Panthers fall to Wisconsin in final home dual of season



The Panthers were taken down by Wisconsin last Thursday, Feb. 17. They will look forward to the Big 12 conference championships in March.

CADEN SHEA, Sports Editor

The UNI Panthers wrestling team had their last dual of the season at home in a losing effort against the Wisconsin Badgers on Feb. 17. The Panthers ended the season with a 7-7 record in duals. The Badgers were ranked No. 8 going into the dual and finished their season with an 11-2 record. 

The Panthers were the first to strike as Kyle Biscoglia defeated Ethan Rotondo in the 133-pound matchup. Biscoglia boosted the Panthers to an early 3-0 lead over the Badgers by defeating his opponent 7-1. 141-pounder Joseph Zargo of Wisconsin defeated Cael Happel 9-4 to tie the duel up at 3-3. Austin Gomez of Wisconsin versus Colin Realbuto of UNI was a tightly contested contest at the 149-pound weight class. Gomez ultimately won the match giving the Badgers the 6-3 lead after three matches. 

Derek Holschlag of UNI got the early lead after a takedown against Garrett Model in the 157-pound matchup, but Model battled back, winning the match 14-8 giving the Badgers a 9-3 advantage. UNI’s 165-pounder Austin Yant was bested 10-2 by Wisconsin’s Dean Hamiti, giving the Badger a major decision, and making the team score 13-3 going into halftime.

The first match of the second half of action saw UNI advance forward as Lance Runyon defeated Andrew McNelly 10-3 with help from takedowns and riding time to cut the Wisconsin lead to seven points, making the score 13-6. 184-pounder Parker Keckeisen secured six takedowns and riding time to get a 15-5 major decision over Chris Weiler to make the score 13-10 with Wisconsin still in the lead. 

John Gunderson and Carter Isley of UNI were both handed major decision losses against Wisconsin’s Braxton Amos and Trent Hillger. These losses gave the Badgers the opportunity to control the outcome of the match as they were up 21-10 going into the final match. 125-pounder Eric Barnett of the University of Wisconsin defeated UNI’s Brody Teske 5-3 to give the Badgers the 24-10 win over the Panthers.

The UNI Panthers ended their dual season with a .500 record of 7-7. The team showcased both young and returning stars during this season. The team now looks to the wrestling post-season with the Big 12 Championships scheduled to take place in Tulsa, Okla. on March 5-6.