Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Tame Wildcats as NU Gets Back to Winning Ways

By E.J. Stevens

Lincoln, Neb. – The 11th-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers got back to their winning ways on Sunday at the Devaney Center. Northwestern led 14-4 after four matches, but NU took the final six bouts to earn its 12th straight victory over the Wildcats.

 

The Huskers won seven of the 10 matches, with four victories coming by bonus points. There were four bouts (125, 157, 174, HWT) that featured wrestlers from both teams ranked in the top 20 of their weight class. NU earned victories in three of the four matches.

 

The dual started with a top 15 battle at 125 pounds between #12 Zeke Moisey and #2 Sebastian Rivera from Northwestern. Rivera earned six points for his team after pinning Moisey 2:36 into the match.

 

Tucker Sjomeling (133) lost in a major decision to Collin Valdiviez 13-4 and Jordan Shearer (149) fell 11-3 in a major decision to Shayne Oster in the second and fourth matches of the afternoon, respectively.

 

Sophomore Chad Red Jr. got the Huskers on the board at 141 pounds after a dominant showing against Northwestern’s Yahya Thomas. Red Jr. earned a takedown and a four-point nearfall to go up 6-0 early in the match and never let up. He ended up winning the bout 10-1, earning his first major decision of the year.

 

In one of the most highly anticipated bouts of the season, Huskers senior Tyler Berger (157) took on Northwestern’s Ryan Deakin. Coming into the match, both wrestlers were consensus top-five nationally ranked wrestlers in their weight class.

 

Trailing 1-0, Berger took his first lead with a reversal 35 seconds into the third period. He never trailed again, earning two more takedowns to take a 6-3 decision. Coming into the bout, Berger was the #4 ranked wrestler in the country at 157, while Deakin was ranked #2.

 

Chicago, Ill., native Isaiah White, who came in as the #6 ranked 165-pounder in the country, earned a 17-5 major decision over Northwestern’s Tyler Moreland. Since starting the season 1-3, White has won eight straight matches, including all four against top 20 ranked opponents. He also earned his second major decision of the year today.

 

#9 Mikey Labriola took on #10 Johnny Sebastian this afternoon at 174 pounds. Leading 4-0 going into the third period, the redshirt freshman had three takedowns and a two-point nearfall to take a 14-4 major decision. With the victory, Labriola moves to 14-2 (7-1 in duals) on the year.

 

Taylor Venz, one of three returning All-Americans for NU, bounced back from two straight defeats against UNC and NC State with a 15-0 tech. fall over Brendan Devine. Venz set the tone early with a takedown, four-point nearfall and two back points to go up 8-0. Venz now has three tech. fall victories on the year and six wins by bonus points.

 

#12 Eric Schultz helped his team close out the Wildcats with an 8-3 decision over Zach Chakonis at 197 pounds. The win moved Schultz to 13-5 on the season and 5-3 in dual action.

 

Heading into the heavyweight bout, the Huskers led 23-16. NU’s #14 David Jensen battled #18 Conan Jennings to close out the dual. Jensen scored points off of two reversals and a takedown as he grinded out a 7-6 decision over Jennings. With the win, Jensen moves to 9-0 on the season and 3-0 in dual action.

 

Match Results:

125: #2 Sebastian Rivera (NW) pinned Zeke Moisey (NEB) (2:36) (NW 6, NEB 0)

133: Collin Valdiviez (NW) major dec. Tucker Sjomeling (NEB), 13-4 (NW 10, NEB 0)

141: Chad Red Jr. (NEB) major dec. Yahya Thomas (NW), 10-1 (NW 10, NEB 4)

149: Shane Oster (NW) major dec. Jordan Shearer (NEB), 11-3 (NW 14, NEB 4)

157: #4 Tyler Berger dec. #2 Ryan Deakin (NW), 6-3 (NW 14, NEB 7)

165: #6 Isaiah White (NEB) major dec. Tyler Morland (NW), 17-5 (NW 14, NEB 11)

174: #9 Mikey Labriola (NEB) major dec. #10 Johnny Sebastian (NW), 14-4 (NEB 15, NW 14)

184: #5 Taylor Venz (NEB) tech. fall Brendan Devine (NW), 15-0 (5:13) (NEB 20, NW 14)

197:#12 Eric Schultz (NEB) dec. Zachary Chakonis (NW), 8-3 (NEB 23, NW 14)

HWT: #14 David Jensen (NEB) dec. #18 Conan Jennings (NW), 7-6 (NEB 26, NW 14)

 

Attendance: 915

 

Up Next:

Nebraska takes on Northern Iowa on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. in this year’s version of the Tumble N’ Rumble. Along with the dual against UNI, the women’s gymnastics team will be competing simultaneously against Washington.

 

The first 1,000 fans will get a free knit beanie and UNL students get in free with their NCard. Tickets can be purchased online at Huskers.com/tickets or by phone at 800-8BIGRED.

 

Honorary Captain:

The Huskers wrestling team honored Lincoln North Star student Harley Kessler today before the dual. Head Coach Mark Manning named Kessler today’s honorary captain after meeting him at an event hosted by his school recently. An avid Husker wrestling fan, Kessler was diagnosed with a form of bone cancer called Osteosarcoma in August of 2018. His battle with cancer is ongoing.

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