#2 Iowa rolls over Sacred Heart and Buffalo at the arm bar in the armory

Three NY duals, three easy wins. #2 Iowa Wrestling made a road trip to New York to take on Army, Sacred Heart and Buffalo and they walked away with three one-sided doubles and won 23 of the 30 matches on Thursday and Friday. Friday’s action against Sacred Heart and Buffalo at the arm bar at the Armory event in Albany, NY was even more one-sided than Thursday night’s Iowa win over Army. Iowa defeated Sacred Heart 35-6, followed by a 35-7 win over Buffalo.

On the court of two duels, Iowa won 16 of 20 games, with bonus points 12 of those 16 wins. Iowa’s bonus point bonanza included six technical falls, four crucial decisions and a pair of pins (both from heavyweight Tony Cassioppi). Of course, that level of dominance was entirely to be expected — neither Sacred Heart nor Buffalo had wrestlers in the top 20 (or even top 30) at their respective weights. Iowa should have dominated this double meeting.

Three of Iowa’s four losses came from backups. Iowa’s sufferings at 125 continued; Aidan Harris and Charles Matthews each had their turn at that weight, but neither came close to winning. Joe Kelly lost to Buffalo by 174, but that was also the second match of Kelly’s night – and he usually wrestles in the 157/165 range, so he was definitely smaller than his opponent (Buffalo’s Marcus Petite). Caleb Rathjen suffered the other Iowa loss of those duels, losing an 8-4 decision at 157 pounds to Sacred Heart. He’s battling with Cobe Siebrecht for the starting spot at 157 and such a result definitely hurts his hopes of a place in the lineup.

#2 Iowa 35, Sacred Heart 6

125 Mikey Manta DEC (5-1) Aidan Harris SACRED HEART 3-0
133 Cullan Schriever DEC (20-13) Andrew Fallon Draw 3-3
141 Drew Bennett DEC (12-8) Seth Brown IOWA 6-3
149 #7 Max Murin TECHNICAL CASE (20-5) Matt Laurie IOWA 11-3
157 Nick Palumbo DEC (8-4) Caleb Rathjen IOWA 11-6
165 #13 Patrick Kennedy TECHNOLOGY CASE (24-9) Aidan Zarella IOWA 16-6
174 Yo Kelly MAY DEC (17-7) Ryan Bolletino IOWA 20-6
184 #8 Abe Assad MAY DEC (22-9) Hunter Perez IOWA 24-6
197 Zach Glaser TECHNIQUE CASE (18-3) Nick Copley IOWA 29-6
285 #4 Toni Cassioppi AUTUMN (1:28) Marc Berisha IOWA 35-6

#2 Iowa 35, Buffalo 7

125 Pat Adams MAY DEC (11-2) Aidan Harris BUFFALO 4-0
133 Cullan Schriever TECHNICAL CASE (23-8) Mason Bush IOWA 5-4
141 Drew Bennett DEC (9-6) Matt Ryan IOWA 8-4
149 #7 Max Murin MAY DEC (16-5) Caleb Burgess IOWA 12-4
157 Caleb Rathjen DEC (6-0) Nick Stampoulos IOWA 15-4
165 Cobe Siebrecht MAY DEC (8-0) Noah Grover IOWA 19-4
174 Mark Petite DEC (2-0) Yo Kelly IOWA 19-7
184 #8 Abe Assad TECHNICAL CASE (22-7) #32 Giuseppe Hoose IOWA 24-7
197 #2 Jacob Warner TECHNICAL CASE (26-8) Sam Mitchell IOWA 29-7
285 #4 Toni Cassioppi AUTUMN (0:53) Greg Hodulick IOWA 35-7

A few additional thoughts:

  • It’s so strange to see a 125lb Iowa team struggle so hard. Get well soon, Spencer.

  • Cullan Schriever wrestled at 133 pounds in all three bouts during Iowa’s NY trip and his results steadily improved – from a 2-0 decision win, to a 20-13 decision win, to a 23-8 technical fall win. He struggled to drive effectively against Sacred Heart but did a much better job against Buffalo. He was also able to end neutral attacks much more effectively than in the Army match. I wouldn’t believe his results this weekend (or anyone else’s) given the level of competition, but if nothing else he should be a little more confident after the last two games.

  • Drew Bennett went 2-0 in the arm bar at the Armory, but no other Iowa wrestler had to grind as hard as Bennett did in the event. Credit to him for fighting his way out of some holes and being able to shut down his offense when needed late in games, but the fact that he had to work so hard to win those games is what it is a bit worrying.

  • Max Murin won his two games with an aggregate score of 36-10. We could argue about wanting pins or two tech falls, but… one tech fall and major decision is still pretty much fine. Murin was on cruise control here, effectively running the business.

  • I don’t think there’s much doubt that Cobe Siebrecht seems to have the upper hand in the battle for the starting spot at 157lbs. Fresh off a solid win last night, he was able to claim another 8-0 major decision win here, even while weighing in at 165 pounds. Meanwhile, Caleb Rathjen has both starts at 157, with decidedly mixed results. He was overwhelmed and overwhelmed against Sacred Heart’s Palumbo, and while he did a good job of preserving his cool and challenging Buffalo’s Stampoulos (who mostly just wanted to try and hit him on the head), Rathjen definitely came off like a wobbly Option at this weight for now.

  • Patrick Kennedy won just one match at 165, but he pulled off a 24-9 technical fall win in that one fight. No complaints there, especially since he managed to score some near-fall points this time.

  • Joe Kelly got the call at 174 against Sacred Heart and Army, tied. Despite lifting a weight, Kelly took it to Sacred Heart’s Bolletino and used his speed to progress to a 17-7 Major Decision win. However, his lack of size caught up with him against Buffalo’s Petite as he failed to escape or convert shots. Iowa has wrestled three different wrestlers in four matches at that weight, and chances are none of them will be the starter at that weight when the calendar flips to 2023.

  • Two games, two bonus point wins for Abe Assad. job done. In contrast to the Army match, Assad was able to maintain a high attack speed and collect bonus points in both matches, which was good to see.

  • Zach Glazier and Jacob Warner shared duty at 197 and both boys dominated; Glazier rolled to a one-sided 19-3 technical fall against Sacred Heart while Warner sent it flying from neutral to the mat on his way to a 26-8 technical fall in the second period. Warner is always a welcome surprise when Warner scores a hit like this while Glazier handles an overpowered opponent well.

  • Speaking of overwhelmed opponents… Tony Cassioppi won three matches over two days on this road trip and scored a total of 3:36 in those three matches. Cheers to efficiency! Tony bulldozes both opponents from neutral and quickly lays them on their backs on the mat. There’s a reason he’s Tony Pins, after all.

It’s hard to say there’s much to take away from these duals. Sacred Heart and Buffalo were both completely outmatched by Iowa’s firepower, even when some of the Hawkeyes’ biggest guns were not in action. The main weights that Iowa struggled with — 125, 141, 174 — were weights fully loaded with second- and third-string (or lower) options, so there’s not much to worry about the results there. 133 and 157 are the two weights in the Iowa lineup that are the least consolidated, and if you want to worry a little after those duels, these are still areas of concern. Schriever had improved at the Armory’s arm bar but has yet to prove he can be effective against stronger opponents. Rathjen got his chance at 157 but didn’t surpass himself; It seems likely that we will see Siebrecht there again in the upcoming Duals. But the battles over those two weights are likely to continue for a few more weeks. Meanwhile, #2 Iowa rolls on as we await the more rigorous testing that will eventually come this season.