Nebraska wrestling closed out the regular season with a 25-9 win over Illinois on the road Sunday.
The Huskers started out strong, winning four of the first five matches to take a 14-3 lead halfway through the dual. The highlight of Nebraska’s fast start was a top-15 matchup at 141 pounds between No. 7 Husker senior Chad Red Jr. and No. 14 Illinois senior Dylan Duncan. Red Jr. won by a 4-3 decision, putting Nebraska up 6-3. The Huskers widened the lead in the next match, going up 11-3 after sophomore Ridge Lovett won by tech. fall at 149 pounds.
The Fighting Illini chipped into the deficit in the next match, with No. 8 sophomore Danny Braunagel defeating Husker No. 18 sophomore Peyton Robb at 165 pounds by 9-6 decision to make it 14-6. However, Nebraska sealed the dual win in the next two matches with a pair of major decisions from No. 2 junior Mikey Labriola and No. 16 senior Taylor Venz. Those wins put the Huskers up 22-6.
Nebraska earned three more points in the second-to-last match of the dual, as No. 1 senior Eric Schultz won by decision. Illinois No. 10 sophomore Luke Luffman helped the Fighting Illini go out on somewhat of a high note in the last match, beating No. 11 senior Christian Lance by decision.
Next for Nebraska will be the Big Ten Championships on March 6 and 7 in State College, Pennsylvania.
The Nebraska men’s tennis team took to the courts to kick off its Big Ten campaign with two home matches at the Sid and Hazel Dillon Tennis Center. On Friday, the Huskers narrowly fell to Purdue by a final score of 4-3.
In doubles play, junior Victor Moreno Lozano teamed up with junior William Gleason to claim victory via a final score of 6-2. Sophomore Albert Sprlak-Puk and junior Patrick Cacciatore also got their first doubles win of the season, a 6-4 triumph over the Purdue duo of sophomore Thomas Dudek and freshman Milledge Cossu.
Two Huskers claimed victories on the singles side as freshman Nic Wiedenhorn grabbed a win over junior Santiago Galan 7-5 and 6-1. Sophomore Shunya Maruyama defeated Dudek 7-6 and 6-1. Sprlak-Puk, Moreno Lozano, Gleason and Cacciatore all dropped their matches.
On Sunday, the Huskers dropped a 6-1 decision to Indiana. In doubles play, junior William Gleason and Moreno Lozano started the match with a competitive battle with Indiana’s pair of senior Bennett Crane and freshman Michael Andre, but lost 7-6. The Hoosier duo of senior Andrew Redding and junior Patrick Fletchall secured the doubles point with a 6-4 victory over Cacciatore and Sprlak-Puk.
The Huskers didn’t fare much better in singles play. Sprlak-Puk was the lone Husker to defeat his opponent, in which he battled back from losing the first set to defeat Indiana junior Vikash Singh. Indiana won the remaining five matches and picked up its first win of the season in the process.
Nebraska travels to Iowa City, Iowa next weekend for a rivalry clash with Iowa. The match is slated for Feb. 28 at 3 p.m.
The Nebraska women’s tennis team had two road matches this weekend, the team’s first away matches in Big Ten play. On Friday, the Huskers knocked off Minnesota 4-3, snapping the Golden Gophers’ 13-game home winning streak.
In doubles, senior Hayley Haakenstad and sophomore Chloe Kuckelman teamed up to claim a 6-4 victory against Minnesota’s senior pair of River Hart and Juliet Zhang. Senior Claire Reifeis and sophomore Isabel Adrover Gallego also got the win over Minnesota’s duo of redshirt sophomore Dalila Said and sophomore Lucia De Santa Ana via a final score of 7-5 to secure the doubles point.
On the singles side, the Golden Gophers drew first blood as Reifeis fell to sophomore Ekin Ercetin 6-4 and 6-2. Nebraska responded as Novak claimed victory over Said 6-3 and 6-1. Kuckelman also was able to claim a win as she dominated Hart via scores of 6-2 and 6-3. After Zhang topped Husker junior Samantha Alicea in straight sets, freshman Maja Makoric sealed a Nebraska victory with a 7-6, 6-3 triumph over De Santa Ana. Adrover Gallego lost to seal Friday’s action.
Nebraska improved its record to 4-1 on Sunday with a 4-3 victory over Wisconsin. The Huskers claimed the doubles point, but fell behind in the match 2-1 as Makoric and Adrover Gallego fell to Badger opponents. However, Reifeis closed her opponent out in straight sets, and Novak and Kuckelman outlasted their opponents in the decisive third set to seal a Husker victory.
Nebraska returns home for a weekend series with the Big Ten’s two Indiana squads. The Huskers host Purdue at 1:00 p.m. on Feb. 26 and Indiana at 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 28.
Nebraska women gymnastics came away with two event titles, but fell to No. 7 Iowa by a score of 195.850-195.100 on Sunday at the Devaney Center.
Nebraska opened up the first rotation on vault, where it claimed an early lead with a season- best team score. Junior Kaitlyn Higgins recorded a career-high 9.80 in the first rotation, while sophomore Kylie Piringer followed with a score of 9.775. Senior Makayla Curtis (9.725) and freshman Martina Comin (9.70) rounded out the Huskers competing in the event. Freshman Danielle Press was given a score of 9.275 due to a fall, which was not counted. Senior Anika Dujakovich tied her career-high best score with a 9.95, which won her the event title.
Due to a tough first rotation for Iowa on the uneven bars, Nebraska held a 48.950-48.250 lead heading into the second rotation.
In the second rotation, the Huskers posted another season-best team score of 49.100 on the uneven bars. Freshman Chloe Lorange, sophomore Clara Colombo and freshman Kinsey Davis all recorded scores of 9.825. Senior Kynsee Roby recorded a team-high score of 9.85 on bars, which won her the second event title of the day for the Huskers.
Despite strong performances on vault by Iowa, Nebraska kept a narrow lead of 98.050-97.375 following the second rotation.
The Huskers opened up the third rotation on beam with Lorange and Higgins both posting scores of 9.85 while Roby recorded a 9.825. Thaler picked up a score of 9.625 while Colombo made her collegiate debut on beam with a 9.55. Due to a fall, Curtis only obtained a 9.05 that was not counted.
Nebraska still held onto the lead going into the fourth and final rotation by a score of 146.750-146.550.
The Huskers performed on floor for the fourth rotation. However, due to an injury sustained by Press during the warmup period before the fourth rotation, Nebraska was forced to perform only five gymnasts to close out the meet. Higgins and Piringer recorded scores of 9.875 while Curtis scored a 9.85. Lorange followed with a 9.65 and Dujakovich, due to a fall, recorded a score of 9.10.
After strong performances on beam, led by Hawkeye freshman Adeline Kenlin taking the event title, Iowa took the overall win by a score of 195.850-195.100.
Nebraska will head to College Park, Maryland. to compete in the Big 5 meet against Ohio State, Minnesota, Illinois and Maryland on Friday, Feb. 26th.