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Penn State vs Michigan: Important Bouts To Keep An Eye On

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#1 Penn State will host #4 Michigan in the Bryce Jordan Center this Friday night at 7:00pm, and the dual can be streamed on Big Ten Network. 

A thrilling top-5 ranked showdown between Penn State and Michigan will be held in a sold out Bryce Jordan Center, with over 15,000 fans in attendance. Both teams are undefeated on the dual season (PSU 8-0, UM 7-0), and sets up a huge Big Ten matchup between two of some of the best teams in the country. Although Penn State hasn’t lost a dual since Jan. 31, 2020, Michigan definitely has the chance to take out the Nittany Lions with a very talented squad. There will be multiple swing matches that will decide the outcome of this dual, here are a few to keep an eye on Friday night.

285 – #1 Greg Kerkvliet (7-0) vs. #2 Mason Parris (17-0)

This is easily the biggest and most anticipated bout of the night, and could possibly decide the outcome of the dual. Penn State’s Greg Kerkvliet and Michigan’s Mason Parris have a lot of history, wrestling each other four times since the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Although Parris won their first meeting by a 11-3 major decision, Kerkvliet has rallied three straight wins over Parris, most recently defeating him at the 2022 NCAA Tournament in the consi-semi’s by a 6-1 decision. This year, both wrestlers are undefeated and ranked at the top of the 285-pound weight class. With dual implications on the line, this heavyweight showdown is a can’t-miss matchup and will once again shake up the rankings in the 285-pound weight class.

149 – #14 Shayne Van Ness (9-2) vs. #21 Chance Lamer (10-3)

This matchup between two redshirt freshmen will be a huge test for both teams as a win at 149-pounds could pay off in a big way. Penn State’s Shayne Van Ness has shown a ton of promise early on into the 2022-2023 season, and he continues to prove to be a big piece in the top-ranked Nittany Lion lineup. With Van Ness’ only losses on the season coming to Wisconsin’s #2 Austin Gomez and Iowa State’s #6 Paniro Johnson, he looks to continue to climb in the rankings and can earn Penn State a huge win at 149-pounds with a victory over Michigan’s Chance Lamer. For Lamer, he has also looked really impressive for the Wolverines. Most recently, he was in a barn-burner with #2 Gomez and showed a lot of potential in a 17-10 defeat. Lamer scored the most points out of any of Gomez’s opponents this season, and could pose the same threat to Van Ness on Friday night.

157 – #10 Will Lewan (10-3) vs. #17 Levi Haines (13-1)

The emergence of Penn State’s true freshman Levi Haines has only made this Nittany Lion lineup much better, and Haines continues to impress over tough opponents. Even though he squares off with Michigan’s returning 2022 NCAA All-American Will Lewan, he’s been a big threat to everyone else he’s faced this season. Haines most recently defeated Wisconsin’s #22 Garrett Model by a 16-6 major decision, and is on fire coming into this big matchup at 157-pounds. Despite Lewan just dropping a 3-1 sudden victory loss to Michigan State’s #17 Chase Saldate, he has had a good start to his junior season and won the Cliff Keen Invitational in early December. If Lewan is able to rebound from his recent loss, it would be a big win for the Wolverines and could possibly set up back-to-back wins with the following 165-pound bout.

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Cael Turnbull
Cael Turnbull
Journalism Major at Temple University Graduating in May of 2023

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