Three Huskers Win First Round Matches at NCAAs
Cleveland, Ohio - Tyler Berger (157), Isaiah White (165) and Taylor Venz (184) each won their first round matches Thursday in Session I of the NCAA Championships at Quicken Loans Arena to advance in the championship bracket.
As a team, Nebraska sits in 24th place with 4.5 team points. Iowa leads the field with 18.5 team points, while Ohio State is second with 17.
Chad Red Jr. (141), Colton McCrystal (149) and Eric Schultz (197) all dropped their first matches, and will compete in the consolation bracket.
Berger, a returning All-American, picked up Nebraska's first win in Cleveland with a 9-3 decision over Joe Velliquette of Penn, as he got ahead with an early takedown, and dominated the third period with a rideout. The eighth-seeded Berger will face ninth-seeded Archie Colgan of Wyoming in Session II, the third meeting between the pair this season. Berger won both previous matchups by decision.
White, the 2017 NCAA Division II national champion, got off to a strong start in his first appearance at the Division I national tournament, as he defeated Utah Valley's Demetrius Romero by a 9-4 decision. White will face Rutgers' sixth-seeded Richie Lewis in Session II, as he looks to avenge a dual-meet loss to the Scarlet Knight grappler earlier this season.
Venz won Nebraska's lone match by bonus points, as he defeated Chaz Polson of Wyoming for the second time this season by technical fall. Venz, seeded seventh and making his first NCAA appearance, earned a 17-1 win over Polson to follow up an 18-2 victory in a dual meet in November. Venz will face Chip Ness of North Carolina in the second round, a rematch of Venz's 13-11 sudden-victory decision in December.
At 141 pounds, Red dropped a 4-2 decision to seventh-seeded Brock Zacherl of Clarion. Red will face Tommy Thorn of Minnesota in the consolation first round in Session II. Red defeated Thorn at the Daktronics Open by a 5-3 decision in sudden-victory in November.
McCrystal, seeded 13th and making his second NCAA appearance, fell to Jarrett Degen of Iowa State by a 9-5 decision. McCrystal will face Tyshawn Williams of SIU Edwardsville in the consolation first round in Session II.
Schultz dropped a 4-3 decision to 14th-seeded Cash Wilcke of Iowa in the first round. He will face Jacob Seeley of Northern Colorado in the consolation first round in Session II.
Freshman Jason Renteria, an NCAA qualifier at 133 pounds after finishing fifth at the Big Ten Championships, did not compete at the NCAA Championships (failed to make weight).
The NCAA Championships continue with Session II, which begins at 6 p.m. (CT) with the championship second round, as well as action in the wrestlebacks. Session II is set to be broadcast on ESPN, with live coverage of every single match on every single match available on Watch ESPN at WatchESPN.com or the Watch ESPN app.
March 15-17, 2018
Cleveland, Ohio (Quicken Loans Arena - Session I Attendance: 18,660)
133 pounds: Jason Renteria – Did not compete (weight)
141 pounds: Chad Red Jr. – 0-1
First Round: #7 Brock Zacherl (Clarion) dec. Chad Red Jr. (Nebraska), 4-2
Consolation First Round: Chad Red Jr. (Nebraska) vs. Tommy Thorn (Minnesota)
149 pounds: #13 Colton McCrystal – 0-1
First Round: Jarrett Degen (Iowa State) dec. #13 Colton McCrystal (Nebraska), 9-5
Consolation First Round: #13 Colton McCrystal (Nebraska) vs. Tyshawn Williams (SIU Edwardsville)
157 pounds: #8 Tyler Berger – 1-0
First Round: #8 Tyler Berger dec. Joe Velliquette (Penn), 9-3
Second Round: #8 Tyler Berger vs. #9 Archie Colgan (Wyoming)
165 pounds: #11 Isaiah White – 1-0
First Round: #11 Isaiah White (Nebraska) dec. Demetrius Romero (Utah Valley), 9-4
Second Round: #11 Isaiah White (Nebraska) vs. #6 Richie Lewis (Rutgers)
184 pounds: #7 Taylor Venz – 1-0
First Round: #7 Taylor Venz (Nebraska) tech. fall Chaz Polson (Wyoming), 17-1
Second Round: #7 Taylor Venz (Nebraska) vs. Chip Ness (North Carolina)
197 pounds: Eric Schultz – 0-1
First Round: #14 Cash Wilcke (Iowa) dec. Eric Schultz (Nebraska), 4-3
Consolation First Round: Eric Schultz (Nebraska) vs. Jacob Seely (Northern Colorado)