Penn State wrestling traveled to East Lansing, Michigan for its second match in The Great Lakes State after defeating the No. 3 Michigan Wolverines Friday night in Ann Arbor, 29-6. The Nittany Lions followed that victory up with another, taking down the No. 21 Michigan State Spartans, 28-9.
Let’s take a look at three takeaways from the dual.
1. Drew Hildebrandt continues to make a difference
The Nittany Lions have been in need of consistency at 125 pounds for years at the NCAA Wrestling Championships and it looks like Hildebrandt is ready to give it to them. The 125-pounder, who was a mid-year transfer from Central Michigan, has already impressed in his month wrestling for the program. The redshirt senior improved to 4-1 on the season after defeating Tristan Lujan by major decision Sunday afternoon. Hildebrandt took control of his match with Lujan from the start, earning multiple takedowns and a riding time point thanks to his work on top. The Nittany Lion 125-pounder’s win came after his first loss of the year on Friday to No. 1-ranked Nick Suriano of Michigan. Sunday afternoon showed why he was so coveted by Penn State this season.
2. Terrell Barraclough inches closer to breakthrough against ranked opponent
Barraclough earned his first start at 157 since early December on Friday after Tony Negron went 1-5 over that time in duals. He lost his first match of the weekend against No. 15 Will Lewan of Michigan, 5-1 He took on his second ranked opponent of the weekend Sunday afternoon in Michigan State’s No. 19 Chase Soldate and came close to a victory against the Spartan. Barraclough fell, 4-2, in sudden victory against Soldate, but had an opportunity to earn the win in the match. His third period reversal gave him a 2-1 lead and a rideout with less than a minute left would have secured a victory for the sophomore. He may have gone 0-2 on the weekend, but his ability to stay with the level of competition could put him in position to get the nod at 157 pounds the rest of the season.
3. Brady Berge continues rounding into form
Brady Berge made his return to Penn State in early January after initially retiring after last season and moving on to coaching at South Dakota State. The Nittany Lion senior’s return has helped fill a hole at 165 pounds in Penn State’s lineup and he continued to keep his momentum going Sunday afternoon. Berge defeated Michigan State’s Caleb Fish by decision, 7-4, for his third victory to move to 3-0 after defeating No. 10 Cameron Amine Friday night against Michigan. His victory may not have earned bonus points for the Nittany Lions, but the consistent winning he’s provided should solidify the 165-pound spot for Penn State when NCAAs roll around this spring. He’ll be an asset for the Nittany Lions the rest of the season and one that could potentially push the team to higher levels in the postseason.
No. 1 Penn State 28, No. 21 Michigan State 9
Friday at East Lansing
125: No. 7 Drew Hildebrandt, PSU, maj. dec., Tristan Lujan, 8-0
133: No. 12 Rayvon Foley, MSU, dec., Baylor Shunk, 8-3
141: No. 1 Nick Lee, PSU, maj. dec., Matt Santos, 13-1
149: No. 19 Beau Bartlett, PSU, dec., Peyton Omania, 5-2
157: No. 19 Chase Soldate, MSU, 4-2, Terrell Barraclough, 4-2 (SV)
165: No. 16 Brady Berge, PSU, dec., Chase Fish, 7-4
174: No. 1 Carter Starocci, PSU, tech. fall, Marty Larkin, 19-3 (3:32)
184: No. 1 Aaron Brooks, PSU, dec., No. 27 Layne Malczewski, 4-0
197: No. 15 Cameron Caffey, MSU, dec., No. 2 Max Dean, PSU, 3-2
285: No. 4 Greg Kerkvliet, PSU, fall, Brad Wilton, (1:58)
Records: Penn State (12-0, 4-0 Big Ten), Michigan State (8-1, 3-1 Big Ten)
Next match: Penn State at Iowa, Friday 9 p.m.