The first dual back in McLeod Center did not go so well for the UNI wrestling squad on Sunday afternoon as the Panthers dropped a 27-13 dual with the University of Oklahoma Sunday afternoon. A poor first half of the dual and a forfeit at heavyweight put UNI in a hole that they couldn’t dig out of.

The Panthers went 1-4 in the first five matches, their only win coming from Josh Alber, who defeated Trae Blackwell 7-0. Alber hit a textbook fireman’s cary in the third period to keep Blackwell at bay and secure his win. UNI had two total takedowns in the first half of the dual, both scored by Alber.

Panther head coach Doug Schwab downplayed the effect that the McLeod Center had on his lightweight wrestlers. “It’s still a 30 foot circle, everything’s still the same. Just shows us that we have a long way to go with this team. These young guys, I thought they’d been doing a great job really of just going out and competing and worrying about getting better. It looked like we tightened up a little bit this match.”

“I’ll give Oklahoma credit, they had a plan in certain situations and they went and got it. They really dictated the ties. We didn’t put enough together where we could put two or three things where we could open them up. They really controlled positions.”

Still, UNI was able to get some offense back in the second half, with Taylor Lujan, Drew Foster, and Jacob Holschlag all securing wins. Holschlag scored the big upset win by ridng #19 Brand Johnson for the entire 2nd and most of the third periods, scoring a four point nearfall in the 2nd to get the win 9-5. The natural 184 pounder has been bumping up to 197 for the second half of the season and if he wants to take a spot at the NCAA’s he’ll need a couple more upset wins to lock it in.

Lujan put the Panther Train back on the tracks after seeing Max Thomsen and Bryce Steiert get upset earlier in the match, with a 17-7 major decision win over DaWaylon Barnes. Lujan attacked early and wore Barnes out of the match.

“It’s not fun seeing your teammates get beat like that. It kind of fired me up, like alright, well lets start bringing the team back,” Lujan said after the match. “I kind of broke him down a little bit, saw that we needed a major and I thought that might a difference, I was hoping it would, for the team.”

Drew Foster kept things going for UNI right off the first whistle with a quick takedown of Oklahoma’s Matt Reed. Foster cruised to a 10-3 decision, never really having any problems with the Sooner who had bumped up from 174 pounds.

Jay Schwarm, Jake Hodges, Max Thomsen, Paden Moore, and Bryce Steiert all fell in today’s dual. Thomsen and Steiert were both upset, and that played a big part in the final score. If they can both get wins the Panthers get the win, even with Everard’s forfeit. As it stands UNI is now 9-3 (6-0 MAC) while Oklahoma improves to 9-4 (4-1 B12).

The Panthers will next be in action this Friday back at the West Gym against Buffalo, before hitting the road for Missouri on Sunday. That dual will be for the MAC Championship, as Missouri is also undefeated.

Attendance: 2,084

Oklahoma 27, UNI 13
125 – Christian Moody (Oklahoma) over Jacob Schwarm (Northern Iowa) (MD 13-4)
133 – Josh Alber (Northern Iowa) over Trae Blackwell (Oklahoma) (Dec 7-0)
141 – Mike Longo (Oklahoma) over Jake Hodges (Northern Iowa) (TF 15-0 6:14)
149 – Davion Jeffries (Oklahoma) over Max Thomsen (Northern Iowa) (Dec 7-2)
157 – Clark Glass (Oklahoma) over Paden Moore (Northern Iowa) (Dec 3-0)
165 – Yoanse Mejias (Oklahoma) over Bryce Steiert (Northern Iowa) (Fall 2:03)
174 – Taylor Lujan (Northern Iowa) over DaWaylon Barnes (Oklahoma) (MD 17-7)
184 – Drew Foster (Northern Iowa) over Matt Reed (Oklahoma) (Dec 10-3)
197 – Jacob Holschlag (Northern Iowa) over Brad Johnson (Oklahoma) (Dec 9-5)
285 – Ross Larson (Oklahoma) (For.)

7 thoughts on “Sooners Take the McLeod Center, 27-13”
  1. I don’t think there is a fear of wrestling in front of crowds larger than the West Gym will hold for BIG duals. Iowa is the easiest example of that. Anytime Iowa wrestling goes anywhere that venue is sold out. I think the fear is that the McLeod would be just another arena when wrestling squads like KSU, CMU, Buffalo, and Ohio. Just take a look back through the attendance figures of the last time those squads came to Cedar Falls; they’re not sell-outs. Less than 2,200 people in McLeod is nothing, and doesn’t create a home-mat advantage.

    You’d have to have national championship-level success to develop the following to move to McLeod full time and get 4-6 thousand people for every single home dual. That’s just not realistic right now. Plus, I love the West Gym so much that when Iowa does come to town again I want them to wrestle there, not McLeod.

    1. Yeah, those are all good and fair points. This season has not been sell outs.

  2. From Panther Nation (where I’m especially dangerous), “Also, the attendance for the dual was 3,561.”

    Yeah, but it was bigger than 2,200. Granted, I get the promotional aspects of today, but they all weren’t high school teams, and nonetheless, refer to what I said in the above regarding, “the powers that be.”

    1. This was my mistake. The initial word out of UNI was that the attendance was 3,561, but we were a little confused with the number of HS athletes that attended. 2,084 is the official attendance.

  3. For the 4,007th time, I apologize for using this forum to spew my thoughts (again, I’m given no other avenue, being that my words have been deemed too dangerous for apparent “tough” wrestling fans on the internet), but I am one who takes the view that the McLeod can and should work for the home of UNI wrestling.

    If this team continues to develop in the next few years, which we all expect it to, we should be surpassing the ability of the West Gym to house the fans who will want to get into our events. As the team progresses, better teams will want to wrestle us, thus bringing bigger crowds, and as our conference grows, bigger crowds will also follow. We can say what we want about the “intimacy” of the West Gym, but the powers that be at UNI; e.g., the athletic administration, who are dictated far more by dollars than they are by sentiment and nostalgia, will realize that much more money can be brought in by housing our team in the McLeod than the West Gym. Again, this assumes that our team continues to progress, which I am confident that it will.

    Yes, I’m sold on the atmosphere at the West Gym as well, but if you were at the UNI/Iowa dual at the McLeod in 2006, you’ll know that there was no problem with excitement and energy that evening. As long as our team develops and good teams want to wrestle us, bigger crowds will come that will surpass the West Gym’s ability to accommodate all of them, and the McLeod center does nott have the ability to stifle an electric atmosphere, assuming that WE create that atmosphere. Witness our recent basketball teams as an example of how the McLeod doesn’t have the ability to kill excitement. For the wrestling fans, if you were there on that evening in 2006, the damned roof almost blew off of that place when our dual with the Sqwawkeyes came down to the final match.

    Man, I’m worked up even recalling it…and, rant and dangerous words are over.

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