CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The Iowa wrestling team started its season by winning 25 of 30 matches and recording nine falls and 19 bonus-point victories in wins over Cumberland, No. 17 Virginia and host Tennessee-Chattanooga on Friday.
“That Virginia dual was a scrap, maybe more than we wanted it to be,” coach Tom Brands said. “I don’t know how set our lineup is. We have some good guys at home ready to wrestle tomorrow and we have some good guys here that have to keep working.”
Matt McDonough, Tony Ramos, Mark Ballweg, Derek St. John, Ethen Lofthouse and Bobby Telford all went 3-0 for the second-ranked Hawkeyes.
McDonough, No. 1 at 125 pounds, picked up two falls and defeated two ranked foes, a first-period pin over No. 9 Nick Soto of Chattanooga and a 9-4 decision over No. 5 Matt Snyder of Virginia.
Second-ranked Tony Ramos added two pins and a technical fall at 133 and Ballweg collected three major decisions at 141. Iowa’s lowest three weights went 9-0.
St. John, the top-ranked 157-pounder, earned one decision, one major decision and one technical fall.
Lofthouse captured a pin in his first match at his new weight, 184, and went undefeated in three matches.
Telford, a sophomore, pinned Tyler Smith of Cumberland in 51 seconds. He also pinned Chattanooga’s Kevin Malone in 2:48 after earning a forfeit against Virginia.
No. 4 Mike Evans downed No. 8 Nick Sulzer of Virginia 7-4 at 165 pounds. Nick Moore took over at 165 and won by a 12-3 major decision against Chattanooga.
No. 8 Grant Gambrall, appearing at 174 for the first time in his career, split a pair of overtime decisions to finish 2-1. His lone loss was an overtime setback against No.<TH>9 Jon Fausey of Virginia.
“I expect we’ll see some progress when we return home next weekend,” Brands said, “and we know we have to be ready for a big dual Dec. 1 against Iowa State.”