2022 Black Knight Invitational

4 Big Storylines At Sunday's Black Knight Invite

4 Big Storylines At Sunday's Black Knight Invite

Here's why we'll be tuning in to the Black Knight on Sunday.

Nov 17, 2022 by JD Rader
4 Big Storylines At Sunday's Black Knight Invite

For the first time since 2019, Penn State is headed back to Army’s Black Knight Invite. And according to their official website, they're bringing their starting line from opening weekend plus Timothy Levine and Joe Lee. This, combined with the other teams competing, will provide some excellent Sunday entertainment.

Teams Competing

Penn State







Central Michigan


Potential Penn State Wrestle-Offs At 125 and 165

In their official preview, Penn State noted that the only two weights where they’re bringing multiple guys is 125 and 165. It seems safe to say this will be used as a data point as to who gets to start moving forward. 

Against Lock Haven last week Gary Steen got the nod at 125 lbs. He dropped the bout to 15th-ranked Anthony Noto by major decision. The other entry for the Nittany Lions is transfer Timothy Levine. Levine competed for Brown last year at 141 lbs where he went 18-14 including 1-2 at the EIWA Championships. 

Alex Facundo was the 165 lbs starter last week and defeated Aiden Gaugler by tech fall. However, in his press conference last week, Cael Sanderson mentioned that Joe Lee was still an option. Lee competed at the Bearcat Open last weekend and went 5-1 losing to Micah Hanau of the United States Military Academy.

Time For Shayne Van Ness To Prove Himself

Shayne Van Ness might still be the biggest mystery in division I wrestling. He was the #4 overall recruit coming out of high school, but he has been relatively inactive since his junior year of high school. As a redshirt last season he went 2-0.

The New Jersey native made his official debut against Lock Haven and impressed with a pin over Lock Haven’s Connor Eck. With two top-33 opponents in the field, Van Ness will finally get an opportunity to truly prove where he’s at. Van Ness will most likely have to go through #18 Johnny Lovett of Central Michigan and/or #HM Graham Rooks of Indiana. Both are multiple-time national qualifiers. If Van Ness can dominate them, he’s ready to go with the big dogs.

Watch Shayne Van Ness defeat Jesse Mendez at Who's Number One 2019 below.


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Is Army’s Ethan Berginc For Real?

It won’t come as a surprise to Pennsylvanians, but for national fans, Ethan Berginc has surely raised some eyebrows early this season. A PA AAA state champ in 2020, Berginc had a quiet USMAPS year going just 8-2. This season, however, he’s 7-0 with wins over Brandon Kaylor and Liam Cronin. Those wins have been good enough to earn him a #22 ranking. With Buffalo’s honorably ranked Tristan Daugherty being the only other ranked opponent in the field, Berginc won’t be able to increase his ranking unless some people above him take some losses. He can do his part by staying undefeated and beating wrestlers he’s supposed to, however. 

A Field Of Ranked Wrestlers

Penn State and Ethan Berginc won’t be the only tough wrestlers in the field. Take a look at all the ranked wrestlers who will be competing on Sunday.

125 - #HM Tristan Daugherty, Buffalo

133 - #HM Dominic Zaccone, Campbell

141 - #23 Cayden Rooks, Indiana

149 - #18 Johnny Lovett, Central Michigan

149 - #HM Graham Rooks, Indiana

157 - #20 Michael Petite, Buffalo

174 - #18 Donnell Washington, Indiana

174 - #21 Benjamin Pasiuk, Army

174 - #HM Jay Nivison, Buffalo

174 - #HM Austin Murphy, Campbell

184 - #21 Caleb Hopkins, Campbell

184 - #HM Jacob Ferreira, Hofstra

197 - #HM Trey Rogers, Hofstra

285 - #18 Taye Ghadiali, Campbell

285 - #23 Zachary Knighton-Ward, Hofstra

285 - #HM Jacob Bullock, Indiana