CEDAR FALLS — Doug Schwab will take the victory. He’s not happy about it, however, and it has nothing to do with Northern Iowa’s performance.
Schwab expected a wire-to-wire fight with North Carolina Monday at the West Gym in the Panthers’ last competition prior to the holiday break.
The Tar Heels (1-3) provided it and then some with both teams winning five matches, and the Panthers (2-1) claiming a 17-16 victory on criteria in front of a capacity crowd.
UNI should have won it outright, 17-16, but the Panthers lost a team point at 184 when Drew Foster was hit for unsportsmanlike conduct after a verbal exchange with his opponent, Chip Ness, following a 5-3 Foster win.
That is what irritated Schwab.
“It shouldn’t come down to that (criteria). We shouldn’t have a guy pointing to the scoreboard,” Schwab said. “He knows that, and he already apologized to the team.
“You don’t need to do that. Go out there and whip a guy’s butt, put your leg bands down and walk back like you are supposed to. I thought we lost the meet. We probably should’ve based on that.”
The dual was tied 16-all after the matches were contested with UNI winning on the third criteria, most points scored — 54-42.
The Panthers got victories from Jay Schwarm at 125, Josh Alber at 141, Isaiah Patton at 165, Taylor Lujan at 174 and Foster at 184. Alber and Lujan’s victories were both major decisions.
Alber topped AC Headlee, 12-4, and Lujan downed Adis Radoncic, 10-2. Lujan put Radoncic on his back in the second period, locking up a cradle, but said his chest was too high and the lock was more around Radoncic’s legs, preventing him from finishing the match by fall.
“I don’t get ahead of myself,” Lujan said of getting bonus points. “I don’t have to score 10 points in the first period. You build and get your points. I wish I would’ve got the pin there, but I got the bonus points for the team and that is good.”
The Tar Heels, who were coming off a 22-14 win over No. 12 Nebraska Sunday, won three of the four matches that were decided by two points or less. North Carolina also got a major decision at 157 from Kennedy Monday over Logan Ryan, 13-5.
After Foster’s win at 184 put UNI in front 16-10, UNC got a 5-3 win from Danny Chaid over Jacob Holschlag at 197, and Cory Daniel edged Carter Isley at heavyweight, 5-4, winning on a riding time point.
The highlight match of the evening came at 149, where Troy Heilmann, ranked fourth, beat sixth-ranked Max Thomsen for the second time this season by the exact same score, 3-2. Heilmann also beat Thomsen in the semifinals of the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.
Heilmann scored his match-winner on a single leg, switching to a double with 1:31 to go. Prior to giving up the takedown, Thomsen was in deep twice on Heilmann, but could not finish.
“Max was in as deep as you can on somebody, and he (Heilmann) was able to wrestle out of it,” Schwab said. “He wrestled a heck of a match.
“Hey, North Carolina did a good job,” Schwab added. “They stayed in every match. Their guys kept battling from start to finish. They wrestled hard. They kept their ties. They kept position well, and they were very opportune in their attacks.”
Schwab also thanked Tar Heels head coach Coleman Scott, who is assisted by former Iowa national champion Tony Ramos, for coming all the way to Cedar Falls.
UNI is now off until Jan. 1-2 when it will compete at the Southern Scuffle in Chattanooga, Tenn.
UNI 17, UNC 16
125 — Jay Schwarm (UNI) dec. James Szymanski 5-0, 133 — Zach Sherman (UNC) dec. Rudy Yates 6-3, 141 — Josh Alber (UNI) maj. dec. AC Headlee 12-4, 149 — Troy Heilmann (UNC) dec. Max Thomsen 3-2, 157 — Kennedy Monday (UNC) maj. dec. Logan Ryan 13-5, 165 — Isaiah Patton (UNI) dec. Clay Lautt 6-1, 174 — Taylor Lujan (UNI) dec. Adis Radoncic 10-2, 184 — Drew Foster (UNI) dec. Chip Ness 5-3, 197 — Danny Chaid (UNC) dec. Jacob Holschlag 5-3, 285 — Cory Daniel (UNC) dec. Carter Isley 5-4.
* UNI lost a team point at 184 for unsportsmanlike conduct
Official — Derek Lark.