CEDAR FALLS – Three Iowa natives and a transfer from Iowa State made a triumphant return to the state of Iowa Friday night.
All four wrestlers collected victories as unranked South Dakota State earned a stunning road win over Northern Iowa.
The Jackrabbits won five of the first six matches en route to an impressive 25-13 win over the No. 13 Panthers in a Big 12 Conference wrestling dual at UNI’s West Gym.
South Dakota State clinched the victory when Tanner Sloan, a freshman from Alburnett, recorded a first-period fall over UNI’s Noah Glaser at 197. Sloan is ranked No. 17 nationally.
“The coaches told me to go out there and let it fly,” Sloan said. “I just went out there and had fun. I wrestled hard and was able to finish it off. It was an awesome night for our team.”
The Jackrabbits led 19-10 in the dual before Sloan needed just 102 seconds to record the quick fall in the night’s second-to-last bout.
“We are all starting to see the potential this team has,” Sloan said. “This was a big win for us against a good team. We had a ton of fans there supporting us tonight with all of the Iowa guys we have on the team. That was extra special for us to have that support.”
SDSU improved to 5-3 overall and 2-0 in league duals. UNI fell to 1-3, 1-1.
“We got outhustled and outfought,” UNI coach Doug Schwab said. “You get pinned twice and you lose six matches, you’re not going to win. In a lot of situations, they fought harder and longer than we did. They got some momentum and we didn’t really stop it. We only had one guy score bonus points. That makes it tough to win.”
SDSU’s Danny Vega, a transfer from Iowa State, came out strong before earning a 10-6 win over Jay Schwarm at 125. Vega locked up an early near-side cradle to build a big lead before prevailing in the dual’s opening bout.
The Jackrabbits followed with a win by Iowa native Zach Price at 133. Price, a freshman from Johnston, earned a dominating 11-4 win over UNI’s Kyle Biscoglia. He built over a minute of riding time in just missing a major decision win.
In an exciting bout at 141, UNI’s Michael Blockhus used a strong third-period to earn a 7-5 win over SDSU’s Clay Carlson. Blockhus rode Carlson out in the final period to clinch the win.
South Dakota State’s Henry Pohlmeyer, a senior from Johnston, earned an impressive 9-1 major decision over No. 8 Max Thomsen of Northern Iowa at 149. Pohlmeyer is a two-time NCAA qualifier.
Pohlmeyer led 4-1 late in the bout before countering a shot and taking Thomsen to his back. Pohlmeyer earned a pair of one-point wins over Thomsen last season.
“Iowa puts out some hammers and it’s a great wrestling state,” Sloan said. “It’s fun having a chance to be on the same team with guys I grew up with from Iowa. It was inspiring seeing those guys winning before me. We just need to keep the ball rolling. It was a great way to start the new year.”
In the 157-pound bout, SDSU’s Colten Carlson kept UNI’s Derek Holschlag on the mat, collecting a riding-time point en route to claiming a methodical 4-0 win. That gave the Jackrabbits a commanding 13-3 lead in the dual at intermission.
South Dakota State’s Tanner Cook followed with a pin over UNI’s Austin Yant at 165. That gave the Jacks a 19-3 lead in the dual.
UNI finally stopped the momentum when fifth-ranked Bryce Steiert powered to a 12-1 major decision over Cade King at 174.
Panther teammate Taylor Lujan, ranked fifth at 184, scored two early takedowns with a relentless attack on his way to a 10-3 win over SDSU’s Zach Carlson.
In the dual’s final match, No. 13 Carter Isley of UNI earned a 3-1 overtime win over South Dakota State’s Blake Wolters. Isley shot in on a single-leg attack early in OT and dumped Wolters to the mat for the match-ending takedown.
UNI won three of the last four matches, but the Panthers had too big of a deficit to overcome.
“We need to have our guys better prepared,” Schwab said. “We need to be more excited to wrestle. It doesn’t matter if you’re favored on paper or not. They looked like they were more excited to wrestle than we were. Good job by them. Their guys fought hard and battled, and they won the dual.”
The Panthers will return to the mat Sunday afternoon for a 2 p.m. home dual against Missouri.
“If we don’t fight and battle harder, we’re going to get beat up again,” Schwab said. “We have another opportunity against Missouri. Who is going to step up? Who wants to be the guy to turn it around? Missouri is a good team – they’re stingy and tough. We need to do a better job of having guys ready. We have a really good team, but without the hustle and fight we’re an average team.”