University Park, Pa. – The No. 8 Nebraska wrestling team fought valiantly but came up short against the No. 1 Penn State Nittany Lions as the Huskers lost 21-13 at Rec Hall in University Park, Pa., on Sunday. Nebraska finished the day with victories in four bouts including one major decision.
The meet started at 125. The Nittany Lions’ Drew Hildebrandt, rated No. 6 in his weight class, faced Jeremiah Reno. Hildebrandt attacked first with a takedown in the opening period, tallied an escape in the third and secured the riding time point to win by decision, 4-0.
Facing his fourth-straight ranked opponent was Dominick Serrano at 133. Penn State’s reigning national champion and current No. 1, Roman Bravo-Young, scored 10 takedowns to down Serrano by technical fall, 23-8.
All-American No. 8 Chad Red Jr. (141) then grappled familiar foe No. 1 Nick Lee. Lee tallied a takedown in Period 1 and an escape in Period 2 to lead 3-0. Red began the final period on bottom and was able to get the escape, but the final margin was 4-1 in favor of Lee.
Coming off Friday night’s impressive major decision victory, No. 8 Ridge Lovett (141) was up next for the Huskers against No. 18 Beau Bartlett. Lovett was aggressive early as he scored a takedown in the first period while holding Bartlett scoreless. The Husker sophomore started Period 2 on bottom, as he recorded an escape and another takedown to start the final period up 5-0. In the third, Lovett held control on top and secured the riding time point to win by decision, 6-0.
At 157, No. 5 Peyton Robb battled Penn State’s Terrell Barraclough. Robb struck first with a quick takedown, and Barraclough responded with an escape. Robb then earned an escape of his own to start the second period and held a 3-1 lead. To start the final two minutes, Barraclough tallied his second escape of the night, but Robb held his ground and won his third ranked bout of the year, 3-2.
North Las Vegas, Nev., native Tahjae Jenkins-Harris (165) was up next for the Huskers as he made his first dual appearance since NU’s matchup with UNK on Nov. 11. His opponent, Creighton Edsell, scored first to lead 2-0 after Period 1. The wrestlers battled to a scoreless second period, but Edsell worked quickly in the third. The Penn State grappler recorded two takedowns and secured the riding time point to win by decision, 9-2.
No. 5 Mikey Labriola (174) then took the mat for the Huskers, facing off against the Nittany Lions’ Mason Manville. Labriola scored the first points of the bout with a takedown and accumulated riding time to end Period 1. Labriola then started Period 2 on top, with Manville earning an escape, before Labriola took control with three takedowns to lead 8-3. In the final period, Labriola scored an escape, two takedowns and secured the riding time point to grab his third major decision victory of the season.
The second top-10 matchup of the day took place at 184 pounds between Husker senior No. 9 Taylor Venz and the Nittany Lion’s reining national champion No. 1 Aaron Brooks. Brooks struck first with a takedown in the opening period. Venz tallied four escapes in the opening two periods combined, but it was not enough as Brooks won by major decision, 14-4.
No. 3 Eric Schultz (197) kept his undefeated dual streak alive, as he was victorious over Penn State’s Michael Beard. Beard recorded the first points of the bout in the opening period with a takedown, but Schultz responded with an escape. Schultz then began Period 2 on top, racking up 1:22 of riding timing, and was awarded a penalty point due to Beard’s stalling to tie the match, 2-2. Schultz took his first lead of the match in the third period with an escape before Beard responded with a takedown. Schultz was then awarded two more stalling penalty points and recorded an escape in the last seconds to win by decision, 6-4.
The meet concluded with a heavyweight matchup between No. 5 Greg Kerkvliet and No. 12 Christian Lance. The Husker senior from Nixa, Mo., earned an escape in Period 1, but Kerkvliet used two takedowns and an escape of his own to lead, 5-1. In the final period, Lance tallied another escape, but Kerkvliet added another takedown and one riding time point to defeat Lance 8-2.
After the loss, the Huskers fall to 5-4 and 2-4 in the Big Ten, while Penn State improves to 16-0 and 8-0 in the conference.
Next up for the Huskers is a Feb. 13 showdown with Illinois. BTN will televise the action from the Devaney Center beginning at 11 a.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Huskers.com
#1 Penn State 21, #8 Nebraska 13*
125: #6 Drew Hildebrandt (PSU) dec. Jeremiah Reno (NEB), 4-0 (PSU 3, NEB 0)
133: #1 Roman Bravo-Young (PSU) tech. fall Dominick Serrano (NEB), 23-8 (PSU 8, NEB 0)
141: #1 Nick Lee (PSU) dec. #8 Chad Red Jr. (NEB), 4-1 (PSU 11, NEB 0)
149: # 8 Ridge Lovett (NEB) dec. #18 Beau Bartlett (PSU), 6-0 (PSU 11, NEB 3)
157: # 5 Peyton Robb (NEB) dec. Terrell Barraclough (PSU), 3-2 (PSU 11, NEB 6)
165: Creighton Edsell (PSU) dec. Tahjae Jenkins-Harris (NEB), 9-2 (PSU 14, NEB 6)
174: # 5 Mikey Labriola (NEB) maj. dec. Mason Manville (PSU), 14-4 (PSU 14, NEB 10)
184: # 1 Aaron Brooks (PSU) maj. dec. #9 Taylor Venz (NEB), 14-4 (PSU 18, NEB 10)
197: # 3 Eric Schultz (NEB) dec. Michael Beard (PSU), 6-4 (PSU 18, NEB 13)
HWT: #5 Greg Kerkvliet (PSU) dec. #12 Christian Lance (NEB), 8-2 (PSU 21, NEB 13)