Although the Huskers failed to win one of their four quarterfinal matches, all four wrestlers still have a chance to become an All-American with a victory in tonight's session which begins at 6 p.m. Senior Tucker Lane, who fell to the consolation bracket in Thursday's night session, won two matches to stay alive in the tournament.
As a team, the Huskers currently sit in 20th place with a total of 19 points. Penn State leads the team race with 78.5 points, followed by Cornell, Iowa, Minnesota and Oklahoma State.
True freshman James Green, the No. 11 seed at 157 pounds, dropped a heartbreaking match to No. 3 Jason Welch (Northwestern) in his quarterfinal. Green will wrestle Steven Monk (North Dakota State), who he beat earlier this season, in his consolation match.
Green nearly jumped out to an early lead when he was in deep on a single-leg shot in the first period, but couldn't convert and entered the second period tied at 0-0 with Welch. Green was awarded a technical point at the 1:05 mark of the second period to gain a 1-0 advantage, but wasn't able to escape and allowed Welch to acquire two minutes of riding time. In the third, Welch tallied an escape early the period and Green wasn't able to generate any points and fell by a 2-1 score.
Redshirt freshman Robert Kokesh (165) was caught with an early shot in his quarterfinal and the No. 1 seed David Taylor (Penn State) converted it to a cradle and ended the match by fall 30 seconds into the match. No. 8 Kokesh will take on the Kyle Blevins (Appalachian State) in his next dual.
Junior Josh Ihnen (184) entered the third period down by three points, 5-2, against the No. 2 seed Robert Hamlin (Lehigh) and pulled within two after an early escape. No. 7 Ihnen nearly came up with the tying takedown with one minute remaining, but Hamlin was able to covert the shot attempt into a takedown of his own and pulled away for the 7-4 victory. Ihnen will battle No. 8 Ryan Loder (Northern Iowa) in his next match. Ihnen defeated Loder in the Huskers' final regular-season dual.
James Nakashima, the only unseeded wrestler at 197 pounds in the championship bracket, jumped out to an early lead when he turned Cayle Byers (Oklahoma State) shot attempt into a takedown with 38 seconds left in the first. Byers earned the riding time advantage in the second, but Nakashima extended his lead to 3-1 with an escape at 38 seconds remaining in the period. Byers cut the lead to one at the beginning of the third and took the lead with a takedown on the edge of the mat with one minute remaining, 4-3. After an escape by Nakashima, Byers held Nakashima off for the remainder of the match and took home the match with the riding time point. The senior will wrestle to become an All-American against Micah Burak (Penn) in the next round.
Lane began his day in the consolation second round with an 8-1 decision over Wesley Schroeder (Eastern Michigan). The senior, who is looking for his first All-American honor, then went on to beat Ben Apland (Mighigan) in a thrilling 3-1 overtime match to advance. The Redvale, Colo., native will take on Michael McMullan (Northwestern) in his next bout.
True freshman Jake Sueflohn (141) was bounced from the tournament after his 5-4 second round consolation loss to William Ashnault (Rutgers). No. 10 Sueflohn fell behind by a 4-1 count in the first period and couldn't make the difference up in the remaining time. The Watertown, Wis., native finished the year with a 25-11 overall record.
Tyler Koehn was defeated by Ethan Headlee (Pitt.) in his consolation second round match, 5-0, to mark the end of his tournament run. Koehn concluded his junior season with a 20-13 record and picked up his first NCAA tournament win on Thursday.
Session IV will begin on Friday night at 6 p.m. Semifinal matches will be available at ESPNU and ESPN3.com, while fans can also follow all matches on TrackWreslting.com. Continue to check back to Huskers.com for more updates on the Nebraska wrestling team as it continues its run at the NCAA Championships.
157- #3 Jason Welch (Northwestern) by dec. over #11 James Green (NU), 2-1
165- #1 David Taylor (Penn State) by fall over #8 Robert Kokesh (NU), 0:30
184- #2 Robert Hamlin (Lehigh) by dec. over #7 Josh Ihnen (NU), 7-4
197- )#5 Cayle Byers (Oklahoma State) by dec. over James Nakashima (NU), 5-4
Second Round Consolation Matches
141- William Ashnault (Rutgers) by dec. over #10 Jake Sueflohn (NU), 5-4
174- Ethan Headlee (Pitt.) by dec. over Tyler Koehn (NU), 5-0
Hwt- #11 Tucker Lane (NU) by dec. over Wesley Schroeder (Eastern Michigan), 8-1
Third Round Consolation Matches
Hwt- #11 Tucker Lane (NU) by dec. over Benjamin Apland (Michigan), 3-1 (SV)
Fourth Round Consolation Matches
157- #11 James Green (NU) vs. #12 Steven Monk (North Dakota State)
165- #8 Robert Kokesh (NU) vs. Kyle Blevins (Appalachian State)
184- #7 Josh Ihnen (NU) vs. #8 Ryan Loder (Northern Iowa)
197- James Nakashima (NU) vs. #11 Micah Burak (Penn)
Hwt- #11 Tucker Lane (NU) vs. #10 Michael McMullan (Northwestern)