The ninth-ranked Wisconsin wrestling team closed out the regular season with a 21-13 win over No. 18 Indiana in front of a crowd of 1,112 at the UW Field House. The Badgers took six-of-10 matches to improve to 19-3 overall, and 5-3 in the Big Ten. Senior Tyler Turner (Spring Valley, Wis.), who was honored before the match, closed out his career at home with a win at 149 lbs.
Wisconsin’s 19 wins this season is the most team wins since the 1985-86 season, while its 5-3 mark in the Big Ten is the best for the Badgers since 2003.
In the opening match, sophomore Zach Tanelli (Milburn, N.J.) set the pace for UW with his come-from-behind win over No. 20 Andrae Hernandez at 133 lbs. Tanelli led 2-1 after the first period, but feel behind in the second as Hernandex notched an escape and a takedown.
With the crowd cheering him on, Tanelli scored a takedown with a minute remaining to tighten the score. From there he never lost control, pinning Hernadez at 6:30 to win his fifth Big Ten battle and put UW ahead of the Hoosiers 6-0.
No. 10 Kyle Ruschell (Crittenden, Ky.) extended the Badger lead with an 8-3 decision over Indiana’s Scott Kelly at 141 lbs. Ruschell finished his freshman campaign at 25-6 overall and 6-2 in the Big Ten.
Turner added to Wisconsin’s lead defeating No. 19 Matt Coughlin at 149 lbs. Turner scored first and never looked back, tallying three takedowns, one escape and a bonus point to win 8-3. Turner is 19-5 overall this year and was a perfect 5-0 at home.
Trailing 12-0, IU got on the board at 157 lbs., as No. 7 Brandon Becker upset No. 5 Craig Henning (Chippewa Falls, Wis.). Becker, who has never lost to Henning, earned a reversal early in the second period to go up 2-0. From there, Becker collected over three minutes of riding time, while Henning was unable to score, giving the Hoosier a 3-0 victory.
At 165 lbs., Jake Donar (Cuba City, Wis.) defeated Max Dean for the third time in his career. The match was tight, as neither grappler scored for the first four minutes. Then, Midway through the second period Donar earned an escape, followed by a takedown in the third to win 3-0.
The Hoosiers fought back with a 20-10 major decision victory at 174 lbs., followed by an extremely close 8-7 win at 184 lbs. IU now only trailed by five with three bouts remaining.
At 197 lbs., sophomore Dallas Herbst (Winneconne, Wis.) came from behind to defeat freshman Nate Everhart. Everhart led 4-1 after two periods, but No. 13 Herbst responded in the third with a takedown, a stalling point, and riding time to win 5-4.
In what would be the deciding match, Kyle Massey (Champlin, Minn.) defeated senior Josh Buuck 13-6 at heavyweight. With the Badgers leading 21-10, Collin Cudd (River Falls, Wis.) narrowly lost to No. 9 Angel Escobedo 2-0 at 125 lbs., bringing the final score to 21-13.
Wisconsin Athletic Communications Jana Stough