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College Wrestling: Big opening first round puts UNI Panthers in 4th place

TULSA, Okla. - UNI opened the 2023 NCAA Wrestling Championships with a strong outing in the first session on Thursday morning as all 7 Panther qualifiers picked up first round victories at the BOK Center. Earning team bonus points thanks to a Kyle Biscoglia pin at 133 pounds, UNI sits in a tie for 4th place in the early standings with 10 points.

TULSA, Okla. – UNI opened the 2023 NCAA Wrestling Championships with a strong outing in the first session on Thursday morning as all 7 Panther qualifiers picked up first round victories at the BOK Center. Earning team bonus points thanks to a Kyle Biscoglia pin at 133 pounds, UNI sits in a tie for 4th place in the early standings with 10 points.

“It was a really good start for our team,” said head coach Doug Schwab. “The guys did a hell of a job finding ways to win tough matches. Now we have to continue to build off it because it gets tougher. You’re only as good as your last round, now we got to do it again the second round.”

15th-seeded Biscoglia (133 pounds) opened UNI’s impressive opening session after rallying from an early 2-0 deficit to tie 18th-seeded Jason Shaner (Oregon State) in the second period. Biscoglia quickly turned the tables and picked up his 7th pin of the season with just under a minute remaining. The Waukee, Iowa native will take on 2nd-seeded Daton Fix (Oklahoma) in tonight’s second round, a rematch from dual competition back in January which Fix won 8-1.

At 141 pounds, 14-seed Cael Happel fought to break a scoreless tie late in the second period before scoring a late takedown on the edge of the mat against 19-seed Matt Kazimir (Columbia). After Kazimir tied the match at 2-2, Happel would grab his second takedown late in the third and hold on for a 4-3 victory, his first career win at the NCAA Championships. Happel will face 3-seed Cole Matthews (Pitt) tonight.

Colin Realbuto earned his third career win at the NCAA Championships on Thursday morning as the 15th-seeded Panther came alive after a slow first period. Picking up a takedown in the final minute of the second frame, Realbuto grabbed 4 nearfall points, plus a penalty point on stalling en route to a 9-3 win over 18-seed Mitch Moore (Oklahoma). Realbuto’s win sets up a rematch tonight with 2nd-seeded Sammy Sasso (Ohio State) from the Collegiate Duals back in December, where Realbuto pulled off a 9-7 upset of the then-3rd ranked wrestler in the nation.

In the 157-pound bracket, 22nd-seed Derek Holschlag needed every second of his opening match to defeat 11-seed Chase Saldate (Michigan State) in a 4-3 win. The redshirt senior scored a first period takedown and a reversal in the third, holding off Saldate who scored an escape and reversal in the final period. Holschlag will take on 6-seed Daniel Cardenas (Stanford) in the second round tonight.

Austin Yant grabbed his fifth career NCAA Championship match victory with an 8-1 decision over 16th-seeded Joshua Ogunsanya (Columbia). Yant scored a quick escape to begin the second period before picking up 4 nearfall points midway through the third. Adding a takedown and riding time, Yant’s victory sets up a third matchup this season with top-seeded David Carr of Iowa State.

Top-seeded Parker Keckeisen (184 pounds) cruised in his opening match against 33-seed Anthony Carman (West Virginia) in a 12-3 major decision. Keckeisen grabbed his first takedown less than 90 seconds into the match before scoring an escape and 3 more takedowns in the second period. All 4 of Keckeisen’s career wins against Carman have come by major decision. The redshirt sophomore will matchup in tonight’s second round against 17-seed Tate Samuelson (Lehigh).

Tyrell Gordon (285 pounds) closed out UNI’s breakout session with a tightly contested match with 20th-seeded Konner Douchet (Oklahoma State). Preventing Douchet from scoring on multiple escape attempts, Gordon picked up a stalling call point and an escape early in the third period and recorded 57 seconds of riding time for a 2-1 win. Gordon will face off with Tony Cassioppi (Iowa) later tonight.

Second session competition is slated to begin at 6 p.m. CT tonight with the second round, as well as wrestlebacks. Fans can watch the action live on the networks of ESPN.

UNI RESULTS (Thru Session I)
(Seed) #NCAA/RPI rank listed

133 | (15) #HM/18 Kyle Biscoglia
Round 1 | W – (18) #17/17 Jason Shaner (Oregon State), 6:02 Fall

141 | (14) #15/17 Cael Happel
Round 1 | W – (19) #23/22 Matt Kazimir (Columbia), 3-2

149 | (15) #16/17 Colin Realbuto
Round 1 | W – (18) #18/22 Mitch Moore (Oklahoma), 9-3

157 | (22) #HM/24 Derek Holschlag
Round 1 | W – (11) #9/11 Chase Saldate (Michigan State), 4-3

165 | (17) #17/17 Austin Yant
Round 1 | W – (16) #NR/16 Joshua Ogunsanya (Columbia), 8-1

184 | (1) #2/2 Parker Keckeisen
Round 1 | W – (33) #HM/33 Anthony Carman (West Virginia), 12-3 MD

285 | (13) #14/12 Tyrell Gordon
Round 1 | W – (20) #16/18 Konner Douchet (Oklahoma State), 2-1

TEAM STANDINGS (Top-10 thru Session I)
1st – Penn State (16)
2nd – North Carolina State (12.5)
3rd – Iowa (12)
T4th – UNI (10)
T4th – Ohio State (10)
T6th – Minnesota (9)
T6th – Missouri (9)
9th – Nebraska (8.5)
T10th – Cornell (8)
T10th – Illinois (8)
T10th – Iowa State (8)
T10th – Michigan (8)

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