Panthers take on old MAC Conference foe

Who: #17 UNI (2-3, 2-0 Big 12) vs #6 Missouri (11-0, 5-0 MAC)
Where: Hernes Center | Columbia, MO
When: Thursday, January 17th, 2019
Watch: Missouri Network
Stats: TrackWrestling

The UNI Panthers next take the mat on the rare Thursday night dual, traveling down to Columbia, Missouri for a dual with the Tigers. The old MAC conference foes have met every season since 2012, and UNI was the last team to defeat Missouri in conference action (when the Panthers were still in the MAC, they defeated the Tigers 25-10 for the regular season conference championship in 2017). UNI comes into the dual after having dropped a 22-12 match with Nebraska last Saturday, while Missouri comes in undefeated on the year.

This season Missouri comes in as the heavy favorite. There’s a couple chances of rematches from last season at 141 with Josh Alber and Jaydin Eierman, and 174 with Taylor Lujan and Daniel Lewis, while at 165 Bryce Steiert and Connor Flynn wrestled at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invite. In regards to the rematches, both Panthers will look to change around results from last season; Alber lost 12-6 to Eierman and Lujan lost 13-10. Lujan already has already had a rematch with Lewis this season, losing by pinfall at the Las Vegas Invite.

In order for UNI to pull off the upset, they’ll have to hold serve with their ranked wrestlers over the Tigers’. That means that Max Thomsen, Bryce Steiert, and Drew Foster all need wins over ranked Missouri foes. All three men saw setbacks this past weekend, Thomsen against SDSU’s (and former Johnston wrestler) new #19 Henry Pohlmeyer, Steiert against #7 Isaiah White, and Foster against #9 Mike Labriola. It’s a good bounce back test for each man, but a loss here for any of them could mean their NCAA seeds take a big hit.

As far as premiere matches go, take your pick between those three and add in Alber vs #3 Jaydin Eierman and Lujan vs #3 Daniel Lewis. Eierman/Alber pits #3 vs #4, respectively, while Lewis/Lujan is #8 vs #3. A win for either Panther would be big, but Lujan over Lewis would be huge for his seeding at the NCAA tournament and rank the rest of the season. Lewis seems to be the barrier between Mark Hall/Zahid Valencia (shoutout to Bloodround for that one) and rest of 174, so if Lujan can get the win here it should really boost him going into March.

As for the rest of the dual, I’ll say what I usually do, and that’s UNI needs to score some upsets to win. Jack Skudlarczyk, Pat Schoenfelder, and Izaak Shedenhelm all are up against ranked opponents, while Jay Schwarm and Tyrell Gordon need to bounce back from losses against Nebraska.

A team win here is probably out of reach, but the last time the Panthers visited Columbia they wrestled the best they have for a team in probably two full seasons. We’ll have a rapid recap and hopefully commentary on the match going on at Missouri, so be sure to follow along on Twitter.

 

#14 UNI UNI_Primary
125: Jay Schwarm
133: Jack Skudlarczyk
141: #4 Josh Alber
149: #9 Max Thomsen
157: Pat Schoenfelder
165: #9 Bryce Steiert
174: #8 Taylor Lujan
184: #6 Drew Foster
197: Tyrell Gordon
285: Izaak Shedenhelm

#6 Missouri Missouri
125: Dack Punke
133: #10 John Erneste
141: #3 Jaydin Eierman or Allan Hart
149: #12 Brock Mauller
157: #19 Jacques Jarrett
165: #13 Connor Flynn
174: #3 Daniel Lewis
184: #17 Dylan Wisman
197: Wyatt Koelling
285: #16 Zach Elam

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