Huskers Edged by Badgers, 19-17

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Lincoln, Neb. – The No. 9 Nebraska wrestling team trailed Wisconsin 19-9 before winning the final two matches, but it wasn’t enough as the Badgers edged the Huskers, 19-17, in front of 1,008 fans at the NU Coliseum on Sunday afternoon.

With the loss, the Huskers fall to 5-2 on the season, with an 0-2 record in Big Ten duals. The Badgers improve to 5-2 with the victory, including a 2-0 mark in Big Ten competition.

No. 6 Josh Ihnen started Nebraska on the right track, winning by technical fall over Wisconsin’s Ben Cox, 17-0, at 184 pounds. Ihnen, a senior, picked up his 14th win of the season and improves to 6-1 in duals. The technical fall was his fourth of the 2012-13 campaign and his first since Nov. 10.

The Badgers responded by reeling off five consecutive victories to take a 16-5 lead. Wisconsin’s Jackson Hein and Nebraska’s Caleb Kolb battled to a sudden victory overtime at 197 pounds before Hein won the match, 3-1. At heavyweight, No. 14 Connor Medbery of Wisconsin edged Donny Longendyke by a 4-2 decision. Kolb fell to 6-7 on the season and Longendyke dropped to 6-9.

At 125 pounds, freshman Eric Coufal suffered a 7-4 decision loss to Matt Cavallaris before junior Shawn Nagel fell by a 5-1 decision to the Badgers’ Tom Kelliher at 133 pounds. Coufal moves to 1-6 on the season, while Nagel falls to 9-6. The Badgers added a major decision at 141 pounds as No. 9 Tyler Graff won 13-5 over senior Ridge Kiley. Kiley drops to 6-4 on the season with a 2-2 mark in duals.

The Huskers bounced back with No. 10 Jake Sueflohn’s major decision over Cole Schmitt, 9-1, at 149 pounds. Sueflohn, a sophomore, improves to 13-2 on the season with a 4-1 mark in dual competition. The major decision was his third of the 2012-13 campaign.

At 157 pounds, senior Ross Grande lost a 4-2 decision to Wisconsin’s Kalvin York, giving the Badgers a 19-9 lead with two matches to go. Grande suffered his sixth loss of the season and drops to 0-2 in duals.

The Huskers responded by winning the final two matches at 165 and 174 pounds. Redshirt freshman Austin Wilson picked up his 11th win of the season with his 11-5 decision over Frank Cousins. Sophomore Robert Kokesh, who is ranked No. 8 by InterMat, won an 18-2 technical fall over Scott Liegel in the final match. The technical fall was Kokesh’s third of the season, but it wasn’t enough as the Huskers lost 19-17.

Nebraska returns to action next Sunday for the first Grapple at the Garden in New York, N.Y. The Huskers will face Rutgers at 9:30 a.m. (CT), before squaring off against Maryland at 11:30 a.m.