Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Top-Ranked Lions Attract Big Crowd, Down Ohio State

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Top-Ranked Lions Attract Big Crowd, Down Ohio State

Article excerpt

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Bryce Jordan Center crowd, packed to the rafters and seated all the way down and around the elevated mat on the floor, were on their feet throughout the night.

Many sat in heavy traffic with all roads to the arena packed just to have the chance to see the undefeated Nittany Lions face their toughest test of the season to date. Coach Cael Sanderson, one of the unlucky ones who said he was stuck in traffic prior to the match against No. 9 Ohio State, used the idle time to think about why all these people would flock to the arena.

His top-ranked Nittany Lions (13-0, 8-0 Big Ten) lived up to the hype, winning six of 10 bouts and downing Ohio State, 24-14.

"Pennsylvania wrestling is huge at all levels," Sanderson said. "The fans know what they're looking at and they love good wrestling and I think our guys are doing a good job wrestling impressively so they're fun to watch. I was thinking that while I was trying to get over here stuck in traffic. . The people are coming because of the way these guys are wrestling."

The way Sanderson's team is wrestling, entering the match with six wrestlers ranked within the top five in Division I, is difficult for any team to top. Despite a loss to start the match, with Penn State's 125-pounder Nico Megaludis, the No. 4 wrestler in his weight class, dropping a match, 3-1, to top-ranked Nathan Tomasello, the Lions rallied back in a hurry.

And so too did the crowd.

Jordan Conaway, the Lions' 133-pounder, trailed, 4-0, early in his match. With the momentum on the line he worked his way back into it, getting the crowd on their feet after an escape before coming back to take his match, 8-4. Getting the dual tied at 3-3 was key before Jimmy Gulibon (10-5) faced a difficult matchup against the Buckeyes' Micah Jordan, ranked No. 4 at 18-1. …

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