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UVU Hosts Defending National Champs in Front of Record Crowd
Feb. 11, 2012
OREM, Utah -- Utah Valley wrestling played host to the No. 2 team in the country and defending national champions, Penn State, in front of a record crowd in the UCCU Center on Saturday night. Penn State won the dual 39-3.
"We wanted the guys to go out and wrestle with a passion tonight and we saw some really good signs from some good young wrestlers," said UVU head coach Greg Williams. "We've wrestled five of the top 11 teams in the country in duals this year and we want as many matches like that as we can. The way our guys need to learn is get out in tough matches and see what we're not good at yet, go back in the room and get repetitions, then turn those repetitions into success on the mat against the competition."
The highlight for UVU (6-9, 1-4 WWC) came in the 133-pound bout when the Wolverines' Blake Mangum faced Frank Martellotti of PSU (12-1, 7-1 Big Ten). The two battled to a tight, 1-0 score, in favor of Martelloti, at the end of the second period, but Mangum tied the match at one-all with an escape with 34 seconds remaining in the match. The redshirt freshman then converted a takedown 20 seconds later to win an exciting 3-1 decision for UVU.
Brian Chamberlain pieced together a gritty performance in his match with 12th ranked Morgan McIntosh. Chamberlain energized the UCCU Center crowd with a first period takedown, and took a 2-1 advantage into the second frame. McIntosh got ahold of Chamberlain late in the second period, but the Wolverine refused to budge, riding out the second period with his lead intact. Sensing the upset, McIntosh stayed aggressive in the final frame. Chamberlain battled the Lion off for much of the period, but suffered a takedown at the minute mark, giving McIntosh a 4-3 lead. After a stoppage, Chamberlain started down with seven seconds remaining, but couldn't win an escape, surrendering a 4-3 decision.
Another notable bout came in the 174-pound division when UVU's Monte Schmalhaus drew Matt Brown of Penn State, a redshirt freshman from West Valley City, Utah. Schmalhaus trailed just 2-0 as the second period began, but a pair of Brown takedowns put the visitor ahead 6-2 heading into the third frame. A quick reversal just seconds into the final period extended the lead, and two more takedowns in the final minute gave Brown the major decision, 13-3.
Not only was Penn State the highest ranked program to ever visit Orem, the dual also marked the homecoming of the Sanderson brothers, Cael and Cody, who hail from Heber City, Utah. Cael Sanderson is largely considered one of the greatest amateur wrestlers of all-time after going undefeated in four years of collegiate competition at Iowa State then winning a gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.
For elder brother Cody Sanderson, who serves as associate head coach for the Nittany Lions, it was not only a homecoming to the state of Utah but also to Utah Valley University. Cody was the first-ever coach of Wolverine wrestling, taking the reins of the fledgling program in 2003 and coaching for three years.
"They're building their program and they have a solid program here," said Cael Sanderson of UVU. "Their kids all wrestle hard and that's what we want for our guys. This has been a good trip for us and it was a good event with a great atmosphere. We'll come back again."
The Wolverines now shift their attention to their final dual of the season, a road contest at Northern Colorado next Wednesday night at 7 p.m. The NCAA West Regional, which doubles as the Western Wrestling Conference tournament, begins March 4 in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
#2 Penn State 39, Utah Valley 3
Exhibition - Jon Gingrich (PSU) Maj. Dec. Zac Jensen (UVU), 13-2