In its first dual meet since Nov. 6, the West Virginia wrestling team fell to No. 3 Penn State, 34-6, in front of 6,078 fans at Rec Hall.
“Penn State was the superior team today,” said coach Craig Turnbull. “Hopefully the guys took away something from this experience because there was tremendous value in it. When the next opportunity like this comes, we would like to be a whole level better after experiencing it once.”
Redshirt sophomore Nathan Pennesi (141) scored one win for the Mountaineers, as he defeated Penn State’s Bryan Pearsall. After Pearsall jumped out to a 4-2 lead, Pennesi took advantage of his top position, rolled his opponent over and tallied three near-fall points to take a 5-4 lead. Pennesi closed out the match by eliminating Pearsall’s riding time advantage.
“It was hopeful that Nathan’s win would break the ice a bit,” Turnbull said. “We would have like to come out on the rest of today’s contests.
At 197 pounds, redshirt sophomore Mac Mancuso scored WVU’s other victory, as he took a closely contested 3-2 decision from the Nittany Lions’ Justin Ortega. The Atlantic City, N.J. scored a second period takedown on Ortega to take a 2-1 lead. With the score tied at two to begin the third and final period, Mancuso chose bottom position and scored the decisive escape point.
“After momentum had been stolen from us, Mac was able to keep his match under control,” Turnbull says. “It was satisfying to see his performance.”
The loss to Penn State moved the Mountaineers dual meet record to 2-1 on the season.
The Mountaineers will wrestle in their final tournament of the season next Saturday, as they will head to Reno, Nev. for the Reno Tournament of Champions.
The tournament will mark WVU’s final action during the 2011 year, and it will begin 2012 with its first home dual meet of the season against Maryland on Jan. 6.