PREVIEW: No. 5 Penn State Hosts Lock Haven Sunday in Rec Hall
Intra-state battle set for 2 p.m. in the Lions' den
<div id="Content" readability="380.759497509">Dec. 8, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
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The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, ranked No. 5 nationally, will host local rival Lock Haven in a non-conference dual meet on Sunday, Dec. 12. Action in Rec Hall is set for 2 p.m. with a `T-Shirt Bonanza' scheduled for halftime (hundreds of Nittany Lion wrestling T-Shirts will be thrown out to the Rec Hall faithful at intermission).
Penn State is coming off solid performance in last Sunday's Nittany Lion Open. A 29-man contingent took to the mats for head coach Cael Sanderson and his staff, with 16 of them advancing to the quarterfinals, 11 to the semifinals and eight to the finals. Four Penn Staters won titles at the event: Frank Martellotti at 125, Andrew Alton at 141, David Taylor at 157 and Cameron Wade at heavyweight. Four other finalists finished just short of titles: Frank Molinaro was upset by tenth-ranked Mario Mason in the finals at 149, unattached freshman Dirk Cowburn made it to the finals at 165 before losing to the third-ranked wrestler in the nation, Ed Ruth dropped a close decision to the eighth-ranked 174-pounder and Quentin Wright was leading at 184 before having to take an injury default.
With up to six freshmen starting for Penn State in previous duals, the new class of Nittany Lions continues to impress. Three of those rookies are still unbeaten. Taylor is ranked No. 3 at 157 and sports an 11-0 record with three pins, two tech falls and five majors. Alton is ranked No. 10 at 141 and is 11-0 with a stunning nine pins. Martellotti is 10-0 at 125 and is ranked No. 18 nationally. Freshman 174-pounder Ruth is 10-1 and has moved up to No. 12 at his weight class as well.
Other ranked Nittany Lions include two-time All-American Molinaro, who fell to No. 6 (from No. 2) at 149 and is 6-1 overall. Sophomore All-American Wright is ranked No. 5 at 184 and is 8-2 overall but will not wrestle against Lock Haven. Junior Wade is 8-2 at heavyweight and ranked No. 6 nationally.
Lock Haven enters the week with a 2-1 record. Head coach Robbie Waller's improving Bald Eagle team will take on Millersville and Ohio University on Thursday night in a tri-meet at Lewistown High School. LHU lost a close 19-16 dual to North Carolina but beat George Mason (28-12) and Drexel (23-21)
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