Wrestling: Northwestern shut out for first time since 2010

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Wrestling: Northwestern shut out for first time since 2010

Conan Jennings grapples with an opponent. The redshirt freshman was pinned in his match, one of many defeats for NU en route to a 54-0 shutout against No. 2 Iowa.

Conan Jennings grapples with an opponent. The redshirt freshman was pinned in his match, one of many defeats for NU en route to a 54-0 shutout against No. 2 Iowa.

Dan Waldman/The Daily Northwestern

Conan Jennings grapples with an opponent. The redshirt freshman was pinned in his match, one of many defeats for NU en route to a 54-0 shutout against No. 2 Iowa.

Dan Waldman/The Daily Northwestern

Dan Waldman/The Daily Northwestern

Conan Jennings grapples with an opponent. The redshirt freshman was pinned in his match, one of many defeats for NU en route to a 54-0 shutout against No. 2 Iowa.

Dan Waldman, Reporter

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The Wildcats couldn’t snap their four-match losing streak on Sunday, falling to Iowa 54-0 in the team’s most lopsided dual of the season.

Northwestern (1-6, 0-2 Big Ten) took on the No. 2 Hawkeyes (9-0, 2-0) in the start of one of the most difficult stretches in Cats’ history. NU is off to a disappointing start, after having an 8-3 record in duals at this point last year. The combination of injuries and an exceptionally difficult schedule has caused problems for the Cats this season.

Prior to the match, NU announced it would forfeit the 141-pound class and not replace injured senior Jameson Oster. The team also had to fill its void in the 157-pound weight class after redshirt freshman Bryce Brill suffered a season-ending injury.

Freshman Anthony Petrone was supposed to redshirt this season, but interim coach Matt Storniolo decided to burn his redshirt for Sunday’s 157-pound match. Petrone was pinned, losing his first collegiate match.

“It wasn’t the result I wanted,” Petrone said. “I was excited to be here, you know on the team, on the lineup. It was fun, but I just have to keep working hard.”

Iowa recorded three pins in the first five matches, with the other two resulting in forfeits. The Cats caught an unlucky break in the fourth match when junior and No. 3 wrestler in the 149-pound class, Jason Tsirtsis had to medically forfeit against No. 2 Brandon Sorensen, leaving the Hawkeyes with a commanding 30-0 shutout heading into the break.

Tsirtsis and Sorensen last faced each other in the Midlands championship match, where Sorensen edged out Tsirtsis in overtime. Sorensen now holds a 3-2 career record against Tsirtsis.

Tsirtsis injured his left arm in the second period of the day’s most-awaited match. He was trailing Sorensen by only one point when the referee had to stop the match, leading to a visible display of frustration from Tsirtsis. He later returned to Welsh-Ryan Arena with ice wrapped around his arm.

“It’s too soon to tell,” Storniolo said of Tsirtsis’ injury. “Hopefully it’s not anything too serious. I don’t think it’s going to be something where he misses a lot of time.”

Following the break, freshman Luke Norland lost in a decision in the 165-pound class and sophomore Mitch Sliga lost by technical fall in the 174-pound class, giving Iowa a 38-0 lead. Iowa’s Sammy Brooks, who is ranked eighth in the nation in his weight class, then beat redshirt-freshman Regis Durbin to extend the Hawkeyes’ lead to 44-0.

The Cats’ last two wrestlers, junior Jacob Berkowitz and redshirt-freshman Conan Jennings, lost their matches in a decision and a pin, respectively. The last time NU recorded zero points in a match was in 2010 — also a loss to Iowa, 49-0.

“There’s not a whole lot to build off of today,” Storniolo said. “It’s almost like we have to hit the reset button and start from scratch. Obviously that’s not a fun match for us and we have to figure out a few things this week.”

Email: danielwaldman2019@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @Dan_Waldman

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