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Husker Wrestlers Flex their Muscles in win over Wolverines

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No. 4 Nebraska defeated No. 22 Michigan 25-15 on Senior Night

Nebraska’s Mikey Labriola gets his hand raised after securing a 23-8 technical fall victory over Michigan’s Max Maylor Friday night at the Devaney Sports Center.
DYLAN GUENTHER / Corn Nation

The Huskers continue to rack up wins over ranked conference foes as they wrap up their home dual slate.

The No. 4-ranked Nebraska wrestling team defeated No. 22 Michigan 25-15 Friday night during Senior Night at the Devaney Sports Center. Seniors Isaiah White, Collin Purinton, David Jensen, Kyle Ruettiger, Zak Hensley and Johnny Blankenship were honored in a ceremony before the dual started with head coach Mark Manning handing out framed singlets to the six Husker seniors.

Husker Seniors (from left) Collin Purinton, Johnny Blankenship, Zak Hensley, Kyle Ruettiger, Isaiah White and David Jensen pose for photos after receiving their framed singlets for Senior Night from head coach Mark Manning Friday night at the Devaney Sports Center.
DYLAN GUENTHER / Corn Nation

Nebraska won six of the ten matches to extend their dual win streak to five straight. The Huskers scored bonus points in four of their six wins to secure the comfortable victory.

Also, I don’t mean to brag, but the 25-15 final score was exactly what I predicted going in.

But enough about me, let’s get on with how the matches went down.

Match-By-Match Breakdown

*InterMat individual rankings used

157 pounds

Nebraska’s 19th-ranked Peyton Robb started his match with No. 9 Will Lewan with a first-period takedown, and after a Lewan escape, took a 2-1 lead into the second. The Husker freshman added to his lead with a second-period escape, but Lewan got an escape of his own in the third period to cut Robb’s lead to 3-2. With 15 seconds left in the match, Lewan secured a takedown of Robb, giving the Wolverine a narrow 4-3 win.

Team Score: Michigan 3, Nebraska 0

165 pounds

Nebraska’s No. 5 Isaiah White, wrestling his final match in Devaney, went to work early with a takedown in the first ten seconds against Michigan’s Tyler Meisinger. White held a 5-1 lead after the first period after adding another takedown and a stalling call on Meisinger. The Husker All-American added a takedown and an escape in the second to go up 8-2. In the third period, White was hunting for bonus points, as he cut Meisinger loose for an escape and began looking for takedowns. White secured a takedown with 13 seconds left to make the score 11-3 (score was 10-3 but riding time was secured, giving him an eight-point lead for a possible major decision), but Meisinger was able to escape as time expired to deny the bonus points, giving White an 11-4 decision victory.

Team Score: Nebraska 3, Michigan 3

174 pounds

Nebraska’s sixth-ranked Mikey Labriola was a man on a mission in the home finale, as he took on Michigan’s Max Maylor. Labriola, sporting senior Kyle Ruettiger’s singlet, paid homage to the senior Husker with a dominant performance. Labriola had a clear strategy from the opening whistle, as he employed a takedown-and-release offense. The Husker sophomore scored three takedowns and an additional point for a Maylor stall in the first period to go up 7-3. In the second, Labriola added an escape, a takedown and another point for a Maylor stall to go up 11-3. In the final period, Labriola pushed the pace in an attempt to get to a major decision (win by between 8-14 points) or a technical fall (winning by 15 or more). Labriola took Maylor down five times in the two-minute period and added another point via stalling. After adding on a point for riding time, Labriola secured a tech fall victory 23-8.

Team Score: Nebraska 8, Michigan 3

184 pounds

In a matchup of ranked foes, Nebraska’s 11th-ranked Taylor Venz took on a surging No. 20 Jelani Embree of Michigan. Venz used a pair of takedowns to go up 4-2 in the first period, and in the second, the Husker junior took Embree down twice more and added four points for a near fall after putting the Wolverine on his back. Venz led 12-4 going into the third period, where he scored a reversal and an escape while giving up a reversal to Embree. After factoring in riding time, Venz took the win 16-6 by major decision.

Team Score: Nebraska 12, Michigan 3

197 pounds

Nebraska’s fifth-ranked Eric Schultz took on a solid wrestler in Michigan’s Jackson Striggow at 197. Schultz secured a takedown in the first period and another in the second period, taking a 5-2 lead into the final frame. The Husker junior added to his lead with an escape and a stall call on Striggow in the third period to take a 6-3 decision win.

Team Score: Nebraska 15, Michigan 3

285 pounds

With the Huskers on a four-match win streak, the Wolverines needed a big win and they got just that from their best wrestler. Second-ranked Mason Parris made quick work of Nebraska’s David Jensen. The Husker senior was taken down early in the first period before being put on his back and pinned at the two-minute, one-second mark. Parris improves to 24-0 on the year.

Team Score: Nebraska 15, Michigan 9

125 pounds

After a scoreless first period, Nebraska freshman Alex Thomsen took a lead with an early escape in the second period. The lead was short-lived though, as Michigan’s No. 19-ranked Jack Medley secured a takedown near the end of the period to go up 2-1. Medley added an escape and another takedown in the third period to pick up a 5-1 decision win.

Team Score: Nebraska 15, Michigan 12

133 pounds

Nebraska’s 14th-ranked Ridge Lovett has continued to make drastic improvements as the season has progressed. The Husker freshman made it look easy against Michigan senior Austin Assad. Lovett took down Assad early in the first period before putting him in a cradle and nearly getting a pin, giving him a four-point nearfall. Lovett rode out the remainder of the period to take a 6-0 lead into the second. Assad was able to ride out Lovett for the entire second period, but gave up three points to Lovett via stall calls, giving the Husker a 9-0 lead going into the final frame. As has become customary this season, Lovett’s opponent chose to start the period neutral rather than subject themself to Lovett’s top game. The Husker scored another takedown in the third period and held Assad scoreless to get the 11-0 major decision victory.

Team Score: Nebraska 19, Michigan 12

141 pounds

It seemed that Nebraska’s eighth-ranked Chad Red Jr. was extra amped up for this match, and it showed once he got his turn on the mat. The junior All-American wasted no time in taking down Michigan’s Cole Mattin, putting him in a cradle and working for the pin. Just 52 seconds in, Red took the win by pinfall, securing the dual win for the Huskers.

Team Score: Nebraska 25, Michigan 12

149 pounds

Nebraska’s 16th-ranked Collin Purinton wrestled tough but came up short against Michigan’s No. 10-ranked Kanen Storr. After an early Purinton takedown, Storr scored an escape and a takedown of his own to go up 3-2. Storr got another takedown in the second period, but Purinton recorded two escapes to cut Storr’s lead to 5-4. Storr added to his lead with an escape and a takedown to go up 8-4. Purinton cut the lead to 8-5 with a late escape but it was too little too late.

Team Score: Nebraska 25, Michigan 15

What’s Next for Nebraska?

The Huskers travel to Minneapolis, Minn. on Friday to take on No. 13 Minnesota in the conclusion of their regular season.