Three NY duals, three easy wins. #2 Iowa wrestling made a road trip to New York to take on Army, Sacred Heart, and Buffalo and they came away with three lopsided dual meet victories, taking 23 of the 30 matches on Thursday and Friday. Friday's action against Sacred Heart and Buffalo at the Arm Bar at the Armory event in Albany, NY was even more lopsided than Iowa's victory over Army on Thursday night. Iowa took down Sacred Heart 35-6 and followed that up with a 35-7 win over Buffalo.
Over the court of two duals, Iowa won 16 of 20 matches, with bonus points 12 of those 16 wins. Iowa's bonus point bonanza included six technical falls, four major decisions, and a pair of pins (both by Tony Cassioppi at heavyweight). Of course, that level of domination was fully expected -- neither Sacred Heart nor Buffalo had any wrestlers ranked in the Top 20 (or even Top 30) at their respective weights. Iowa should have dominated these dual meets.
Three of Iowa's four defeats came from backups. Iowa's woes at 125 continued; Aidan Harris and Charles Matthews each got a turn at that weight, but neither came close to a victory. Joe Kelly endured a loss at 174 against Buffalo, but that was also the second match of Kelly's night -- and he typically wrestles in the 157/165 range, so he was definitely smaller than his opponent (Buffalo's Marcus Petite). Caleb Rathjen suffered the other Iowa loss among these duals, dropping an 8-4 decision at 157 lbs against Sacred Heart. He's in a battle with Cobe Siebrecht for the starting job at 157, and a result like that is definitely harmful to his hopes of locking down a spot in the lineup.
#2 Iowa 35, Sacred Heart 6
|125||Mikey Manta||DEC (5-1)||Aidan Harris||SACRED HEART 3-0|
|133||Cullan Schriever||DEC (20-13)||Andrew Fallon||TIE 3-3|
|141||Drew Bennett||DEC (12-8)||Seth Brown||IOWA 6-3|
|149||#7 Max Murin||TECH FALL (20-5)||Matt Laurie||IOWA 11-3|
|157||Nick Palumbo||DEC (8-4)||Caleb Rathjen||IOWA 11-6|
|165||#13 Patrick Kennedy||TECH FALL (24-9)||Aidan Zarrella||IOWA 16-6|
|174||Joe Kelly||MAJ DEC (17-7)||Ryan Bolletino||IOWA 20-6|
|184||#8 Abe Assad||MAJ DEC (22-9)||Hunter Perez||IOWA 24-6|
|197||Zach Glazier||TECH FALL (18-3)||Nick Copley||IOWA 29-6|
|285||#4 Tony Cassioppi||FALL (1:28)||Marc Berisha||IOWA 35-6|
#2 Iowa 35, Buffalo 7
|125||Pat Adams||MAJ DEC (11-2)||Aidan Harris||BUFFALO 4-0|
|133||Cullan Schriever||TECH FALL (23-8)||Mason Bush||IOWA 5-4|
|141||Drew Bennett||DEC (9-6)||Matt Ryan||IOWA 8-4|
|149||#7 Max Murin||MAJ DEC (16-5)||Kaleb Burgess||IOWA 12-4|
|157||Caleb Rathjen||DEC (6-0)||Nick Stampoulos||IOWA 15-4|
|165||Cobe Siebrecht||MAJ DEC (8-0)||Noah Grover||IOWA 19-4|
|174||Marcus Petite||DEC (2-0)||Joe Kelly||IOWA 19-7|
|184||#8 Abe Assad||TECH FALL (22-7)||#32 Giuseppe Hoose||IOWA 24-7|
|197||#2 Jacob Warner||TECH FALL (26-8)||Sam Mitchell||IOWA 29-7|
|285||#4 Tony Cassioppi||FALL (0:53)||Greg Hodulick||IOWA 35-7|
A few added thoughts:
It is so very weird to watch an Iowa team struggle so much at 125 lbs. Get well soon, Spencer.
Cullan Schriever wrestled at 133 lbs in all three matches during Iowa's NY trip and his results steadily improved -- from a 2-0 decision win to a 20-13 decision win to a 23-8 technical fall win. He struggled to ride effectively against Sacred Heart, but did a much better job against Buffalo. He was also able to finish attacks from neutral far more effectively than he was in the Army match. I wouldn't take much from his results this weekend (or anyone else's, for that matter), given the level of competition, but if nothing else he should have a bit more confidence after the way the last two matches went for him.
Drew Bennett went 2-0 at Arm Bar at the Armory, but no other Iowa wrestler had to grind to the extent that Bennett did at this event. Credit to him for battling out of some holes and being able to finish his offense when he needed to, late in matches, but the fact that he needed to work so hard to win these matches is a bit concerning.
Max Murin won his two matches by a combined score of 36-10. We could quibble about wanting pins or two tech falls, but... a tech fall and a major decision is still pretty alright. Murin was on cruise control here and took care of business effectively.
I don't think there's much doubt that Cobe Siebrecht seems to have the upper hand in the battle for the starting job at 157 lbs. Fresh off a solid win last night, he was able to pick up another 8-0 major decision victory here, even up a weight at 165 lbs. Meanwhile, Caleb Rathjen got both starts at 157, with decidedly mixed results. He got overpowered and overwhelmed against Sacred Heart's Palumbo, and while he did a nice job of keeping his cool and out-wrestling Buffalo's Stampoulos (who mainly just wanted to try and club him in the head), Rathjen definitely came away looking like the shakier option at this weight for the time being.
Patrick Kennedy only got one match at 165, but he ripped off a 24-9 technical fall win in that one bout. No complaints there, especially since he was able to get some near fall points this time.
Joe Kelly got the call at 174 against both Sacred Heart and Army, with split results. Despite wrestling up a weight, Kelly took it to Sacred Heart's Bolletino and used his quickness to cruise to a 17-7 major decision win. His lack of size caught up to him against Buffalo's Petite, though, as he was unable to get an escape, or convert any shots. Iowa has wrestled three different wrestlers in four matches at this weight and odds are none of them will be the starting guy at this weight when the calendar flips to 2023.
Two matches, two bonus point wins for Abe Assad. Job done. Unlike the Army match, Assad was able to keep a high attacking tempo and earn bonus points in both matches here, which was good to see.
Zach Glazier and Jacob Warner split duty at 197 and both guys dominated; Glazier rolled to a one-sided 19-3 technical fall against Sacred Heart, while Warner let it fly from neutral and on the mat on his way to a 26-8 technical fall in the second period. Warner unleashing a burst of scoring like that is always a welcome surprise, while Glazier did well in manhandling an overmatched opponent.
- Speaking of overmatched opponents... Tony Cassioppi won three matches over two days on this road trip and wrestled a grand total of 3:36 in those three matches. Hooray for efficiency! Tony bulldozed both opponents from neutral and quickly put them on their backs on the mat. There's a reason he's Tony Pins, after all.
It's hard to say there's much to take away from these duals. Sacred Heart and Buffalo were both wildly overmatched by Iowa's firepower, even with several of the Hawkeyes' biggest guns not in action. The main weights where Iowa struggled -- 125, 141, 174 -- were weights being manned entirely by second- and third-string (or lower) options, so there's not much in worrying about the results there. 133 and 157 are the two weights in the Iowa lineup that are the least-settled and if you want something to fret about after these duals, those are still areas of legitimate concern. Schriever had improved showings at Arm Bar at the Armory, but still needs to prove that he can be effective against stronger competition. Rathjen got his opportunity at 157, but did not excel; it seems likely that we'll see Siebrecht back there in upcoming duals. But the battles at those two weights seem likely to continue for several more weeks. In the meantime, #2 Iowa keeps rolling along while we wait for the stiffer tests that will be coming eventually this season.