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Iowa Wrestling beats Lehigh 28-14

The Hawkeyes shred the Mountain Hawks in the Battle of the Birds. Improve to 6-0

Joseph Cress/ Iowa City Press-Citizen

Very little came true from my preview. In fact, it feels as if it got shot up like the villains in the John Wick movies. Obliterated and pulverized. When are we as a fanbase going to learn that Tom Brands is the equivalent to Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs? As smart as they come. He’s our John Madden to the Chicago Cubs. Incredibly unique in how he deploys his lineup. You never know what you’re going to get.

Just because someone is listed on the probable lineups means absolutely nothing. So be ready. That goes for his wrestlers as well.

  • I truly didn’t think Desanto would go early in the dual. He went, he conquered. With no brace.
  • I thought there was a strong chance we’d see Marinelli and Moody switch weights. They didn’t.
  • I was anxious to see #12 Wilcke redeem himself against #8 Preisch. Preisch didn’t go.
  • I was amped to see #6 Warner get tested. The test failed and he didn’t wrestle at all.
  • We were all excited to see #1 Big Stoll take on #6 Wood. Stoll rode the pine.

Those are some big-time matchups that we lost out on. All because we had to dominate early. All because we had to improve to 6-0 on the season six matches in.

Iowa 28, Lehigh 14

125: #1 Spencer Lee tech. fall Luke Resnick, 15-0. Iowa 5, Lehigh 0

133: #12 Austin DeSanto major dec. Brandon Paetzell, 19-8. Iowa 9, Lehigh 0

141: #20 Max Murin major dec. Dan Moran, 14-3. Iowa 13, Lehigh 0

149: #10 Pat Lugo major dec. Jimmy Hoffman, 12-3. Iowa 17, Lehigh 0

157: #7 Kaleb Young dec. #19 Josh Humphreys, 4-1. Iowa 20, Lehigh 0

165: #4 Alex Marinelli tech. fall Trey Cornish, 20-5. Iowa 25, Lehigh 0

174: #6 Jordan Kutler major dec. Jeremiah Moody, 12-3. Iowa 25, Lehigh 4

184: #12 Cash Wilcke dec. Andrew Price, SV1 6-4. Iowa 28, Lehigh 4

197: #14 Jake Jakobsen pinned Steven Holloway, 1:00. Iowa 28, Lehigh 10

285: #6 Jordan Wood major dec. Aaron Costello, 13-3 Iowa 28, Lehigh 14

Seven of the ten starters wrestled with all seven winning their respective matches. We kicked off the evening starting at 125lbs and dominated through the first five weights taking a 20-0 lead into the midway point. Everyone except Kaleb Young (who had the only ranked match on the night) was able to get a bonus point victory. We literally averaged a major decision through the first five weights. Bonus points led the way.

The Bull embarrassed Trey Cornish to open up the 2nd half and spotted us another five points and ran the score up to 25-0. From there we ran into Lehigh’s workhorses and they finally recorded their first takedown of the dual at 174lbs. They would go on to score 14 points in the final four matches, all by bonus (two majors and a pin). That is less than inspiring, but we must remember they were stacked at the heavier weights and we subbed in our backups.

Match Notes:

125: Lee obviously dominated, but he actually looked for the pin early on.

He nearly had it when Resnick squirrelled out and got back to his belly. Before we knew it the tech was already in hand. Boom goes the dynamite. Lee has won every match this year by bonus points.

133: Most importantly, ADS came out with no brace on his shoulder and no wrap on his leg. He looked healthy, agile, and energized. Austin kicked things off with an incredible scramble.

He was able to duck under, slide by, and clear the arm for two. That got the ball rolling and it never stopped. Paetzell wrestled defensively, so hats off to ADS for locking up the major by piling on the TD’s late. He put on a clinic.

141: Kudos to Murin for shaking off his first loss last week. He could’ve come out and had a hangover, but he didn’t. He wrestled all seven minutes like he wanted to. He kept up the high pace and had several slick TD’s, led by his brutal head snap. Also I love his intro song and Warner dancing.

149: Lugo also shook off his loss from last week. He looked strong, quick, and motivated. The only problem and it wasn’t his fault necessarily, was that Jimmy Hoffman kept wrestling on the edge of the mat or was bailed out by the bell.

Lugo locked up a few cradles, but was only able to turn one because Hoffman seemingly would flee from the mat. If Lugo could’ve locked it up in the middle Hoffman would’ve been done like dinner. Through the first month it appears that the nearside cradle is his go to, now he needs to lock it up in the middle of the mat and settle in for the pins.

157: Young had the only ranked match of the entire dual and was in control the entire time. Young himself took very few shots, but relied on the over-aggression of Humphreys and counterattacked frequently. He had the lead going into the 3rd and capitalized on a mean ride to lock up the riding time point. The score wasn’t nearly as close as the 5-1 win reflected. I’ve been tough on Young before, but I am so very close to being “All in” on him now.

165: As I mentioned early, this was an absolute embarrassment and we loved all 6:28 of it. Marinelli dominated, racked up the points early, and went for the pin. Cornish wrestled defensively, so it was impressive that The Bull was able to manhandle him like he did. My only criticism is that Marinelli needs to lock it up quicker after he flips the guy with his signature three-quarter nelson. Cornish has rubber arms and was able to roll through three different times after seemingly being turned. If The Bull doesn’t get on this, guys are going to learn. Why fight the beast if you can use his strength, flip and roll through, and come out on your belly? Also, Marinelli was so in control that for the final period he purposely refused to score any more points to avoid a premature tech. Ultimately, Cornish sealed his own fate by getting another stall call to end the match. FWIW this is my favorite moment of the entire dual. So good.

174: Moody was giving up nearly 17lbs when facing #6 Kutler. It was a nigh-impossible task asking him to come in and get a victory. The size and strength difference was noticeable, but Moody did what he could and kept the defeat to a major decision. It was also noticeable that Moody had more in the tank in the 3rd period, but there’s only so much that can do. I would’ve liked to see him attack more instead of wrestling defensively to try and keep the score close. If you’re going down, go down on your own terms.

184: I truly don’t know what else to say about Wilcke. He has the physical attributes to succeed, but he needs the mental game to catch up. He’s not only wrestling his opponent, but he’s wrestling himself as well. This should’ve been a shot at redemption going against #8 Ryan Preisch, instead Preisch didn’t go and his backup Andrew Price entered. So it should’ve turned into a tune-up and a beat down, alas it didn’t. He was trailing midway through the 3rd and was able to get a TD to take the lead.

After a smart locked-hands challenge by Lehigh (which resulted in nothing) Price was able to get a breather and then an escape to end regulation at a tie. Wilcke found his hungry side and scored in SV1. This could turn into a great learning tool for him to wrestle all seven minutes and not let it get to sudden victory. Brands agrees. Also, Brands went on to say that Wilcke wasn’t feeling well going into the dual. Perhaps that had something to do with it as well.

197: #6 Warner didn’t come in, instead it was Steven Holloway, who we haven’t seen in quite some time. In fact this was his 1st action of the year. Holloway also had a tough hill to climb against #14 Jake Jakobsen. He came out with solid hand fighting and also took a shot to the near right leg, came up into double-unders and attempted an ill-fated throw. He slipped off, got an arm caught and went straight to his back. Match over. We can’t fault Holloway for this though, he was going to need a big move to win. Sometimes the throws work, a lot of times they don’t.

285: Aaron Costello came in against #6 Jordan Woods. Woods was heavily favored, but it still wasn’t the match Costello was hoping to wrestle. Costello was a bit timid and never got anything rolling on offense. He had strong hand fighting and good pressure for the first 90 seconds then Woods picked his ankle and it was downhill from there. The only thing Costello attempted was a failed cattle catcher that resulted in a counterattack and TD by Woods. I don’t intend to toot the Lehigh horn, but Woods was impressive to watch. Constant level change, misdirection, and he would chain shots together until something good would happen for him. Ankle picks, leg sweeps, and high crotches for days. He’s a small heavy, but wrestles like a 184 pounder. It’ll be interesting to see how he does against the bigger heavyweights.

What did we learn?

We learned that we still have work to do, especially on the healing side. Warner and Stoll both didn’t go, probably because the dual victory was sealed and they’re still recuperating from their respective injuries and/ or working on their conditioning. We’re never going to hear Brands admit that, but it’s my working theory at the moment.

I’m not worried about these two, they’ll go when they’re good and ready. If the dual had been tight entering the final two bouts, I’m confident we would’ve seen them. In fact we could see Warner dancing to Murin’s into song of that I showed in the 141lbs match note. He’s fine, no need to worry, friends.

It doesn’t add any excitement, but why send them out if there’s no need? I don’t like it as a wrestling fan, but it’s the prudent and sensible approach.

Now for the backups. They’re backups and we need to remember that. It’s unreasonable and downright stupid to expect them to step in and upend the starters from another highly regarded program, such as Lehigh. Holloway, Moody, and Costello all had a tough task and with the exception of Holloway’s unfortunate pin, they kept things to a major decision.

These are learning moments for these guys and when everyone is healthy, we won’t see them anymore. It’s good that they get the exposure, especially in Carver-Hawkeye. It’s why they came to wrestle for Iowa and it’s why we should support them.

Furthermore, we need to realize that all these backups are good enough to start at a lot other D1 programs. We’re fortunate that they are here and training with our starters.

Now onto DeSanto, Murin, Lugo, and Wilcke. All four lost last week against Iowa State despite leading late. This time around all four won. And other than Wilcke they all wrestled the full seven minutes and never left the match up to fate. This was the rebound we needed and the confidence they need heading into a multi-week bye. They’re learning that if they wrestle an entire match from start to finish, there’s very few out there that can handle the pressure. Now they need to do it on a consistent basis.

With Wilcke feeling under the weather hopefully this is the last bout we have with our team being ill. I’m getting sick of being sick.

We have a few weeks of down time to get these guys healthy and back to the performance level they need to be at. Next up we enter into the Midlands Championships on Dec. 29 and 30. Each weight class boasts several ranked guys and this is without a doubt the toughest we’ll face in the first half of the season.

So until then. GO HAWKS!!!