No. 1 Iowa wrestling swept its ranked Wisconsin opponents

In its five ranked matchups, top-ranked Iowa took home five wins for a dominant win over No. 6 Wisconsin.


Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa’s 285-pound Tony Cassioppi wrestles Wisconsin’s Trent Hillger during a wrestling match between No.1 Iowa and No. 6 Wisconsin at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. Cassioppi won by decision, 3-2, and the Hawkeyes defeated the Badgers, 32-3. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Anna Kayser, Sports Editor

When the final buzzer went off on No. 1 Iowa’s dual meet against No. 6 Wisconsin, the crowd at Carver-Hawkeye Arena drowned it out.

No. 12 Tony Cassioppi had just upset the reigning Big Ten Wrestler of the Week, No. 2 Trent Hillger, to finish off Iowa’s sweep of ranked matchups against the Badgers.

Cassioppi opened with a takedown and allowed none against himself to earn the win. The match tacked an exclamation point onto the end of the meet and gave Iowa a 32-3 win to open Big Ten competition.

“[Cassioppi] gets ready to wrestle these matches,” head coach Tom Brands said. “He goes out there and performs, and then it’s not a big deal anymore… He knows there’s more fish to fry.”

No. 2 Austin DeSanto started it off with a 6-2 win over No. 1 Seth Goss. But it didn’t stop there. In fact, it was exactly what the Hawkeyes needed to get started.

“[DeSanto] stayed on his attack, and that’s what I thought I needed to do too,” Alex Marinelli said. “You feed off of great energy, and it’s better to move on with success, but these guys are my brothers, and when they win like that, you want to do the same thing.”

In his dual-meet debut for the season after beginning it in tournament play, Max Murin held out for a 3-2 win in a tight match against No. 10 Tristan Moran. At 149-pounds, No. 3 Pat Lugo won, 5-3, over No. 17 Cole Martin.

Then, yet another highlighted match: No. 2 Marinelli vs. No. 3 Evan Wick at 165-pounds. The two faced each other three times last season — with Marinelli taking them all.

“I just think that it’s another guy in my face, another guy on the mat. I’ve got to get my hand raised,” Marinelli said. “I honestly love competing against the guy, because it’s a fun competition. … All those top guys in the country, you love that, you’ve got to love it, and if you don’t love it then I don’t know why you’re out on my mat.”

Marinelli opened up the scoring with a takedown in the first period. Wick took an escape just 18 seconds later, and through the second period that 2-1 score held. To open up the final frame, a Wick escape tied the match up at 2-2.

With just 26 seconds to go until a first sudden victory, Marinelli took down Wick to continue his winning streak against him, winning the match 4-2.

“Marinelli’s been a wall to that guy’s career,” Brands said. “And I’m not trying to put gasoline on the fire there. I have a lot of respect for Wick. … Marinelli weathered that storm and weathered it well.”

The Hawkeyes as a team outscored the Badgers, 78-28, with a 22-2 advantage in takedowns.

Wisconsin was Iowa’s first top-10 foe in a schedule stacked with the best competition in the country. In 2020, Iowa will face more current top-10 opponents in Nebraska, Penn State, Ohio State and Oklahoma State.

But first, the Hawkeyes travel to No. 12 Princeton on Dec. 8 for their final dual meet of 2019.




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