Penn State Wrestling Set for Senior Day Dual Against Buffalo
The Penn State wrestling team will host the University of Buffalo on senior day to close out the regular season in Rec Hall on Feb. 24, with the duel starting at 2 p.m. Buffalo brings an 11-4 overall record with a 4-2 MAC conference record to the mat while Penn State is 11-0 on the season with a perfect 9-0 Big Ten conference record. Penn State will also look to extend their duel winning streak to 59 as the Bulls come to town.
The overall record favors Penn State, as the Nittany Lions have a 4-0 record overall against Buffalo with the most recent victory coming at the close of last year’s regular season. The Nittany Lions had a “pin party” as seven of the 10 matches ended by fall. The final score was an incredible 55-0. This Sunday’s match will be the final Rec Hall appearance for seniors Anthony Cassar, Nick Nevills, Bo Nickal, Jason Nolf, Shakur Rasheed and Scott Stossel. These six athletes have all had memorable moments wearing a Penn State singlet whether it’s Anthony Cassar’s upset win against Ohio State last year or Bo Nickal clinching the National Championship with a pinfall victory. This program became a better with the hardwork and dedication of this year’s senior class.
The University of Buffalo is home to two ranked wrestlers by FloWrestling: 141 pounder Brian Lantry, who is ranked 17th, and 285 pounder Jake Gunning, who is ranked 20th. Neither has competed against Penn State as both were inactive during last year’s duel. There is only one competitor who understands what it is like to wrestle with a Penn State grappler and that is Brett Perry. Perry weighted in at 184 pounds, which meant his opponent was Nickal. Nickal pinned Perry in 11 seconds which is tied for the second fastest fall in Penn State wrestling history. This season both Perry and Nickal bumped up to 197 pounds therefore Perry will have a chance to redeem himself while Nickal will have the chance to best his previous efforts.
With this beginning the final match in Penn State this season, all hands will be on deck. Coach Cael Sanderson will have all of his regular starters at his fingertips, but in honor of senior day, I would like to see Sanderson start senior Scott Stossel. Stossel would be going up against a tough athlete in Derek Spann who is 17-2 this season. Stossel could wrestle one more time in Rec Hall and Roman Bravo-Young could rest up for the Big Ten Tournament.
My predictions for this match are quite simply as this Penn State team is something special. In my four years at Penn State, I have been witness to some extraordinary wrestlers, but this year’s team is my favorite. There is a certain attitude to this team that says “we are good and we know it, but we are going to have some fun along the way.” I thank this year’s team and wish them all the luck moving forward for the rest of the season.
Match Prediction: Penn State wins 44-3
Ryan Simpson is a senior majoring in statistics and minoring in sociology. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.