Top-ranked wrestling treks to Rutgers for dual finale

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team (11-1, 7-1 B1G), ranked No. 1 nationally in Intermat's TPI, will look to close out the dual meet season on a roll as it visits Rutgers (15-3) on Sunday, Feb. 24, for a 1 p.m. dual in the RAC. Penn State and Rutgers will be meeting for the first time in a non-neutral setting in 40 years.

Penn State is coming off a rousing Senior Day win over visiting Rider last Sunday. The Nittany Lions sent their graduating class out in style with a 48-0 shut-out of the Broncs, led by seniors Bryan Pearsall and Quentin Wright. Pearsall got a pin in his final home match at 141 while Wright said goodbye to Rec Hall with a major decision at 197. In all, Penn State tallied five pins in the match (Pearsall, Nico Megaludis at 125, David Taylor at 165, Matt Brown at 174 and Ed Ruth at 184). The shut-out was Penn State's fourth this year, an all-time school best. It was also the eighth for Penn State in less than four seasons under head coach Cael Sanderson.

The Nittany Lions feature one of the nation's most balanced line-ups, with all ten starters earning spots on both official NCAA rankings (Coaches Poll and RPI). All-American Nico Megaludis is ranked No. 2 at 125 by Intermat and sits at No. 2 in the coaches poll and No. 4 in the RPI. Red-shirt freshman Jordan Conaway is ranked No. 13 at 133 by Intermat, No. 16 by the coaches and No. 8 in the RPI. Senior Bryan Pearsall has a No. 22 coaches ranking and a No. 18 RPI at 141. Sophomore Andrew Alton is ranked No. 12 at 149 by Intermat and has No. 10 coaches ranking and a No. 4 RPI. All-American Dylan Alton is ranked No. 5 at 157 by Intermat, No. 5 by the coaches and has No. 4 RPI.

Defending NCAA Champion David Taylor is ranked No. 2 at 165 by Intermat, has a No. 2 coaches ranking and the No. 1 RPI. Sophomore Matt Brown is ranked No. 7 at 165 by Intermat, No. 6 by the coaches and has a No. 5 RPI. NCAA Champion Ed Ruth is ranked No. 1 by both Intermat and the coaches at 184 and has the No. 5 RPI. Three-time All-American Quentin Wright is ranked No. 2 by Intermat, No. 2 by the coaches and has a No. 4 RPI. Sophomore Jimmy Lawson is ranked No. 12 at 285 by Intermat while teammate Jon Gingrich is ranked No. 15 by the coaches and has a No. 5 RPI.

Rutgers enters the season's final dual weekend with a 15-3 overall record. The Scarlet Knights are coming off a 26-10 victory over Drexel last Friday. The Knights are led by head coach Scott Goodale and feature a well-known face on their coaching staff. Frank Molinaro, a four-time All-American for the Nittany Lions and last year's undefeated NCAA Champion at 149, is an assistant coach for Rutgers. RU is led by 174-pounder Greg Zanetti, who is ranked No. 14 with a 23-5 record; 184-pounder Dan Rinaldi, who is ranked No. 10 with a 24-3 mark; and heavyweight Billy Smith, who is 26-5 overall.

Penn State has never lost to Rutgers, owning a 16-0 edge in the all-time series. The two teams last met at the Sprawl and Brawl Duals, with Penn State claiming a 22-10 win at Binghamton on 11/21/10. Penn State won the last meeting at Rutgers 40 years ago, grabbing a 29-9 win on 12/16/72.

The Nittany Lions will head to the 2013 Big Ten Wrestling Championships on Saturday and Sunday, March 9-10, at the University of Illinois. The two-day tournament, which Penn State has won the last two years, also serves as the national qualifier for the Big Ten, with the Nittany Lion wrestlers looking to punch their respective tickets to the NCAA Championships. Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at www.twitter.com/pennstateWREST and on Penn State Wrestling's facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling. The 2012-13 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.

POSSIBLE STARTERS
#1 PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (12-1, 7-1 B1G)
WT NAME EL HT/HS REC
125 #2 Nico Megaludis So. Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional 20-2
133 #14 Jordan Conaway Fr. Abbottstown, Pa./New Oxford 13-6
141 Bryan Pearsall Sr. Lititz, Pa./Warwick 18-7
149 #12 Andrew Alton So. Mill Hall, Pa./Central Mountain 21-2
James English Sr. York, Pa./Central York 14-4
157 #5 Dylan Alton So. Mill Hall, Pa./Central Mountain 21-3
James Vollrath Jr. Richboro, Pa./Council Rock South 23-5
165 #2 David Taylor Jr. St. Paris, Ohio/St. Paris Graham 22-1
174 #7 Matt Brown So. West Valley City, Utah/Cyprus 20-4
184 #1 Ed Ruth Jr. Harrisburg, Pa./Susquehanna Township 24-0
197 #2 Quentin Wright Sr. Wingate, Pa./Bald Eagle Area 23-0
285 #12 Jimmy Lawson So. Tom's River, N.J./Manchester Township 19-4
Jon Gingrich So. Wingate, Pa./Bald Eagle Area 14-6

RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS (15-3)
WT NAME EL HT REC
125 Joe Lengel Sr. Howell, N.J. 20-6
133 Vincent Dellefave Jr. Tom's River, N.J. 21-6
141 Trevor Melde Sr. Hewitt, N.J. 17-8
149 Ken Theobold Fr. Tom's River, N.J. 14-10
157 Mikey Simmons Fr. Middletown, Pa. 9-12
165 Nick Viscario So. Long Branch, N.J. 13-6
174 #14 Greg Zannetti Sr. Edison, N.J. 23-5
184 #10 Dan Rinaldi Sr. Lodi, N.J. 24-3
197 Dan Seidenberg Jr. Red Bank, N.J. 7-10
285 Billy Smith Fr. Wantage, N.J. 26-5

All Rankings are Intermat as of 2/19/13

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Last Updated March 01, 2013