No. 2 Penn State will finish their dual season against American University on Sunday afternoon at Rec Hall. The dual will begin at 2 p.m. EST and the Nittany Lions will celebrate Senior Day. It figures to be an emotional day for a star-studded senior class.
|125 pounds||Brandon Meredith (12-12)||Gage Curry (24-7)|
|133 pounds||No. 2 Roman Bravo-Young (16-1)||Joshua Vega (5-11)|
|141 pounds||No. 1 Nick Lee (17-0)||Sal Profaci (24-6)|
|149 pounds||No. 17 Jarod Verkleeren||No. 8 Kizhan Clarke (35-3)|
|157 pounds||Brady Berge (1-1) or Bo Pipher (9-12)||Ethan Karsten (12-12)|
|165 pounds||No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph (12-0)||Tim Fitzpatrick (11-13)|
|174 pounds||No. 2 Mark Hall (19-1)||Conner Allshouse (6-11)|
|184 pounds||No. 6 Aaron Brooks (11-1)||Tanner Harvey (19-6)|
|197 pounds||No. 18 Shakur Rasheed (4-4)||William Jarrell (5-21)|
|285 pounds||No. 17 Seth Nevills (12-3)||Niko Camacho (15-10)|
Rec Hall will say farewell to two of the greatest wrestlers in Penn State history when Vincenzo Joseph and Mark Hall take the mat. Between them, the dynamic seniors have been to six NCAA finals and have won three NCAA titles. They have been key figures in a lineup that has won the NCAA team title every season they have started.
For Vincenzo Joseph, his eyes are on winning another NCAA title.
"I want the team to be 2020 national champs this year. That's the goal. And obviously I want to win a title for myself because it would mean a lot to me this year," Joseph said. "But closing it out with a team title would be huge and would complete my college experience."
Mark Hall took some time to reflect on his growth in an interview with The Collegian.
"Me as a man, I think I've done a lot of growing and maturing throughout the years. Finding new values and standards for myself has been my biggest improvement," Hall said. "Setting new standards is expecting a lot out of myself and expecting more out of myself than someone else will expect out of me. If I mess up in anyway or if I don't accomplish the things I want to accomplish, there's not gonna be anyone on this planet more upset about it than I would be."
Hall and Joseph have been major parts of Penn State wrestling history. They will have another NCAA title to chase in March. For Sunday, it is just another match, as American does not pose a threat 165 or 174 pounds. Hall and Joseph are starting to ramp themselves up for the Big Ten Tournament.
Shakur Rasheed will also wrestle his final Rec Hall match against William Jarrell. Rasheed has not had a great season so far, but a win on Sunday can hopefully build some momentum for him heading into Big Tens.
The only ranked match at the dual is going to be at 149 pounds where No. 17 Jarod Verkleeren will take on No. 8 Kizhan Clarke. Clarke is 35-3 on the year, but he's not unbeatable and he's not a huge bonus point scorer. Verkleeren has been wrestling well in recent duals, and has a shot to pull the upset here. This could be a match where the first takedown wins.
Nick Lee, the new No. 1 at 141 pounds, will take on Sal Profaci. Lee faced Profaci in 2018 when he was a Michigan Wolverine, and Lee won that match 9-5. Expect this one to be more lopsided.
Aaron Brooks will face an experienced hand and 2019 NCAA qualifier Tanner Harvey. Brandon Meredith will have a tough test against Gage Curry at 125 pounds. Brady Berge is expected to be the starter following his return against Ohio State to take on Ethan Karsten. No. 2 Roman Bravo-Young will face Joshua Vega at 133 pounds. The heavyweight match will be No. 17 Seth Nevills against former Bethlehem Catholic standout Niko Camacho.
Prediction - Penn State 41, American 3
Ultimately, the Nittany Lions will have far too much for American. I expect American to win at either 125 or 149, but I do not think they will win both. I think Verkleeren can pull off the upset against Clarke, and from there it's a matter of how many bonus points Penn State can score.