Penn State Wrestlers Hold No. 2 Spot in Nation in Latest USA Today/NWCA Dual Meet Coaches Poll
<div id="Content" readability="100.302080783"> Jan. 11, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, led by head coach Cael Sanderson, are ranked No. 2 in the latest USA Today/NWCA Dual Meet Coaches Poll. Veterans Brad Pataky (Clearfield, Pa.) and Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) have re-entered the Intermat individual rankings, giving Penn State eight wrestlers ranked by Intermat.
The top two teams remain the same in the dual meet Coaches Poll. Cornell, winner of the National Duals, retains its No. 1 spot with 275 points while Penn State, winner of the Virginia Duals, retains its No. 2 ranking, just 11 points back with 264. Wisconsin is ranked third with 247 while Virginia Tech is fourth with 245 and Minnesota is fifth with 228. Oklahoma State (6), Missouri (7), Boise State (8), Oklahoma (9) and Iowa (10) round out the top ten. Michigan (11), Illinois (15), Purdue (21) and Northwestern (22) are also ranked in the top ten giving the Big Ten eight teams ranked in the top 25.
While the USA Today/NWCA poll reflects projected dual meet strength, Intermat and TheOpenMat.com both compile comprehensive tournament strength rankings (projecting post-season tournament finishes based on each entity's individual rankings). Both Intermat and TOM have Penn State listed No. 2 in their tournament rankings as well. Cornell is No. 1 in both.
Pataky returned to action at 125 for Penn State between semesters, going 3-2 at the Southern Scuffle and then storming through the Virginia Duals for an undefeated weekend. The Nittany Lion senior is 7-2 on the year with two pins, two techs and a major and enters the rankings at No. 11. Wright, a 2009 All-American, was ranked among the nation's best at 184 before an injury sidelined him in December. The junior is back in the Penn State line-up and is ranked No. 7 with an 8-2 record.
Sophomore All-American Andrew Long (Creston, Iowa) is ranked No. 5 at 133. The mid-season transfer made his Penn State debut at last weekend's Virginia Duals and is 4-0 with a pin and two majors. Freshman Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) is ranked No. 5 at 141. Alton is 22-2 on the year with 15 pins and three majors. His only two losses are one-point decisions to the top-ranked 141-pounder and his 15 pins is fifth all time at Penn State for falls in a single season. Two-time All-American Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.) is ranked No. 6 at 149. Molinaro sports a 17-2 record with three pins, three tech falls and seven majors. Freshman David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) remains undefeated on the year and has a 23-0 record. Taylor is ranked No. 3 at 157 and has six pins, nine tech falls and seven majors. Only one of his 23 bouts has been decided by less than a major. Classmate Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) is Penn State's highest ranked individual. Ruth is ranked No. 2 at 174 and has a 21-1 record. The Harrisburg native has eight pins, five tech falls and two majors. Junior Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) is ranked No. 9 at heavyweight. Wade sports a 19-3 record with eight pins, three tech falls and two majors.
The Nittany Lions are 11-0 on the year, their best start (no losses or ties) since the team went 12-0 in 1971-72. Penn State will be back in action for a nationally televised match-up with No. 23 Pittsburgh on Jan. 21. Action in the Big Ten Network live event begins at 6 p.m. in Rec Hall. 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. All Penn State events will once again air live on Forever Broadcasting's WRSC
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