LINCOLN — After starting the weekend with a loss to top-ranked Minnesota, the Nebraska wrestling team was ready to move on.
“This team has good chemistry,” Nebraska sophomore James Green said. “We know we can bounce back. Friday was a tough meet for us, but that doesn’t mean anything. We have to learn from our mistakes.”
The Huskers bounced back by winning a pair of duals at NU Coliseum on Sunday, defeating North Carolina 25-12 and then downing South Dakota State 32-7. The wins improved the ninth-ranked Huskers to 4-1 in duals this season.
Nebraska lost 27-7 to Minnesota as the Gophers pulled away by winning four consecutive matches by two points each. There weren’t many close matches during Sunday’s duals, but the Huskers did go 4-1 in matches decided by three points or less.
“We have to make some adjustments from Friday night. We have to learn how to win close matches,” NU coach Mark Manning said. “We’re not too far away, but we have to get better.”
Nebraska won Sunday’s duals by dominating the middle and upper weights. All six of Nebraska’s wrestlers from 157 pounds to heavyweight went 2-0 on the day.
Green remained undefeated on the season by controlling his opponents, defeating North Carolina’s Chris Mears 10-3 and SDSU’s Cody Pack 17-6. Green had 11 takedowns on the day.
Green is ranked fifth nationally, and two other nationally ranked Huskers, No. 7 Robert Kokesh (171) and No. 6 Josh Ihnen (184), each recorded pins. Kokesh pinned North Carolina’s Frank Abbondanza in the second period — Kokesh led 13-3 when the pin occurred — and Ihnen pinned SDSU’s Hunter Weddington 1:20 into their match.
Austin Wilson, a redshirt freshman from Hastings, Neb., also won both his matches at 165. Wilson improved to 7-1 in a weight class that has as much depth as many for the Huskers.
“It’s going to be a battle. There’s so many guys battling (at 165),” Manning said. “That’s good. Austin has to keep proving himself.”
Caleb Kolb (197) and heavyweight Donny Longendyke also won twice, but Jake Sueflohn, ranked 13th at 149, lost his first match of the season as SDSU’s Dustin Walraven won a 3-2 decision. Trailing 2-1, Walraven got the deciding takedown with 18 seconds left.
The Huskers won’t wrestle again until Nov. 30 when they compete at the Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas.
Nebraska 25, North Carolina 12
Individual results: 125: Nathan Kraisser, NC, major dec. Eric Coufal, NU, 12-1; 133: Joey Ward, NC, major dec. Shawn Nagel, NU, 14-4; 141: Evan Henderson, NC, major dec. Skylar Galloway, NU, 10-1; 149: Jake Sueflohn, NU, dec. Christian Barber, NC, 8-3; 157: James Green, NU, dec. Chris Mears, NC, 10-3; 165: Austin Wilson, NU, dec. J.M. Staudenmayer, NC, 6-4; 174: Robert Kokesh, NU, pinned Frank Abbondanza, NC, 4:42; 184: Josh Ihnen, NU, dec. Alex Utley, NC, 10-4; 197: Caleb Kolb, NU, dec. Antonio Giorgio, NC, 4-2; HWT: Donny Longendyke, NU, major dec. Jake Barnhart, NC, 9-1.
No. 9 Nebraska 32, South Dakota State 7
Individual results: 125: Aaron Pickrel, SD, major dec. Eric Coufal, NU, 12-4; 133: Shawn Nagel, NU, dec. Brance Simms, SD, 8-2; 141: Skylar Galloway, NU, major dec. Ben Gillette, SD, 14-4; 149: Dustin Walraven, SD, dec. Jake Sueflohn, NU, 3-2; 157: James Green, NU, major dec. Cody Pack, SD, 17-6; 165: Austin Wilson, NU, dec. Joe Brewster, SD, 4-1; 174: Robert Kokesh, NU, tech. fall John Nething, SD, 17-1; 184: Josh Ihnen, NU, pinned Hunter Weddington, SD, 1:20; 197: Caleb Kolb, NU, major dec. Brandon Ballard, SD, 13-4; HWT: Donny Longendyke, NU, dec. J.J. Everard, SD, 6-4.