By Northwestern Athletics
EVANSTON, Ill. — #20 Northwestern (8-2, 2-2 Big Ten) and #18 Nebraska (5-3, 3-1 Big Ten) wrestled a match that could not have been tighter, as the contest finished 18-18 after ten bouts. The two teams each won five bouts and the visitors edged out the victory on the third tiebreaker criteria.
The Wildcats started their dual with a grind-it-out decision win from Zack Chakonis (197). After coming out to a dominating start against Nebraska’s Eric Schultz — ranked 25th in the nation by TrackWresling — he saw the score begin to narrow in the waning minutes. Despite suffering a late takedown, Schultz was hit with a last-second locked hands technical violation to give Chakonis a 10-9 win.
The next NU bout provided similar late excitement. In typical heavyweight fashion, Conan Jennings and Patrick Grayson were knotted up at one point apiece at the end of regulation. With both grapplers held scoreless in the sudden-victory period, Jennings earned an escape to start the TB1 period. With Jennings on top, he prevented Grayson from escaping and held on for his full 30 seconds to etch a 2-1 decision win and give Northwestern a 6-0 advantage over the Cornhuskers.
#10 Sebastian Rivera (125) provided a respite from the drama for the Wildcat faithful. He commanded Nebraska’s Mitchell Maginnis en route to a 17-6 major decision to give the ‘Cats a double-digit lead through three bouts. The win improved his record to 19-1 and was his sixth major decision of the campaign.
#4 Ryan Deakin (149) commanded his bout from start-to-finish as well, recording his highest ranked win of the season over the Cornhuskers’ Colton McCrystal, who is currently slotted at 10th in the nation. Deakin’s team-high ninth major decision of the season increased Chicago’s Big Ten Team’s lead to 14-7.
#18 Johnny Sebastian (174) added some much-needed bonus points for the ‘Cats with a dominant performance against Beau Breske. A late takedown handed Sebastian a major decision victory and put the hosts up three with one bout to go.
In the evening’s final bout at 184, Mitch Sliga (184) took on #7 Taylor Venz of Nebraska. After two scoreless periods, Sliga recorded an escape early in the third to take a 1-0 lead. Despite holding the lead for the majority of the period, a late takedown from Venz gave the Cornhuskers a narrow decision win and knotted the score at 18-18.
Northwestern travels to #13 Minnesota for its next dual on Jan. 28, set for a 1 p.m. CT start.
#18 Nebraska 19, #20 Northwestern 18
Evanston, Ill. | Patten Gym | Jan. 19, 2018
197: Zack Chakonis (NU) dec. Eric Schultz (NEB), 10-9 | NU 3, NEB 0
285: Conan Jennings (NU) dec. Patrick Grayson (NEB) 2-1 (TB1) | NU 6, NEB 0
125: #10 Sebastian Rivera (NU) maj. dec. Mitchell Maginnis (NEB), 17-6 | NU 10, NEB 0
133: Jason Renteria (NEB) maj. dec. #19 Colin Valdiviez (NU), 15-5 | NU 10, NEB 4
141: #12 Chad Red (NEB) dec. Alec McKenna (NU), 6-2 |NU 10, NEB 7
149: #4 Ryan Deakin (NU) maj. dec. #10 Colton McCrystal (NEB), 11-2 | NU 14, NEB 7
157: #8 Tyler Berger (NEB) dec. Shayne Oster (NU), 3-1 | NU 14, NEB 10
165: #11 Isaiah White (NEB) Tech. Fall Michael Sepke (NU), 21-6 (6:21) | NEB 15, NU 14
174: #18 Johnny Sebastian (NU) maj. dec. Beau Brenske (NEB), 11-3 | NU 18, NEB 15
184: #7 Taylor Venz (NEB) dec. Mitch Sliga (NU), 2-1 | NU 18, NEB 18
Criteria: Nebraska wins on total points, 68-66