Cyclones hope to improve against Virginia Tech

Alex Halsted

Following a loss to Missouri on Sunday, the ISU wrestling team finds itself two-thirds of the way through the season with just one victory on its record.

Despite some of the difficulties the young team has fought this season, ISU coach Kevin Jackson said the team is focused on its upcoming meet and getting better.

“They recognize that we have another match on Friday,” Jackson said of the team’s current state. “They recognize that they get a chance to go back out there and improve on their mistakes.”

The No. 19 Cyclones (1-9, 0-4 Big 12) face No. 15 Virginia Tech (3-2, 1-1 ACC) on Friday at Hilton Coliseum, a team they narrowly beat last season 17-16 on the road.

“It’s going to be a tough match for us, they’re going to be looking for a little revenge from last year,” Jackson said. “We look forward to that match because we need to get back out there.”

At least one ISU wrestler will be looking for revenge too. After losing in the semifinals at the Midlands Championships in late December, 141-pounder Luke Goettl faced off against the Hokies’ No. 11 Zach Neibert, falling 9-8 in a closely contested match.

“I just watched the video the other day and felt like I didn’t wrestle to my capability there,” Goettl said. “It’s going to be fun [wrestling a rematch] in front of the home crowd.”

At 197 pounds, Cole Shafer will have a chance to pick up a second victory against the Hokies’ Nick Vetterlein, whom he defeated in a consolation match at the Midlands 8-2.

“It was the best match I’ve seen Cole wrestle,” Jackson said. “We’re going to need another performance like that from him.”

The Cyclones will face a tough task at 133 pounds as the Hokies send No. 1 Devin Carter to the mat. Jackson hopes redshirt sophomore Ben Cash will be ready to go, but said R.J. Hallman will wrestle if not.

For No. 5 Andrew Sorenson, his match against No. 7 Peter Yates is no different than any other week. With the competition he’s faced so far this season, Sorenson said he is ready to face another highly ranked opponent.

“We have a great schedule and one of the toughest schedules in the country, so you have to be ready to wrestle week in and week out,” Sorenson said. “This weekend will be a test, but it’s a good match to showcase my skills against some of the best competition.”

The Cyclones will take the mat at 7 p.m. Friday at Hilton Coliseum.