ABC5 Sports Desk
HAWKEYES SWEEP 3 DUALS AT TENNESSEE-CHATTANOOGA
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The University of Iowa wrestling team swept a season-opening triple header today on the campus of Tennessee-Chattanooga. Iowa won 25 of 30 matches and recorded nine falls and 19 bonus-point victories in wins over Cumberland, No. 17 Virginia and host Tennessee-Chattanooga.
"That Virginia dual was a scrap, maybe more than we wanted it to be," said head coach Tom Brands. "I don't know how set our lineup is. We have some good guys at home ready to wrestle tomorrow and we have some good guys here that have to keep working."
Matt McDonough, Tony Ramos, Mark Ballweg, Derek St. John, Ethen Lofthouse and Bobby Telford all posted perfect 3-0 records. McDonough's day included a pair of falls and two wins over top 10 opponents. He recorded a first period pin over No. 9 Nick Soto (UTC) and earned a 9-4 decision over No. 5 Matt Snyder (UVA).
Ramos added two pins and a technical fall while piling up 17 team points at 133, and Ballweg strung together three major decisions at 141 to help Iowa's top three weights combine for a 9-0 record and 44 team points.
St. John, the nation's top-ranked 157-pounder, earned one decision, one major decision and one technical fall in his first three matches of the season. Lofthouse went undefeated in three matches at his new weight, recording a first-period fall in his 184-pound debut. He followed that up with one decision and one major decision.
Telford didn't wait beyond the opening minute before earning the first win of his sophomore campaign. He flattened Tyler Smith of Cumberland in 0:51. He later won by forfeit against Virginia and added another first period pin in the night's final match, putting Kevin Malone (UTC) on his back in 2:48.
Mike Evans swept a pair of matches at 165, including a major decision in his opening match and a 7-4 win over a ranked opponent, No. 8 Nick Sulzer of Virginia. Nick Moore wrestled Iowa's final match at 165 and earned a 12-3 major decision.
Brody Grothus made his Iowa dual debut at 149 and earned a first period fall against Steven Sandefur of Cumberland before dropping a 9-5 decision against Virginia's 10th ranked Derek Valenti. Grothus opened the match against Valenti with a quick shot, but he got tied up and suffered a knee injury less than one minute into the match. He was able to continue but did not return to the lineup against Tennessee-Chattanooga. Ethan Owens filled in for Grothus in Iowa's final match and lost to Alex Hudson, 8-2.
Eighth-ranked Grant Gambrall, appearing in the lineup at 174 for the first time in his career, split a pair of overtime decisions and earned a 7-5 win in the nightcap to finish the day 2-1. His lone loss was an overtime setback against No. 9 Jon Fausey of Virginia.
Iowa was 1-2 at 197 pounds. Jeremy Fahler recorded a first period pin, and Tomas Lira dropped a pair of decisions, 8-6 and 10-7.
"I expect we'll see some progress when we return home next weekend," Brands said, "and we know we have to be ready for a big dual Dec. 1 against Iowa State."
The Hawkeyes return to the mat Saturday, Nov. 24, when they host the Iowa City Duals on Mediacom Mat at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa hosts three consecutive duals against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, Cornell College and Iowa Central beginning at 9 a.m.