Two days after defeating No. 19 Wisconsin 36-6 in a thrilling dual at Rec Hall, No. 1 Penn State picked up its first conference road win of the season, defeating No. 22 Purdue, 35-3.
While it was only the second time this season that the Lions wrestled both Friday and Sunday, head coach Cael Sanderson said Tuesday that the wrestlers are used to the grind that comes with the Big Ten season.
“They wrestle two times a weekend all the time. It's not really that big of a deal for them but we want to make sure that we use the matches for our conditioning and make sure they feel good in the matches,” Sanderson said. “That's the best confidence booster we can do for them.”
After defeating Wisconsin on Friday, the Lions came in to Sunday's dual with plenty of confidence. The lightweights started Penn State off on the right foot, with the team winning its first three bouts and jumping out to a 10-0 lead. Nico Megaludis, Jordan Conaway, and Bryan Pearsall all posted convincing victories in the lightweights to give the Lions their early edge.
With Purdue threatening to steal the momentum heading into the intermission after No. 13 Ivan Lopouchanski defeated James English 5-2 at 149 pounds, James Vollrath posted a back-and-forth 12-9 victory at 157 pounds over Tommy Churchard to give Penn State a 13-3 lead heading into the break.
The Lions expanded on their lead in the second half as David Taylor started the team off with a pin in the first period of his bout against Doug Welch.
Matt Brown followed the first pin of the day with a convincing 15-3 major decision over Kyle Mosier. Brown started the bout strong, leading 7-1 after one period with the help of three near fall points. The sophomore maintained control in the second period before posting three takedowns in the third to get the major decision.
After not wrestling Friday due to a forfeit at 184 pounds, Ed Ruth registered another pin, this time at 3:42 over Dion Crowder. Ruth was up 8-1 before he grabbed Crowder's arm and turned him on his back.
The Lions then used a 7-1 decision victory by Quentin Wright at 197 pounds and a 4-1 win by Jon Gingrich at heavyweight to take the dual by a score of 35-3.
Three of the Penn State's four remaining Big Ten duals will be on the road and with trips to Iowa, Illinois, and Ohio State looming, Taylor said February will be a good test for the team.
"We haven't really had a road test since I've been in school. This year we will definitely be tested going to Iowa, wrestling a really strong Illinois team, going to Ohio State, and wrestling a Pitt team,” Taylor said after Friday's dual. “Those are four straight duals in a row, it's going to be challenging.”