Photo by Isabel Thalken/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Set for Big Ten Championships

By NU Athletic Communications

#7 Nebraska Cornhuskers 12-5 (5-4 Big Ten) at Big Ten Championships

Saturday March 9 – Sunday, March 10

Minneapolis, Minn.

Williams Arena

Live Streaming: BTN Plus/BTN2Go

 

The Matchup:

The #7 Nebraska Cornhuskers now move into the postseason portion of this season’s schedule. NU will compete against some of the nation’s best this Saturday and Sunday at the Big Ten Championships, which will be held at Williams Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minn.

 

5 Things to Know:

  1. Five Huskers earned top-five pre-seeds for the Big Ten Championships. Tyler Berger (157) earned the team’s highest seed at #2 for his weight class. Taylor Venz (184) earned the #3 seed while Isaiah White (165) and Mikey Labriola (174) are both at #4. Eric Schultz (197) comes in at #5 in his class.

 

  1. Four Huskers will be making their first ever appearance at the Big Ten Championships. Zeke Moisey (125), Jevon Parrish (133), Jordan Shearer (149) and Mikey Labriola (174) will all be competing in their first postseason competitions as Huskers. Moisey, the #7 seed at 125 pounds, twice earned All-America honors during his time at West Virginia. 

 

  1. Five Huskers placed at last year’s Big Ten Championships. Tyler Berger (157) and Taylor Venz both finished fourth, while Chad Red Jr. (141), Isaiah White (165) and Eric Schultz (197) finished seventh.

 

  1. Session I commences on Saturday at 10 a.m. CT (11 a.m. ET). Session II, also slated for Saturday, will get started at 6 p.m. CT (7 p.m. ET).

 

  1. Sunday’s action starts at noon CT (1 p.m. ET) with Session III, which will be streamed on BTN Plus and FloWrestling. The championship finals in Session IV will begin at 3 p.m. CT (4 p.m. ET) and will be broadcasted live on Big Ten Network.

 

How to Follow:

Live stats and brackets will be available on TrackWrestling.com and updates will be posted on Twitter (@HuskerWrestling) and Facebook (@NebraskaWrestling) throughout the weekend.

 

All-Time at Big Ten’s:

Nebraska has finished in the top five at the Big Ten Championships in the past three years. NU has never finished lower than 8th place in its seven years in the Big Ten. The Huskers have twice finished in fourth place to mark the team’s highest finish.

 

NU at Big Ten’s - Season-By-Season:

2011-12: 8th (65 pts.)

2012-13: 7th (61 pts.)

2013-14: 5th (79 pts.)

2014-15: 7th (85.5 pts.)

2015-16: 4th (117 pts.)

2016-17: 4th (102.5 pts.)

2017-18: 5th (72.5 pts.) 

 

Nebraska’s Big Ten Championships Lineup:

125: #17 Sr. Zeke Moisey (13-8) – 7th Seed

133: Fr. Jevon Parrish (17-10) – 13th Seed

141: #20 So. Chad Red Jr. (15-10) – 8th Seed

149: Jr. Jordan Shearer (9-8) – Unseeded

157: #2 Sr. Tyler Berger (22-2) – 2nd Seed

165: #6 Jr. Isaiah White (16-5) – 4th Seed

174: #9 R-Fr. Mikey Labriola (22-4) – 4th Seed

184: #6 So. Taylor Venz (18-5) – 3rd Seed

197: #13 So. Eric Schultz (18-9) – 5th Seed

285: #13 Jr. David Jensen (13-4) – 7th Seed

 

Scouting the Field:

• Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio State and Penn State will bring a seeded wrestler in each of the 10 weight classes, while Nebraska and Northwestern boast a seeded grappler in nine classes.

• The pre-seeds, as voted on by the conference’s coaches, rank the top eight wrestlers in three weight classes, along with all 14 starters in seven weight classes due to the Big Ten receiving nine or more NCAA Championships qualifier allocations in those classes.

• Penn State boasts four top-seeded wrestlers, with 157-pounder Jason Nolf, 165-pounder Vincenzo Joseph, 174-pounder Mark Hall and 197-pounder Bo Nickal. The Fighting Illini’s Michael Carr (141), the Wolverines’ Stevan Micic (133), the Gophers’ Gable Steveson (285), the Wildcats’ Sebastian Rivera (125), the Buckeyes’ Myles Martin (184) and the Scarlet Knights’ Anthony Ashnault (149) round out the group of top-ranked grapplers.

• This year’s field contains a combined 10 Big Ten individual championships (eight wrestlers) and eight NCAA individual championships (five wrestlers). The complete list of Big Ten Championships pre-seeds can be found here.

  

 Huskers Nuggets:

• Nebraska has outscored its 17 dual opponents by a combined score of 378-249.

• Nebraska has won 101 of 170 (59.4%) of the individual matches in dual competition.

• As a program, Nebraska has won 713 duals all-time after starting the season at 701 dual victories.

• The Huskers have a 12-5 record, but two of the four losses (22-21 vs. #10 Wisconsin and 18-17 at #7 NC State) came by criteria. NU is 7-5 against ranked opponents this season.

• Returning All-American Tyler Berger (157) won his 110th match on Sunday against #6 Ke-Shawn Hayes of Ohio State. This moved him up to 14th all-time in program history in career victories.

• Redshirt freshman Mikey Labriola (174) leads the team with 69 dual takedowns in 17 bouts. Labriola is 22-4 on the season (14-3 in duals).

• After starting the season 1-3, junior Isaiah White (165) has won 15 of his last 17 matches, with his only losses coming to #1 Vincenzo Joseph of Penn State and #2 Alex Marinelli of Iowa.

• Returning All-American Taylor Venz (184) has won eight of his 10 duals in 2019 (four by pinfall).

• Eight Huskers are ranked in the top 20 of their weight class according to InterMat/OpenMat/FloWrestling rankings. Berger (157), White (165), Labriola (174), Venz (184) and Schultz (197) all rank in the top 10 in at least one of these rankings services.

 

Five Huskers Ranked as Top Five Seeds in Their Weight Class

• Five Huskers earned top five seeds at this year’s Big Ten Championships. Tyler Berger (157) earned the team’s highest seed at #2 for his weight class. Taylor Venz (184) earned the #3 seed while Isaiah White (165) and Mikey Labriola (174) are both at #4. Eric Schultz (197) comes in at #5 in his class.

• Zeke Moisey (125), Jevon Parrish (133), Jordan Shearer (149) and Mikey Labriola (174) are all competing in their first Big Ten Championships as Huskers. Moisey is a #7 seed while Parrish comes in at #13. Shearer is the only Husker who will compete unseeded this weekend.

• David Jensen (285) rounds out the group as the #7 seed in the 285-pound weight class.

 

Eight Huskers Listed in Updated RPI Rankings:

• The second RPI rankings have been released and eight Huskers are ranked in the top 35 of their weight class. The RPI is a factor for seeding at the NCAA Championships. Zeke Moisey (125) comes in at #12, Chad Red Jr. (141) is at #19 and Jordan Shearer debuts at #33 for NU.

• Tyler Berger (157) and Isaiah White (165) are the highest ranked Huskers. Each is #2 in their respective weight class.

• Mikey Labriola (174) is the #8 ranked wrestler in his class and Eric Schultz (197) is #9. David Jensen (285) will qualify for RPI consideration after this weekend’s Big Ten Championships.

 

Shear(er) Will:

• Jordan Shearer (149) notched the best win of his career on Feb. 8 against #19 Tommy Thorn of Minnesota. Shearer trailed early after being taken down in the first period. However, he came storming back to earn a 10-2 major decision.

• The victory for Shearer was his first top-20 victory as a Husker. The Fargo, N.D., has competed in 12 duals for the Huskers this season after competing in just three coming into 2018-19. 

 

Berger Moves His Way Up the Record Books:

• After winning his 110th career match on Senior Day against Stanford, redshirt senior Tyler Berger is alone in 14th place on the all-time wins list at Nebraska. He’s four wins away from tying three-time All-American T.J. Dudley (2013-17) for 10th place all-time.

• Berger has defeated six out of the seven top-ten opponents he’s faced this year. He went on the road to defeat NC State’s #4 Hayden Hidlay, beat Northwestern’s #2 Ryan Deakin on Jan. 6, and defeated Ohio State’s #6 Ke-Shawn Hayes twice. He suffered his only top-10 loss of the season against Penn State’s #1 Jason Nolf, who defeated him in a 10-4 decision.

• After his win over Deakin, Berger earned both the OpenMat Wrestler of the Week award and the USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week.

 

Labriola on Pace for Freshman Records:

• After earning the Nebraska Redshirt of the Year award in 2017-18, Mikey Labriola has impressed in his first season as a starter at 174 pounds for Nebraska. He’s 22-4 (14-3 in duals), and leads the team in dual takedowns with 69.

• Labriola has won a team-high 11 bouts by bonus points this year and holds five victories over top 20 opponents.

• The 174-pounder from Easton, Pa., is six wins away from joining the top 10 in single-season wins for a freshman at Nebraska.

 

Isaiah Remains White Hot:

• Junior Isaiah White qualified for the NCAA Championships last season in his first year as a Husker. He hit adversity early in the 2018-19 season, however, winning just one of his first four matches.

• Since his 1-3 start, White has won 15 of his past 17 matches, including six bouts against top 20 opponents. He’s earned four major decisions, one tech. fall and the other 10 by decision. His best win came in the semis of the Cliff Keen Invitational, when he defeated #5 Logan Massa of Michigan. 

 

Closing in on Milestones:

• #2 Tyler Berger (157) has 110 career wins. He’s now 14th in all-time wins at Nebraska and just four wins away from being in the top 10.

• #9 Mikey Labriola (174) carries a 22-4 record into this weekend. The redshirt freshman from Easton, Pa., is six wins away from breaking into the top 10 for wins as a freshman.

• #16 Zeke Moisey (97-44) is three five wins away from reaching 100-career victories. He’s 13-8 overall at Nebraska in his redshirt senior year. His other 84 wins came in his first four years at WVU.

 

Jensen Changes His Best:

• Not only has Mobridge, S.D., native David Jensen secured the heavyweight spot for the Huskers, he’s becoming one of the better 285-pounders in the country. Since joining the lineup in early December, Jensen holds a 13-4 record (7-4 in duals) with three wins over top 20 opponents.

• Jensen is now a consensus top 20 heavyweight in the country. He earned the best win of his career on Super Bowl Sunday over Iowa’s #3 Sam Stoll. Jensen took a 3-0 decision and tacked on 4:00 of riding time to control Stoll throughout the bout.

 

Last Time Out:

The Huskers completed the dual season by defeating #25 Stanford 31-9 on Feb. 23 at the Devaney Center.

 

Up Next:

NU will have two weeks to prepare for the NCAA Championships in Pittsburgh, Pa. These will take place March 21-23 at PPG Paints Arena.

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