The 11th-ranked University of Minnesota wrestling team (14-7, 4-3) got pivotal wins Zach Sanders, Tyler Safratowich and Ben Berhow, but it wasn’t enough to unseat unbeaten and top-ranked Iowa (22-0, 6-0) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa on Sunday.
In the opening match of the meet, seventh-ranked Zach Sanders edged No. 3 Charlie Falck by a 5-4 score. Trailing 4-3 late in the third period, Sanders recorded a takedown with less than 15 seconds left in the match to grab the 5-4 lead and give Minnesota a 3-0 advantage in the dual. Sanders held on in the closing seconds to record his fifth win over a ranked opponent this season and his first over an opponent ranked in the top-five nationally.
After Jayson Ness fell short in his attempt for his third victory of the season over a top-ranked opponent in his match with Daniel Dennis at 133 pounds, the Hawkeyes evened the match at 3-3. At 141 pounds, No. 2 Alex Tsirtsis of Iowa bested Minnesota’s eighth-ranked Mike Thorn at 141 pounds.
Two matches later, senior 157-pounder Tyler Safratowich finished off a perfect weekend with an 8-2 decision victory over Matt Ballweg. The win was Safratowich’s 101st of his career. With his win in the Gophers’ 19-15 dual loss at Wisconsin on Friday night in Madison, the Park Rapids, Minn. native became the 35th wrestler in school history to amass 100 career victories. Safratowich’s win on Sunday afternoon cut the deficit in the dual to 12-6.
The Hawkeyes pushed their lead in the dual to 25-6 with wins in each of the following four matches. The Hawkeyes’ four ranked combatants in those matches out-pointed the Gophers’ four unranked wrestlers by a combined total of 35-17, allowing the Hawkeyes to clinch the dual.
The Hawkeyes’ seventh-ranked Dan Erekson was kept in the pocket of the Iowa coaching staff in the heavyweight bout, and the Gophers’ Ben Berhow dispatched redshirt freshman Jordan Johnson by a 12-9 tally to bring the dual final to 22-9.
Minnesota will be back in Iowa when they return to dual action on Friday, when they will take on No. 3 Iowa State in a 7:00 p.m. dual start at Hilton Coliseum. The Gophers will then finish off their Big Ten dual schedule when they host No. 20 Indiana on Sunday afternoon at the Sports Pavilion. Tickets for the dual with Indiana are still available and can be obtained by calling 1-800-U-GOPHER or by contacting the Gopher Ticket Office at 612-624-8080.
-UM-#1 Iowa 25, #11 Minnesota 9
125 - Zach Sanders (M) dec. Charlie Falck (I), 5-4
133 - Daniel Dennis (I) dec. Jayson Ness (M), 9-7
141 - Alex Tsirtsis (I) dec. Mike Thorn (M), 2-1
149 - Brent Metcalf (I) pinned Joe Grygelko (M), 4:38
157 - Tyler Safratowich (M) dec. Matt Ballweg (I), 8-2
165 - Ryan Morningstar (I) dec. Scott Glasser (M), 9-4
174 - Jay Borschel (I) maj. dec. Kaleb Young (M), 11-3
184 - Phillip Keddy (I) dec. Sonny Yohn (M), 10-6
197 - Chad Beatty (I) dec. Gordon Bierschenk (M), 5-4
Hwt. - Ben Berhow (M) dec. Jordan Johnson (I), 12-9