No. 2 Iowa men’s wrestling preparing for No. 21 Penn

After Jacob Warner and Tony Cassioppi suffered defeats at the NWCA All-Star Classic this week, the Hawkeyes will try to rebound in a dual against the Quakers.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa’s Tony Cassioppi holds down Cal Baptist’s Chris Island during a wrestling meet between Iowa and Cal Baptist at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022. Cassioppi defeated Island in a 285-pound match by fall in two minutes and 13 seconds. The Hawkeyes defeated the Lancers, 42-3.

Kenna Roering, Sports Reporter

The No. 2 Iowa men’s wrestling team will take on No. 21 Penn on Saturday at 2 p.m. inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. 

The dual will be streamed live on BTN+ with former Hawkeye wrestlers Alex Marinelli and Kaleb Young on the call. 

The Hawkeyes are 4-0 with dual wins against Cal Baptist, Army, Sacred Heart, and Buffalo.  The Quakers have not competed in a dual yet but had at least one wrestler finish in the top four of each weight class at the Journeymen Collegiate Classic and finished second as a team at the Keystone Classic.

Saturday’s dual will feature several ranked wrestlers on both squads with four probable ranked matchups at 149, 157, 197, and 285 pounds. 

Iowa 125-pound three-time national champion Spencer Lee, 133-pound Big 12 champion Brody Teske, 141-pound two-time Pac-12 Champion Real Woods, and 174-pounders Nelson Brands and Brennan Swafford are not listed on the probable lineup for Saturday. 

Head coach Tom Brands said they are each day-to-day.

“When they’re ready, they’ll be on the mat,” Brands said in a Zoom press conference on Wednesday. “They wanna go. They are chomping at the bit to get on the mat.” 

Sophomore 133-pounder Cullan Schriever, who is 7-0 on the season, will get a shot against Penn’s No. 10 Michael Colaiocco — a 2022 NCAA qualifier and Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association champion at 133 pounds. 

“I feel better every day and every time out [on the mat] and I’m just excited for another opportunity on Saturday,” Schriever said on Wednesday. 

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The only top-10 matchup comes at 149 pounds. Iowa senior No. 6 Max Murin will battle Penn’s No. 10 Doug Zapf. 

Murin is 4-0 this season with three major decisions and a tech fall. Zapf has one loss on the season — a 5-2 decision to Appalachian State’s No. 4 Jon Jon Millner. 

“It’s my last year, so I don’t want to leave anything off the mat,” Murin said on Wednesday. “Moving forward, I just want to score as many points as I can, start to finish.” 

Iowa 157-pound sophomore No. 29 Cobe Siebrecht entered the InterMat rankings this past week after defeating Army’s No. 28 Nate Lukez, 8-0, on Nov. 17. Siebrecht is projected to face No. 12 Anthony Artalona, who took home titles at the Journeymen Collegiate Classic and Keystone Classic after going 7-0 at 157 pounds. 

“We’ve got to be ready,” Brands said. “Penn is coming to town to beat us, and I know [in the 157-pound match] they’re probably seeing an opportunity to beat us. So, it’s a good opportunity for us to maybe flex our muscles a little bit at that weight class.”

Senior 197-pound No. 2 Jacob Warner suffered his first loss of the season in sudden victory against Missouri’s No. 4 Rocky Elam, 8-6, at the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic on Tuesday. The meet was an exhibition event, however, and the results do not count on any wrestler’s NCAA record or toward the season’s RPI.

Warner is projected to face No. 27 Cole Urbas, who is 9-1 on the season with a third-place finish at the Keystone Classic. Urbas also had the most pins in the least amount of time at the Keystone Classic with three falls in nine minutes and 34 seconds.

Heavyweight senior No. 4 Tony Cassioppi also suffered his first loss of the season to Penn State’s No. 2 Greg Kerklivet, 8-5, at the NWCA All-Star Classic on Tuesday. 

“We’re not in panic mode [after Warner and Cassioppi’s defeat], but we’re not taking our time either,” Brands said. “We have to come out ready to score points … We definitely can be better there.”

Cassioppi, who has pinned every dual opponent thus far, is projected to face No. 24 Ben Goldin on Saturday. Goldin went 4-1 to place third at the Keystone Classic.