No. 1 Penn State wrestlers ready for road dual weekend

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestlers (11-0, 5-0 B1G), ranked No. 1 in the nation, take a Big Ten swing through the state of Michigan this weekend. The Nittany Lions are at Michigan State (5-8, 0-5 B1G) on Friday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m., in a dual that will be streamed live on the Big Ten Digital Network. Penn State will then visit No. 11 Michigan (8-2, 4-0 B1G) on Sunday, Feb. 2. The Lions and Wolverines tangle at 3:30 p.m. live on the Big Ten Network, in a battle of the Big Ten's last two remaining conference unbeatens.

Penn State is coming off a sound 31-3 win over Illinois last Friday night in jam-packed Rec Hall. Nearly 6,500 fans watched the Nittany Lions win nine of ten bouts to roll to victory. The win was highlighted by Nico Megaludis' 5-4 win over Jesse Delgado at 125 and red-shirt freshman Zack Beitz's victory over No. 19 Caleb Ervin at 149.

The Lions sport a deep line-up, including ten ranked wrestlers. Megaludis is 20-2 at 125 and ranked No. 2 nationally while red-shirt freshman Jimmy Gulibon is 11-9 and ranked No. 16 at 133. True freshman Zain Retherford is unbeaten at 141, sporting a 21-0 record and a No. 2 national ranking. Beitz is 11-7 overall and debuted in the rankings this week with a No. 15 nod at 149. Junior Dylan Alton, 13-0 overall, is ranked No. 4 at 157 while unbeaten senior David Taylor, 21-0 on the year, is ranked No. 1 nationally at 165.

Junior Matt Brown, 21-1 at 174, is ranked No. 3 while senior Ed Ruth, 20-1 at 184, is ranked No. 2 nationally. Sophomore Morgan McIntosh is 20-2 and ranked No. 7 at 197 while junior Jimmy Lawson is 16-4 and No. 12 at 285. Lawson will be out this coming weekend and junior Jon Gingrich steps in at heavyweight. Gingrich, who won last weekend in Penn State's win over Illinois, sports a 19-3 overall record. Also seeing time in Penn State's dual meet line-up this year has been sophomore Jordan Conaway, who is 13-5 at 133, and senior James Vollrath, who is 11-7 at 157.

Michigan State will enter Friday's dual with a 5-8 overall record, 0-5 in the Big Ten. The Spartans are being led by talented senior heavyweight Mike McClure. McClure sports a 19-4 overall record and is ranked No. 7 nationally. Teammate Nick Trimble is 18-10 at 149 while John Rizqallah is 15-6 at 184. Nick McDiarmid sports a 14-6 mark at 197 as well.

Penn State leads the all-time series with the Spartans 17-9, including the last eight straight. Penn State won the last meeting, a 41-0 meeting on 1/13/13 in Rec Hall last year. The Lions won the last meeting on the road, a 36-6 meeting in Battle Creek, Mich., on 1/8/12. The Lions also won the last meeting on campus in East Lansing, 30-9 on 2/4/11.

No. 11 Michigan, which is at Ohio State on Friday night while Penn State is in East Lansing, enters the weekend with an 8-2 overall record, including a perfect 4-0 mark in the Big Ten. The Wolverines are being led by true freshman heavyweight Adam Coon. Coon is ranked No. 2 at 285 with a 23-1 record. His only lost came last weekend to MSU's McClure. Senior Dan Yates is 14-2 and No. 6 at 165 while classmate Eric Grajales is 15-6 and No. 7 at 149. Steve Dutton is 3-0 at 141 and ranked No. 13 while freshman Brian Murphy is 12-3 and No. 14 at 157. Freshman Domenic Abounader is 10-4 and ranked No. 20 at 184 as well.

Penn State leads the all-time series with Michigan 27-24, including the last three. The Nittany Lions won 34-7 in Rec Hall on 2/5/12 in the last meeting between the two teams. Penn State won 28-13 on 2/6/11 in the last meeting in Ann Arbor.

The Nittany Lions trek to Minneapolis next weekend for a showdown with Minnesota on Sunday, Feb. 9, at 2 p.m. (Eastern)/1 p.m. (Central). The Lion/Gopher battle will also be a BTN live telecast.

With the full season of Rec Hall duals sold out prior to the start of the campaign, a very limited number of standing room only tickets are available to a few of the remaining Rec Hall duals. People may purchase tickets by calling 1-800-NITTANY or by visiting the Penn State Athletics ticket office located in the BJC. 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. 

THIS WEEK
No. 1 Penn State (11-0, 5-0 B1G) makes a Big Ten swing through the state of Michigan this weekend. The Nittany Lions are at Michigan State (5-8, 0-5 B1G) on Friday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m. and then visit No. 11 Michigan (*8-2, 4-0 B1G) on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 2. The Lions and Wolverines tangle at 3:30 p.m. live on the Big Ten Network. Penn State's Friday dual at Michigan State is live on the BTDN.
*Michigan is at Ohio State on Friday, the same night that Penn State is at MSU.

UP NEXT
Penn State heads to Minneapolis next weekend for a dual at No. 3 Minnesota on Sunday, Feb. 9, at 2 p.m. (Eastern)/1 p.m. (Central) in another Big Ten Network live telecast.

ON THE AIR
TV - None for MSU; Michigan is LIVE on the BTN.
Live Web Video - MSU is LIVE on the BTDN (via GoPSUsports.com's All-Access); BTN2go for Michigan.
Radio - Full season live on WRSC (103.1 FM/1390 AM) State College; WBPZ 1230 AM Lock Haven; 1370 WWCB Corry; WLAK (103.5 FM) Huntingdon; WMRF (95.7 FM) Lewistown; WIEZ (670 AM) Lewistown. Also live at GoPSUsports.com as part of the All-Access package as are select home duals.

#1 PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (11-0, 5-0 B1G)
WT NAME EL HT/HS -- REC
125 #2 Nico Megaludis Jr. Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional -- 20-2
133 #16 Jimmy Gulibon Fr. Latrobe, Pa./Derry Area -- 11-9
Jordan Conaway So. Abbottstown, Pa./New Oxford -- 13-5
141 #2 Zain Retherford Fr. Benton, Pa./Benton -- 21-0
149 #15 Zack Beitz Fr. Mifflintown, Pa./Juniata -- 11-7
OR Andrew Alton Jr. Mill Hall, Pa./Central Mountain -- 7-0
157 #4 Dylan Alton Jr. Mill Hall, Pa./Central Mountain -- 13-0
OR James Vollrath Sr. Richboro, Pa./Council Rock South -- 11-7
165 #1 David Taylor Sr. St. Paris, Ohio/St. Paris Graham -- 21-0
174 #3 Matt Brown Jr. West Valley City, Utah/Cyprus -- 21-1
184 #2 Ed Ruth Sr. Harrisburg, Pa./Susquehanna Township -- 20-1
197 #7 Morgan McIntosh So. Santa Ana, Calif./Calvary Chapel -- 20-2
285 Jon Gingrich Jr. Wingate, Pa./Bald Eagle Area -- 19-3
OUT #12 Jimmy Lawson Jr. Tom's River, N.J./Manchester Township -- 16-4

Contacts: 
Last Updated January 30, 2014