Jan. 20, 2008
NORMAN, Okla. -- At the conclusion of nine duals the team score was tied at 15, and redshirt freshman Nathan Fernandez was given the opportunity to knock off No. 13-ranked Kyle Massey in the heavyweight bout to give Oklahoma the win.
As time wound down, Massey proved to be too much for the freshman, defeating Fernandez by a final of 4-2 and giving the Badgers (9-2-1) an 18-15 victory over the Sooners.
The loss halted a seven match win streak for the Sooners, now 11-2 on the season.
"I am proud of our team for battling back after being down early," head coach Jack Spates said. "We didn't seal the deal and that is really disappointing to us."
The Badgers opened the match with No. 18 Collin Cudd recording a 7-4 decision over 125-pound Sooner Joey Fio, giving Wisconsin a 3-0 team lead. Fio leads the team with 42 takedowns, but was only able to score escapes in the loss.
John Starzyk scored the opening takedown in the 133 pound bout but was unable to sustain the lead. Badger Zach Tanelli, ranked 12th, took control at the conclusion of the first period by posting a reversal and nearfall in the 10-5 decision.
No. 8-ranked Kyle Ruschell then made the score 9-0 in favor of the Badgers after recording a 1-3 decision over No. 11 Zack Bailey at 141 pounds. No. 9 Will Rowe posted OU's first points of the evening in the 141 pound match, scoring eight takedowns in a 19-6 major decision. The win brought the Sooners within five, 9-4.
UW's No. 2-ranked Craig Henning then blanked 157-pound Chad Terry, winning by a final of 4-0 to extend the Badger lead to 12-4.
Sooner sophomore Shane Vernon, filling in for the injured Max Dean, scored a reversal with 16 seconds left to defeat Jake Donar by an 8-7 decision at 165 pounds to bring OU within five, 12-7.
"Shane (Vernon) was wrestling up a weight and really came to battle," Spates said. "He came in and stepped up for this team, and we are proud of that."
Jeff James won OU's second straight match after dominating 174-pound Justin Peterson by a 10-1 major decision to make it a 12-11 match in favor of UW.
For the third straight dual, the Sooners looked to their undefeated seniors to put them in the lead.
Joshua Weitzel did just that, scoring a major decision over No. 14 Trevor Brandvold and giving the OU its first lead of the evening, 15-12. Weitzel's nearfall to end the match gave him an 11-2 win and marked his 19th victory on the season at 184 pounds.
The anticipated 197-pound matchup between No. 3 Joel Flaggert and No. 6 Dallas Herbst did not disappoint, as the two wrestlers were forced to overtime. UW's Herbst scored a reversal in the period to seal the match-victory for the Badgers, tying the team score at 15.
"We are very disappointed to lose this match because we felt like we had the chance to get the victory," Spates said. "I liked the effort we showed tonight and we look to improve and bounce back from this defeat."
The Sooners return to action next Friday, Jan. 25, when they host No. 8 Iowa State at the Howard McCasland Field House in Norman at 7 p.m. Admission is free to the public and doors will open one hour prior to the dual.
The matchup will be broadcasted nationally to a radio audience by Takedown Wrestling Radio at Takedownradio.com. Scott Casber and WWE icon Jim Ross will be providing coverage of the dual between the two Big 12 foes.
125: No. 18 Collin Cudd (UW) dec. Joey Fio (OU), 7-4
133: No. 12 Zach Tanelli (UW) dec. John Starzyk (OU), 10-5
141: No. 8 Kyle Ruschell (UW) dec. No. 11 Zack Bailey (OU), 3-1
149: No. 9 Will Rowe (OU) maj. dec. Kendall Vogel (UW), 19-6
157: No. 2 Chad Henning (UW) dec. Chad Terry (OU), 4-0
165: Shane Vernon (OU) dec. Jake Donar (UW), 8-7
174: Jeff James (OU) maj. dec. Justin Peterson (UW), 10-1
184: No. 7 Joshua Weitzel (OU) maj. dec. No. 14 Trevor Brandvold (UW), 11-2
197: No. 6 Dallas Herbst (UW) dec. No. 3 Joel Flaggert (OU), 4-2
HWT: No. 13 Kyle Massey (UW) dec. Nathan Fernandez (OU), 4-2
No. 17 Oklahoma 15
No. 13 Wisconsin 18