After a nail-biting, back-and-forth dual meet victory over Iowa State last week that came down to the final seconds, normal service was (mostly) restored for Iowa wrestling this week. Iowa eased past Lehigh with a drama-free 28-14 victory with wins in seven of 10 matches.
Iowa opened the dual with wins in the first six matches, including bonus points in five of those wins, with Spencer Lee and Alex Marinelli earning technical falls and Austin DeSanto, Max Murin, and Pat Lugo grabbing back-to-back-to-back major decisions. Those wins gave Iowa a 25-0 lead before Lehigh ever got on the board. Lehigh finally got a win at 174 with a 12-3 major decision from Jordan Kutler over Jeremiah Moody. Iowa scored their final win of the dual at 184, where Cash Wilcke came back from a 3-0 deficit to win 6-4 in overtime. Lehigh won the final two matches of the dual with bonus point wins over Iowa backups Steven Holloway and Aaron Costello.
#3 IOWA 28, #16 LEHIGH 14
|125||#1 Spencer Lee||TECH FALL (15-0; 2:32)||Luke Resnick||IOWA 5-0|
|133||#12 Austin DeSanto||MAJ DEC (19-8)||Brandon Paetzell||IOWA 9-0|
|141||#20 Max Murin||MAJ DEC (14-3)||Dan Moran||IOWA 13-0|
|149||#10 Pat Lugo||MAJ DEC (12-3)||Jimmy Hoffman||IOWA 17-0|
|157||#8 Kaleb Young||DEC (4-1)||Josh Humphreys||IOWA 20-0|
|165||#4 Alex Marinelli||TECH FALL (20-5; 6:27)||Trey Cornish||IOWA 25-0|
|174||#6 Jordan Kutler||MAJ DEC (12-3)||Jeremiah Moody||IOWA 25-4|
|184||#14 Cash Wilcke||DEC (6-4 OT)||Andrew Price||IOWA 28-4|
|197||#14 Jake Jakobsen||FALL (1:01)||Steven Holloway||IOWA 28-10|
|285||#6 Jordan Wood||MAJ DEC (13-3)||Aaron Costello||IOWA 28-14|
A few thoughts:
Spencer Lee looked back to his dominating best after missing the Purdue dual two weeks ago and looking drained in the second and third periods last week. This win was back to the tried-and-true formula: takedown, tilt, stalling point, tilt, tilt. Lee nearly had Resnick pinned in the opening seconds of the bout, which would have been a strong contender for fastest pin of the season. Alas, he had to settle for a 15-0 tech fall in the first period.
Austin DeSanto looked much improved after his loss last week; he was aggressive from the jump and was able to score a few opening period takedowns. He maintained that pressure throughout the match and turned the third period into a takedown fest with a series of catch-and-release takedowns on the exhausted Paetzell. DeSanto did a good job of finishing takedowns against an opponent who was very scramble-happy (at least early in the match).
The major decision train kept rolling at 141 where Max Murin also got off to a fast start with a takedown and a 4-point nearfall in the first period. That opened up a big lead which he was able to add to with a few more takedowns in the remainder of the match. Iowa wrestlers lost several matches in the third period against Iowa State (including Murin), so it was gratifying to see them finish much stronger in several early matches here.
More than most Iowa wrestlers, Pat Lugo really needed to bounce back with a good showing after some rough outings this year. Lugo picked up a solid win here with some early takedowns, including a cradle that led to four nearfall points. Lugo was in control throughout this match and was able to pick up more bonus points for Iowa; no real complaints here.
The bonus point streak stopped at 157 where Kaleb Young had to settle for a 4-1 decision win. Young was never really in jeopardy here, but we'd certainly like to see more than one takedown from him. He did put on an impressive ride in the third period and kept Humphreys down for the full two minutes.
Marinelli got Iowa back on a bonus point track with a workmanlike 20-5 technical fall. That he was able to score 20 points is impressive considering that it was just 2-0 Marinelli two minutes into the match. Marinelli poured on the points after that, though, particularly in the second period, where he worked a takedown clinic on the increasingly worn-out Cornish. He spent much of the third period trying to record the pin, but was unable to get Cornish's shoulders on the mat; still, a 20-5 technical fall isn't a bad consolation prize.
With Michael Kemerer out of the season, Myles Wilson dealing with an injury sustained last week, and Mitch Bowman still on the way down, options were slim for Iowa at 174 this week. Jeremiah Moody, last seen at 157 lbs, filled in this week and while he was a game opponent, he was no match for #6 Jordan Kutler's strength and technique. Kutler was able to roll to a 12-3 major decision and score Lehigh's first points of the dual; he also recorded Lehigh's first takedown of the night, seven matches into the dual.
Iowa's final win of the evening came at 184, where Cash Wilcke overcame a slow start to win in overtime. After the only 0-0 first period of the dual, Wilcke fell down 3-0 early in the second after giving up an escape and a takedown on the edge of the mat to Andrew Price. Wilcke fought back with an escape to make it 3-1, then got another escape and a takedown of his own to make it 4-3 in the third. Price got an escape to tie the match at 4-4 and neither man was able to get any offense going until overtime. In sudden victory, Wilcke was the aggressor and he was rewarded with the winning takedown halfway through the period. That was a good finish and it was nice to see Wilcke finish strong after his sluggish start, but it would have been better to see more of that urgency in the first period. Wilcke's attacks looked good in the third period and overtime once he finally committed to them; he just needed to do that earlier in the match as well.
- With the dual well in hand and regular starters Jacob Warner and Sam Stoll nursing minor injuries, Iowa rolled out backups at 197 (Steven Holloway) and 285 (Aaron Costello). Unfortunately, it did not go well for them -- Holloway went for an upper body throw almost a minute into his bout, only to get thrown hismelf and put on his back for a pin. And at 285 Costello simply looked overwhelmed by Wood's speed and technical skill; Wood was able to get to Costello's legs with ease and finished repeatedly. Those losses made for a damp ending to the night, but overall it was still a strong showing from Iowa, particularly the starters.
Check out some of the highlights and hear from the Hawkeyes following Saturday's win against Lehigh: pic.twitter.com/gkQYDFDJPd— Iowa Hawkeye Wrestling (@Hawks_Wrestling) December 9, 2018
Have another look at Saturday's win by the Hawkeyes against the Mountain Hawks: pic.twitter.com/Gz3RYriLbR— Iowa Hawkeye Wrestling (@Hawks_Wrestling) December 9, 2018
In related news, Iowa also picked up a few titles at the UNI Open on Saturday. Anthony Cassioppi continued his dominant redshirt campaign with a title at 285 lbs, using a first round bye and three first period pins to cruise to a championship. Cassioppi didn't face the stiffest competition -- he beat wrestlers from South Dakota State, SIU-Edwardsville, and North Dakota State -- but you can't argue with the way he absolutely mauled them, pinning them in 0:35, 1:53, and 0:43. He spent a grand total of 3 minutes and 11 seconds on the mat at the UNI Open; that's not too shabby.
Nelson Brands earned Iowa's other championship at the UNI Open, with a 5-0 showing at 165 lbs. Brands earned a first period pin (2:12) in his first bout, then won by back-to-back major decisions, including a 12-3 win over ex-Iowa wrestler (and current ISU wrestler) Skyler St. John. He advanced past Iowa State's Brady Jennings via medical forfeit and then edged out Minnesota's Jake Allar with a 3-2 win in the second overtime period. Nicely done, Nelson. Iowa's Vince Turk also finished runner-up at 141 lbs and Jaren Glosser finished 3rd at 157 lbs.
NEXT: Iowa has a three-week break and then returns to competition at the Midlands Championships in Evanston, IL on December 29-30.