Iowa State continues to have the most interesting duals in college wrestling. On the road against a red hot Pitt team Saturday night every point counted — literally. After each team won 5 of the 10 matches by decision the meet was tied at 15-15. With no bonus points for anyone we went deep in the tiebreaker criteria to find out who scored the most total match points. In that tally Iowa State came out ahead 51-44 and was awarded the tiebreaker point to take the dual 16-15.
Under the mat lamp in a fieldhouse full of Panther fans hoping to see their team upset a second straight top ten opponent, Caleb Fuessley took on ranked Colton Camacho at 125. Fuessley maintained his stingy, tactical style but clearly is wrestling with more confidence as he looked to get to his own attacks. The match went to Sudden Victory tied at 1-1. Fuessley took a couple shots, but Camacho got the winning takedown with a reshot of his own. Iowa State 0, Pitt 3.
At 133 Zach Redding looked to bounce back from a shocking loss on Friday against West Virginia. Pitt’s #6 Micky Phillippi scored the first takedown off a 2-on-1, but Redding tied the match in the second period with a crisp superduck transition into a single leg. Redding’s escape in the third tied the match at 4-4, but the scoreboard showed Phillippi secured riding time by 0.6 seconds. The officials took a look at it, but did not reverse the call despite the broadcast clearly showing Redding was out before the clock hit a minute. Phillippi held on for the 5-4 win. Iowa State 0, Pitt 6.
141 pounder Casey Swiderski wrestled one of his best matches of late, but ultimately it was a beat of riding time the gave Pitt their third straight win. Preseason number one Cole Matthews took a 3-0 lead and 1:10 of riding time into the third period. Swiderski connected on a double on the edge of the mat with 30 seconds left and tied the match with a single as time expired. In the end it was 5 seconds of riding time that gave Matthews the 5-4 win. Iowa State 0, Pitt 9.
For the second night in a row Paniro Johnson righted the ship at 149. Johnson shot from his knees to score the first takedown on Tyler Badgett. He sealed the 5-3 win with another low shot in the third period. Iowa State 3, Pitt 9.
Jason Kraisser got his second win of the weekend in the 157 match over Jared Keslar. Kraisser finished a single leg to go up 2-0. Keslar made things interesting with a big throw in the second for a takedown, then got two nearfall as Kraisser reversed him to make the match 5-4 going into the final period. Kraisser’s final dagger was a single leg with a minute left. He took the match 8-5. At the midway point it was Iowa State 6, Pitt 9.
At 165 David Carr tied the dual with a 7-3 win over ranked Holden Heller. Heller had some funky defense to Carr’s single legs which gave him the first takedown in the match. That’s just the second time Carr has been taken down this season, both out of scrambles. Carr took the lead shortly after by blasting through the Panther on a double leg. Carr came out on top of a scramble in the second period to take a 5-3 lead into the third period where he added an escape and a riding time point. Iowa State 9, Pitt 9.
It was a battle of freshman at 174. Iowa State’s MJ Gaitan took on Luca Augustine who just the night before got a marquee win over an All-American. After a scoreless first with some good scrambles, Augustine grabbed a 2-1 lead with a takedown in the second period. Gaitan fired right back with an escape and a shuck by to a single leg takedown giving him a 4-2 lead. Augustine’s escape at the end of the period made it 4-3 going into the third, then tied it with another to start the final period. Augustine won the match on a go-behind off of Gaitan’s duck under attempt. Iowa State 9, Pitt 12.
184 pounder Marcus Coleman got a much needed win at 184 for the Cyclones against reigning NCAA wrestler of the week Reece Heller. Coleman went snap to a double leg for his first takedown and front headlock cradle for another. He got a couple nearfall with a claw and inside wrist tilt to build a 6-2 lead. Great chain wrestling resulted in a third Coleman takedown, but Heller’s reversal put the breaks on a major decision. Coleman took neutral in the third and got another takedown for the 10-5 win. While it wasn’t enough for bonus, that five point spread was crucial when the meet went to criteria. Iowa State 12, Pitt 12.
197 was a battle of top five wrestlers. Yonger Bastida took on 2021 NCAA runner-up Nino Bonaccorsi. Bastida’s single leg defense was on display for most of the first period, which ended 0-0, but with a stall warning on both wrestlers. Bastida took a 2-1 lead with a second period single leg. Bastida made it 3-2 with a quick escape to start the third period and backed Bonaccorsi off the mat a few times to earn a stalling point. Up 4-2 with 45 seconds left, disaster struck. Bonaccorsi finished a single leg and in the process picked up two nearfall. Bastida is gonna want that one back. Iowa State 12, Pitt 15.
With the meet on the line Sam Schuyler took the mat needing to upset #5 Dayton Pitzer in hostile territory. Thanks to Iowa State expanding their leads in wins and those who lost wrestling their tails off and losing by slim margins, a win for Schuyler would give the Cyclones the meet on criteria of most total match points. Schuyler came out on fire with a reshot takedown just 20 seconds into the match. Pitzer evened the score shortly after with a reversal. Schuyler chose neutral in the second period which ended without either wrestler taking an attack. Pitzer escaped quickly in the third, but Schuyler did enough to erase riding time. Trailing 4-3 with 25 seconds left Schuyler got in deep on a single, but Pitzer looked like he’d be able to force a stalemate. Schuyler freed his arm and secured the takedown, the match and the dual with just 6 seconds on the clock! What a heroic effort by the heavyweight. After criteria, Iowa State 16, Pitt 15.
It was ugly, but Iowa State left Morgantown with a win on Friday night. After dropping the first three matches, the Cyclones won six of the final seven. In attendance was West Virginia’s third biggest crowd in program history. While that’s still less than the average crowd in Hilton, that’s a testament to how well both Iowa State and WVU have been performing this season.
Action got started at 125 where Caleb Fuessley took on the highly ranked Killian Cardinale. Fuessley’s defense and mat wrestling kept the match in striking distance until the final whistle. Fuessley was in on a leg as time expired, but dropped the bout 3-2. Then things got rocky for the Cyclones. At 133 Zach Redding gave up two takedowns to Davin Rhoads to get upset 6-2. Casey Swiderski, taking on Jordan Titus at 141, wrestled about a half a match like we saw him do before the New Year. Then Titus got a takedown, a reversal and locked up riding time. Trailing by two with short time left, Swiderski went for a desperation lat drop and gave up a six point move. Titus won the battle of freshman by major decision.
Paniro Johnson stepped on the mat at 149 with the Cyclones trailing 10-0. Johnson stopped the Mountaineer run by piling up 6 takedowns — mostly double legs. The 14-4 victory tied the most points for the freshman thus far in his career. Unsurprisingly Jason Kraisser gave up the opening takedown at 157. He tied the match with a reversal just before the first period ended. As we’ve seen him do this season, Kraisser rode for the entire second period. He then took the lead with a third period reversal and went back to work on top. Kraisser walked away with a 5-3 victory over Alex Hornfeck. Halfway through the dual Iowa State trailed 10-7.
In the feature match of the night David Carr took on All-American Peyton Hall in their first ever meeting. Carr opened the scoring with a low double leg midway through the first period. He snuck around Hall for two more points just thirty seconds later. Wrestling confidently, Carr pushed his lead to 5-1 with a quick escape in the second. Hall got an escape of his own to start the third period. Another double leg before the final whistle gave Carr a decisive 8-2 win. Hall never got close to Carr’s legs. The Mountaineers pulled ahead for the final time when Scott Joll beat Julien Broderson 8-2. Six of Joll’s points came off a BIG outside trip throw from double overhooks. It’s hard to come back from down six.
Marcus Coleman nearly ended the 184 pound match in the second period with a cradle. That, along with a pair of takedowns and an escape gave him a 9-5 win over ranked Anthony Carman. With the meet tied and two matches to go, Yonger Bastida stepped out at 197 against Austin Cooley. The wrestlers traded takedowns to start the match and enter the second period tied at 3. Bastida built a lead with three takedowns in the second period. FOUR takedowns in the third period made it a 17-8 major decision victory for Bastida. At heavyweight it was Sam Schuyler sealing the dual win by defeating national qualifier Michael Wolfgram. Schuyler connected on a beautiful single leg with a cutback finish in the first period. There aren’t many heavyweights that can hit it that smooth. Schuyler got back in on Wolfgram’s legs a lot later in the match, but couldn’t finish another takedown and the match ended 3-2.
Iowa State won the dual 20-13 to move to 6-0 in the Big 12. There were a lot of good things in the wins and a few in the losses. But some of the losses were mind boggling and will hurt seeds at the Big 12 tournament.
All in all it was a good weekend for the squad. After a lackluster outing on Friday the Cyclones wrestled very well on Saturday. Paniro Johnson, Jason Kraisser, David Carr, Marcus Coleman and Sam Schuyler all went undefeated on the weekend. Iowa State heads to Cedar Falls on Friday night to run back last year’s 16-15 donnybrook against UNI. For a full recap of this weekend’s results and predictions for Friday’s matchup listen to Jacob England and Sam Phillips on the Sudden Victory Podcast, released in your WRNL feeds every Thursday morning.