 174, who is 9-0. Senior Ryan Millhof is 9-0 at 125 and ranked No. 7, while junior Josh Maruca is 7-3 and No. 11 at 149. Senior Christian Pagdilao is 8-2 at 157 and ranked No. 16, while junior Josh Shields is 8-1 and No. 5 at 165.
The teams have split the all-time series, 3-3-1. Penn State won the last meeting, 19-16, in the 2001 National Duals at the BJC.
Following tonight’s match, Penn State will look to win its eighth Southern Scuffle Championship in its last eight trips when it travels to Chattanooga, Tenn., on Jan. 1-2.