Five PSNK Grapplers Compete at W&J Invitational

The Penn State New Kensington Wrestling team rounded out their open tournament season with a trip to the Washington & Jefferson Invitational on Saturday.  The New Ken Lions had a pair of wrestlers deep into the tournament in Freshman Jimmy Bistline (157) and Matt Kepple (184).

Bistline led PSNK going 3-2 on the day and found himself one match away from placing.  The New Kensington Freshman won his opening match against Kojo Boadu of Mercyhurst Northeast with a late takedown and a 4-3 victory.  In the round of 16, Bistline was able to come out on top once again against W&J's John Kyriacopoulos by a score of 8-7.  The 157-pounder was leading 6-2 at the end of the second period before Kyriacopoulos was able to get a quick escape and a pair of takedowns to tighten up the match.  Bistline was able to fend off Kyriacopoulos at the tail end of the match to advance to the quarterfinals. 

In the quaterfinals, Bistline suffered his first loss of the day against Tyler Berger of Mercyhurst.  Bistline was able to pick up his first fall of the season against Nick Sewell of W&J at the 4:17 mark.  The PSNK 157-pounder was trailing 3-2 before reversing the President to his back and recording the fall.

Penn State New Kensington Junior, Matt Kepple, also had a good showing with a 2-2 finish at the Invitational.  Kepple opened with a close 8-6 loss to eventual finalist Nikos Garafolo of Pitt-Johnstown. 

The New Ken Lion bounced back nicely with a fall over PSUAC foe Genkie Stoutamire of Penn State Greater Allegheny in 57 seconds.  As Kepple continued to fight through the consolation bracket, he picked up another fall in 3:25 over Chaz Scheaffer of Mercyhurst.  Kepple was able to hit Scheaffer in a spread eagle to open the second period and secure another fall on the day.  In his final match on Saturday, the PSNK Junior faced Collins Nitcheu.  Kepple scored a takedown late in the third period to tie the match up at 4-4, but Nitcheu found a way out on bottom and recorded a reversal with less than 30 seconds to go.  Kepple was able to recover and get an escape late, but it proved to be not enough as Nitcheu held on for a 6-5 victory.

Three other PSNK wrestlers competed on Saturday as well.  Kevin Uncapher (133), Andrew Floyd (149), and James Melnyk (157) all ended up finishing 0-2.

The Penn State New Kensington Wrestling team will be back in action on Wednesday, January 9th to open up their dual meet season with a home match against Penn State Greater Allegheny at 7 p.m.