CEDAR FALLS – Solid, but not necessarily sharp according to Northern Iowa wrestling coach Doug Schwab.
After a little more than a two-week break from competition, the Panthers opened their Big 12 Conference dual season Thursday with a 33-3 thumping of Wyoming at the McLeod Center.
Pins by Kyle Biscoglia at 133 and Parker Keckeisen at 184 and an upset win at 157 by Derek Holschlag highlighted the victory for No. 13 UNI.
“I didn’t think we were overly sharp,” said Schwab, who picked up his 100th career dual win in the victory. “But kind of how we trained, I wasn’t overly surprised. Guys were getting weight back down…Wyoming is a solid team.
“There are a few things we need to get better at, but a good return to the McLeod Center. Like I said, a solid performance, but not a great performance.”
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Biscoglia made quick work of Darrick Stacey at 133 scoring early before turning Stacey to his back for the fall in 1 minute and 28 seconds. The result was similar at 184 where Keckeisen built an 8-1 lead on Guillermo Escobedo before securing the fall in 4:04.
“A couple of pins is always nice, bonus points, but I think we had a few other matches definitely could’ve been bonus wins that I could point too, but we didn’t give up many points so that is always a good thing,” Schwab added. “Like always, you are going to be overly critical, because of our high standards.”
With a takedown with 12 seconds left, Holschlag, the former Union of La Porte City state champion, upset 10th-ranked Jacob Wright, 4-3. Wright was coming off a huge win at the Soldier Salute in Coralville in late December.
Several things went Holschlag’s way and when asked how he got the job done he admitted it wasn’t textbook.
“Don’t do what I did,” smiled Holschlag. “The referee let the scramble go there in the third for me so I’m thankful for that, thankful for my training.”
After a scoreless first period, Holschlag opened the scoring with an escape only to see Wright get a takedown with 30 seconds left. But a key moment was Holschlag was able to scramble out from bottom in the waning seconds of the period to tie it a 2-all.
Wright escaped to open the third, and then with about a minute left, Holschlag got in on a leg and for the next 40 plus seconds both wrestlers were in scramble mode before Holschlag was able to cover both of Wright’s legs for the winning score.
“That score was maybe a minute,” Schwab said. “He kept working and the referee gave him some time to continue to work, and he didn’t give up on his position and capitalized on his one attack. That kid was very explosive, good wrestler and has beat Derek before so that was a good win.”
The Panthers also got wins from Kyle Gollhofer at 125, Cael Happel at 141, Colin Realbuto at 149, Austin Yant at 165, Noah Glaser at 197 and Tyrell Gordon at 285.
After getting plenty of rest over the break, UNI gets little before it heads to face Missouri Sunday.
“Mizzou…a good team. We are going to have to bring a hell of a lot more than we brought tonight,” Schwab said.