Wrestling falls to Cornhuskers

By Chris McCree

Sports Editor

Facing a Cornhuskers squad that placed 12th at NCAA Championships last year, the Bison men’s wrestling team opened its season with a 28-9 loss last Thursday night at Sojka Pavilion.

The Orange and Blue started off the meet by winning three out of the first five bouts, leaving the two teams at a 9-9 tie. Austin Miller ’15 claimed the team’s first win of the year with a 4-3 victory over Nebraska’s Shawn Nagel in his first-ever collegiate match. Nagel posted a late escape, but neither wrestler scored in the final minute as Miller put the Bison up 3-0 early.

“My coaches have really helped me out a lot this fall, especially with technique in some areas that I was struggling in,” Miller said. “They pushed our entire team to work hard, and my conditioning paid off a lot in that match … I am going in to work with the coaches about three or four times extra per week on things I need to improve upon. Just being consistent with that I think helped me to improve and prepare for Nebraska.”

Derrik Russell ’13 and John Regan ’12 also posted early wins for the Bison, yet the team’s inability to win bouts in the heavier weight classes hindered its overall performance. Although five of the 10 matches were decided by three points or less, the Cornhuskers swept final five bouts of the meet, allowing them to cruise to a 19-point victory.

“This match was a great measuring stick for the team as a whole as well as individually. We see areas that need improvement, and emphasis will be placed on these areas accordingly,” Russell said. “One important thing the team needs to work on is to be more aggressive at the start of every single whistle, trying to be the first one to make contact.”

The Bison will hit the mats again at the Navy Classic on Nov. 19 in Annapolis, Md.

Looking ahead, the team remains confident about its ability to compete with the top schools in the nation.

“We are a very young team and I think it showed on Thursday that we are lacking experience … However, the talent is there, and the work ethic is there. I believe we will do big things in the near future,” Miller said.

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