The Northern Iowa wrestling squad goes on the road for the final time this year, but it’s a little closer than there last dual, when they go on the road to Iowa State on Sunday. The Panthers just concluded a road trip that included a win over Kent State but dropped another dual to Ohio University.
Iowa State takes on Arizona State tonight, you can find our preview for that dual here. Not a lot will have changed for the Cyclones going into Sunday’s dual.
The featured match of the night will come at 165 pounds, when UNI’s #13 ranked Cooper Moore takes on Iowa State’s #3 Mike Moreno. It will be a good challenge for Moore, who hasn’t had many opportunities this year to wrestle an opponent who is ranked above him. It will be a challenge for Moore, but it will be a good test to see where his right arm is and how he might fair going to the post season.
That will be the only match between ranked wrestlers, and although there are plenty of wrestlers from both squads that were there when the Panthers won, 24-13, last season in the West Gym, there will only be two re-matches. ISU’s #2 Kevyn Gadson will take on Basil Minto (last year Gadson won by major decision, 11-3) at 197 pounds and UNI’s #10 Blaize Cabell will face Quean Smith (Cabell won 5-2 last year) at heavyweight. These matches should probably go about the same way this season; Gadson and Cabell are both on rolls at their respective weights.
It will be interesting to see who goes for UNI at 141 pounds. Jake Hodges hasn’t exactly been dominate this year, and Tyler Willers took ISU’s Dante Rodriguez to sudden victory at the UNI Open earlier this year, eventually dropping the match. Rodriguez upset #16 Mike Morales from West Virginia last week, so it’s obvious that he has improved on the year as well.
At 157 pounds Jarrett Jensen will look to continue his winning streak after upending #2 Ian Miller last weekend. Luke Goettl is up a weight from last year where he is a two-time NCAA qualifier. This will be another big test for Jensen, who could use another road win to help boost him for the post season.
The Panthers will have to come in to Hilton Arena with the a stronger mentality than they did against MAC foe Kent State, who they took down last Sunday. They were able to secure the win in that dual despite giving up a pinfall at 149 pounds. Iowa State needs to just come in and wrestle like the team that they have become over the last few months: a top ten squad and one that is solid from top to bottom. There aren’t any gaping holes in ISU’s lineup, so if they win the matches they should they’ll be in a good position for the dual.
The dual can be seen on ISU’s Cyclone TV, which is on Mediacom, and can be seen at this link on the ISU website for a fee. I’ll also do a play by play thread for those of you who can’t get there or watch it live. The dual starts at 2PM on Sunday
UNI vs #8 Iowa State
125 – #6 Dylan Peters vs Kyle Larson
133 – Leighton Gaul vs #3 Earl Hall
141 – Jake Hodges or Tyler Willers vs Dante Rodriguez
149 – Gunnar Wolfensperger or Tyler Patten vs #14 Gabe Moreno
157 – Jarrett Jensen vs Luke Goettl
165 – #13 Cooper Moore vs #3 Mike Moreno
174 – Curt Maas vs #12 Tanner Weatherman
184 – Cody Caldwell vs #12 Lelund Weatherspoon
197 – Bazil Minto vs #2 Kyven Gadson
285 – #10 Blaize Cabell vs Quean Smith