The No. 1-ranked UNO wrestling team won big with a 29-6 victory over No. 11 Nebraska-Kearney on Saturday at Sapp Fieldhouse in Omaha.
The Mavericks used four straight wins at 133, 141, 149 and 157 to jump into a commanding lead, then got strong wins in the last four bouts to close out the win and improve to 7-1 in duals this year. UNK dropped to 11-3.
No. 4-ranked Josh Smith got the Lopers on the board first with a 13-7 win over Cody Tyler at 125 pounds to begin the dual. Trent Cox began a string of four straight UNO wins with a 4-3 decision over UNK’s Stephen Weimer at 133 pounds to even up the dual at 3-3.
The best match of the night came at 141 pounds. No. 1 Mario Morgan and UNK’s No. 6 Dalton Jensen. Morgan earned an escape with three seconds left to win the bout, 4-3. The win was Morgan’s 31st straight dual win, and the senior is now 19-4 on the year and a perfect 8-0 in duals.
Top-ranked Esai Dominguez won by forfeit at 149 pounds. UNK had the weight open because of injuries. At 157 pounds, top-ranked George Ivanov earned a 4-1 decision over Islam Abitov to put the Mavericks up 15-3.
No. 5 Joey Wilson got UNK back in the win column with a 5-1 decision over Nathan Sigman at 165 pounds. Wilson, who is 27-8 on the season, pulled UNK within nine at 15-6 before the intermission.
After the break, No. 3 Ryan Pankoke earned a dominating 12-3 major decision over UNK’s Drew Comito. At 197 pounds, No. 3 Aaron Denson assured the victory for the Mavs with a 6-1 decision over UNK’s Ross Brunkhardt.
No. 8 Matt Baker scored a major decision at 197 pounds with an 11-3 win over Mike Swanson. Capping off the night, No. 8 Taylor Escamilla scored a big upset over UNK’s fourth-ranked Ben Hohensee, winning 3-1 in sudden victory.