It had some fun moments, but ultimately a pin, a major, and an upset wasn’t enough for third-ranked Iowa to topple the Goliath of No. 1 Penn State.
The loss confirms what we’ve all come accustomed to — the Hawkeyes are yet again fighting for third place in March. It’s going to take Penn State and No. 2 Ohio State cannibalizing each other and Iowa catching lightning in a bottle come tournament time.
It’s frustrating, but that’s a discussion for another day.
Spencer Lee started things hot with an early pin over Carson Kuhn to take the energy out of Bryce Jordan. If nothing else, we’re going to have the pleasure of what looks to be a historic Iowa career for the youngster. He’s undefeated on the year and must-watch television, folks.
Penn State’s Nick Lee out-worked Vince Turk at 141, but he used a late takedown to avoid getting majored after Paul Glynn lost an uneventful bout at 133.
Zain Retherford struck first against Sorensen and rode him to secure riding time, followed by another two off a counter and ended up with a 6-2 decision. Moving to 0-5 against the Nittany Lion, Sorensen was unable to get much semblance of an offense going. Onward.
For entertainment purposes, it was too bad we didn’t get Jason Nolf and Michael Kemerer next. For team score purposes, it was nice Penn State sent out some guy with stringy hair while Nolf nurses an injury before the postseason. Kemerer couldn’t pin or tech Nolf’s backup, but picked up a major to put Iowa ahead 10-9 at the intermission.
Despite the lead however, there was a feeling of uneasyness as Cael Sanderson’s big horses loomed after the intermission.
Alex Marinelli briefly delayed that darkness as he used a takedown and four backs in the third period to knock off the nation’s top-ranked 165 pounder with a 9-6 victory. It was a beautiful, slick move that was only available for the blink of an eye, and he took it. He worked and worked the entire match, and stole some magic from Joseph’s playbook in an Iowa freshman’s second dethroning of a top-ranked opponent this season.
The ecstasy was short lived, however, as Mark Hall pinned Joey Gunther in the first minute. Adding salt to the wound, Bo Nickal followed suit and stuck Mitch Bowman. From 13-9 to 21-13 in the blink of an eye, it was lights out on the Hawekeyes.
Cash Wilcke lost to Shakur Rasheed at 197, and that was that. Man, it would be nice to have a problem like Cael Sanderson’s at 33 or 41. Or 74. Or 84.
Sam Stoll lost to Nick Nevills, and Iowa fell 28-13. If you’re looking for sliver linings, they’re there. The rest was ugly.
NO. 1 PENN STATE 28, NO. 3 IOWA 13
125: No. 3 Spencer Lee pinned Carson Kuhn
133: Corey Keener dec. Paul Glynn, 5-2
141: No. 8 Nick Lee dec. Vince Turk, 11-8
149: No. 1 Zain Retherford dec. No. 2 Brandon Sorensen, 6-2
157: No. 2 Michael Kemerer vs. Bo Phipher, 14-4
165: No. 5 Alex Marinelli dec No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph, 9-6
174: No. 2 Mark Hall pinned No. 19 Joey Gunther
184: No. 1 Bo Nickal pinned. No. 22 Mitch Bowman
197: Shakur Rasheed major dec. No. 9 Cash Wilcke, 11-2
HWT: No. 5 Nick Nevills dec. No. 3 Sam Stoll, 3-2