The No. 7 Nebraska wrestling team dropped its second dual of the season on Friday night, falling to the No. 2 Penn State Nittany Lions, 31-6, at the NU Coliseum. The Huskers record drops to 14-2 on the year and 5-2 in Big Ten Conference duals, while Penn State improves to 10-1 and 6-1 in conference matches.
Wrestling in front of 2,673 fans at the Coliseum, the Huskers struggled out of the gate, dropping their first five matches to fall behind 20-0. Junior Ridge Kiley (133) got the Huskers on the scoreboard with his dramatic win over Nick Martellotti (PSU). Kiley, who won his third straight Big Ten match and 15th decision overall, scored a reversal with eight seconds remaining to come out on top, 4-2. Kiley surrendered a takedown just 12 seconds into the dual, but didn’t allow another point for the duration of the match, while forcing a stalling violation just prior to his reversal to tie the score.
The other Husker to record a victory was true freshman Jake Sueflohn (141), who defeated Bryan Pearsall (PSU) by decision, 6-1. Pearsall was able to fight off multiple shot attempts by Sueflohn in the first period, but the No. 5 ranked wrestler in the country was relentless and recorded a takedown with 52 seconds remaining in the second to take a 2-1 lead heading into the third period. The Watertown, Wis., native tacked on another takedown in the final period and pulled away for the win, 6-1.
Seniors James Nakashima (197) and Tucker Lane (Hwt) were honored before the dual for Senior Night activities, but neither wrestler was able to come out with a victory in possibly their last home match at home. Nakashima looked like he was going to his second consecutive overtime match against Matt Brown (PSU), before being penalized with a stalling with 34 seconds left in the third to fall, 2-1.
No. 9 Lane dropped his first match in his last four tries after falling to No. 6 Cameron Wade (PSU) by decision, 8-2. Lane had control of a leg against Wade in the first period, but couldn’t capitalize on the shot attempt.
At 157 pounds, true freshman James Green nearly won his fifth match over a ranked opponent of the season, but fell in the tiebreaker period to No. 6 Dylan Alton (PSU). Tied at 1-1 through regulation time, Green appeared to have recorded a takedown just 20 seconds into the sudden-victory period, but was denied the points at the edge of the mat. Alton was able to escape in the tiebreaker and hold Green in the down position for the win.
At 174, No.2 Ed Ruth (PSU) defeated Tyler Koehn (NU) in the first dual of the night by fall in 5:58, while No. 7 Josh Ihnen fell to defending national champion and No. 2 Quentin Wright (PSU), 9-6, at 184 pounds. Redshirt freshman Skylar Galloway (149) fell in the second varsity match of his career to No. 1 Frank Molinaro (PSU), while Robert Kokesh (165) was defeated by No.1 David Taylor (PSU) in the last match of the night, 13-3.
The Huskers return to action on Sunday, Feb. 5, when they travel to Minneapolis to take on the No. 4 Minnesota Gophers at Noon (CT).