Jan. 17, 2010
LINCOLN, Neb. -
On Sunday afternoon in Lincoln, the University of Wyoming wrestling team took the fight to the home team and beat the No. 25-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers by an impressive 19-point margin, 29-10.
Wyoming won the first five matches competed, in addition to receiving a forfeit, en route to a 26-0 lead that they would never relinquish.
No. 9-ranked Shane Onufer at 165 pounds, No. 11-ranked Michael Martinez (125) and true freshman Jimmy Belleville (157) each contributed bonus-point wins to the team score, fueling UW's big early lead. On the day, the `Pokes also got victories from senior Cory VomBaur (133), sophomore Chase Smith (141) and All-American Joe LeBlanc (184).
With the win at NU's Coliseum, Wyoming improves their dual mark to 6-2 overall while Nebraska falls to 8-6.
"As a team I am pleased with how we competed today and this is a big win for our program," UW head coach Mark Branch said. "This was a tough environment to wrestle in, they have great fans and Nebraska is a tradition-rich program that I am very familiar with. So for us to come out and give the effort we did was really good to see. Our guys worked hard and in general, performed well.
"The little things are becoming very important at this time in the season and we did some little things well today. Now we have to move on to the next little thing and focus on it. If we do that we will continue to improve."
Martinez started things off at 125 pounds for the Cowboys with a 12-3 major decision over David Klingsheim. Martinez would get a takedown late in the first period and then control the match from that point on. Another takedown at 6:36 in the third period sealed the bonus-point win for the UW sophomore. He now has a 22-5 overall record.
At 133 pounds, VomBaur then pulled off a low-scoring decision over C.J. Napier, 3-2. Down by one point, he scored a takedown with ten seconds remaining in the match and gave UW a 7-0 team lead.
Chase Smith survived two takedowns at 141 pounds, then produced one of his own in the third period, but a three-point nearfall at 4:00 in the second period by Smith would prove to be the decisive point in his 8-5 decision over Mike Koehnlein.
Wyoming's Cole Dallaserra then received a win by default at 149 pounds taking Wyoming's team lead to 16-0.
Belleville brought the UW bench to their feet at 5:57 in the third period with a win by fall over Tyler Koehn at the 157-pound weight class. He nearly pinned Koehn in the first period and held a 10-2 lead, with riding time, at the time of the fall. It was the first dual win of Belleville's young career.
In a physically dominant effort at 165 pounds, Onufer used five takedowns on his way to a 13-2 major decision over James Nakashima. He gave the `Pokes an insurmountable 26-0 team lead, sealing the dual win. Onufer now has an 18-4 overall record.
Nebraska finally got on the board at 174 pounds when Brock Smith suffered an 8-4 loss to No. 3-ranked, All-American Stephen Dwyer.
LeBlanc had his hands full at 184 pounds with Josh Ihnen, using a valuable riding time point to pull out a 5-4 decision. He leads the team with a 26-3 overall record, 8-0 in duals.
At the 197-pound weight class Alfonso Hernandez faced No. 2-ranked, two-time All-American Craig Brester and lost by major decision 12-1.
Finally, in the heavyweight bout, L.J. Helbig wrestled up in weight versus No. 13 Tucker Lane and lost 7-1.
"Even in the matches we lost, I was proud of our efforts," Branch added. "On the flip side of that, I was also disappointed with our efforts in some matches we won. These are all learning experiences and we need to keep trying to get better each time out."
The Cowboys will now prep for a big weekend on Jan. 29-30 when they host No. 3-ranked Oklahoma State on Friday, and then on Saturday will wrestle Western Wrestling Conference foes Utah Valley and Northern Iowa in Laramie.
Wyoming (WYO) 29, No. 25 Nebraska (NU) 10