Ithaca, N.Y. – The No. 13 Nebraska wrestling team took down No. 11 Virginia in its opening match at the NWCA National Duals on Sunday but fell to No. 10 Cornell in the second round. Cornell advances to the championship final next weekend in Minneapolis, Minn.
In the first dual, the No. 3-seeded Huskers trailed the No. 2-seeded Cavaliers 8-0 after two matches but won the final eight matches en route to a 28-8 victory. No. 1 seed Cornell took down No. 4 seed Hofstra in the other first round match, 42-0.
Virginia’s Matt Snyder, No. 10 by InterMat, opened with a 16-0 technical fall over Eric Coufal (125) before No. 13 George DiCamillo added an 8-2 decision over Shawn Nagel at 133 pounds. Senior Ridge Kiley responded in the third match of the afternoon at 141 pounds with a 5-0 decision over No. 20 Joe Spisak. Kiley’s victory marked his 14th of the season, all of which have been decisions.
No. 10 Jake Sueflohn (149) added a 2-0 decision over No. 20 Derek Valenti to cut the Virginia lead to 8-6. At 157 pounds, the Cavaliers forfeited to Brandon Wilbourn, giving Nebraska its first lead, 12-8. The Huskers never looked back as ranked wrestlers James Green, Robert Kokesh and Josh Ihnen provided a 22-8 cushion before Caleb Kolb and Spencer Johnson added the final blow.
Green, who is ranked No. 6 by InterMat, wrestled at 165 pounds against No. 7 Nick Sulzer. Green notched a 5-2 decision for his 17th win of the season. No. 4 Kokesh (174) picked up his 12th win over a ranked opponent with his 7-4 decision over No. 16 Jon Fausey. No. 8 Ihnen (184) defeated Stephen Doty by an 11-3 major decision.
Kolb (197) and Johnson (HWT) each added 8-2 decisions over Mike Salopek and Derek Papagianopoulos, respectively to close out the dual.
In the second round, the Huskers won five matches but never led in a 19-17 setback against No. 10 Cornell. Coufal (125), Nagel (133) and Kiley (141) dropped the opening three matches of the dual for a 10-0 Cornell lead. No. 6 Nahshon Garrett won an 11-3 major decision for Cornell at 125 pounds before Bricker Dixon added a narrow 3-2 decision at 133 and No. 13 Mike Nevinger earned a 6-2 decision at 141.
The Huskers responded with victories at 149 and 157 to cut the lead to three. Sueflohn notched a 12-3 major decision over No. 14 Chris Villalonga before Green provided a 5-2 decision over Jesse Shanaman. Sueflohn earned his 20th win of the season and Green picked up his 18th.
Cornell bounced back at 165 pounds as undefeated No. 1 Kyle Dake pinned Tyler Koehn in 3:57. Kokesh won a major decision, 13-3, over Marshall Peppelman in the following match at 174 pounds to trim the lead to 16-11. Kokesh, a sophomore, is one win shy of his 30th of the season as he has won 24 of his last 25 matches.
No. 8 Ihnen fell by a 3-0 decision to No. 4 Steve Bosak at 184 pounds to give Cornell an eight-point advantage. Kolb (197) won a 7-5 decision over Jace Bennett and Johnson (HWT) won a 5-2 decision over Lane, but it wasn’t enough in the 19-17 loss.
The Huskers return to action at the Big Ten Championships in Champaign, Ill., March 9-10.