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The Panthers opened their dual schedule today in Pennsylvania where they took on Pittsburgh in a non-conference dual meeting. The dual featured four bonus point victories, with three of those being falls. Unfortunately for UNI, two of those falls came from a Pitt wrestler which is what ultimately separated the two teams.

The dual started in typical Jay Schwarm fashion as the junior 125-pound starter got a first period takedown and proceeded to put a tough ride on Brenden Fenton. Schwarm continued to dominate on top in the second period and managed to put Fenton away by fall with ten seconds remaining in the period.

Pittsburgh responded with a fall of their own at 133 pounds where Micky Phillippi pinned UNI freshman Jay Schipper in the first period.

With the team score tied at six points apiece UNI turned to their #8 ranked Josh Alber in hopes of regaining the lead. Alber was in control early on getting a first period takedown and adding an escape to lead 3-0 heading into the final period. It was there Pittsburgh’s LJ Bentley scored a reversal to tighten things 3-2. Alber was able to distance himself with a quick escape to make things 4-2. With the Bently a takedown away from tying the match Alber continued to challenge and almost added another takedown prior to the final whistle.

It was not All-American Max Thomsen that took the mat for UNI at 149 pounds, instead redshirt freshman Derek Holschlag made his dual debut against Robert Lee. The first three periods didn’t yield much in the way of points. Both wrestlers managed to score escape, which was all of the points scored in regulation. In sudden victory Lee was the first wrestler to take a shot and it was off his offensive move that the match was decided as he was able to score a takedown.

With the dual once again tied, this time at nine points apiece UNI sent their third wrestler to make his dual debut as redshirt freshman Patrick Schoenfelder took the mat against #9 Taleb Rahmani at 157 pounds. The upset minded Schoenfelder nearly pulled it off after he secured a cradle and put Rahmani on his back for a six point move. While trying to flatten Rahmani out for a fall, Schoenfelder lost his grip and surrendered a reversal. Rahmani was able to regain control of the match and picked up a fall to give Pittsburgh a fall.

In the meeting of ranked opponents #8 Bryce Steiert struck first against #18 Jake Wentzel, picking up a late first period takedown to go out front, 2-0. Wentzel the elected the bottom position to begin the second period, but Steiert was able to ride the full two minutes to keep the score at 2-0. Steiert was able to pull away in the third period by picking up a stall point, an escape, and takedown to win, 7-0.

With UNI trailing it was up to #9 Taylor Lujan to continue Steiert’s momentum against Gregg Harvey at 174 pounds. There was little to talk about through the first two periods with Lujan’s escape being the only point score. In the third Harvey chose down, and Lujan was able to hip him over for four near fall points. After a stall call awarded Lujan another point, he opted to cut Harvey and to give himself a chance at the major decision. He added takedown and riding time to finish the bonus win, 9-1. UNI regained the lead 16-15 with three matches left.

In the second and final meeting between ranked wrestlers #9 Drew Foster faced off against #17 Nino Bonaccorsi at 184 pounds. Foster was quick off the whistle to strike first in the match with a takedown, after he was close to scoring a second after a Bonaccorsi escape. The senior All-American padded his lead in the second, picking up an escape to start and then two takedowns to lead 5-2 heading to the final period. In the third Bonaccorsi began the period in the bottom position and then reversed Foster to close the gap to 5-4. After a Foster escape Bonaccorsi added his first takedown. With the match winding down Bonaccorsi cut Foster and immediately returned to his offense, but a Foster counter led to a takedown.

After dropping three straight matches Pittsburgh was able to work their way back into the dual with Kellan Stout picking up a victory over UNI sophomore Izaak Shedenhelm at 197 pounds. Stout scored a takedown early in the first and from there controlled the rest of the match, winning 6-0.

The dual then came down to the 285-pound matchup between Carter Isley and #17 Demetrius Thomas, with UNI leading the team score by one point. With the dual on the line Thomas was able to score a first period takedown, though Isley did manage to score an escape to cut the deficit to 2-1. Isley tied the match at 2-2 with his second period escape, which meant the dual came down to the third period. In the final period, Thomas scored an escape and takedown to pull ahead 5-2, which proved to be the back breaker for UNI.

The Panthers will continue their east coast trip on Sunday, when they take on Big 12 foe West Virginia. That dual is scheduled to begin at 12:00 CT.

Dual Results (TOM Rankings)
#14 Northern Iowa 19 – Pittsburgh 21
125 – #20 Jay Schwarm fall Brendon Fenton, 4:50
133 – #14 Micky Phillippi fall Jay Schipper, 2:39
141 – #8 Josh Alber dec LJ Bentley, 4-2
149 – Robert Lee dec Derek Holschlag, 3-1 SV
157 – #9 Taleb Rahmani fall Patrick Schoenfelder, 2:36
165 – #8 Bryce Steiert dec #18 Jake Wentzel, 7-0
174 – #9 Taylor Lujan maj Gregg Harvey, 9-1
184 – #9 Drew Foster dec #17 Nino Bonaccorsi, 10-6
197 – Kellan Stout dec Izaak Shedenhelm, 6-0
285 – #17 Demetrius Thomas dec Carter Isley, 8-3

By Ross Bartachek (@rossbchek)

Lead Editor of IA Wrestle

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