After a rough start to conference play, Nebraska grabbed its first Big Ten win of the season against a stingy Michigan State team.
The seventh-ranked Nebraska wrestling team improved to 6-3 in dual competition (1-3 in Big Ten) with a 25-12 win over the Spartans Sunday afternoon at the Devaney Sports Center.
*InterMat individual rankings used
Coming off a big win by fall against Penn State on Friday, Nebraska’s Collin Purinton grabbed his second win of the weekend against Michigan State’s Alex Hrisopoulos. Purinton took an early 2-0 lead with a takedown before the Spartan junior collected escapes in both the first and second periods to tie the match at 2-2 going into the third. Purinton started on bottom to start the third and scored a quick escape, going up 3-2. The Husker senior managed to stave off Hrisopoulos’ attacks to secure the close victory. Nebraska 3, Michigan State 0
After picking up a win against Penn State, Nebraska’s 11th-ranked Peyton Robb took on Michigan State’s 20th-ranked Jake Tucker in the day’s first of two matchups of ranked foes. Robb started the match with an attempt at an upper-body throw, but Tucker was able to reverse the attempt into a takedown of his own to grab an early 2-0 lead. However, Robb rolled through almost immediately for a reversal, tying the score at 2-2. In the second, Robb scored a quick escape before Tucker was called for an illegal hold late in the period, giving Robb a 4-2 lead. In the third, Tucker took a 5-4 lead with an escape and a takedown, but a riding-time point for Robb sent the match into sudden victory tied at 5-all. Early in overtime, Robb attempted another toss only to be reversed again with Tucker scoring a takedown to win the match 7-5. Nebraska 3, Michigan State 3
With fifth-ranked Isaiah White resting for the Huskers, junior Dalton Peters got the call to face Michigan State’s Drew Hughes. Peters scored a takedown four seconds into the match and proceeded to ride out the Spartan junior for the rest of the first period, accumulating 2:56 in riding time. In the second period, the Husker’s fortunes did a complete 180, as Hughes started on top and secured a win by fall just over one minute in. Michigan State 9, Nebraska 3
With the Huskers facing an early deficit, they turned to sixth-ranked Mikey Labriola to get them back on track against freshman Layne Malczewski. Labriola did just that, as he took a 4-2 lead into the second period. The Husker sophomore racked up eight points in the period with two takedowns and a four-point near fall, building his lead to 12-4 heading into the third. Labriola scored two more takedowns in the final period to grab a 17-6 major-decision win with riding time factored in. Michigan State 9, Nebraska 7
In the second ranked matchup of the day, No. 8 Taylor Venz of Nebraska took on No. 17 Cameron Caffey for the Spartans. Venz held a 2-1 lead after the first period and added to his lead in the second period to go up 5-1. Seemingly in control of the match, Venz gave up an escape and a takedown, cutting his lead to 5-4. With just under a minute left, Caffey found a way to roll Venz over and put him on his back, racking up four near-fall points to put the Spartan out in front 8-5. Venz scored an escape but also gave up a last-second takedown and a riding-time point to drop the match 11-6 for the Michigan State upset. Michigan State 12, Nebraska 7
Eighth-ranked Eric Schultz continues to be Nebraska’s most consistent wrestler, as he used an escape and takedown in the second period to grab a close 3-2 victory over Michigan State’s Nick May. Schultz improved to 9-0 in dual competition on the year. Michigan State 12, Nebraska 10
Nebraska senior David Jensen replaced 15th-ranked Christian Lance in the lineup and he didn’t disappoint. Jensen scored an escape and two takedowns to earn a 6-0 win with riding time factored in. Nebraska 13, Michigan State 12
With the dual turning to the lighter weights, Nebraska freshman Alex Thomsen was able to grab his second straight conference victory against Michigan State’s Logan Griffin. Thomsen used a takedown to go up 2-0, but a pair of escapes by Griffin tied the match at 2-2 going into the final period. After Thomsen was awarded a point due to an illegal hold call on Griffin, the Husker freshman scored a late reversal to cement the 5-2 win. Nebraska 16, Michigan State 12
Nebraska freshman Ridge Lovett (No. 13) went out and grabbed his first conference win of his career with a win over Michigan State senior Garrett Pepple. Lovett scored a takedown and amassed over two minutes of riding time in the first period for a 2-0 lead, but the Spartan senior turned things around as he started on top in the second period and proceeded to ride out Lovett for the entirety of the period. Lovett sealed the win in the final period with a takedown and a ride-out to secure another point via riding time. The Husker walked away with a 5-0 win to secure the Husker team win. Nebraska 19, Michigan State 12
In the final match of the day, No. 8 Chad Red Jr. wasted little time against Michigan State’s Matt Santos. Just over a minute into the match, Red took Santos down with an inside trip that quickly turned into Red putting Santos on his back for the win by pinfall. Nebraska 25, Michigan State 12
Next Up for the Huskers
Nebraska is next in action when it plays host to third-ranked Ohio State next Sunday with the action starting at noon.