Lincoln, Neb. – The No. 8 Nebraska wrestling team defeated Illinois 23-11 to move to 6-4 on the season. The Huskers won seven of 10 bouts, including two by major decision, in route to their third conference win of the season.
The meet began at 133 when Dominick Serrano fell to No. 6 Lucas Byrd by major decision 12-4. Serrano posted four escapes, but it wasn’t enough as Byrd recorded four takedowns and a reversal to claim the win.
No. 10 Chad Red Jr. (141) faced off against No. 4 Dylan Duncan in the first of five ranked matchups of the dual. The two battled to a scoreless first period before the momentum shifted to Red. In the second period, Red recorded a takedown and four near fall points to claim a 6-0 lead. Duncan started on bottom in the third and tallied an escape, but it wasn’t enough as Red. Jr. grabbed the 7-1 upset and improved to 11-3 on the year.
At 149, No. 8 Ridge Lovett (149) claimed his fourth-straight victory as he defeated Illinois’ No. 29 Christian Kanzler 6-1. Lovett attacked early as he scored a takedown in the first and was awarded a penalty point due to Kanzler’s stalling. In the final two periods, Lovett was awarded another penalty point and grabbed the riding time point to seal the win.
In the fifth bout of the day, No. 10 Peyton Robb bested Joe Roberts by decision 3-2. Robb, who is now 10-5 on the season, scored first with a takedown in Period 2. Roberts tied the match with a second escape before Robb started the third period on bottom, got the escape point and closed the match with a win.
At 165, No. 27 Bubba Wilson faced No. 29 Danny Braunagel in the third ranked matchup of the day. Wilson and Braunagel grappled to a scoreless first period before Braunagel took control in the second period with two takedowns and four near fall points. Wilson tallied two escapes, but it was not enough as Braunagel won by major decision 12-2.
After a brief intermission, No. 6 Mikey Labriola (174) routed DJ Shannon. Labriola posted three takedowns and held a 7-2 lead at the end of the second period. In Period 3, he didn’t let up, recording an escape and another takedown to claim his fourth major decision victory of the season, 11-3.
No. 9 Taylor Venz then faced off against No. 21 Zach Braunagel at 184. Venz scored two escapes in the first period, but Braunagel recorded three takedowns to take a 6-2 lead. Venz posted a takedown and two more escapes in the second and third periods, but Braunagel held his ground and took the 12-6 victory.
At 197, No. 3 Eric Schultz overpowered Matt Wroblewski. The two were tied at zero to close out the second period. To start Period 3, Schultz posted an escape to put the first points on the board and held the momentum scoring two takedowns to post a 6-2 victory and remain undefeated in dual competition..
In the heavyweight match, No. 12 Christian Lance edged No. 16 Lucas Luffman in the fifth and final ranked matchup of the day to move to 13-5 on the season. After a scoreless first period, a takedown by Lance and two escapes by Luffman, the score was tied 2-2 entering Period 3. Lance battled and notched an escape and two takedowns to post a 7-4 victory by decision.
Highlighting Sunday’s competition was Jeremiah Reno claiming his first conference win of the season. Reno faced Dane Durlacher at 125 in the final bout of the day and took a 2-1 lead at the end of Period 1. He then recorded an escape and a takedown in the second period to increase his lead to 5-1. Reno finished strong as he tallied two near fall points and a takedown in the third period in route to the 10-2 major decision victory.
The Huskers are back in action against No. 2 Iowa on Feb. 20 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The dual is set to start at 6 p.m. and will air nationally on the Big Ten Network.
#8 Nebraska 23, Illinois 11
133: #6 Lucas Byrd (ILL) maj. dec. Dominick Serrano (NEB) 12-4 (ILL 4, NEB 0)
141: #10 Chad Red Jr. (NEB) dec. #4 Dylan Duncan (ILL) 7-1 (ILL 4, NEB 3)
149: #8 Ridge Lovett (NEB) dec. #29 Christian Kanzler (ILL) 6-1 (NEB 6, ILL 4)
157: #10 Peyton Robb (NEB) dec. Joe Roberts (ILL) 3-2 (NEB 9, ILL 4)
165: #29 Danny Braunagel (ILL) maj. dec. #27 Bubba Wilson (NEB) 12-2 (NEB 9, ILL 8)
174: #6 Mikey Labriola (NEB) maj. dec. DJ Shannon (ILL) 11-3 (NEB 13, ILL 8)
184: #21 Zach Braunagel (ILL) dec. #9 Taylor Venz (NEB) 12-6 (NEB 13, ILL 11)
197: #3 Eric Schultz (NEB) dec. Matt Wroblewski (ILL) 6-2 (NEB 16, ILL 11)
HWT: #12 Christian Lance (NEB) dec. #16 Lucas Luffman (ILL) 7-4 (NEB 19, ILL 11)
125: Jeremiah Reno (NEB) maj. dec. Dane Durlacher (ILL) 10-2 (NEB 23, ILL 11)