Huskers drop tight match to Hawkeyes

In the final dual of the season, the No. 10 Nebraska wrestling team battled No. 2 Iowa to the end but ultimately it was the Hawkeyes who secured a 20-15 triumph.

LINCOLN, Neb. (Nebraska Athletics) – In the final dual of the season, the No. 10 Nebraska wrestling team battled No. 2 Iowa to the end but ultimately it was the Hawkeyes who secured a 20-15 triumph in front of 3,170 fans at the Devaney Center on Sunday night.

NU finished the night with four victories, including a pin by No. 20 Taylor Venz at 184 over No. 16 Abe Assad and a top five win by decision for Mikey Labriola (174).

In the first bout of the night, Jeremiah Reno (125) faced his sixth ranked wrestler of the season. No. 12 Drake Ayala had the 7-2 advantage entering the final period after a trio of takedowns and an escape. In the third, Reno had his first takedown of the match, but Ayala answered with two more takedowns and a pair of escapes to claim the 13-6 victory.

At 133, Alex Thomsen was unable to recover after No. 3 Austin DeSanto’s hot start and dropped the match by technical fall, 23-7.

In the first of four top 10 matchups of the evening, No. 10 Chad Red Jr. (141) squared off with No. 2 Jaydin Eierman. Red Jr. led the Iowa wrestler 2-1 at the end of the first period after a big takedown and only allowing an escape. Eierman had a quick takedown and back points in the second to grab the 6-3 decision.

No. 7 Ridge Lovett (149) secured the first Big Red victory of the night over Iowa’s Vince Turk. The match remained scoreless through two periods, but a big escape and a crowd-erupting takedown put Lovett up 3-0. Turk recorded an escape in the final seconds of the match, but Lovett prevailed for his 17th win of the season.

Next, No. 10 Peyton Robb and No. 12 Kaleb Young grappled in the 157 weight class. After a takedown by Young and a reversal by Robb, the wrestlers were tied at 2 to close Period 1. In the second period, Young gained the advantage with a pair of escapes and two near-fall points to win by decision 6-3.

Bubba Wilson (165) took on No. 5 Alex Marinelli in the next bout. Wilson held on for a majority of the match, trailing 1-2 at the end of the first period. However, a pair of takedowns and an escape boosted Marinelli to an 8-2 decision.

No. 6 Mikey Labriola (174) upset No. 2 Michael Kemerer in the seventh matchup of the night. The Iowa wrestler was the first to score with a takedown, but Labriola answered with a reversal. Both recorded escapes to continue the tie to the third period. Labriola sealed the win with a takedown to accomplish the 5-4 decision and record his 98th career victory.

Venz (184) had the highlight match of the dual with a pin at 6:13 over No. 16 Abe Assad. Venz, who now has 24 career pins, was down 3-1 entering the final period, before he flipped the momentum with an escape, a takedown and the fall in the third period.

No. 3 Eric Schultz (197) continued his undefeated streak in dual meet competition, providing another win for the Big Red to bring the team score within reach at 15-17. He secured the 3-2 decision over No. 4 Jacob Warner using a takedown and an escape in the third period. Before the last period, Schultz had held Warner scoreless with a Schultz escape being the only points recorded.

The meet’s outcome was decided in the night’s final bout where No. 12 Christian Lance (285) met No. 4 Tony Cassioppi. The only points of the match were from an escape, stalling point and riding time in Cassioppi’s favor to bring the Iowa wrestler to the 3-0 decision and secure the overall Hawkeye win.

After the loss, the Huskers fall to 6-5 and 3-5 in the Big Ten, while Iowa improves to 14-1 and 7-1 in the conference.

The Huskers return to the mat at the 2022 Big Ten Championships, hosted at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln Neb., March 5-6. Session I begins on March 5 at 10 a.m and will be televised on BTN.

#2 Iowa  20, #10 Nebraska 15

125: No. 12 Drake Ayala (IOWA) dec. Jeremiah Reno, 13-6 (IOWA 3, NEB 0)

133: No. 3 Austin DeSanto (IOWA) tech. fall Alex Thomsen, 22-7 (IOWA 8, NEB 0)

141: No. 2 Jaydin Eierman (IOWA) dec. No. 10 Chad Red Jr., 6-3 (IOWA 11, NEB 0)

149: No. 7 Ridge Lovett (NEB) dec. Vince Turk, 3-1 (IOWA 11, NEB 3)

157: No. 12 Kaleb Young (IOWA) dec. No. 10 Peyton Robb, 6-3 (IOWA 14, NEB 3)

165: No. 5 Alex Marinelli (IOWA) dec. Bubba Wilson, 8-2 (IOWA 17, NEB 3)

174: No. 6 Mikey Labriola (NEB) dec. No. 2 Michael Kemerer, 5-4 (IOWA 17, NEB 6)

184: No. 20 Taylor Venz (NEB) fall No. 16 Abe Assad (6:13) (IOWA 17, NEB 12)

197: No. 3 Eric Schultz (NEB) dec. No. 4 Jacob Warner, 3-2 (IOWA 17, NEB 15)

HWT: No. 4 Tony Cassioppi (IOWA) dec. No. 12 Christian Lance, 3-0 (IOWA 20, NEB 15)

Categories: Husker Sports