CEDAR FALLS — The University of Northern Iowa wrestling team topped Utah Valley for its first dual win of the 2019-20 season Saturday inside the friendly confines of the West Gym.
The Panthers stay at home this weekend for a pair of duals, and head coach Doug Schwab doesn’t want opponents feeling too comfortable.
“Let’s have the West Gym packed to the rafters,” Schwab said. “We don’t want to be cordial hosts. We will invite them in and make sure the locker room is nice, make sure everything is cleaned up.
“But as far as that, when we go step on the mat we want to go beat them up from start to finish.”
South Dakota State is the opponent Friday at 7 p.m. and former Mid-American Conference rival Missouri comes to town for a 2 p.m. dual Sunday.
“They are wrestling better as a team,” Schwab said of South Dakota State. “I know from Bono (Chris) to Hahn (Damion) they are going to wrestle hard. Guys are going to stay in matches, fight and not give us anything.
“Missouri … from Missouri’s terms maybe down a little bit, but they always come prepared and ready to wrestle.”
UNI’s Max Thomsen at 149 and Taylor Lujan at 184 will each potentially face a pair of ranked opponents.
Thomsen is slated to face South Dakota State’s 17th-ranked Henry Pohlmeyer and fifth-ranked Brock Mauller, the wrestler who eliminated him from last year’s NCAA Championships.
Lujan will face 19th-ranked Zach Carlson of the Jackrabbits and 24th-ranked Dylan Wisman from Missouri.
HOLSCHLAG UPDATE: Schwab did not give a firm timeline, but said All-American Jacob Holschlag is close to returning to the lineup at 197.
Holschlag, who missed all of the 2018-19 season with a torn left ACL, injured his right knee in his first action this season at Northwestern. He has been out of the lineup since.
CLASSROOM DOMINANCE: Schwab also made special note of his team’s performance in the classroom, saying 17 Panthers earned a 3.0 grade-point average during the first semester, including four student-athletes with 4.0 marks.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: UNI head coach Tanya Warren was direct in her comments Monday when recapping the Panthers’ 104-87 loss to Drake Friday in the Panthers’ Missouri Valley Conference opener.
“Obviously not the start we wanted,” Warren said. “But you have to give Drake a lot of credit. Drake played extremely well.
“I will take a little bit of the blame because as good a non-conference schedule as we put together we made a huge mistake by not playing a game after Christmas and with MVC starting so late … and we played like we hadn’t played in a while.”
Warren was more pointed in her comments when it came to a play late in the third quarter that may have cost the Panthers starting post Megan Maahs for an extended period.
With Drake leading by 20 with three minutes to go in the third quarter, Maahs injured a knee when she ran into a blindside screen and was ultimately whistled for an offensive foul.
“You are up 20 and it is the end of the third quarter and it is a very unnecessary, bad, non-basketball play.
“There is not a coach in our league that would not agree with me. It is like a blind block on a defenseless player. I know Jennie (Drake coach Jennie Baranczyk) well and if the roles were reversed, she would be irate as well.
“It was just a bad, bad, non-basketball play ... a very unnecessary play.”
UNI (8-4) returns to action this weekend with road games at Southern Illinois and Missouri State.
Photos: Northern Iowa vs. Nebraska wrestling