The No. 13 Wisconsin Badgers wrestling squad (7-1-1, 0-1-0) will be traveling to Iowa City, Iowa over the weekend to square off with Big Ten rival No. 9 Iowa (5-2, 0-0) on Sunday. The dual meet, which kicks off at 2 p.m., will be the first conference meet for the Hawkeyes this season.
The Badgers are looking to rebound coming off a tough 25-12 loss to No. 2 Illinois at the UW Field House last Friday. Iowa also enters the meet coming off a loss to a highly-ranked opponent after falling 26-12 at the hands of No. 1 Oklahoma State last Sunday.
Reigning Big Ten Player of the Week Mario Galanakis will look to continue his recent streak of upsets against Wisconsin’s Tom Clum. Galanakis, who weighs in at 133 pounds, scored upsets against then-No. 6 David Hoffman of Virginia, 8-4, and another then-top-20 opponent in Cal-Davis’ Derek Moore, 5-4. Clum, currently ranked No. 4 in the nation, lost his last match against No. 2 Mark Jayne 6-5.
In a rematch of one of last year’s best match-ups, Wisconsin’s No. 13-ranked Tyler Turner will again meet the Hawkeye’s Joe Johnston. Turner took last year’s match-up with a 3-2 decision.
Johnston, a junior, enters the match as the No. 7 wrestler in the nation at the 157-pound weight class, with a record of 14-3. Turner owns a 17-3 record, including a perfect 9-0 in dual meets, this season.
The 141-pound weight class will also feature a marquee match-up, as Wisconsin’s Tyler Laudon, ranked No. 12 in the nation, meets Iowa’s Alex Tsirtsis, the No. 10-ranked wrestler in the nation. Tsirtsis has made an immediate impact as a freshman for the Hawkeyes this season, posting an impressive 14-4 record.
Laudon, a fifth-year senior, will certainly have the edge in experience, but the young Tsirtsis will present a daunting challenge in terms of talent. Laudon enters with an 8-3 record for the season and is coming off his first pin of the year against Illinois’ Cassio Pero.
This marks the 78th time the Badgers and Hawkeyes have met. Wisconsin owns an 8-67-1 record in the all-time series, including losing the last 30 straight match-ups.