Grapplers see five-dual winning streak end at the hands of No. 4 Huskers, ‘Terps

Zach Perry

Zach Perry

It was a rough way to cool a hot streak as the SDSU wrestling team dropped a pair of team matches in duals action Jan. 18 at the NU Coliseum in Lincoln, Neb.

The Jackrabbits (6-5-1) lost the first match of the afternoon to the Maryland Terrapins, 29-9. After quickly falling behind 9-0, Jacks wrestlers Zach Blindert, Tyler Sorenson and Jason Stripling won three straight decisions in the 184, 197 and 285-pound weight classes respectively to tie it up at nine. Maryland then went on to score 20 straight points to end the match.

Stripling upped his record to 11-0 in duals and 23-8 overall on the season with a 4-3 decision in his match.

However, the most impressive victory may have been Sorenson’s 13-11 decision, as it came against No. 11 Hudson Taylor. Taylor came into the match with a record of 22-3 overall.

SDSU then struggled against the No. 4 Nebraska Cornhuskers, dropping a 43-3 match against what was arguably the Jacks’ stiffest competition this season.

Nebraska (10-2) used four wrestlers – Brandon Browne (174), Vince Jones (184), Craig Brester (197) and Tucker Lane (285) – who came into the match ranked in the top 11 of their respective weight classes.

The Jacks’ lone win was posted by Weston Blasius in a 4-3 decision in the final match of the afternoon. Wrestling in the 157-pound class, Blasius improved to 5-7 in duals and 8-13 overall.

The losses were disappointing given the recent hot streak the Jackrabbits have enjoyed. SDSU recorded five straight victories in duals competition over the holiday break, beginning with a 33-9 victory over Virginia Military Institute and a 31-15 win against Delaware State in Dover, Del., on Jan. 7.

The victory over Delaware State also made head coach Jason Liles the all-time wins leader at SDSU with 135 victories. Liles passed former head coach Warren Williamson (134 wins) and brought his overall coaching record to 135-102-3; a record that would soon improve with another impressive Jackrabbit performance just three days later at the Franklin & Marshall Quadrangular in Lancaster, Pa.

In Lancaster, SDSU continued their winning ways against Franklin & Marshall (Pa.), American International (Mass.) and Sacred Heart (Conn.) by scores of 31-13, 36-11 and 35-12, respectively.

Stripling led the Jackrabbits in Dover and Lancaster with a 5-0 combined record after pinning four of his opponents. Stripling’s showing led the Western Wrestling Conference to name him Co-Wrestler of the Week along with Michael Martinez of Wyoming.

The Jackrabbit wrestlers return home to Frost Arena for matches against Northern State Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. and the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) Jan. 25 at 2 p.m. The match against UNC is the first conference contest of the season.