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Nevills wins last bout as No. 2 Penn State edges No. 7 Nebraska 20-18 in Lincoln

By Penn State Athletics and Nebraska Athletics | Jan. 24, 2020, 11:29 p.m. (ET)

Seth Nevills image courtesy of

Nittany Lions Get B1G Dual Win at #7 Nebraska
by Pat Donghia

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State Nittany Lions (7-1, 4-0 B1G), ranked No. 2 in the latest InterMat Tournament Power Index, downed No. 7 Nebraska (5-3, 0-3 B1G) to begin a rugged 16-day stretch of Big Ten road action. Penn State posted a 20-18 win in front of a record-Nebraska crowd with true freshman Seth Nevills (Clovis, Calif) sealing the deal with a win in the dual's final match-up.

Including tonight's dual, Penn State is on a run of four-of-five road duals in 16 days, including action at Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota with a home dual against Maryland splitting the four road dates. Each team won five bouts in the hotly contested battle with Penn State winning the bonus point battle to grab the win. A new Nebraska wrestling record crowd of 5,960 filled NU's Devaney Center. All rankings listed are InterMat.

The dual began at 125 where freshman Brandon Meredith (Limerick, Pa.) lost a hard-fought 3-1 sudden victory decision to Nebraska's Alex Thomsen, giving the Huskers an early 3-0 lead in the dual. Sophomore Roman Bravo-Young (Tucson, Ariz.), ranked No. 3 at 133, was winding down a regular decision win over No. 13 Ridge Lovett when he hit on a furious six-point move as the bout ended, nearly pinning the Husker in the process. The takedown, four nearfall points and riding time gave the Lions an 11-3 major decision and gave Penn State a 4-3 lead. Junior Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), ranked No. 2 at 141, dominated No. 8 Chad Red Jr. in the next bout. Lee used three takedowns, an escape, a stall point and nearly 4:00 in riding time (3:58) to roll to a 9-1 major decision over the ranked Husker and give Penn State an 8-3 lead.

Sophomore Jarod Verkleeren (Greensburg, Pa.) battled No. 14 Collin Purinton at 149. Trailing 3-2 in the third, Verkleeren forced a scramble as he looked for a takedown but was pinned by the ranked Husker at the 5:50 mark. With No. 4 Brady Berge (Mantorville, Minn.) not competing at 157, junior Bo Pipher (Paonia, Colo.) took the mat against No. 11 Peyton Robb. Pipher battled the ranked Husker tough but lost a hard-fought 5-3 decision. Nebraska's two wins to close out the half put Penn State behind 12-8 at intermission.

Senior Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 165, dominated No. 5 Isaiah White in the second half's first bout. Joseph used a first period takedown, a second period rideout, an escape, a stall point and 2:00 riding time to post the 5-1 win over White. Senior Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 1 at 174, then took care of No. 6 Mikey Labriola. Hall rolled his way out to a 6-1 lead and then finished the match by notching a late takedown, locking up a cradle and pinning the ranked Husker at the 6:52 mark to put Penn State up 17-12.

True freshman Aaron Brooks (Hagerstown, Md.), ranked No. 6 at 184, suffered his first loss of the season, a tough 9-5 decision to No. 8 Taylor Venz, the veteran Husker junior cutting Penn State's lead to 17-15. Senior Shakur Rasheed (Coram, N.Y.), ranked No. 19 at 197, dropped a tough 3-1 decision to No. 8 Eric Schultz as the Husker used a late second period takedown to grab the victory. The Huskers led 18-17 with one bout left. True freshman Seth Nevills (Clovis, Calif.) took on No. 15 Christian Lance, a senior, at 285 with the dual meet in the balance. Nevills was unphased by the moment and dominated the Nebraska senior. After a scoreless first period, Nevills notched a second-period rideout after Lance chose down to start the middle stanza. The Lion freshman escaped to start the third and finished off the dual with a late takedown to post an impressive 4-0 win with 2:11 in riding time. Nevills' impressive performance gave Penn State the 20-18 victory.

Penn State won the takedown battle 13-8. With each team winning five bouts, the dual meet came down to bonus points and the Lions won that battle 5-3. Penn State got bonus points off of one pin (Hall) and two majors (Bravo-Young, Lee).

Penn State is now 7-1 overall, 4-0 in the Big Ten. Nebraska falls to 5-3, 0-3 B1G. Penn State continues its road trip next Friday, visiting Iowa on Friday, Jan. 31,for another BTN nationally televised dual. Action begins at 9 p.m. Eastern / 8 p.m. Central in Iowa City. Penn State then hosts Maryland two days later on Sunday, Feb. 2, at 2 p.m. in Rec Hall.

Penn State Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at @pennstateWREST, on Penn State Wrestling's Facebook page at and on Instagram at This is PENN STATE. WRESTLING lives here.

#2 Penn State 20, #7 Nebraska 18
January 24, 2020 – Lincoln, Neb.

125: Alex Thomsen NU dec. Brandon Meredith PSU, 3-1 (SV) 0-3
133: #3 Roman Bravo-Young PSU maj. dec. #13 Ridge Lovett NU, 11-3 4-3
141: #2 Nick Lee PSU maj. dec. #8 Chad Red Jr. NU, 9-1 8-3
149: #14 Collin Purinton NU pinned Jarod Verkleeren PSU, WBF (5:50) 8-9
157: #11 Peyton Robb NU dec. Bo Pipher PSU, 5-3 8-12
165: #1 Vincenzo Joseph PSU dec. #5 Isaiah White NU, 5-1 11-12
174: #1 Mark Hall PSU pinned #6 Mikey Labriola NU, WBF (6:52) 17-12
184: #8 Taylor Venz NU dec. #6 Aaron Brooks PSU, 9-5 17-15
197: #8 Eric Schultz NU dec. #19 Shakur Rasheed PSU, 3-1 17-18
285: Seth Nevills PSU dec. #15 Christian Lance NU, 4-0 20-18
Attendance: 5,960
Records: Penn State (7-1, 4-0 B1G); Nebraska (5-3, 0-3 B1G)
Up Next for Penn State: Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, at Iowa, 9 p.m. Eastern / 8 p.m. Central (BTN)

Huskers Halted by Penn State
by Zachary Withers

LINCOLN, Neb. -- The No. 7 Nebraska wrestling team battled No. 2 Penn State to the bitter end but ultimately it was the Nittany Lions (7-1, 4-0 Big Ten) who secured a 20-18 triumph in front of record-breaking crowd of 5,960 fans at the Devaney Center on Friday night.

The meet started off positively for the Huskers (5-3, 0-3 Big Ten). Freshman Alex Thomsen (125) snapped a four-match losing streak against dual meet competition, defeating Penn State freshman Alex Meredith 3-1 in sudden victory. Following a scoreless first period, the grapplers exchanged escapes in the second and third period. Tied 1-1, Thomsen wasted no time in the sudden victory period, working his way around Meredith to secure a takedown and a hard-fought 3-1 decision victory.

No. 13 Ridge Lovett (133) faced his third top-three opponent in the last three dual meets (No. 1 Seth Young (Wisconsin) on Jan. 12; No. 2 Austin DeSanto (Iowa on Jan. 18)) when he met Penn State's third-ranked Roman Bravo-Young. Lovett fought hard and faced a 4-3 deficit after Bravo-Young gave up a stalling point with 50 seconds left in Period 3. The Nittany Lion sophomore persisted, however, and scored a takedown and four near-fall points in the waning seconds of the match. A point for riding time gave Bravo-Young an 11-3 major decision win.

No. 8 Chad Red Jr. (141), coming off a top-five victory over Iowa's Max Murin on Jan. 18, could not sustain his positive momentum, as Penn State's No. 2 Nick Lee tallied a takedown in all three periods and piled up over three minutes of riding time in a 9-1 major decision victory.

What followed was perhaps the most exciting match of the night. No. 14 Collin Purinton (149) battled Jarod Verkleeren, holding only a one-point advantage in the third period when Verkleeren escaped to make the score 3-2 in favor of the Husker senior from Banks, Ore. Purinton then shot, Verkleeren countered, and in the resulting scramble, Purinton was able to put the Penn State grappler on his back and record a fall at the 5:50 mark of the match. The record-setting crowd roared in approval as Purinton slapped the mat and rejoiced.

Having regained the team score lead, the Huskers turned to No. 11 Peyton Robb (157). The redshirt freshman from Owatonna, Minn., scored a takedown and gave up a reversal to Bo Pipher in the first period,, but then scored a reversal of his own in the second period to break a 2-2 tie. Robb also accumulated over two minutes' worth of riding time on his way to a 5-3 decision win.

No. 5 Isaiah White (165) then had a chance to avenge a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Penn State's No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph on Jan. 20, 2019. Joseph had other plans, however, scoring a takedown, earning a point for stalling, and piling up two minutes of riding time en route to a 5-1 decision victory.

Like White, No. 6 Mikey Labriola (174) had a chance to return the favor against a top-rated Nittany Lion. No. 1 Mark Hall defeated Labriola 5-3 in State College, Pa., back in January 2019. Following a Hall takedown that was originally called on the mat but overturned following a Nebraska challenge, the Penn State grappler never looked back. Hall scored a takedown in the first period, a reversal in Period 2 and two takedowns in the third period. His second third-period takedown proved to be critical, as Hall locked up Labriola in a cradle and was able to secure a pin at the 6:52 mark of the bout.

Now facing a five-point team score deficit, No. 8 Taylor Venz (184) went to work against Penn State freshman Aaron Brooks. Venz gave up an early takedown but fought his way to a 3-3 tie at the end of Period 1. The junior from Farmington, Minn., used an escape and takedown to build a 6-3 lead heading into Period 3. Venz scored another takedown in the third period and piled up over two minutes of riding time throughout the match. A late Brooks reversal was inconsequential as Venz earned the 9-5 win.

No. 8 Eric Schultz (197) continued his undefeated streak in dual meet competition by grinding out a 3-1 win over Nittany Lion senior No. 19 Shakur Rasheed. Neither Schultz nor Rasheed ceded much ground in this bout, but Schultz was able to score a team-leading 54th takedown at the end of Period 2 and that ultimately proved to be the difference as he helped Nebraska regain the team score lead, 18-17.

The meet's outcome was decided in the night's final bout. No. 15 Christian Lance (HWT) and Penn State freshman Seth Nevills were scoreless after Period 1. Lance chose down to start the second period and Nevills proved tough on top, controlling Lance for the entire period and racking up two minutes of riding time. Nevills escaped early in Period 3 to effectively make the score 2-0 in his favor and Lance was unable to get the bout-tying takedown he needed. The Husker senior from Nixa. Mo., came close on a couple different occasions, but Nevills fought off each shot and scored an emphatic takedown to post a 4-0 win and give Penn State the two-point victory.

The Huskers will be back in action on Sunday against Michigan State. Dual meet action is slated to begin at 2 p.m. and will be streamed online via BTN+ (subscription required). Sunday's dual will be part of Tumble N' Rumble, a combined event featuring the Nebraska wrestling and men's gymnastics teams competing simultaneously. There will also be a giveaway on Sunday, with free t-shirts being given to the first 500 fans and free pop sockets given to the first 300 fans.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit