The Huskers were able to get their first Big Ten win of the year in dominant fashion over a Top-10 team.
The 13th-ranked Nebraska wrestling team won seven out of ten matches on the way to upsetting No. 8 Wisconsin 22-12 Friday night in Madison, Wis.
Leaving _isconsin with the W. pic.twitter.com/QyDv4TD3l9— Husker Wrestling (@HuskerWrestling) January 22, 2022
For the first time in some time, Nebraska was able to field its optimal lineup, even pulling a redshirt off of freshman Dominick Serrano to solidify 133 pounds.
The Huskers really did just put themselves back on the radar in the Big Ten.
*FloWrestling individual rankings used
Starting the dual at 149 pounds, we got to see a Top-10 matchup right out of the gate as No. 4 Ridge Lovett for Nebraska took on Wisconsin’s No. 8 Austin Gomez.
In the first period, Gomez struck first with a takedown off of a single-leg shot before a Lovett escape made Gomez’s lead 2-1. In the second period, Lovett tied things up with a quick escape, but Gomez came out on top of an upper-body throw by Lovett. Gomez scrambled to collect the takedown with two seconds left to go up 4-2.
In the third, Gomez chose neutral rather than try going underneath Lovett who is an elite top wrestler. I think it was pretty questionable that Gomez was only called for stalling once in the period while avoiding Lovett’s shots, but regardless Lovett dropped the match 4-2.
Team Score: Wisconsin 3, Nebraska 0
Coming off a disappointing loss, Nebraska’s No. 8 Peyton Robb put on a thrilling match with No. 22 Garrett Model.
Model shot early off the whistle, but Robb went around on a counter for a takedown before putting Model on his back for a tilt and a quick 6-0 lead. Robb scored two more takedowns in the first period to go up 10-2 with over a minute of riding time.
In the second, Robb scored a fast escape but then gave up a takedown. The Husker then scored a reversal, taking a 13-5 lead into the final period.
After a Model escape to start the third, Robb got another takedown to go up 15-6. Model did tighten things up late with an escape and a pair of takedowns, but Robb earned the 17-11 decision win.
Team Score: Nebraska 3, Wisconsin 3
In a battle of freshmen, Wisconsin’s undefeated super-freshman No. 12 Dean Hamiti did to Nebraska’s Bubba Wilson what he’s done a lot this season. He put him on his back.
In the first period, Hamiti quickly got in on a takedown before locking up a cradle and dropping down on Wilson for the win by pinfall.
Team Score: Wisconsin 9, Nebraska 3
Now with a hole to dig out of, Nebraska’s No. 5 Mikey Labriola did what he was supposed to do against No. 20 Andrew McNally.
During an early scramble, McNally looked like he was about to score, but Labriola was able to lock up a cradle for a takedown and four near-fall points.
Labriola added another takedown and an escape in the second period to go up 9-2. Then in the third, Labriola added two more takedowns before riding out the match to get the 14-4 major decision win.
Team Score: Wisconsin 9, Nebraska 7
With Husker senior No. 12 Taylor Venz taking the mat, he didn’t have much trouble with Wisconsin’s Chris Weiler.
Venz earned a takedown in the first before accumulating 2 minutes, 38 seconds riding time. In the second, Weiler was called for locked hands, giving Venz a point, before giving up a reversal to Venz.
In the final period, Venz rode out the period but wasn’t able to get any near-fall points, earning a 7-1 decision while accumulating over four minutes of riding time.
Team Score: Nebraska 10, Wisconsin 9
In a matchup between the veteran and the freshman stud, the old guy came out on top. Nebraska’s No. 6 Eric Schultz locked horns Friday night with Wisconsin’s Braxton Amos.
After a scoreless first period, Schultz earned a second-period escape before running around Amos near the end of the period for a late takedown to go up 3-0.
197 | Schultz shoots and finishes late in the second period to take a 3-0 lead heading into the final 2:00. pic.twitter.com/jXCfgQMoTo— Husker Wrestling (@HuskerWrestling) January 22, 2022
In the third period, Amos secured an eventual escape, but Schultz was able to hold him off for the 3-1 win.
Team Score: Nebraska 13, Wisconsin 9
In one of the night’s biggest matches, Nebraska’s No. 11 Christian Lance picked up a statement win over Wisconsin’s No. 7 Trent Hillger.
After a scoreless first period, Lance struck first with a second-period escape. Late in the period, Lance went around on a re-shot to collect a takedown with 10 seconds left and a 3-0 lead.
HWT | Lance scores the takedown in the final seconds of the second period pic.twitter.com/nTMZEhzY7B— Husker Wrestling (@HuskerWrestling) January 22, 2022
Lance was able to hold off a surging Hillger in the third, earning the 5-3 decision win.
Team Score: Nebraska 16, Wisconsin 9
Nebraska’s Jeremiah Reno showed a lot of fight against a top guy in his match against No. 6 Eric Barnett.
Reno nearly got the first takedown of the match but wasn’t able to finish on his single-leg attack early in the period. Barnett rebounded to gather a pair of takedowns and an escape in the match while keeping Reno scoreless.
But with the dual on the line, Reno did great to not give up bonus points to Barnett.
Team Score: Nebraska 16, Wisconsin 12
Without getting production from the 133 pound spot so far this year, the Huskers elected to pull the redshirt off of freshman Dominick Serrano.
In his first varsity action, Serrano was impressive early against No. 23 Kyle Burwick. He gathered the first three takedowns of the match, taking a 7-3 lead into the third period.
In the third, Burwick scored two takedowns and an escape to Serrano’s escape. With the match tied at 8-all, it went into sudden victory.
Serrano got right to it in overtime as he earned a quick double-leg takedown for his first career Big Ten dual win.
Team Score: Nebraska 19, Wisconsin 12
With the dual locked up for Nebraska, No. 10 Chad Red Jr. had a controlling match against No. 19 Joe Zargo.
Red scored takedowns in the first and second periods to go up 4-1. In the third period, Zargo cut Red’s lead with a takedown, but the Husker was able to hold on for a 5-3 decision win.
Team Score: Nebraska 22, Wisconsin 12
What’s Next for Nebraska?
The Huskers continue their road trip Sunday when they travel to face No. 24 Northwestern at 2 p.m.