LINCOLN, NE – The second-ranked University of Iowa wrestling team defeated No. 10 Nebraska, 20-15, on Sunday night in the final regular season dual of the season.
The Hawkeyes won six-of-10 bouts and held a 20-6 advantage in takedowns, winning their fifth straight trip to Lincoln and their 13th in a row overall against the Huskers.
“We are to the postseason now, so you only have a couple more chances to improve,” said Iowa head coach Tom Brands. “We have work to do at every weight class.”
Iowa won four-of-five matches before the break and led 14-3 at intermission. Drake Ayala returned to the lineup for the first time in nearly one month and rattled off five takedowns in a 13-6 win at 125.
Austin DeSanto followed at 133 with a 22-7 technical fall at 133. DeSanto scored four takedowns in the first period and four more in the second. He had four nearfall points in the first and two more in the second. His final takedown ended the match with 58 seconds left in the second period. The technical fall was his 10th of the season, the most in a single-season by a Hawkeye since 1999.
Jaydin Eierman extended Iowa’s lead to 11-0 with a top 10 win at 141. Eierman erased an early 2-0 deficit with consecutive escapes and a four-point takedown in the closing seconds of the second period, eventually finishing with a 6-3 decision against No. 10 Chad Red.
Nebraska got on the board with a 3-1 decision at 149, but Kaleb Young answered with a 6-3 win at 157. Young scored a takedown early, and traded a reversal for an escape to lead 3-2 after one period. He escaped again in the second and added a two-point nearfall to go along with a third-period rideout against No. 10 Peyton Robb.
“You can catch positions where you get back points,” Young said. “I need to be ready for that and aware of that at the beginning of the match. I want to get four-back points instead of two. That’s what we want and that’s what we need to get.”
Iowa’s Alex Marinelli gave the Hawkeyes five wins in the first six matches with an 8-2 decision at 165. Marinelli scored a takedown in every period and added two minutes, 58 seconds of riding time to give Iowa a 17-3 lead in the team score.
The Huskers closed the gap with three straight wins at 174, 184 and 197. Michael Kemerer and Jacob Warner surrendered third-period takedowns in one-point losses at 174 and 197, and Abe Assad led 3-2 in the third before getting put on his back and giving up a fall in the final minute at 184.
Iowa’s lead was trimmed to 17-15 after nine matches when the heavyweights took the mat. Tony Cassioppi came out on top of the deciding match with a 3-0 shutout against Christian Lance. Cassioppi escaped to start the second, added a point for stalling in the third and finished with one minute, 55 seconds of riding time.
“I needed to be more solid on my finishes. I needed to keep going,” Cassioppi said. “I can get to the legs 20 more times and finish 20 more times. I need to keep going there. Honestly, I let my nerves slow me down. I could have opened that match up.”
“We made it really exciting, and our fans stuck with us until the end,” Brands said. “We definitely have to keep getting better and improving. We have to make sure we are going down this home stretch of the season. We have to be strong and getting stronger.”
The No. 2 Hawkeyes compete at the 2022 Big Ten Championships in Lincoln, Nebraska, on March 5-6 at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The win was No. 250 for Tom Brands as Iowa’s head coach (250-24-1).
Iowa has won the last 13 meetings.
Head coach Tom Brands is 13-0 against Nebraska
Nebraska and Iowa met for the fifth straight time as ranked opponents. Iowa has won all five duals by a combined score of 124-49
Iowa has won five straight in Lincoln.
Drake Ayala made his first appearance since Jan. 21.
Austin DeSanto won by tech. fall for the 10th time this season. The 10 tech. falls are the most by any Hawkeye in a single season since 1999.
DeSanto has 37 career technical falls. He has score 20 points or more in 28 career matches.
Eierman improved to 43-14 all-time against ranked opponents.
Kaleb Young won his eighth straight, the last three against ranked opponents.
Alex Marinelli finished his career with a 52-2 record in duals.
Cassioppi has won eight straight overall, the last seven against ranked opponents.
#2 IOWA 20, #10 NEBRASKA 15
125 #12 Drake Ayala (IA) dec. Jeremiah Reno (N), 13-6; 3-0
133 #3 Austin DeSanto (IA) tech. fall Alex Thomsen (N), 22-7; 8-0
141 #2 Jaydin Eierman (IA) dec. #10 Chad Red (N), 6-3; 11-0
149 #7 Ridge Lovett (N) dec. Vince Turk (IA),3-1; 11-3
157 #12 Kaleb Young (IA) dec. #10 Peyton Robb (N), 6-3; 14-3
165 #5 Alex Marinelli (IA) dec. #30 Bubba Wilson (N), 8-2; 17-3
174 #6 Mikey Labriola (N) dec. #2 Michael Kemerer (IA), 5-4; 17-6
184 #20 Taylor Venz (N) pinned #16 Abe Assad (IA), 6:12; 17-12
197 #3 Eric Schultz (N) dec. #4 Jacob Warner (IA), 3-2; 17-15
285 #4 Tony Cassioppi (IA) dec. #12 Christian Lance (N), 3-0; 20-15
Records: Iowa (14-1, 7-1), Nebraska (6-5, 3-5)
Date: Feb. 20, 2022