Photo by Geoff Thurner

Husker Wrestling: Season in Review

By NU Athletic Communications

Season Highlights

March 21-23: NCAA Championships: 10th place (51 points)

• Fifth consecutive season with a top-10 NCAA team finish and fifth straight year with at least three All-Americans.

• 23rd top-10 NCAA team finish in program history

• Chad Red Jr. (141), Tyler Berger (157), Isaiah White (165) and Mikey Labriola (174) each earned All-America honors, pushing Nebraska’s program total to 112

• 31st season in a row that Nebraska has had at least one All-American

• Eighth season in a row and 17th time in 19 seasons under Mark Manning that NU has had multiple All-Americans in a season

• Chad Red Jr. became the 30th multi-time All-American in program history

• Redshirt freshman Mikey Labriola became the third Husker freshman since James Green (2012) to earn All-America honors after he finished sixth at the NCAA Championships.

• NU is one of only six programs (Penn State, Ohio State, Cornell, Iowa and Missouri) to finish in the top 10 at NCAA’s and have at least three All-Americans in the last five years.

• Isaiah White and Mikey Labriola each earned their first All-American honor while Tyler Berger became the 16th Husker in program history to earn three All-America honors.

• Penn State captured the team title with 141.5 points, while Ohio State (134.5) and Iowa (97) rounded out the top three

• Tyler Berger and Zeke Moisey made their fourth NCAA appearances while Chad Red Jr., Isaiah White, Taylor Venz and Eric Schultz each made their second appearance.

• Redshirt freshman Mikey Labriola and junior David Jensen each made their first appearance.

• Tyler Berger was the first Husker to finish as the national-runner up since T.J. Dudley in 2016.

 

Nebraska’s Four All-Americans:

• Tyler Berger: second at 157 pounds

• Mikey Labriola: sixth at 174 pounds

• Chad Red Jr.: eighth at 141 pounds

• Isaiah White: fifth at 165 pounds

 

NCAA Qualifiers Breakdown By Class:

• NCAA qualifiers breakdown by class:

• Seniors (2): Tyler Berger and Zeke Moisey

• Juniors (2): David Jensen and Isaiah White

• Sophomores (3): Chad Red Jr., Eric Schultz and Taylor Venz

• Redshirt Freshman (1): Mikey Labriola

 

March 9-10: Big Ten Championships: 5th place (96.5 points)

• Nebraska finished fifth as a team with 96.5 points behind Penn State (157), Ohio State (122.5), Iowa (107.5) and Minnesota (101.5).

• The fifth-place finish was Nebraska’s fourth-consecutive top-five finish at the Big Ten Championships.

• Nebraska has finished in the top-five at the Big Ten Championships in five out of the last six seasons

• Eight Huskers placed in the top nine, while seven Huskers earned automatic bids to the NCAA Championships based on their conference finish.

• Tyler Berger (157) and Chad Red Jr. (141) finished in second place while Mikey Labriola (174), Taylor Venz (184) and Eric Schultz (197) each finished fourth.

• Isaiah White (165) took fifth place while David Jensen (285) finished sixth.

• Jevon Parrish (133) took ninth while Zeke Moisey placed 12th at their first B1G Championships.

Nebraska Team Awards

Most Valuable Wrestler: Tyler Berger (157)
Most Improved Wrestler: David Jensen (285)
Redshirt of the Year: Peyton Robb (157)
Lifter of the Year: David Jensen (285)

Tough Together Award: Kyle Ruettiger (149) and Jordan Shearer (149)

 

Quick Notes - Dual Season

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

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

• Mikey Labriola (30-9) led the team in wins and became the 79th Husker in program history to win 30 matches. He's No. 8 on the all-time single-season freshman wins list at Nebraska as well.

• Tyler Berger (157) led all Huskers in dual points with 62. Berger won 16 out of the 17 duals he competed in. Mikey Labriola (174) led NU in dual takedowns (69) and major decisions (8).

Taylor Venz (184) led the team in victories by pinfall for the second straight season, as he had eight. Venz' best victory came on Jan. 27 as he pinned #2 Emery Parker of Illinois.

• Seven Huskers won at least 20 matches this season and eight qualified for the NCAA Championships.

• NU is one of six programs to post five straight top-10 NCAA finishes with at least three All-Americans each year.

• Nebraska faced 12 ranked teams, including five of the top-10, who were ranked in the final NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll: #1 Penn State, #3 Iowa, #6 Ohio State, #8 Minnesota and #10 NC State were the top five teams.

• Nebraska welcomed 15,627 fans for seven duals at home this season, the highest total attendance number in a season since 1998-99.

Huskers Earn Fifth Straight Top-10 Nationals Finish

• NU finished 10th at the 2019 NCAA Championships with 51 total team points. The Huskers have placed in the top 10 at nationals for five straight seasons dating back to the 2014-15 season.

• The Huskers are one of only six programs nationally to finish in the top 10 at NCAA's and place at least three All-Americans in the past five seasons (Ohio St., Penn St., Iowa, Cornell and Missouri).

• Head Coach Mark Manning and his staff helped send eight wrestlers to nationals, the 10th consecutive year the Huskers have had seven or more representatives at the NCAA Championships.

• Zeke Moisey (125), Chad Red Jr. (141), Tyler Berger (157), Isaiah White (165), Mikey Labriola (174), Taylor Venz (184), Eric Schultz (197) and David Jensen (285) represented NU.

Four Huskers Garner All-America Honors

• For the fifth straight season, the Nebraska wrestling team has had at least three All-Americans.

• Tyler Berger (157) finished as the national runner-up at the NCAA Championships, NU's first finalist since T.J. Dudley (184) in 2016. Berger is a three-time All-American and four-time NCAA qualifier.

• Chad Red Jr. (141) rode an eighth-place finish to his second consecutive All-America honor. Just a sophomore, Red Jr. is halfway to becoming NU's third four-time All-American in program history.

• Isaiah White (165) and Mikey Labriola (174) earned their first All-American honors as they finished fifth and sixth, respectively. Both will return next year to try and garner their second All-American honor.

Nine Huskers Place at B1G Championships

• NU sent wrestlers in all 10 weight classes to the Big Ten Championships on March 9-10. Nine of the 10 ended up placing in the top 12 of their weight class.

• Tyler Berger (157) and Chad Red Jr. (141) led the way for NU as each took second place. Berger came in as the No. 2 seed in his class while Red Jr. came in at No. 8. Red Jr. was the lowest seed to make the championship bout in his weight class of all Big Ten wrestlers.

• Labriola (174), Venz (184) and Schultz (197) each took fourth in their class while White (165) took fifth. Jensen (285) finished sixth, true freshman Jevon Parrish (133) took ninth and Moisey (125) finished 12th.

 

Eight Huskers Finish Season in National Rankings

• Eight Nebraska wrestlers finished the season ranked in the top 20 of their weight class by the weekly rankings services. Tyler Berger (157) is the highest-ranked Husker, standing as the No. 2 ranked wrestler in his weight class in all three rankings services.

• Zeke Moisey (125) checks in at No. 19 in FloWrestling rankings.

• Taylor Venz (184) ranks as the No. 6/8 wrestler by OpenMat/Flo while coming in at No. 7 on InterMat.

• Eric Schultz (197) is ranked at No. 9 in the OpenMat and FloWrestling rankings and No. 10 on InterMat.

• Chad Red Jr. (141) moved into the top 12 of all three rankings services after his performance at Big Ten's.

• Isaiah White (165) is the No. 6 wrestler in FloWrestling's rankings and No. 7 on InterMat/OpenMat.

• David Jensen (HWT) rounds out the bunch, ranking #16 in the InterMat rankings and #12 in the OpenMat rankings, while coming in at #11 in FloWrestling's rankings.

Berger Secures His Place in Husker History

• After winning his 116th career match in the national semifinal against Iowa's Kaleb Young, redshirt senior Tyler Berger put himself in ninth place on the all-time wins list at Nebraska.

• He was NU's first national finalist since 2016 and also took second at the Big Ten Championships.

• Berger defeated nine out of the 12 top-ten opponents he’s faced this year. He suffered his only top-10 losses of the season against Penn State’s #1 Jason Nolf, who defeated him in a Jan. 20 dual, at the Big Ten Championships and in the national final in Pittsburgh.

Labriola Breaks Freshman Records

• After earning the Nebraska Redshirt of the Year award in 2017-18, Mikey Labriola impressed in his first season as a starter at 174 pounds for Nebraska. He went 30-9 (14-3 in duals), and led the team in dual takedowns with 69.

• Labriola was second on the team with 14 bouts by bonus points this year. He also posted eight victories over top 20 opponents.

• The 174-pounder from Easton, Pa., joined the top 10 in single-season wins for a freshman at Nebraska as he became the ninth Husker in program history to win 30 matches.

Isaiah Stays White Hot; Earns First All-America Honor

• Junior Isaiah White (165) qualified for the NCAA Championships last season in his first year as a Husker but fell one win short of All-America honors. This season, he made sure to finish the deal, as the junior from Chicago, Ill., took fifth in his second year as a Husker.

• White won 25 matches for the second straight season, with a team-best 13 of those wins coming against top-20 ranked opponents. Isaiah will be back for his senior season next year with a chance to contend for a national title.

Venz Has Strong Sophomore Season

• Venz started the season 10-0, including winning his first five matches at the Cliff Keen Invitational. He fell in championship to No. 1 Myles Martin of Ohio State, 11-5, for his first loss of the year.

• On Jan. 27, he pinned #2 Emery Parker of Illinois, his biggest win of the season.

• For the second straight year, Venz finished fourth at the Big Ten Championships. He fell one win short of his second straight All-American honor, but still finished the season with a 24-9 record.

Red Jr. Turns it on When it Counts

• Heading into the postseason, sophomore Chad Red Jr. (141) held a 15-10 record (8-8 in duals) and was looking to take the next step against top-ranked opponents after struggling during the year.

• Red Jr., who came into the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 8 seed in his weight class, turned it on at just the right time. He won his first three matches at Big Ten's, including two over top 10 opponents, to clinch a spot in the Big Ten title bout, where he eventually fell to Ohio State's #3 Joey McKenna.

• His second place finish at Big Ten's spurred him on to a #16 seed at the NCAA Championships. Red won four of his seven matches here to take 8th place, his second consecutive All-America honor.

• Heading into his junior year, Red Jr. is a two-time All-American. Only two Huskers in program history (Bryan Snyder and James Green) have been four-time All-Americans, and Red Jr. is halfway there.

Jensen Goes From Walk-On to NCAA Qualifier

• Not did Mobridge, S.D., native David Jensen secured the heavyweight spot for the Huskers, he’s became one of the better 285-pounders in the country. Since joining the lineup in early December, Jensen posted a 16-9 record (7-4 in duals) with four wins over top 20 opponents.

• Four years ago, Jensen came to Nebraska as a regular student with no intentions to wrestle in college. By November of his freshman year, he reached out to the coaching staff about walking on. He joined the team shortly thereafter and has since become a consistent presence in the lineup.

• Jensen is 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 over Stoll.

Capturing Milestones

• #2 Tyler Berger (157) made his way up to ninth place on the career wins list at NU after going 28-4 in his senior season. Berger finished his Huskers career with 116 wins and 32 losses.

• #9 Mikey Labriola (174) became the ninth freshman in school history to win 30 matches as a freshman. The Easton, Pa., native finished his first season as a Husker in a tie for 8th place on the all-time single season wins list for Husker freshmen.

Three B1G Wrestler of the Week Award Winners

• For the first time in program history, the Huskers had three Big Ten Wrestler of the Week award winners in one season (had three in team history prior to this year).

• #4 Taylor Venz (184) earned the award on Jan. 29 after pinning #2 Emery Parker of Illinois on Jan. 27.

• #6 Isaiah White (165) won the award on Dec. 4 after he went 5-0 on his way to winning the Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas.

• #9 Mikey Labriola also won the award on Nov. 13 after going 3-0 at the Northeast Duals.

• Prior to this season, the last Husker to earn Big Ten Wrestler of the week was Robert Kokesh in 2014-15.

12 Huskers Earn Academic All-Big Ten Honors

• 12 Huskers, including 11 junior and seniors, were named to the Academic All-Big Ten team last week, the conference announced.

• Seniors Tyler Berger, Brian Peska and Aris Shino each earned their fourth Academic All-Big Ten award while fellow seniors Jordan Shearer and David Jensen received their third honor.

 

• Huskers who earned their second honor include Johnny Blankenship, Dalton Peters, Kyle Ruettiger, Eric Schultz, Cade Svoboda and Taylor Venz. Redshirt freshman Tucker Sjomeling earned his first Academic All-Big Ten honor.

Huskers Sign Six Wrestlers to Class of 2019

• NU will have six new freshman additions to the team next season. Lincoln High standout Isaiah Alford will be one of them. Over the past two years, Alford is 89-1 overall and has won two Nebraska Class A State Championships at 170 pounds.

• Another signee is Tyler Deen, a two-time placer at the California state championships at 138 pounds. Next is John Henrich, a three-time state champ at 160 pounds. The fourth is Ridge Lovett, a four-time Idaho state champ at 145 pounds. He finished his high school career at 169-0.

• Finally, we have Kevon Davenport (145), who just won his fourth-straight Michigan state championship this year. Lastly, we have Bubba Wilson, a back-to-back Kansas state champion at 152 pounds.

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