IU wrestling began its 2016-2017 campaign in bouts against San Francisco State and Cal Poly as apart of a double dual in Cal Poly’s gym.
The Hoosiers came away with a split by defeating the San Francisco State Gators 39-7 and dropping a close match to Cal Poly, 19-18, on tiebreaker criteria.
Against the Gators, IU started aggressive winning eight of the ten matches, including a 4-1 mark from freshmen experiencing their first collegiate match with the Hoosiers.
Freshman Devin Skatzka recorded four pins last season in unattached competition, and he added to that list Thursday night.
Skatzka found a pin in just 1:38 to take down the Gators’ Mike Marshall in route to his first win of the season.
After a smooth victory against the Division II Gators, IU had to turn around and faceoff against Cal Poly out of the Pac-12.
Sophomore Elijah Oliver got the team off to a strong start, recording his first pin of the season against Cal Poly’s David Gonzalez to secure a 2-0 start to his young season and gave IU an early 6-0 lead.
Despite the quality start, IU found themselves down 12-9 with four matches to go and Skatzka taking the mat. He went on to create a series of takedowns in route to a 10-7 victory to square the match at 12.
Senior Nate Jackson took the mat next with eyes on giving the Hoosiers the lead with two matches to go.
Prior to the start of the season, Jackson said he had a goal of not having a lot of close matches this season and wanting to dominate the competition. He achieved that goal against both the Gators and the Mustangs.
After three years as a Hoosier wrestler, Jackson had just eight pins. To start the season, Jackson added two more to that list and his second pin of the night gave the Hoosiers a much needed 18-12 lead with just two matches to go.
Freshman Norman Conley and sophomore Fletcher Miller went on to drop close matches, tying the score up at 18 with zero matches remaining.
In the situation of a tie, the NCAA goes to a series of tiebreaker criteria to determine the victor. The first tiebreaker is win total, the Mustangs led 6-4, which gave Cal Poly the victory over the Hoosiers.
IU returns home with two weeks of prep before traveling to Fairfax, Virginia to take the mat against George Mason for just the second time in program history.