A week after opening with three pretty easy wins at the Iowa City Duals, Iowa returned to action on Friday night with... a pretty easy win over #22 RIder. Iowa took down the Broncs by a score of 35-6, winning eight of 10 matches in the dual. Iowa picked up bonus points in seven of those eight wins as well, including pins from Justin Stickley and Sam Stoll to start and finish the night, respectively, and five major decision wins in-between. Rider was not the most aggressive or action-oriented opponent; Iowa had 28 of the 33 takedowns in the dual and the Broncs got dinged for stalling a whopping 15 times.
Of course, the outcome of this dual was never really in much question; Rider had a pair of very good wrestlers at 157 and 165, but not enough depth elsewhere to mount a serious threat to the Hawkeyes. The real intrigue before the dual was who would see the mat for the Hawkeyes, with a lot of speculation about the possible debuts of the much-hyped Spencer Lee (at 125) and Alex Marinelli (at 165). Alas, neither man wrestled in this dual, with Justin Stickley manning 125 again and Kaleb Young answering the call at 165. Both Lee and Marinelli did make the pre-match lineup sheet, so... baby steps? Personally, I'm still not sold on Lee making an official debut before Midlands, but we'll just have to wait and see. (Also of note: Jacob Warner was listed as an option at 197 on that lineup sheet, so Lee might not be the only true freshman phenom who wrestles on the main roster this year.)
|WEIGHT||#7 IOWA||RESULT||#22 RIDER||TEAM SCORE|
|125||Justin Stickley (Fr, 5-2)||FALL (4:36)||Jonathan Tropea||IOWA 6-0|
|133||Phillip Laux (Sr, 6-0)||DEC (5-1)||Anthony Cerfolo (Jr, 6-3)||IOWA 9-0|
|141||Tyson Dippery (Sr, 4-1)||DEC (8-4)||Vince Turk (So, 3-1)||IOWA 9-3|
|149||#2 Brandon Sorensen (Sr, 4-0)||MAJ DEC (14-4)||Gary Dinmore (So, 7-5)||IOWA 13-3|
|157||#3 Michael Kemerer (So, 4-0)||MAJ DEC (18-5)||#7 B.J. Clagon (Sr, 3-2)||IOWA 17-3|
|165||#4 Chad Walsh (Sr, 7-0)||DEC (5-4)||Kaleb Young (RS Fr, 3-1)||IOWA 17-6|
|174||Joey Gunther (So, 4-0)||MAJ DEC (12-3)||Wayne Stinson (Sr, 6-4)||IOWA 21-6|
|184||Mitch Bowman (Jr, 4-0)||MAJ DEC (15-3)||Michael Fagg-Daves (Sr, 5-5)||IOWA 25-6|
|197||#10 Cash Wilcke (So, 4-0)||MAJ DEC (16-3)||Ethan Laird (Fr, 5-4)||IOWA 29-6|
|285||#7 Sam Stoll (Jr, 4-0)||FALL (1:27)||Mauro Correnti (Sr, 7-4)||IOWA 35-6|
Stickley got things started for Iowa in a match that didn't lack for activity. Stickley got down early, 4-0 and 6-1, after conceding a pair of takedowns and some nearfall points, but he battle with a series of takedowns and a few nearfall points of his own to lead 9-7 after the first period. Stickley continued to push the pace in the second period, boosting his lead to 15-7 before finally finishing things off with a pin. There was much less action in Laux's win at 133, but he used a few stalling calls and a third-period to takedown to grind out a 5-1 win over Cefolo.
Vince Turk wasn't able to keep the wins going for Iowa at 141, as he earned his first loss of the season against Rider's Dippery. One bad moment proved costly for Turk in the match; he led 2-0 in the first after scoring the first takedown, but gave up a reversal and a tilt to turn that 2-0 lead into a 6-2 deficit. Dippery added another two-point tilt a moment later and put Turk in an 8-2 hole he was never able to escape. Dippery didn't do much the rest of the match and Turk was definitely the aggressor, but he couldn't do enough to overcome that one miscue. Dippery is a fringe Top 20 guy, so it's not a terrible loss, but given some of the buzz around Turk, it is disappointing. Hopefully he learns from the match and improves quickly.
The strength of Iowa's lineup is at 149 and 157 and Sorensen and Kemerer easily took care of business against Rider. Sorensen's 14-4 major decision came as no surprise; he racked up takedowns with relative ease against Dinmore. Kemerer's 18-5 major decision was much more surprising, given that it came against Clagon, ranked #7 at 157. Kemerer got a reversal and four nearfall points very late to make the match really lopsided, but he was in total control throughout. He led 10-2 after the second and Clagon simply couldn't stop his takedowns. We knew Kem was good, but this was a very impressive (and dominant) win over a quality opponent.
Iowa's only other loss of the night came at 165, where Kaleb Young suffered his first loss of the season against Chad Walsh, ranked #4 at 165. Young kept it close in a 5-4 loss, but he never quite looked like winning, either. Walsh got a takedown in the first and rode him out, while Young got an escape in the second. They traded reversals in the third and Walsh got an escape to go up 5-3. Walsh shut it down after that to the point that Young was able to earn a stalling point, but the fact that Young was never really close to scoring on his own makes me feel like this match wasn't quite as close as the score suggests. Still a pretty solid effort for Young against a top-5 opponent, though.
Iowa wrapped up the dual with four easy wins, with Gunther, Bowman, and Wilcke all winning major decisions. Bowman's win came against a fringe Top 20 guy, which is a nice accomplishment for one of Iowa's less heralded wrestlers. Gunther really broke his match open in the third period; he led 3-1 after two and he needed a (very) late takedown in the second to even get that score. But he turned it on in the third with a trio of takedowns, a stalling point, an escape, and a riding time point to get a bonus point win. Bowman got an early takedown and rode Fagg-Davies the rest of the first, then added a pair of escapes, a takedown, and a four-point nearfall to blow the match wide open. He tacked on a few more takedowns in the third to widen the gap even more.
At 197 Wilcke used a pair of first period takedowns to open a 4-1 lead, then boosted that with another takedown and a four-point nearfall in the second period. It's encouraging to see Iowa wrestlers turning their opponents on the mat and looking for (and getting) nearfall points; hopefully that keeps up as the competition ramps up. Finally, Stoll sealed the dual with a quick and easy pin; he took Correnti down in a body lock and finished him off with the fall in under a match that lasted under 90 seconds. Stoll ain't got time to mess around.
A look at Friday evening's wrestling action inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Hawks at home again Friday against Illinois. pic.twitter.com/BUXzf6J3lP— Hawkeye Wrestling (@Hawks_Wrestling) November 25, 2017
Overall, not much to complain about from this dual. Iowa won pretty much all of the matches that they should have and picked up bonus points in nearly all of their wins. Even with solid leads, Iowa wrestlers continued to look for takedowns and more point-scoring opportunities in the third period, which was good to see. As noted, they also weren't shy about working for nearfall points when they had control on the mat. The overall competition wasn't stellar here, but it was still encouraging to see Iowa wrestle like this and not just settle for easy decision wins. Turk's loss was the only disappointment on the night, but hopefully he's able to use it as a learning experience. Kemerer had the win of the night, easily dominating the Match of the Night against a quality opponent. He's going to be awfully fun to watch this year.
NEXT: Iowa hosts #14 Illinois at Carver-Hawkeye Arena next Friday night (12/1) at 7 PM CT.