Panthers Head East for a Pair of Weekend Battles

Who: #14 UNI vs Pittsburgh
Where: Fitzgerald Field House, Pittsburgh, PA
When: 2:00 PM (CST) Saturday, November 11, 2018
Watch: ACC Extra (Subscription Required)

Who: #14 UNI vs West Virginia
Where: WVU Coliseum, Morgantown, West Virginia
When: 12:00 PM (CST) Sunday, November 12, 2018
Watch: Mountaineer TV (Free), FloWrestling (Subscription Required)

The UNI Panthers hit the road for their first dual action of the year this weekend as they take on the Pittsburgh Panthers for some Cat-on-Cat crime and then go to Morgantown to open Big 12 action. UNI is coming off a weekend where they saw four champions and 10 medalists at the Grand View Open.

By far the most interesting dual of the weekend will be tomorrow, when UNI travels to Pittsburgh. The other Panthers have five wrestlers ranked and a few of them are at weights where Doug Schwab’s squad isn’t quite as good. 133, 157, and heavyweight all will favor the Pittsburgh wrestlers, and not giving up bonus points might make the difference in a UNI win.

The most interesting of those matches might just the last. Carter Isley fell a little short of (probably too high) expectations as a freshman, but if he can knock off a top 20 man in his first dual action of the year he’ll be right back on track to earn his way to the NCAA tournament.

There are a couple top-20 matchups too in this one and they both involve wrestlers who haven’t seen each other before. At 165 UNI has #8 Bryce Steiert going up against #18 Jake Wentzel and at 184 #9 Drew Foster will see #17 Nico Bonaccorsi. Both these matchups will be good early-season tests for UNI and will be good gauges for where they are against some of the nation’s best competition.

As far as the dual against West Virginia goes, it should be a little bit more lopsided in the Panthers favor. UNI will be the clear favorite at six or seven of the weights and their ranked wrestlers shouldn’t have too much of a problem with their opponents.

This will be another good test though of where the non-ranked wrestlers sit. These types of matches have been problematic for UNI in the past; one or two upsets could tilt the dual in favor of the Mountaineers. If Schwab and Co. want to continue to build the program these are the types of duals where they need to get wins, no matter who’s wrestling.

Speaking of who’s wrestling, we really don’t know. Schwab mentioned in his press conference that UNI will be taking 12 men out east but he didn’t say which 12. We know that #4 Jacob Holschlag is out (with no timetable on his return) but #7 Max Thomsen might be out as well, as he has yet to wrestle this season and is coming off shoulder surgery in the offseason.

The other name that might not be on the list is #20 Jay Schwarm. Schwarm has been battling an arm/elbow issue during the offseason, so we may see freshman Jack Skudlarczyk in for him at 125 pounds.

With those potential holes in the lineup it will be an uphill task for UNI this weekend. The Panthers don’t exactly have a stellar track record when going east early in the season but we’ll see if this is the year where they return home unscathed.

#14 UNI vs Pittsburgh

125 – #20 Jay Schwarm or Jack Skudlarczyk vs Brendon Fenton
133 – Jack Wagner vs #14 Micky Phillippi
141 – #8 Josh Alber vs LJ Bentley
149 – #7 Max Thomsen or Derek Holschlag vs Dallas Bulsak
157 – Paden Moore, Dan Kelly, or Isaiah Patton, vs #9 Taleb Rahmani
165 – #8 Bryce Steiert vs #18 Jake Wentzel
174 – #9 Taylor Lujan vs Gregg Harvey
184 – #9 Drew Foster vs #17 Nino Bonaccorsi
197 – Izaak Shedenhelm vs Kellan Stout
285 – Carter Isley vs #17 Demetrius Thomas

#14 UNI vs West Virginia

125 – #20 Jay Schwarm or Jack Skudlarczyk vs KJ Fenstermacher
133 – Jack Wagner vs #16 Matthew Schmitt
141 – #8 Josh Alber vs Joe Wheeling
149 – #7 Max Thomsen or Derek Holschlag vs Christian Monserrat
157 – Paden Moore, Dan Kelly, or Isaiah Patton, vs Zachary Moore
165 – #8 Bryce Steiert vs Nick Kiussis
174 – #9 Taylor Lujan vs Josh Ramirez
184 – #9 Drew Foster vs Jackson Moomau
197 – Izaak Shedenhelm vs Noah Adams
285 – Carter Isley vs David Smith