No. 15 Nebraska Falls at No. 4 Michigan
Photo Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie - USA TODAY Sports

Huskers Finish Fifth at Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational

December 04, 2017

The young Nebraska wrestling squad proved it can compete with the nation’s top teams after a fifth-place team finish at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational this past weekend.

Five Huskers finished on the podium, including No. 11 Isaiah White (165) and Taylor Venz (184), who both finished third in their respective weight classes.

No. 7 Chad Red Jr. (141) and No. 4 Tyler Berger (157) each finished in fourth place.

Nebraska’s final place finisher was No. 5 Colton McCrystal (149). McCrystal finished in sixth place.

No. 2 Ohio State took home the title for the second straight season, totaling 155.5 points and three first-place finishers.

No. 13 Nebraska totaled 100.5 points, finishing ahead of No. 11 Virginia Tech with 89.5 points.

The highly competitive tournament featured more than 100 nationally ranked wrestlers and 14 of the top-25 teams in the InterMat tournament rankings.

The Huskers got off to a quick start on Friday, earning bonus points in 12 of their 24 wins.

Four of those bonus-point victories came from Venz, an unranked redshirt freshman, who pinned each of his four opponents to advance to Saturday’s semifinal round.

After pinning his first opponent, Joshua Murphy of Drexel, in 14 seconds, Venz wasted no time in his second match, pinning Andrew Psomas of Columbia in just 12 seconds. Both times were the quickest by any Nebraska wrestler this season.

Venz needed a few minutes to pin his next two opponents, both of which rank inside the top-10 in the 184-pounds weight class. Venz pinned No. 7 Drew Foster of Northern Iowa in 2:44, and in the quarterfinals, Venz pinned No. 8 Jordan Ellingwood of Central Michigan in 4:26.

The series of pins continued Venz’s blistering start to the season.

With his quarterfinal victory, Venz improved to 10-0, with all 10 victories coming by way of bonus points. Seven of those victories came by falls, two by technical falls and one by major decision.

Venz was one of four Huskers who advanced to the semifinals.

Berger had a different route to the semifinal round. Three of his four victories came in sudden victory.

White was Nebraska’s lone wrestler still alive in the consolation bracket after the first day of competition.

Kris Williams (125), Brian Peska (133), Beau Breske (174), Eric Schultz (197) and David Jensen (HWT) were all eliminated. All five wrestlers earned at least one victory.

After a bye in the Round of 64, Schultz, a redshirt freshman, faced the top-ranked wrestler nationally in the 197-pound weight class: Kollin Moore of Ohio State.

Schultz pushed Moore, who finished third at the 2017 NCAA Championships, to the brink, but it was Moore who had his hand raised with a 3-2 decision.

As a team, Nebraska was in third place after day one.

The Huskers’ momentum slowed in the second day of competition. Nebraska went 0-4 in the important semifinal round, sending all of its wrestlers to the consolation brackets.

One of the four wrestlers to lose was Venz. His first loss of the season came against No. 2 Myles Martin of Ohio State. Martin defeated Venz by technical fall 19-4.

Berger and McCrystal also lost their first matches of the season.

Berger dropped a 9-3 decision against No. 11 Alec Pantaleo of Michigan. McCrystal lost a 12-0 major decision against No. 5 Justin Oliver of Central Michigan. McCrystal did not compete in the final two matches with a medical forfeit in both.

On a positive note, White stormed his way through the consolation bracket, winning all four of his matches on Saturday. White won three matches by decision and one by way of medical forfeit.

Each of his three decision wins were against ranked opponents. White defeated No. 12 Branson Ashworth of Wyoming for the second time this season, 4-2. In the consolation round of four, White defeated No. 19 Jon Jay Chavez of Cornell, 6-5.

In the third-place match, White avenged his quarterfinal loss by defeating No. 7 Te’Shan Campbell of Ohio State, 4-1.

In total, White finished 5-1 against ranked opponents during the tournament.

Venz bounced back from his semifinal defeat by knocking off two ranked opponents of his own. In the consolation semifinals, Venz defeated No. 11 Ricky Robertson of Wisconsin by decision 8-3.

In the third place match, Venz earned perhaps his best win of the season, defeating No. 6 Zack Zavatsky of Virginia Tech.

As a team, Nebraska finished with an 8-8 record on Saturday after going a combined 24-11 on Friday.

Nebraska has some time off before returning to action on Dec. 15 to host No. 6 North Carolina State at the Devaney Center. The Huskers will also host North Carolina on Dec. 17.


Match Results

125: Kris Williams – DNP (1-2)

Round of 64: Bye

Round of 32: Kris Williams (Nebraska) dec. Gage Curry (American), 8-5

Round of 16 1: #8 Sean Russell (Edinboro) sv-1 Kris Williams (Nebraska), 6-4

Cons. Round of 16 2: #15 Louie Hayes (Virginia) dec. Kris Williams (Nebraska), 4-2

133: Brian Peska – DNP (1-2)

Round of 64: Isaac Jimenez (Air Force) dec. Brian Peska (Nebraska), 10-3

Cons. Round of 32: Brian Peska (Nebraska) major dec. Ryan Friedman (Harvard), 12-1

Cons. Round of 16 1: #16 Cam Sykora (North Dakota State) tech. fall Brian Peska (Nebraska), 17-1

141: #7 Chad Red Jr. – 4th (5-2)

Round of 64: #7 Chad Red Jr. (Nebraska) pin A.J. Jaffe (Harvard), 7:00

Round of 32: #7 Chad Red Jr. (Nebraska) pin Sam Hampton (North Dakota State), 0:54

Round of 16: #7 Chad Red Jr. (Nebraska) dec. Brent Moore (Virginia Tech), 4-2

Quarterfinals: #7 Chad Red Jr. (Nebraska) dec. Eli Stickley (Wisconsin), 7-5

Semifinals:  #13 Josh Alber (Northern Iowa) dec. #7 Chad Red Jr. (Nebraska), 3-2

Cons. Semifinals: #7 Chad Red Jr. (Nebraska) m. for. Nick Zanetta (Pittsburgh)

Third-Place Match: #3 Bryce Meredith (Wyoming) dec. #7 Chad Red Jr. (Nebraska), 5-3

149: #5 Colton McCrystal – 6th (3-3) 

Round of 64: Bye

Round of 32: #5 Colton McCrystal (Nebraska) tech. fall Matt Lattanze (Brown), 22-7

Round of 16: #5 Colton McCrystal (Nebraska) dec. Kyle Gliva (North Dakota State), 7-5

Quarterfinals: #5 Colton McCrystal (Nebraska) dec. #18 Zander Wick (Wisconsin), 11-10

Semifinals: #6 Justin Oliver (Central Michigan) major dec. #5 Colton McCrystal (Nebraska), 12-0

Cons. Semifinals: #8 Ke-Shawn Hayes (Ohio State) m. for. #5 Colton McCrystal (Nebraska)

Fifth-Place Match: #12 Josh Maruca (Arizona State) m. for. #5 Colton McCrystal (Nebraska)

157: #4 Tyler Berger – 4th (5-2)

Round of 64: #4 Tyler Berger (Nebraska) sv-1 Kennedy Monday (North Carolina), 7-5

Round of 32: #4 Tyler Berger (Nebraska) major dec. Seth Harrington (Nebraska-Kearney), 12-3

Round of 16: #4 Tyler Berger (Nebraska) sv-1 Justin Thomas (Oklahoma), 7-5

Quarterfinals: #4 Tyler Berger (Nebraska) sv-1 #19 Taleb Rahmani (Pittsburgh), 7-5

Semifinals: #11 Alec Pantaleo (Michigan) dec. #4 Tyler Berger (Nebraska), 9-3

Cons. Semifinals: #4 Tyler Berger (Nebraska) dec. #20 Archie Colgan (Wyoming), 6-4

Third-Place Match: #5 Josh Shields (Arizona State) dec. #4 Tyler Berger (Nebraska), 6-4

165: #11 Isaiah White – 3rd (6-1)

Round of 64: Bye

Round of 32: #11 Isaiah White (Nebraska) tech. fall Isaac Bast (Kent State), 20-1

Round of 16: #11 Isaiah White (Nebraska) dec. #20 Lorenzo De La Riva (CSU Bakersfield), 10-6

Quarterfinals: #7 Te’Shan Campbell (Ohio State) dec. #11 Isaiah White (Nebraska), 3-1

Cons. Round of 8 2: #11 Isaiah White (Nebraska) dec. #12 Branson Ashworth (Wyoming), 4-2

Cons. Round of 4: #11 Isaiah White (Nebraska) dec. #18 Jon Jay Chavez (Cornell), 6-5

Cons. Semifinals: #11 Isaiah White (Nebraska) m. for. #9 Nick Wanzek (Minnesota)

Third-Place Match: #11 Isaiah White (Nebraska) dec. #7 Te'Shan Campbell (Ohio State), 4-1

174: Beau Breske – DNP (1-2)

Round of 64: Matt Wilhelm (Cal Poly) dec. Beau Breske (Nebraska), 3-1

Cons. Round of 32: Beau Breske (Nebraska) tech fall. Austin Bell (Pittsburgh), 20-3

Cons. Round of 16 1: Beau Breske (Nebraska) dec. #17 Ben Harvey (Army West Point), 3-2

Cons. Round of 16 2: Ryan Christensen (Wisconsin) dec. Beau Breske (Nebraska), 2-0

184: Taylor Venz – 3rd (6-1)

Round of 64: Taylor Venz (Nebraska) pin Joshua Murphy (Drexel), 0:14

Round of 32: Taylor Venz (Nebraska) pin Andrew Psomas (Columbia), 0:12

Round of 16: Taylor Venz (Nebraska) pin #7 Drew Foster (Northern Iowa), 2:44

Quarterfinals: Taylor Venz (Nebraska) pin #8 Jordan Ellingwood (Central Michigan), 4:26

Semifinals: #2 Myles Martin (Ohio State) tech. fall Taylor Venz (Nebraska), 19-4

Cons. Semifinals: Taylor Venz (Nebraska) dec. #11 Ricky Robertson (Wisconsin), 8-3

Third-Place Match: Taylor Venz (Nebraska) dec. #6 Zack Zavatsky (Virginia Tech), 9-3

197: Eric Schultz – DNP (3-2)

Round of 64: Bye Round of 32: #1 Kollin Moore (Ohio State) dec. Eric Schultz (Nebraska), 3-2

Cons. Round of 32: Eric Schultz (Nebraska) dec. Jay Aiello (Virginia), 7-4

Cons. Round of 16 1: Eric Schultz (Nebraska) dec. Jordan Atienza (Central Michigan), 5-4

Cons. Round of 16 2: Eric Schultz (Nebraska) def. Derek Hillman (Eastern Michigan)

Cons. Round of 8 1: #5 Kevin Beazley (Michigan) dec. Eric Schultz (Nebraska), 11-5

HWT: David Jensen – DNP (1-2)

Round of 64: Bye

Round of 32: David Jensen (Nebraska) pin Dustin Dennison (Utah Valley), 6:52

Round of 16: #18 Gage Hutchison (Eastern Michigan) pin David Jensen (Nebraska), 0:18

Cons. Round of 16 2: Jeremy Sweany (Cornell) major dec. David Jensen (Nebraska), 10-2

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