CEDAR FALLS, IOWA - The University of Northern Iowa (5-5, 3-1 WWC) went back and forth with the Iowa State University (3-12, 0-6 Big 12) all night, but the Cyclones ended on top at the very end. UNI fell to ISU 19-17 in front of a sold out crowd of 2,200 at the West Gym.
Iowa State heavyweight Matt Gibson used a takedown in the first period as momentum against UNI's Blayne Beale. The No. 12-ranked Gibson went on to score a 7-1 decision in the night's final match. Going into the bout, UNI was up 17-16 after Taylor Kettman won by decision over ISU's Trevor Voelker.
No. 12 Ryak Finch (125) topped UNI's Cruse Aarhus with a 15-4 major decision in the night's opening match. The Panthers gained the lead after the 133-pound bout, however, as reigning Western Wrestling Conference "Wrestler of the Week" Joe Colon landed a technical fall over R.J. Hallman. Colon, ranked No. 11, remains undefeated in dual competition at 6-0.
Levi Wolfensperger (141) lost by decision to No. 18 Luke Goettl in the next match, then Seth Noble snagged back the lead for UNI. Noble (149) defeated ISU's Joe Cozart with a 7-4 decision.
David Bonin (157) gave UNI an 11-7 lead at intermission as he downed Michael Moreno with a 2-0 decision. The junior is now 23-6 overall and 7-3 in duals. Bonin also leads the squad in career victories with 64.
Fans were asked to stay in their seats for intermission for a special announcement, as Panther wrestling was proud to announce a revamped training facility to be built. Sandy Stevens, a major contributor to the program, informed attendants that the facility will be named the "Bill Koll Wrestling Room," in honor of the three-time national champion. The wrestling room renovation will begin this spring and is the first phase of a larger project to improve the West Gym.
Following intermission, the Panthers forfeited their 165-pound match, giving No. 4 Andrew Sorenson the win. The move was done so Riley Banach, who usually wrestles at 165, could compete against ISU's Mikey England at 174 pounds. England overcame Banach, however, scoring an 8-3 decision, giving ISU a nine-point swing. Going into the 184-pound match, the Cyclones were up 16-11.
The Panthers' Ryan Loder (184) survived his bout with ISU's Boaz Beard. Loder, ranked No. 6, topped No. 16-ranked Beard with a 1-0 decision comprised of a single escape in the second period. The win was Loder's third over a ranked opponent this season. The redshirt sophomore now stands with a 9-1 dual record and 25-2 overall record.
UNI will be back in action at the West Gym Sunday for a WWC doubleheader. The Panthers will take on North Dakota State at 1 p.m. and South Dakota State at 3 p.m.
125: #12 Ryak Finch (ISU) maj. Cruse Aarhus (UNI), 15-4 (4-0 ISU)
133: #11 Joe Colon (UNI) TF R.J. Hallman (ISU), 17-2 (5:10) (5-4 UNI)
141: #18 Luke Goettl (ISU) dec. Levi Wolfensperger (UNI), 5-1 (7-5 ISU)
149: Seth Noble (UNI) dec. Joe Cozart (ISU), 7-4 (8-7 UNI)
157: David Bonin (UNI) dec. Michael Moreno (ISU), 2-0 (11-7 UNI)
165: #4 Andrew Sorenson (ISU) wins by forfeit (13-11 ISU)
174: Mikey England (ISU) dec. Riley Banach (UNI), 8-3 (16-11 ISU)
184: #6 Ryan Loder (UNI) dec. #16 Boaz Beard (ISU), 1-0 (16-14 ISU)
197: Taylor Kettman (UNI) dec. Trevor Voelker (ISU), 4-2 (17-16 UNI)
285: #12 Matt Gibson dec. Blayne Beale (UNI), 7-1 (19-17 ISU)