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Top-Ranked Nebraska-Omaha Wins Division II National Duals Title
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — The No. 1 UNO wrestling team won its third straight NWCA National Duals title on Sunday with a 17-15 win over No. 3 seed Augustana (S.D.) at the UNI Dome.
The two-time defending champions of the event, the Mavs rallied from a 12-6 deficit by winning three of the last four weight groups to take home their third title in a row. Taylor Escamilla earned a 3-1 decision over Lance Peters at 285 pounds to clinch the thrilling comeback for UNO, the second time on the day that UNO won a dual in the last match.
Morgan then faced off at 141 pounds against Augustana’s Jay Sherer in a rematch of last year’s National Championship match, which Sherer won 3-1 in overtime. Sherer came into the duals ranked first in Division II, with Morgan second. This time around, Morgan got the best of Sherer to get the Mavs on the board.
At 149 pounds, top-ranked Esai Dominguez was upset by Nate Herda, 7-3. The loss was only the second of the year for Dominguez, 24-2. Herda is ranked third in the NWCA Coaches Poll. Dominguez, who had compiled two falls and a major decision on his way to the finals, was not able to get a takedown of Herda, who recorded two of his own.
Trailing 9-3 in the team race, UNO got a big boost from Ivanov, who won an 8-6 decision in overtime over Marcus Edgington. Ivanov rallied from behind to force an overtime period, then earned the sudden victory via a takedown. The win gave Ivanov a perfect 4-0 weekend and improved the sophomore to 17-3 on the year.
UNO fell behind 12-6 when Nathan Sigman was defeated by fifth-ranked Gavin Nelson, 2-0, at 165 pounds, meaning UNO’s last four wrestlers had to come through with points.
Pankoke turned the tide with an 11-1 major decision over Carl Serck. Pankoke recorded three takedowns and earned three near-fall points on his way to the victory that drew the Mavs within 12-10 with three weight groups to go.
Aaron Denson kept the Mavs rolling with a 16-3 major decision over Matt Morris, giving UNO the 14-12 lead heading into the final two matches. Denson earned four takedowns and six near-fall points on his way to improving to 3-1 at the duals and 17-4 overall on the year.
At 197 pounds, second-ranked Tyler Copsey handed the Mavs’ Matt Baker his first loss of the weekend in a 3-2 decision. Baker went 3-1 for the Mavs at the duals to improve to 23-8 on the year. Copsey’s win gave Augustana a 15-14 lead going into the final heavyweight match-up between Escamilla and Peters.
The fifth-ranked Escamilla, who earlier in the day had won a sudden victory match to advance the Mavs to the finals, came through again for UNO, earning the 3-1 decision over Peters to win the trophy for the Mavs. Escamilla recorded a second period escape and takedown to take a 3-0 lead, then held on in the third period for his second huge victory of the day.
NWCA National Duals – Championship Dual
(1) UNO 17, (3) Augustana 15
125 – Alex Meger dec. Cody Tyler (UNO), 11-6
133 – Jason Jeremiason dec. Sim Bribieseca (UNO), 2-0
141 – Mario Morgan (UNO) dec. Jay Sherer, 3-3
149 – Nate Herda dec. Esai Dominguez (UNO), 7-3
157 – George Ivanov (UNO) dec. Marcus Edgington, 8-6
165 – Gavin Nelson dec. Nathan Sigman (UNO), 2-0
174 – Ryan Pankoke (UNO) major dec. Carl Serck, 11-1
184 – Aaron Denson (UNO) major dec. Matt Morris, 16-3
197 – Tyler Copsey dec. Matt Baker (UNO), 3-2
285 – Taylor Escamilla (UNO) dec. Lance Peters, 3-1
UNO Wrestlers – Overall Record (First Round; Quarterfinal; Semifinal; Final)
125 – Cody Tyler – 0-4 (L, MD, 1-11; L, Fall 6:15; L, MD, 8-16; L, Dec. 6-11)
133 – Sim Bribieseca – 0-3 (did not wrestle; L, Dec. 1-2; L, Dec. 2-6; L, Dec. 0-2)
141 – Mario Morgan – 4-0 (W, Fall 5:54; W, Dec. 13-6; W, Dec. 2-0; W, Dec. 3-3)
149 – Esai Dominguez – 3-1 (W, Fall 4:46; W, Fall 5:20; W, MD, 24-10; L, Dec. 3-7)
157 – George Ivanov – 4-0 (W, MD, 11-2; W, Dec. 6-5; W, Dec. 7-1; W, Dec. 8-6)
165 – Nathan Sigman – 1-3 (W, Dec. 4-3, L, Dec. 1-3; L, Fall 2:53; L, Dec. 0-2)
174 – Ryan Pankoke – 4-0 (W, Dec. 8-2; W, Dec. 9-6; W, Dec. 4-2; W, MD 11-1)
184 – Aaron Denson – 3-1 (W, Fall 1:40; W, Dec. 2-1; L, Dec. 1-3; W, MD 16-3)
197 – Matt Baker – 3-1 (W, TF, 18-1 (6:30); W, Dec. 5-4; W, Dec. 5-1; L, Dec. 2-3)
285 – Taylor Escamilla – 2-2 (L, Dec. 5-6; L, Dec. 2-7; W, Dec. 2-1; W, Dec. 3-1)