The Iowa Hawkeyes returned to Carver-Hawkeye Arena in their Big Ten home opener on Saturday night, but soon found themselves on the losing end of four of the first five matches. A technical fall by Mark Perry wasn't enough to start a rally, however, as the Hawkeyes lost to the Badgers 21-14. Read more about the meet, including match-by-match notes, in this free wrestling notebook.
Iowa lost to the Wisconsin Badgers 21-14 on Saturday in front of a crowd of 6,225.
There was a vocal contingent of Badger fans, possibly in town for a wrestling/basketball two-pack.
The meet started at 125, where Charlie Falck, who looked to be in position to stretch the match toward a major decision, gave up late takedowns to only win by 3, 12-9 over Colin Cudd.
At 133, Mario Galanakis, who pinned his opponent last night against Purdue, came out with a good amount of offense in the early portions of this match, but could not sustain it, doing virtually nothing in the 2nd and 3rd periods to lose 7-5 to Zach Tanelli.
At 141, Alex Tsirtsis wrestled well from the bottom, for a change, but could not generate enough offense on his feet to finish the match. Several times Tsirtsis had his man with his shoulders on the mat, but referee Mike Allen wasn't convinced Tsirtsis had control, and no points were awarded. Tsirtsis couldn't finish a number of late shots, dropping the match 6-4.
At 149, Alex Grunder was simply outclassed by Tyler Turner. Grunder couldn't generate much of his own offense, Turner scored without much resistance. Grunder did, however, do a great job of fighting off late shots to keep this match to a decision, not giving up any bonus points, he lost 8-2.
At 157, Ryan Morningstar continued his offensive struggles, failing to score a point against #3 Craig Henning, losing 2-0. Like Tsirtsis, Morningstar had his man in what the crowd believed to be a near-fall situation, but Allen disagreed, awarding no points.
At 165, Mark Perry stayed on his feet, completing two five-point moves on his way to a 18-2 match termination with 4 seconds left in the second period. The coaching staff looked intent on getting Mark Perry to wrestle on his feet, telling Perry to choose Neutral to begin the second period, as opposed to Perry's usual style.
Eric Luedke won 5-0 at 174 pounds over Mike Felling. Luedke kept the offense moving, forcing two stall warnings against Felling during the match.
Phillip Keddy gave up a takedown late in the second period of his match with Trevor Brandvold to give Brandvold a 4-2 advantage heading into the third period. Keddy, like so many Hawkeye wrestlers on this night, had trouble finishing shots, and would often find himself on the bottom of scramble situations before dropping the match 6-2.
At 197, Rick Loera (wrestling for an injured Dan Erekson) got in on a deep double leg shot, but was quickly overpowered by the much larger, much stronger, #10-ranked Dallas Herbst. Herbst put Loera on his back and got the fall in 49 seconds.
Matt Fields found a bit of offense again tonight, scoring two takedowns to go along with escape and riding time to win his match 6-3 against Kyle Massey. Fields looked to be a little worn down before coming onto the mat, but found a way to win to bring the final meet score to 21-14 in favor of the Wolverines.
Comments after the Match
After the match, Mark Perry said that it seemed like some of his teammates weren't ready to wrestle a full seven minutes tonight. When asked about the state of the team as we creep closer to Big Tens and NCAAs, he said that nobody on this team has wrestled the way they want to or the way they're capable. He also reiterated the fact that dual meets mean little more than seedings for the national tournament. He mentioned next week's matchup against Eric Tannenbaum as a very important match, deciding which half of the bracket he may be on at the NCAA Tournament.
Wisconsin head coach Barry Davis said after the match that while it was a good win for his team, he did not get any "extra" pleasure from coming back to Iowa City and beating Iowa. He complimented the fans that Iowa has, the history that Iowa has, and pointed out how great of a win it was for his team.