Wrestling: Northwestern suffers tough losses to Rutgers, Iowa


Daily file photo by Katie Pach

Ryan Deakin attacks an opponent. The redshirt freshman won his match on Friday, but lost to No. 2 Brandon Sorensen on Sunday.

Alison Albelda, Reporter


This weekend did not go the way Northwestern wanted with two tough losses against Big Ten foes Rutgers and Iowa.

Friday night featured a 22-13 conquering by the No. 19 Scarlet Knights (6-6, 2-5 Big Ten). The second match of the weekend ended with the No. 17 Wildcats (8-4, 3-4) suffering a 33-2 defeat at the hands of the No. 7 Hawkeyes (11-2, 6-2) on Sunday morning.

The Cats had four individual wins on Friday night by No. 5 redshirt freshman Ryan Deakin, junior Johnny Sebastian, sophomore Zack Chakonis and junior Conan Jennings. Chakonis, wrestling in the 197-pound division, said his loss last weekend against Minnesota served as motivation for his win Friday.

“Coach Howe was stressing this (match) all week,” Chakonis said. “All our focus was on today and (to) just take one match at a time. … We really just wanted to take care of business here. We fell a little short but that is okay. That will just give us more motivation.”

Friday also featured a tough loss for redshirt freshman Sebastian Rivera, ranked No. 10 in the 125-pound weight class. He lost to No. 1 Nick Suriano, who had defeated Rivera in his only prior loss this season.

Sebastian, a junior sitting at No. 17 in the 174-pound weight class, faced his former high school teammate Joe Grello on Friday. He said it was nice to score a win against someone from his high school alma mater.

“Sometimes when you wrestle with someone you are pretty familiar (with), you’ve got to switch it up a little bit, adjust your game plan,” Sebastian said.

The New Jersey native also said the team had to stay positive during their road match against Iowa.

That is what Sebastian did, the lone wrestler for the Cats to end the match with his hand raised. His win against Iowa continues his seven-match winning streak and keeps him undefeated in Big Ten dual competition.

The Cats went up against four top-three opponents. Rivera fell to No. 3 Spencer Lee 7-4, Shayne Oster was tech falled by No. 2 Michael Kemerer and Jennings narrowly lost to No. 3 Sam Stoll.

In a matchup of top-five opponents, Deakin and No. 2 Brandon Sorensen went down to the wire. Tied at four following three periods of plays, the two went into a sudden victory period, where Deakin was called for a violation for grabbing Sorensen’s headgear. This violation gave Sorensen the win and Deakin his first loss since December.

Following the loss on Friday, coach Matt Storniolo spoke about the work that needs to be done.

“We have to recognize where we came up short and make some adjustments” Storniolo said. “We just were not offensive enough. Points are not going to score themselves. … We were not offensive enough to win those close matches and I feel like that is why we lost.”

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