Wrestlers hope to shake off Iowa loss

Zac Reicks

Coming off of a 34-7 loss at the hands of the Iowa Hawkeyes on Sunday, the ISU wrestling team hopes that a positive week of practice in the wrestling room will translate into wins on the mat as they return home to play host to Tennessee-Chattanooga on Thurs., Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum.

The Cyclones won only two of the 10 matches against their bitter rivals with Aaron Holker and Nick Passolano accounting for the two victories.

While the young Iowa State squad has struggled to a 1-3 start in this early season, the top ranked Holker has continued to wrestle at the national champion level he is accustomed to.

“My confidence level is a lot higher than it was,” Holker said. “I’m at a point right now where I know I can beat anyone at my weight.”

Holker did just that against Iowa, destroying Hawkeye senior Luke Moffitt 14-0. Moffitt had been ranked in the top 10 of the 141-pound weight class early in the year.

“Holker is wrestling well,” ISU head coach Bobby Douglas said.

While it is still early in the year, Douglas has seen marked improvement in his youthful squad. “We’re making progress, but there is a lot more progress to be made,” Douglas said. “With some of the young guys it is hard to get a good evaluation because it is still so early. But they have a positive attitude and are working toward a goal. Things are headed in the right direction.”

Douglas has also seen improvement out of Grant Nakamura, who handles the 125-pound weight class.

“He is probably making the most progress at this juncture,” Douglas said. “But all the young guys are coming along.”

Even though the loss to Iowa looked bad on the scoreboard, Iowa State learned a lot about themselves from the meet. While they are obviously not in the same class as Iowa right now, closing the gap during the season is a goal that is definitely within reach.

“We will look at the film and correct mistakes — try to iron things out before Thursday,” Douglas said. “We know we have weaknesses, and the good competition brought that out on Sunday.”