As Penn State 165-pounder Dave Vallimont calmly walked off the mat following his Senior Night win over Michigan State's Kyle Bounds, the casual observer would have never realized the milestone the senior had just reached.
By beating Bounds 3-1 Friday night at Rec Hall in No. 10 Penn State's 26-12 win over the Spartans, Vallimont earned his 100th win as a Lion -- and did it in his last home match.
But Vallimont's nonchalant demeanor following the victory was not indicative of how the Lake Hopatcong, N.J. native felt before the bout.
Vallimont, ranked seventh nationally, said he had been nervous about the match all week as the possibility of reaching the century mark in wins in front of his final home crowd drew nearer.
"It's pretty crazy how it all turned out," Vallimont said. "It felt to get [the win] here. I feel like it's a historical thing."
Penn State coach Cael Sanderson said the combination of Vallimont's final home match, along with the presence of numerous family members, increased the burden on the senior.
"I think he felt a little more pressure [in Friday's match] with his 100th and it being his last home meet," Sanderson said.
All four seniors who wrestled Friday for Penn State (13-5-1, 5-2 Big Ten) earned victories. Adam Lynch continued his strong showing in Big Ten conference duals by knocking off Michigan State's Dan Osterman 7-6 at 141 pounds, with a riding-time point proving to be the difference. At 157 pounds, No. 7 Cyler Sanderson flattened the Spartans' Anthony Jones in 2:28 to pick up his fourth-consecutive pin this season. The Nittany Lions' final senior, No. 10 184-pounder Dave Erwin, grinded his way to a tough 2-1 win over Nick Palmieri.
"Getting those wins is big for those guys," Cael Sanderson said. "They want to go out in style."
The coach's younger brother, who spent his first three years competing at Iowa State, said his win was made special by the support he has felt from his new fan base.
"I know I've only been here for a year, but it feels like I've been here longer," Cyler Sanderson said, adding that he has appreciated how Penn State fans have accepted him as one of their own.
Penn State's underclassmen also pitched in to help pick up the win in front of more than 4,400 fans. At 125 pounds, the Nittany Lions' 13th-ranked Brad Pataky continued his recent dominance with a 21-5 technical fall over the Spartans' Brenan Lyon. In his last three matches, Pataky has outscored his opponents 49-5 and has picked up a pair of technical falls and a major decision.
No. 4 Frank Molinaro earned an 11-6 decision over Michigan State's No. 12 David Cheza at 149 pounds and at heavyweight, No. 11 Cameron Wade picked up a 6-1 win over Alan O'Donnell.
Penn State fell in only three of the match's 10 bouts, with two of the losses coming by a total of three points. Justin Ortega fell to the Spartans' Ian Hinton by a score of 4-2 at 174 pounds and 197-pounder David Crowell lost 6-5 as Michigan State's Tyler Dickenson benefited from a riding-time point. At 133 pounds, Michigan State's Franklin Gomez, the defending national champion, pinned Penn State's Bryan Pearsall in 5:25.
Penn State will not take the mat again until next Friday when it travels to take on No. 5 Minnesota.