Wrestling: Cassioppi drops first match of the season as Hawkeyes roll through Michigan

Cody Goodwin
Hawk Central

The top-ranked Iowa wrestling team put forth another workmanlike performance on Saturday night in a 27-9 win over No. 17 Michigan at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor — even if the result included a rough ending for the Hawkeyes’ star heavyweight.

In the dual’s most anticipated match, Tony Cassioppi saw his undefeated season vanish in a loss to Michigan’s second-ranked Mason Parris. Cassioppi, Trackwrestling’s No. 3-ranked 285-pounder, gave up three takedowns and was ultimately pinned in four minutes, 31 seconds.

That left a sour taste in an otherwise dominant Iowa performance.

The Hawkeyes, now 11-0 overall and 8-0 against the Big Ten Conference, won eight of 10 matches against the Wolverines (6-4, 5-2) and dominated in virtually every facet. They scored 26 total takedowns to Michigan’s five and scored more than twice as many total match points (78-38). Six Wolverine wrestlers were held to four points or fewer in their respective matches.

More than half of the Hawkeyes’ takedown total came from Alex Marinelli and Michael Kemerer. Iowa led 12-3 at the intermission after winning four of the first five matches, then Marinelli and Kemerer rolled up back-to-back bonus-point wins to effectively ice the dual.

Marinelli scored eight total takedowns — including four in the first period — on his way to an 18-6 major decision over Reece Hughes at 165. Kemerer followed with eight of his own in a 21-6 technical fall over Max Maylor at 174. Iowa’s 12-3 lead became 21-3 with three matches to go.

Every other match to that point was of the decision variety — including the one at 125 pounds. Iowa’s Spencer Lee scored two takedowns and a set of near-falls in an 8-1 win over Jack Medley. It was the first match this season in which Lee didn’t score bonus points.

Michigan’s Joey Silva followed with a 7-5 win over Paul Glynn, who continues to fill in for Austin DeSanto after his injury against Penn State’s Roman Bravo-Young last week. Silva scored takedowns in the first and third period, which led to riding-time and tied the dual 3-3.

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The Hawkeyes ripped off seven straight victories after Glynn’s loss. Carter Happel again got the nod at 141 and beat Cole Mattin 7-4, thanks to a pair of takedowns. At 149, Pat Lugo defeated Kanen Storr (a former Cyclone wrestler) 2-0 on an escape and riding time. Kaleb Young closed the dual’s first half with three takedowns in a 7-3 win over Will Lewan at 157.

Following’s Kemerer’s victory, Cash Wilcke got the call against Michigan’s 21st-ranked Jelani Embree at 184 pounds over true freshman Abe Assad. Against Embree, Wilcke scored a quick escape and takedown in the second period to win 3-2. Jacob Warner followed with a first-period takedown in tandem with a mean ride to beat Jackson Striggow 4-1.

That put Iowa up 27-3 and gave the floor to Parris and Cassioppi before an announced 3,909 at the Crisler Center. Parris struck first with a takedown and worked to turn Cassioppi, who reversed his bar-arm attempt to tie the match at 2-all in the opening minute. Parris then added an escape and a takedown to lead 5-3 entering the second period.

There, Parris escaped again, and Cassioppi got in on a single-leg shot. But Parris countered with a far-ankle pick that put Cassioppi on his back hip. Parris rolled through for a takedown and turned Cassioppi to his back, securing the fall with 29 seconds left in the second period.

It was a rough ending in what ultimately became another dominant Hawkeye victory, one that clinched a share of the Big Ten regular-season title. Still, the remaining schedule doesn't get much easier. Iowa hosts No. 5 Minnesota (9-5, 4-2) next week in Iowa City, and the talented Gophers are led by top-ranked heavyweight Gable Steveson.

Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.

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No. 1 Iowa 27, No. 17 Michigan 9

  • 125: No. 1 Spencer Lee (IA) dec. No. 16 Jack Medley (MI), 8-1
  • 133: Joey Silva (MI) dec. Paul Glynn (IA), 7-5
  • 141: Carter Happel (IA) dec. No. 29 Cole Mattin (MI), 7-4
  • 149: No. 4 Pat Lugo (IA) dec. No. 11 Kanen Storr (MI), 2-0
  • 157: No. 4 Kaleb Young (IA) dec. No. 8 Will Lewan (MI), 7-3
  • 165: No. 2 Alex Marinelli (IA) maj. dec. Reece Hughes (MI), 18-6
  • 174: No. 1 Michael Kemerer (IA) tech. fall Max Maylor (MI), 21-6
  • 184: Cash Wilcke (IA) dec. No. 21 Jelani Embree (MI), 3-2
  • 197: No. 5 Jacob Warner (IA) dec. No. 29 Jackson Striggow (MI), 4-1
  • 285: No. 2 Mason Parris (MI) over No. 3 Tony Cassioppi (IA) by fall, 4:31

Rankings from Trackwrestling.