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Iowa wrestling 42, Cal-Baptist 3: Three takeaways from the Hawkeyes’ season-opening win


IOWA CITY — There were no surprises in the Iowa wrestling team's 42-3 win over California Baptist on Sunday.

The Hawkeyes, ranked No. 2 in InterMat's Division I poll, wholly dominated even with a lineup that didn't feature all of the program's stars. Iowa won nine of 10 weights and scored oodles of bonus points, led by pins from Cobe Siebrecht at 157 pounds, Jacob Warner at 197, and Tony Cassioppi at heavyweight.

An announced crowd of 14,587 — it looked closer to 8,000-ish — filled Carver-Hawkeye Arena to watch Iowa win its season opener. There is expected to be 14,000-plus, officially, at each of the Hawkeyes' home dates after season tickets sold out for the second straight year. Cal-Baptist is now 1-3 after losing to both Iowa and Iowa State this weekend.

Here's the full box score from Iowa's win over the Lancers:

  • 157: Cobe Siebrecht (IA) pinned Joseph Mora (CBU) in 4:59
  • 165: Patrick Kennedy (IA) tech. fall Mateo De La Pena (CBU), 20-5
  • 174: Drake Rhodes (IA) maj. dec. Zachary Rowe (CBU), 13-4
  • 184: Abe Assad (IA) dec. Peter Acciardi (CBU), 11-4
  • 197: Jacob Warner (IA) pinned Elijah Sobas (CBU) in 0:38
  • 285: Tony Cassioppi (IA) pinned Chris Island (CBU) in 2:13
  • 125: Elijah Griffin (CBU) dec. Aidan Harris (IA), 9-4
  • 133: Brody Teske (IA) dec. Hunter Leake (CBU), 6-4
  • 141: Drew Bennett (IA) maj. dec. Edison Alanis (CBU), 16-5
  • 149: Max Murin (IA) tech. fall Chaz Hallmark (CBU), 25-9

Here are three takeaways from the action:

Brody Teske, Cobe Siebrecht take early leads in lineup battles at 133, 157

Sunday's dual provided some clarity on Iowa's lineup battles at both 133 and 157 pounds.

At 133, Brody Teske got the nod and notched a 6-4 win over Hunter Leake, thanks to takedowns in the second and third periods. The Fort Dodge native called the opportunity to wrestle, and win, inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena a dream come true, but also revealed that he beat Cullan Schriever in a wrestle-off this week to wrestle on Sunday.

Schriever went to the Luther Open on Saturday, where he went 4-0, outscored his opponents 60-16, and scored 17 takedowns while allowing just one. Iowa coach Tom Brands said he likes what he sees in Teske so far, both on and off the mat, but reiterated that Schriever and even Jesse Ybarra are still in contention for that spot.

"133 is starting to iron itself out in the wrestling room," Brands said. "That's not saying that we're decided there, but as we get deeper into the season, things become clearer."

At 157, Cobe Siebrecht got the nod — and was actually the very first match out. He scored a pair of takedowns for an 11-1 lead before locking up a cradle for a pin in the second period. Siebrecht earned the opportunity due to his 7-0 win over Caleb Rathjen during the team's intrasquad matches last week.

Both Siebrecht and Rathjen were listed on Iowa's probable lineups this week and even before Sunday's dual began. Brands said both guys will get matches next week, when the Hawkeyes wrestle at Army West Point on Thursday, then against both Sacred Heart and Buffalo on Friday at the Arm Bar at the Armory event.

So nothing was decided after the first weekend of competition, but both Teske and Siebrecht have taken the early leads in these lineup battles.

True freshman Drake Rhodes looks impressive in Iowa debut

The other lineup spot that is expected be up for grabs is 174, but rather than Nelson Brands or Brennan Swafford getting the start on Sunday — Tom Brands said earlier this week that both are close to returning to action — true freshman Drake Rhodes got the nod and looked mighty impressive in a 13-4 major decision win over Zach Rowe.

Rhodes, a three-time Montana state champ from Billings West, scored five takedowns in his official Hawkeye debut, including one in the second period that ended with a finger on his left hand momentarily popping out of place. He scored two takedowns in the first period for a 4-1 lead, then two more in the third to secure bonus points. His final takedown came with three seconds left on the clock and brought the rowdy Iowa crowd to its feet.

"Felt good," Rhodes said. "A lot of places I need to improve, but thought I did pretty well, overall."

As a true freshman, this counts as Rhodes' first of five available dates on which he can compete and still maintain redshirt status. His performance, though over a guy who began this season with a 17-26 career collegiate record, was encouraging — and perhaps even impressive when you consider that Rhodes is listed at 165.

"Rhodes is great," Tom Brands said. "Rhodes' finger was pointed 90 degrees the wrong way. But Rhodes is tough. To handle it the way he did, awesome. That's what you're supposed to do. When you get an opportunity, you make the most of it."

Rhodes will likely emerge as an option for future Iowa lineups if his development continues — and he might also see more time in spots this season if he continues to perform like he did on Sunday.

A no-nonsense season opener for the Hawkeyes

The rest of the dual was no-nonsense from the Hawkeyes, a solid first step for a team that has big plans for the 2022-23 season, which is what you want to see from the second-best team in the country.

Warner and Cassioppi recorded back-to-back pins — Warner in 38 seconds before the intermission, then Cassioppi in 2:13 out of the break. Assad secured a workmanlike 11-4 win over Peter Acciardi, who spent all match frustrating Assad the same way he spent seven minutes frustrating Iowa State's Marcus Coleman on Saturday night in Ames.

Max Murin and Patrick Kennedy both won by technical fall. Murin actually trailed 6-4 after getting reversed to his back in the first period, but fought off and ultimately scored six takedowns in a 25-9 win. Kennedy scored seven takedowns in a 20-5 win. In all, Iowa outscored Cal-Baptist 112-42 in total match points 36-2 in total takedowns.

Drew Bennett, who's going in lieu of Real Woods for now, scored seven takedowns in a 16-5 major at 141, ensuring that Fort Dodge went 2-0 for Iowa on Sunday. The only hiccup came at 125, where Aidan Harris, an Iowa Central transfer, lost 8-4 to Eli Griffin, who went 2-0 this weekend after beating Iowa State's Kysen Terukina on Saturday.

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