Penn State wrestling (2-0) rolled over Hofstra (0-2) 43-10 on Sunday at Rec Hall, in the Nittany Lions final dual meet of 2023.

After an uncertain and injury-stained week in the Lorenzo Wrestling Complex, the Rec Hall fans were left guessing who would come out to take the mat for the Nittany Lions. Despite this, a second straight lineup featuring a few fresh faces took down the Pride on the strength of four pins from Levi Haines, Mitchell Mesenbrink, Bernie Truax, and Aaron Brooks.

With Senior Nationals on the horizon next weekend, Penn State seemed to be firing on all cylinders as some Nittany Lions plan to fight for individual hardware and a spot in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

How It Happened

125 Pounds

Kicking off the meet at 125 pounds, Braeden Davis battled against Hofstra’s Dylan Acevedo-Switzer. After a minute ticked away in the first, Davis secured the opening takedown of the dual and the bout, taking a 3-1 lead with 60 seconds left in the first period. The score remained the same as the second period got under way with Davis beginning in bottom position, from which he quickly escaped inside the first 30 seconds. Another takedown from Davis extended his lead to 7-1 as the bout headed into the final two minutes. A third and final takedown in the waning seconds of the opening bout gave Davis the 11-2 major decision in his Rec Hall debut.

133 Pounds

No. 4 Aaron Nagao was next to the mat, taking on Ryan Arbeit. Nagao started the bout strong with three takedowns and two minutes of riding time accumulated, heading into the second with a 9-3 lead. An additional four takedowns in the middle period gave Nagao what looked like an effortless tech fall at 4:20.

The Nittany Lions led the dual 9-0 after the first two bouts.

141 Pounds

Coming to the mat at 141 pounds were David Evans, filling in for No. 2 Beau Bartlett, and Alex Turley. In a similar fashion to the previous match, Evans opened up the scoring with two takedowns in the first, creating a 6-1 lead headed into the second period in bottom position. After an early escape, Davis secured another takedown, extending his lead to 10-1 with over three minutes of riding time heading into the final period. More offensive firepower in the final two minutes gave Evans the 19-4 tech fall at 6:13, the second tech fall in a row for the Nittany Lions in the dual.

149 Pounds

Connor Pierce, getting a shot at the 141 spot with Shayne Van Ness out for the season, wrestled next against Hofstra’s Noah Tapia at 149 pounds. After falling victim to a takedown and a three-second near fall, Pierce found himself down 6-0 as the action carried over into the second. A second takedown from Tapia extended his lead to 10-1 headed into the final two minutes. Total control from Tapia in the third gave Hofstra its first bout win of the dual, 11-2.

157 Pounds

No. 1 Levi Haines took on Dylan Zenion and made quick work of the bout. In no time at all, Haines secured the match’s first takedown, rolling Zanion onto his back for the pin at 1:02

Penn State led the dual 20-4 heading into the intermission.

165 Pounds

After the intermission, No. 14 Mitchell Mesenbrink took on Matt Waddell at 165 pounds. In emphatic style, a Messenbrink takedown in the middle of the first led to a pin at 1:24, the second fall in a row for the Nittany Lions.

174 Pounds

Trying to make it three pins in a row, No. 1 Carter Starocci battled against Eric Shindel. Four total takedowns from Starocci in the first gave the defending national champion the 12-3 lead heading into the middle period. Starocci went on to dominate the entire second period with top control, giving him the 14-3 with over four minutes of riding time heading into the final two minutes. Another takedown from Starocci gave him the 19-3 tech fall at 5:38

Penn State led 31-4 after Starocci’s bout.

184 Pounds

In the next bout, No. 2 Bernie Truax took on Will Conlon. After three takedowns to start the period, Truax turned Conlon for four nearfall points then finished off the pin at 1:51

197 Pounds

At 197 pounds, No. 1 Aaron Brooks faced off against Nikolas Miller. Two takedowns in the first gave Brooks a 6-1 lead heading into the middle period. Two additional Brooks takedowns in the second lead to the Nittany Lions’ fourth pin of the night, this time coming at 4:22.

285 Pounds

In the final bout of the day, AJ Fricchione stepped in for No. 1 Greg Kekvliet and took on No. 21 Keaton Kluever. After giving up two takedowns in the first, Fricchione found himself down 6-1 heading into the second. After another takedown, Kluever secured the pin over the Nittany Lion wrestler.

Penn State won the dual with a final score of 43-10.

What’s Next?

A handful of Nittany Lions wrestlers will be in action next at the Senior Nations on Dec. 15 through 17 in Fort Worth, Texas. All matches will be streamed on Flowrestling.

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