LINCOLN, NEB. - The University of Northern Iowa wrestling team fell to No. 8 Nebraska 26-16 in its final dual of the 2011-12 season Sunday. UNI won the final three matches of the afternoon with bonus-point victories, but a 23-point swing in the Huskers' favor was too much for the Panthers to overcome.
David Bonin (157) continued his recent streak of impressive wins, upsetting No. 6 James Green with a 4-3 decision. The junior had a 3-1 lead going into the final 30 seconds of the match but a one-point penalty paired with a Green escape notched the score. Riding time ended up being Bonin's friend in the end, however, as it offset the match's 3-3 tie at the end of the third period. The win was Bonin's 11th-straight dual victory and his second over a ranked opponent during that span. At that point, the dual was tied 3-3.
The Huskers responded in a big way, going on to score 23 unanswered points from weights 165 to 285.
Ryan Loder experienced just his third loss of the season, as Nebraska's Josh Ihnen won the 184-pound match with a 4-2 decision. Ihnen, ranked No. 8, used a reversal in the second period and a late takedown in the third period to defeat the No. 6-rated Loder.
Cruse Aarhus (125) eventually got the Panthers back in the win column. The senior, competing in the final dual of his collegiate career, was trailing 4-0 early in the match after his opponent, Shawn Nagel, scored a takedown and two-point nearfall. Aarhus then proceeded to score 11 unanswered points to win with a 15-4 major decision. Aarhus is now 21-13 on the season with a dual record of 7-8.
No. 5 Joe Colon (133) chipped in with a major decision of his own during the next match. Colon defeated yet another ranked opponent, No. 19 Ridge Kiley, with bonus points. The redshirt sophomore has topped four ranked foes during his 16-match win streak. All four of those victories, including his 9-0 major decision over Kiley, have all been major decisions, technical falls, or pins.
Levi Wolfensperger (141) gave UNI its third-consecutive win of the afternoon with a dominating 21-2 technical fall over the Huskers' Drew Etherton that did not even make it to the third period. The victory was Wolfensperger's first tech. fall of the season.
UNI's surge came too late, however, as the dual ended with a 26-16 Husker advantage.
With the dual schedule complete, the Panthers now set their sights on the NCAA West Regional. The tournament will be held at UNI's own McLeod Center March. 4.
149: Skylar Galloway (NU) dec. Ryan Jauch (UNI), 6-3 (3-0 NU)
157: #20 David Bonin (UNI) dec. #6 James Green (NU), 4-3 (3-3)
165: #7 Robert Kokesh (NU) TF Riley Banach (UNI), 20-3 (8-3 NU)
174: #17 Tyler Koehn (NU) FALL Onni Prestidge (UNI), 2:06 (14-3 NU)
184: #8 Josh Ihnen (NU) dec. #6 Ryan Loder (UNI), 4-2 (17-3 NU)
197: James Nakashima (NU) wins by forfeit (23-3 NU)
285: #9 Tucker Lane (NU) dec. Blayne Beale (UNI), 6-1 (26-3 NU)
125: Cruse Aarhus (UNI) maj. Shawn Nagel (NU), 15-4 (26-7 NU)
133: #5 Joe Colon (UNI) maj. #19 Ridge Kiley (NU), 9-0 (26-11 NU)
141: Levi Wolfensperger (UNI) TF Drew Etherton (NU), 21-2 (26-16 NU)