Pennsylvania’s NCAA Quarterfinals Preview: A Tale Of The Rematches

Quarterfinal Match-Ups


125#3 Spencer Lee (Iowa) vs. #6 Sean Russell (Minnesota)

These two have wrestled three times in the last two years with Spencer Lee winning all of them. Russell was an All-American in 2017 for Edinboro but was teched by Spencer last season and defeated by him 4-0, and 8-0 this season – the major decision happening last week in BIG 10’s. Spencer needs to keep his pace high and finish his attacks – which he had trouble doing on Sean Fausz in the Round of 16.


133#5 Luke Pletcher (Ohio State) vs. #4 Micky Phillippi (Pittsburgh)

This is the 43rd meeting of these two wrestlers since 2012. Just kidding – but seriously these two have wrestled at least 12 times over the last five years – if not more. They grew up 5 miles from each other and naturally they are going to face each other in the NCAA Quarterfinals. Pletcher was fourth last season at 133 pounds while Micky is in his first trip to Nationals. Combined the two will only score 4 points on Friday but it will still be a fun match. Phillippi owns the last win over Pletcher in the Cliff Keen Invitational this season.


133 – #3 Nick Suriano (Rutgers) vs. #6 Ethan Lizak (Minnesota)

Another re-match at 133 pounds will be between returning NCAA runner-up Nick Suriano and Ethan Lizak, also a former NCAA runner-up. Last week at the BIG 10 Tournament Suriano downed Lizak in a decisive 9-2 match. Both wrestlers have split matches with Iowa’s Austin DeSanto this season. Lizak will need to do more than ride Suriano out in order to pull the upset.


133#7 Austin DeSanto (Iowa) vs. #2 Stevan Micic (Michigan)

No one can forget this DeSanto – Micic match from last year. If this doesn’t ring a bell – Google it. DeSanto had a gutsy win over Penn State’s Roman Bravo-Young on Thursday night and will need to have an even better performance on Friday to defeat Michigan’s Stevan Micic. These two have history with DeSanto defeating Micic 22-10 in a shocking performance early last season. Micic got the last laugh in the 2018 NCAA Tournament when he beat DeSanto 13-1. Micic doesn’t appear to be 100% and DeSanto can go forever so if he wrestles smart and under control he could pull the upset.


141 – #5 Jaydin Eierman (Missouri) vs. #13 Kyle Shoop (Lock Haven)

The Giant Killer Kyle Shoop will take on 2-time All-American Jaydin Eierman. Shoop is looking for his first All-American finish but has a tall task in a consistent and poised junior from Mizzou. Unlike virtually everyone else in the quarterfinals – these two have not faced off in their career.


141 – #3 Nick Lee (Penn State) vs. #22 Max Murin (Iowa)

Another Penn State vs. Iowa match will take place on Friday morning – this time at 141 pounds. Nick Lee defeated Murin in the BIG 10 Tournament last week 8-2 and has looked sharp for the short period of time he’s been on the mat in Pittsburgh. Murin has been taking seeded guys out left and right with wins over the #11 and #6 seeds on Thursday. 


157#1 Jason Nolf (Penn State) vs. #9 Christian Pagdilao (Arizona State)

Jason Nolf is really good at wrestling. He beat Pagdilao by major decision 15-8 this season. I predict more pain.


157#5 Hayden Hidlay (NC State) vs. #4 Alec Pantaleo (Michigan)

One of the best quarterfinals of the day could be this one. Hidlay was an NCAA finalist last year and defeated Pantaleo 10-2 along the way. The Michigan senior is in search of his third career All-American finish. Expect a physical match from their feet.


157 – #3 Ryan Deakin (Northwestern) vs. #6 Kaleb Young (Iowa) 

These two didn’t wrestle in the dual but they did wrestle at Midlands with Deakin winning it 6-2. They are both looking for their first All-American honors and Young in particular has been impressive this far. Deakin, while he owns a win over him, should be careful of Young. 


165#5 Chance Marsteller (Lock Haven) vs. #4 Evan Wick (Wisconsin)

Last season Chance Marsteller looked like he was poised to finish third n the Nation at 165 pounds and, with a lead on Evan Wick, ended up being pinned to take fourth. This defeat probably stuck with Chance longer than others so there is a chance he really wants this one. It’s his ‘last chance’ to get on top of the podium so I wouldn’t count Marsteller out.


165#3 Joshua Shields (Arizona State) vs. #11 Bryce Steiert (Northern Iowa)

Sheilds has defeated Steiert this season 3-2 and I expect another very tight bout on Friday morning. Shields is looking to get back on the podium, this year up a weight, and will have to get by the very tough Steiert.


165 –  #7 Isaiah White (Nebraska) vs. #2 Vincenzo Joseph (Penn State)

These two foes have wrestled a lot over the years (not Pletcher – Phillippi level but close) and Joseph has, as of recently, been the one to come out on top. Last season these two wrestled at NCAAs in the same round with Vincenzo winning in sudden-victory 4-2 over White. This season Joseph beat him 2-0 so this will be yet another tight match it would appear.


174#10 Michael Labriola (Nebraska) vs. #2 Daniel Lewis (Missouri)

Redshirt freshman Labriola will need to bring everything he has against senior Dan Lewis. The BECAHI graduate had a nice win over Jacobee Smith (Oklahoma State) in the Round of 16.


184 – #1 Myles Martin (Ohio State) vs. #8 Ryan Preisch (Lehigh)

Preisch is looking for his first All-American honors after being oh-so-close for three years. Unfortuantly the Milton Area graduate gets top seed and returning NCAA runner-up Myles Martin who himself is on a mission for his first NCAA title.


184 – #5 Maxwell Dean (Cornell) vs. #13 Nino Bonaccorsi (Pittsburgh)

Can Nino Bonaccorsi, the Bethel Park kid, keep his train rolling in Pittsburgh on Friday morning? I think so. Dean is tough but Nino seems to be wrestling without much fear of losing and more focused on scoring as many points as possible and pushing the pace. They have not faced each other this year but Dean has a win over Zavatsky who Bonaccorsi has lost to several times this year.


184#3 Zack Zavatsky (Virginia Tech) vs. #6 Drew Foster (Northern Iowa)

He is seeded third but Zavatsky has lost twice to Drew Foster this season – both times at the Cliff Keen Invitational. Foster was 7th in 2017 while Zavatsky was 6th last year. This is a must win for Pennsylvania.


197#10 Tom Sleigh (Virginia Tech) vs. #2 Kollin Moore (Ohio State)

A tall task awaits Kollin Moore in the quarterfinals with 2-time All-American Kollin Moore. The second seed has been rolling at 197 pounds while Sleigh is hoping to finish his career on the podium for the first time.


285 – #28 Sam Stoll (Iowa) vs. #4 Jordan Wood (Lehigh)

These two were slated to compete in the first round before 285 pounds was re-drawn but now they get a date in the quarterfinals as Iowa senior Sam Stoll looks to again get on the podium. Wood is looking for his first top eight finish and will have a heavy load in Stoll who no doubt has a few pounds on him. It’s heavyweight so anything can happen.

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