Iowa wrapped up the home portion of their schedule with an easy 33-2 win over #17 Northwestern on Sunday, winning the first six bouts of the dual meet and nine of ten overall. Iowa picked up bonus points in four of those nine wins, including back-to-back technical falls from Michael Kemerer and Alex Marinelli and major decisions from Vince Turk and Mitch Bowman. Iowa won two of the three matches involving ranked Northwestern wrestlers, winning Top 10 showdowns at 125 and 149, albeit not necessarily in impressive fashion. Johnny Sebastian earned Northwestern's only win of the day, at 174 lbs. This wasn't Iowa's sharpest performance -- they looked much better overall against Minnesota on Friday night -- but they got the needed result in a sleepy Sunday morning dual. That'll do for now.
|125||#3 Spencer Lee||DEC (7-4)||#10 Sebastian Rivera||IOWA 3-0|
|133||Paul Glynn||DEC (3-2)||Colin Valdiviez||IOWA 6-0|
|141||Vince Turk||MAJ DEC (10-2)||Alec McKenna||IOWA 10-0|
|149||#2 Brandon Sorensen||DEC (5-4 OT)||#5 Ryan Deakin||IOWA 13-0|
|157||#2 Michael Kemerer||TECH FALL (17-2)||Shayne Oster||IOWA 18-0|
|165||#7 Alex Marinelli||TECH FALL (23-8)||Michael Sepke||IOWA 23-0|
|174||#17 Johnny Sebastian||DEC (9-4)||Kaleb Young||IOWA 23-2*|
|184||#20 Mitch Bowman||MAJ DEC (9-1)||Mitch Sliga||IOWA 27-2|
|197||#7 Cash Wilcke||DEC (8-4)||Zack Chakonis||IOWA 30-2|
|285||#3 Sam Stoll||DEC (2-0)||Conan Jennings||IOWA 33-2|
* Northwestern was docked a team point after the 174 lb match, but I'm not sure why. (EDIT: Apparently it was for "failure to control to the mat area." Naughty Wildcats.)
A few thoughts:
- Spencer Lee got off to a fast start at 125 lbs, finishing a takedown within 30 seconds and proceeding to ride Rivera for the rest of the period. As usual, he was always able to put his tremendous tilt skills to work and pick up a four-point nearfall. The second and third periods didn't go as well, though: Rivera rode Lee for the entire second and then managed to get two takedowns on Lee in the third after choosing neutral. Lee looked a bit sluggish in the second and third periods. Perhaps the short turnaround from Friday, early start time, and second weigh-in in under 48 hours had an impact on his performance. This was similar to the conditions he'll see at the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments in March, though, so hoepfully he can adjust and come out sharper there.
- Paul Glynn appears to be Iowa's locked-in starter at 133 lbs; Iowa rotated wrestlers at 141 and 174 this weekend, but Glynn wrestled both bouts this weekend. He rewarded that selection with his first win in several weeks today. It wasn't a pretty bout, but he kept grinding and finally got the winning takedown with seconds to spare in the third.
- I expected Happel to start again after his impressive showing on Friday night, so I'm assuming Turk's start was part of a pre-planned rotation. Turk came out strong with a pair of first period takedowns and though the second period was disappointing (he got ridden the entire period), he rebounded with a few more takedowns in the third and was able to get a major decision, which was a pleasant surprise.
- Sorensen had arguably the toughest opponent of any Iowa wrestler this dual in hotshot redshirt freshman Ryan Deakin, who's climbed up to #5 in the rankings. Deakin, a strong and lanky opponent, gave him all he could handle as well. He was in deep on several shots in the first period but couldn't quite finish. Sorensen got a takedown in the second, but led just 3-2 in the third when Deakin finally capitalized on his offense and converted a takedown to go up 4-3 with 20 seconds remaining. Sorensen got the takedwon and sent the match to overtime, where he won 5-4 on a penalty point -- Deakin got dinged for grabbing Sorensen's headgear. That call bailed Sorensen out, frankly, because Deakin had ahold of Sorensen's leg and was posting up for a possible match-winning takedown when he got nailed for the penalty. The good news is that Sorensen has some experience wrestling Deakin now, so hopefully he can gameplan for him a bit better if they meet again at the Big Ten or NCAA Tournaments. Deakin's size and length definitely make him a handful at 149 lbs.
- Michael Kemerer must be feeling well because he got another start at 157 lbs today. And he certainly looked good, tearing through Shayne Oster for a 17-2 technical fall in barely over three minutes. Kemerer got three takedowns, two four-point nearfalls, and another two-point nearfall all in the first period to go up 16-2 heading into the second. A quick escape later and the technical fall was secure. That was a no muss, no fuss total domination display from Kemerer.
- After intermission, Alex Marinelli kept the bonus points flowing with another technical fall. He needed all seven minutes to get his technical fall, but he dominated all the same. It was nice to see Marinelli cut loose on offense after all of the tight, nervy matches decided by one or two takedowns he's had in recent weeks. He broke Sepke down and worked an absolute takedown clinic, especially in the third when he had five takedowns in rapid succession to secure the tech fall.
- The only down note for Iowa in the dual was at 174 lbs, where Johnny Sebastian jumped out to an early lead with two first period takedowns and never looked back. Kaleb Young got the start over Joey Gunther today, but he wasn't able to do much of note here .
- Mitch Bowman rebounded from his ugly major decision loss on Friday with a solid major decision win of his own today. Bowman got a takedown and ride-out in the first, followed by a reversal and ride-out in the second, then a pair of takedowns in the third to get the major. He almost waited too long in the third to try and get his final takedown, but he managed to get it just before the buzzer. It was good to see Bowman wrestle a smart, active match and stay in control throughout, though. He needed to bounce back after Friday and he did just that.
- Cash Wilcke was also looking to rebound after a sluggish outing on Friday and he mostly did as well, earning an 8-4 decision win. He got the first takedown of the match in the third, but struggled to follow that up until he was awarded a controversial takedown after a lengthy video review in the third. He tacked on a third takedown in a scramble situation shortly after that. All told, still not a great match from start to finish from Wilcke, but hopefully he's regaining some confidence with these wins.
- Sam Stoll closed things out for Iowa with a sleepy 2-0 win at heavyweight. Stoll got a takedown and a ride-out in the first and that was it for the scoring. Stoll went neutral in the second, but couldn't find any more takedowns, while Jennings went top in the third and rode Stoll for the entire period, but wasn't able to get any back points from that situation. Getting out from bottom should be a point of emphasis for the Iowa team this weekend; three wrestlers (Lee, Turk, and Stoll) got ridden by their Northwestern counterparts for an entire period in this dual, which was less than stellar.
Certainly not the greatest overall performance for Iowa, but it was a comfortable win that included a few very good individual performances as well as a few key victories over ranked opponents. As results go, that's not bad.
NEXT: Iowa wraps up the Big Ten portion of their dual meet schedule with a trip to #1 Penn State next Saturday, February 10 (7 PM CT, BTN).