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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Badger grapplers no match for No. 1 Iowa

Wisconsin entered Sunday\’s meet coming off a big win over Northwestern, but could not handle the Hawkeyes at the Field House.[/media-credit]

After beating Northwestern 32-6 Friday, No. 14 Wisconsin was hoping to ride that momentum Sunday as it faced the No. 1 Iowa Hawkeyes.

Instead, the Badgers fell in a match that nearly perfectly mirrored their victory, as they lost 31-6 in their last match of the regular season. The loss included two big individual wins, seven losses and a loss by forfeit.

Going into the match, the Badgers knew they would be facing some tough competition in the top-ranked Hawkeyes.


“I think we were pretty prepared,” UW head coach Barry Davis said. “We knew some matches would be determined by one point; we just ended up on the wrong end of them.”

Of Sunday’s 10 matchups, five were determined by a one-point differential — one in favor of the Badgers, four in favor of the Hawkeyes.

“We had some missed opportunities here,” Davis said. “We just have to find a way to win and I think we need to look at our positions. We gave up a little bit too much today and their position was generally better than ours.

“And that was the dual meet right there. So it was tight.”

The afternoon began with a major decision for Iowa’s No. 3 Matt McDonough at 125 lbs. He beat Wisconsin’s Drew Hammen by a score of 10-1. Hammen’s one point came on an escape in the first. With the win, the match score was 4-0 Hawkeyes.

At 133 lbs., the first matchup of the day with ranked wrestlers on both sides paired Wisconsin’s No. 6 Tyler Graff against Iowa’s No. 3 Daniel Dennis. Despite both competitors scoring a point with an escape, Dennis won the match 2-1 with 1:52 of riding time.

The decision gave Iowa a 7-0 edge.

UW’s Cole Schmitt then faced No. 4 Montell Marion at 141 lbs.

Schmitt had a lead at the end of the first two periods, 2-0 and 4-3 respectively. However, Marion pulled it out in the third with a take down, five near fall points and one minute of riding time to win the match 11-4.

The Hawkeyes continued to roll, stretching the lead to 10-0.

With 25 wins on the season, Wisconsin’s No. 5 Kyle Ruschell forfeited at 149 lbs. Iowa’s No. 1 Brent Metcalf, who had defeated Ruschell earlier in the season, took the win bringing the score to 16-0 in favor of Iowa.

After his first win since Jan. 9 against Northwestern on Friday, Wisconsin’s Greg Burke lost to Aaron Janssen with a 6-5 decision at 157 lbs.

Trailing 5-4 after the first period, Burke scored with an escape and brought the score to 5-5 at the end of the second. However, Janssen won with an escape of his own increasing the lead to 19-0.

With the first Wisconsin win of the day at 165 lbs., No. 1 Andrew Howe defeated No. 4 Ryan Morningstar 2-1.

The end of the first period was scoreless. Howe and Morningstar each scored with an escape in the second and third periods, respectively. Yet, 1:04 of riding time gave Howe the win. His win cut Iowa’s lead to 19-3.

Coming into today’s match undefeated, Howe didn’t feel the pressure to finish out the regular season undefeated.

“You can’t really let it get to you; you can’t get all nervous,” Howe said. “Before you go on the wrestling mat you just got to go through the match in your head and just kind of relax.”

At 174 lbs., the No. 2 Hawkeye Jay Borschel pinned Brendan Ard in the second to earn a 7-0 win, bringing the overall score to 25-3.

Wisconsin’s Travis Rutt then lost 4-3 to No. 11 Phillip Keddy at 184 lbs. Trailing 3-2 after the first period, Rutt tied up the score with an escape in the second. However, Keddy responded by scoring an escape in the third for the win, bringing the score to 28-3.

With the second win of the night for the Badgers, No. 7 Trevor Brandvold defeated Luke Lofthouse with a 4-2 decision at 197 lbs. Brandvold scored one takedown and two escapes to clinch his 10th win in a row. His win cut Iowa’s advantage to 28-6.

At heavyweight, No. 10 Dan Erekson defeated Wisconsin’s Eric Bugenhagen 3-2.

Despite a loss in this match, Davis hopes his team will learn from its mistakes and perform better at the Big Ten Championships in two weeks.

“There are some things we’re working on and they’re coming along but not quite there yet,” Davis said. “Even at the Big Ten Championships many matches could be one point matches going one way or the other.

“We just have to turn them in our direction next time and we’ll be fine.”

Like his coach, Howe is looking forward to the championship season.

“Nothing really matters until NCAAs in March,” Howe said. “So that’s where I’m looking to go undefeated.”

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