MADISON, Wis. — The No. 2 Nebraska wrestling team suffered its first loss of the season on Sunday, falling to No. 8 Wisconsin (8-1, 1-1 Big Ten) by a final score of 25-18 at the UW Field House.
The meet began at 125 pounds. Eric Barnett scored a takedown against Alex Thomsen in the first period, but Thomsen used an escape in each of the first two periods to knot the score at two points apiece. Barnett chose to start Period 3 on bottom and scored a reversal before taking Thomsen to his back, ultimately winning the match by pinfall.
No. 13 Ridge Lovett (133) then squared off against No. 1 Seth Gross. Gross, a South Dakota State transfer, scored two takedowns and two near-fall points to take a 6-1 lead over Lovett after Period 1. Lovett earned an escape point at the start of Period 2 before Gross scored another takedown and earned an additional point when Lovett was whistled for his second stalling warning of the match. The two grapplers exchanged reversals in Period 3 and Gross earned a one-point escape and a riding time point to win by major decision, 13-5.
No. 6 Chad Red Jr. (141) was up next for the Huskers. The returning All-American built a 3-0 lead against No. 11 Tristan Moran before the Badger grappler scored two takedowns, four near-fall points and an escape point over the course of Periods 2 & 3 to defeat Red Jr. by decision, 9-4.
No. 12 Collin Purinton (149) was taken down by No. 16 Cole Martin a little over one minute into the first period of their bout and Martin proceeded to take Purinton to his back, winning by pinfall in one minute, 44 seconds.
With the Huskers facing a 19-point team score deficit at this point in the meet, No. 11 Peyton Robb (157) scored the Huskers’ first victory with a dominating performance against Wisconsin’s Drew Scharenbrock. Robb scored 11 near-fall points overall, including seven in the second period, and racked up three takedowns and a reversal in a 19-2 technical fall victory.
No. 3 Isaiah White (165) suffered his first dual meet loss of the 2019-20 campaign as fifth-ranked Evan Wick’s four third-period near-fall points proved to be the difference in the 10-6 decision. The Huskers’ returning All-American will look for redemption as Wick has now defeated White the last four times they have met on the mat, including at both the 2019 Big Ten Championships and 2019 NCAA Championships.
No. 5 Mikey Labriola (174) avenged last year’s result against Wisconsin (a loss to the Badgers’ Ryan Christensen by pinfall) and scored a much-needed 9-3 decision against Jared Krattiger. Labriola scored three takedowns, an escape and was awarded two points via penalties called on Krattiger.
No. 5 Taylor Venz (184) followed up the Labriola victory with a dominant, start-to-finish technical fall triumph over Tyler Dow. Venz scored 10 of his 17 points in the first period and earned his first technical fall victory of the 2019-20 campaign.
No. 14 Eric Schultz scored his team-leading fourth technical fall victory of the season, using 10 takedowns to dismantle Taylor Watkins. Schultz tallied at least two takedowns in each of the match’s three periods on his way to a 24-8 win.
With the team score 22-18 in favor of the Badgers, the final match of the meet was a ranked contest at heavyweight. No. 16 Christian Lance (HWT) took on the Badgers’ No. 6 Trent Hillger. The bout was scoreless after two periods. Hillger chose to start Period 3 on bottom and quickly earned an escape point. Lance went for a single-leg takedown but was caught by Hillger, who scored a takedown of his own and added a point via riding time to earn a 4-1 victory.
The Huskers (5-1, 0-1 Big Ten) will be back in action on Sat., Jan. 18, when they travel to Iowa City, Iowa, to face the top-rated Iowa Hawkeyes. Dual meet action is slated to begin at 8 p.m. and will be televised by the Big Ten Network.
#8 Wisconsin 25, #2 Nebraska 18*125**: Eric Barnett (WIS) pinned Alex Thomsen (NEB) (5:45) (NEB 0, WIS 6)133: No. 1 Seth Gross (WIS) major dec. No. 13 Ridge Lovett (NEB), 13-5 (NEB 0, WIS 10)141: No. 11 Tristan Moran (WIS) dec. No. 6 Chad Red Jr. (NEB), 9-4 (NEB 0, WIS 13)149: No. 16 Cole Martin (WIS) pinned No. 12 Collin Purinton (NEB) (1:44) (NEB 0, WIS 19)157: No. 11 Peyton Robb tech. fall Drew Scharenbrock (WIS), 19-2 (NEB 5, WIS 19)165: No. 5 Evan Wick (WIS) dec. No. 3 Isaiah White (NEB), 10-6 (NEB 5, WIS 22)174: No. 6 Mikey Labriola (NEB) dec. Jared Krattiger (WIS), 9-3 (NEB 8, WIS 22)184: No. 5 Taylor Venz (NEB) tech. fall Tyler Dow (WIS), 17-1 (NEB 13, WIS 22)197: No. 14 Eric Schultz (NEB) tech. fall Taylor Watkins (WIS), 24-8 (NEB 18, WIS 22)HWT: No. 6 Trent Hillger dec. No. 16 Christian Lance (NEB), 4-1 (NEB 18, WIS 25)