Wolverines Fall in Conference Finale at No. 2 Penn State
Zac Stevens

Feb. 5, 2012

Site: State College, Pa. (Rec Hall)
Score: #2 Penn State 34, #12 Michigan 7
Records: U-M (6-5, 4-4 Big Ten), PSU (11-1, 7-1 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Feb. 11 -- at NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals (Piscataway, N.J.)

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- The No. 12-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team held an early advantage and trailed by just three points at intermission, but No. 2 Penn State took the final seven matches, earning bonus in four, to claim a 34-7 win Sunday afternoon (Feb. 5) at Rec Hall.

The Wolverines (6-5, 4-4 Big Ten) earned their wins at the lowerweights, securing back-to-back victories at 133 and 141 pounds to claim an early 7-4 lead.

Senior Zac Stevens (Monroe, Mich./Monroe HS) just missed on bonus at 133 pounds, using four takedowns and a second-period reversal to defeat Frank Martellotti, 11-7. Stevens converted on a pair of double-leg takedowns in the first period and scored on a quick reversal in the second to take a four-point lead and riding-time advantage into the final frame. Stevens, ranked 16th, finished on a front headlock and a subsequent high crotch early in the period and, with the major in mind, cut Martellotti loose. The Nittany Lion wrestler cut the gap with a late takedown, however, forcing Stevens to settle for the decision.

Fifth-year senior Kellen Russell (High Bridge, N.J./Blair Academy) did earn the major decision in the next match, cruising to a 12-2 win over Bryan Pearsall at 141 pounds. Russell, ranked No. 1 nationally, scored on a pair of takedowns in the first period and added a three-point near fall at the buzzer to pad his lead. He used a switch for a reversal in the second and, with Pearsall pressing at the end, iced the match on a takedown at the final buzzer. Russell extended his win streak to 17 straight matches and improved to 24-1 on the season.

The Nittany Lions claimed a pair of decisions in the next two matches to regain a narrow three-point lead at the intermission break. Top-ranked Frank Molinaro used a pair of first-period takedowns and a third-period rideout to defeat junior/sophomore Eric Grajales (Brandon, Fla./Brandon HS), 6-1, at 149 pounds.

Junior/sophomore Brandon Zeerip (Fremont, Mich./Hesperia HS) held an early lead against sixth-ranked Dylan Alton at 157 pounds, finishing on a takedown late in the first period to carry a one-point advantage into the second. Alton responded, however, scoring late in the second to tie and picking up a third-period escape to win, 5-4.

Penn State surged ahead after the break, earning bonus points in four of the final five matches, including pins at 184 pounds and heavyweight, to seal the win and clinch its share of the Big Ten dual-meet title.

Its only decision victory came at 197 pounds, where Matt Brown finished on a last-second takedown in the third period to knock off sophomore/freshman Max Huntley (Emerald Isle, N.C./Blair Academy), 3-1, in the Wolverine wrestler's return to the lineup.

The Wolverines will travel to Piscataway, N.J., to compete in one of the four regional sites of the reformatted NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals next Saturday (Feb. 11).

#2 Penn State 34, #12 Michigan 7
Individual rankings from InterMat

Match Score
125 -- #9 Nico Megaludis (PSU) major dec. Grant Pizzo, 22-10 PSU, 4-0
133 -- #18 Zac Stevens (U-M) dec. Frank Martellotti, 11-7 PSU, 4-3
141 -- #1 Kellen Russell (U-M) major dec. Bryan Pearsall, 12-2 U-M, 7-4
149 -- #1 Frank Molinaro (PSU) dec. #7 Eric Grajales, 6-1 Tied, 7-7
157 -- #6 Dylan Alton (PSU) dec. Brandon Zeerip, 5-4 PSU, 10-7
165 -- #1 David Taylor (PSU) tech. fall #17 Dan Yates, 15-0 (5:25) PSU, 15-7
174 -- #2 Ed Ruth (PSU) major dec. #8 Justin Zeerip, 12-1 PSU, 19-7
184 -- #2 Quentin Wright (PSU) pinned Hunter Collins, 3:22 PSU, 25-7
197 -- Matt Brown (PSU) dec. #15 Max Huntley, 3-1 PSU, 28-7
Hwt -- #6 Cameron Wade (PSU) pinned #10 Ben Apland, 3:58 PSU, 34-7

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423

Sign up for Michigan Insider to be the first to learn about 2017-18 Michigan wrestling ticket opportunities.