ANKENY - In five years, only one team not named Iowa City West has won the boys' team tennis state championship in Class 2A.
The Trojans' daunting tennis legacy only makes the latest opportunity more enticing for Linn-Mar.
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IOWA CITY — Tom Brands was feeling pretty good Friday night, as good as the Iowa wrestling coach can feel after a dominating dual meet victory.
“A lot of good things going on right now,” he said with the glimpse of a smile.
He had good reason to enjoy this night in from of 8,521 fans at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
His second-ranked Hawkeyes celebrated Senior Night with a crushing, 45-0, win over No. 20 Indiana, scoring a whopping 33 takedowns and giving up just three. All four seniors in the lineup won, three with bonus points — Brody Grothus by pin, Edwin Cooper, Jr., by major and Nathan Burak by technical fall.
It was the fourth shutout this season and it wrapped up a share of the Big Ten dual title.
But, as you can guess, it wasn’t perfect.
Top-ranked Brandon Sorensen couldn’t get his offense on track in a 4-1 win over Luke Blanton at 149 pounds and Alex Meyer fell behind 6-3 in the first period before pulling out an 8-7 win over Nate Jackson in the night’s featured bout at 174.
“We’ve got to put full matches together,” Brands said.
But, still, 96 match points to Indiana’s 30?
“Good stuff all the way around,” Brands said.
After a forfeit in the opening match at 133, Grothus got the night rocking by decking Tommy Cash in 2 minutes, 30 seconds at 141. It was the first pin of his career at CHA.
“Right away, I could get to the body lock.” Grothus said. “Once you get double-under like that, you’re licking your chops and ready to launch him.”
Sorensen’s win made it 15-0, then Cooper rode four takedowns and a four-point nearfall to a 13-1 win over Jake Danishek at 157. It was 22-0 at the break after Patrick Rhoads, the fourth senior in the lineup, topped Bryce Martin, 4-2, at 165.
Meyer opened the second half of the dual with a thrilling come-from-behind win over the 11th-ranked Jackson, locking up the top seed in the Big Ten tournament.
“The first period was terrible, that’s all there is to it,” Meyer said.
He said it was just like practice after that, get out and make things go your way.
“People don’t want to wrestle seven minutes,” he said. “They want the easy way out. It wasn’t going to be easy.”
Sammy Brooks and Nathan Burak followed with dominating technical falls, Brooks getting his 23-8 win on a riding time point at the end and Burak ending his match, 23-6, at the end of the second period.
“I didn’t feel the best last weekend,” Burak said. “I wanted to get back on track.”
Sam Stoll and Thomas Gilman finished the night with a pin and major at heavyweight and 125, respectively.
AT CARVER-HAWKEYE ARENA
Iowa 45, Indiana 0
(Individual takedowns in parentheses)
133 — Cory Clark (I) won by forfeit; 141 — Brody Grothus (I) pinned Tommy Cash, 2:30 (2,0); 149 — Brandon Sorensen (I) dec. Luke Blanton, 4-1 (1,0); 157 — Edwin Cooper Jr. (I) dec. Jake Danishek, 13-1 (4,0); 165 — Patrick Rhoads (I) dec. Bryce Martin, 4-2 (2,0); 174 — Alex Meyer (I) dec. Nate Jackson, 8-7 (2,3); 184 — Sammy Brooks (I) tech. fall over Matt Irick, 23-8, 7:00 (10,0); 197 — Nathan Burak (I) tech. fall over Jake Masengale, 23-6, 5:00 (8,0); Hwt. — Sam Stoll (I) pinned Fletcher Miller, 3:26 (1,0); 125 — Thomas Gilman (I) dec. Elijah Oliver, 12-4 (3,0)
TOTALS: Takedowns — Iowa 33, Indiana 3; Reversals — Iowa 3, Indiana 1; Escapes — Iowa 7, Indiana 22; Nearfall points — Iowa 10, Indiana 0; Penalty points awarded — Iowa 3, Indiana 0; Riding time points — Iowa 4, Indiana 0; Total match points — Iowa 96, Indiana 30
Referees — Matt Sorochinsky, Kent Sesker; A — 8.521
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