Grapplers head west, regain Big 12 momentum

COLIN HORNING, Sports Editor

On Friday, the 17th-ranked UNI wrestling team traveled out west to the Beehive State, taking on the Utah Valley University Wolverines for a Big 12 Conference matchup in Orem, Utah.

The Panthers were coming off a tough road defeat at the hands of Big 12 rival Oklahoma State earlier in the week. The matchup at Utah gave them a chance to return to their winning ways before senior night at home and the start of the Big 12 Championships.

UNI was able to come away victorious with a 29-12 win, moving their overall record up to 6-5 and their Big 12 record to 6-1.

Senior Josh Alber got his 14th win in a row, due to a forfeit by the Wolverines.

Drew Foster, another senior, and number six in the 184-pound weight class, defeated 26-ranked Will Sumner by a decision of 11-6.

Freshmen heavyweight Carter Isley was able to pick up a fall for the second time this season with a pin of Benjamin Andrew at 3:31 in the round.

Jay Schwarm of the 125-pound weight class moved into eighth all-time on UNI’s career falls list with a pin of Josh Jensen. He also got his 22nd first-period pin with that fall.

Schwarm, Isley and 149-pound Max Thomsen were able to get bonus points for UNI with their victories.

Thomsen won by tech-fall in his match.

Overall, the Panthers came away with six individual victories on the night.

The men of UNI will return home to the West Gym this week for senior night, taking on their in-state rival Iowa State Cyclones on Thursday, Feb. 21.

This will be their final duals matchup of the season, and all fans are being asked to wear purple for support.

Following their final regular-season match, they will head to Tulsa, Oklahoma for the Big 12 Championships from March 9-10.