PREVIEW: No. 2 Penn State Heads to 2011 Virginia Duals as Top Seed
Lions tanlge with VMI in opener Friday at 9 a.m.
<div id="Content" readability="505.223764094">Jan. 5, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
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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.
TheMat.com/USA Wrestling will provide up to four feeds of live video coverage continuously through the Virginia Duals. Wrestling coverage will begin via Ustream.tv, the Virginia Duals site and TheMat.com 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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