Lions tanlge with VMI in opener Friday at 9 a.m.

<div id="Content" readability="505.223764094">Jan. 5, 2011


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TODAY'S ACTION UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; January 5, 2011 -- The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team (7-0, 1-0 Big Ten), ranked No. 2 nationally, will take part in the 2011 Virginia Duals on January 7-8. The two-day dual meet tournament takes place in the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Va. The Nittany Lions will be one of 16 teams competing and enter the tournament as the No. 1 seed.

Penn State will face VMI in the opening round, beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday. The winner of the Penn State/VMI dual will take on the winner of the Old Dominion/Edinboro (the 8th-seed) at 1 p.m. on Friday. The losers of those duals will also meet at 1 p.m. on Friday. The rest of the bracket plays itself out later Friday and all day Saturday.

Head coach Cael Sanderson's squad enters the Duals sporting a perfect 7-0 mark (1-0 in the Big Ten). The Lions are coming off a solid performance at the Southern Scuffle in Greensboro, N.C., last week. Penn State claimed the Co-Championships of the 2010 Southern Scuffle in Greensboro, N.C. Penn State, ranked No. 4 at the time, tied No. 1 Cornell for the team crown. The Nittany Lions sent four wrestlers to the finals in front of a rowdy crowd at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex and crowned three champions. Red-shirt freshmen David Taylor and Ed Ruth won titles at 157 and 174 while junior Cameron Wade forged the tie with a title winning decision in the tournament's final bout at heavyweight. Ruth's sizzling title-run at 174 earned him the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler Award. Two-time All-American Frank Molinaro almost made it four for four in the finals for Penn State with a one-point loss to the nation's top-ranked wrestler in the nation at 149. The Nittany Lions sent 15 wrestlers into action at the two-day event and eight placed.

Ruth has vaulted to No. 2 in the national rankings at 174 after beating the previous top two ranked wrestlers at the Scuffle. He heads to Virginia with a 17-1 mark. Taylor is still undefeated on the year, sporting a 19-0 mark and ranked No. 3 at 157. Sophomore Andrew Long will make his Penn State debut this weekend in Virginia and enters the national rankings at No. 6 at 133. Two-time All-American Frank Molinaro is 13-2 on the year and is ranked No. 7 at 149 while true freshman Andrew Alton, 19-1 with 13 pins at 141, is ranked No. 7 as well. Junior Cameron Wade is 16-2 at heavyweight and also ranked No. 7 while true freshman Frank Martellotti, 18-3 at 125, is ranked No. 16. All-American Quentin Wright, ranked No. 6 at 184 prior to an early December injury, is still listed as doubtful for the Duals.

The 31st year of the Virginia Duals features a strong team line-up and will showcase some of the nation's top wrestlers. In addition to No. 2 Penn State, No. 9 Lehigh, No. 15 Michigan, No. 23 Kent State and No. 25 Arizona State are in the field as are Wyoming and Virginia (both of whom received votes in the latest poll). A strong contingent of 40 ranked grapplers could see action at the Hampton Coliseum as well. Wrestling will provide up to four feeds of live video coverage continuously through the Virginia Duals. Wrestling coverage will begin via, the Virginia Duals site and at 9 a.m. Friday. Penn State returns to action on Friday, Jan. 21, when Pittsburgh invades Rec Hall for a 6 p.m. dual (broadcast live on the Big Ten Network). Fans wishing to purchase single dual meet tickets for the 2010-11 Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling season can place their orders by calling 814-865-5555 or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office. The box office is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Ticket pricing is $8 for adults and $5 for youth, and there will be a limit of eight tickets per order. Group sales are also available. The 2010-11 Penn State wrestling season is presented by the Family Clothesline. Updates from the Nittany Lion Open will air on WRSC AM

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