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Huskers put three in NCAA wrestling quarterfinals

March 22, 2019

Nebraska has two national quarterfinalists who were expected to be there at the beginning of the year.

It also has one who was not.

The three quarterfinalists have vaulted Nebraska to a tie for eighth place with 16 points after one day of competition at the NCAA wrestling tournament in Pittsburgh.

No. 7 Isaiah White (165 pounds) and No. 2 Tyler Berger (157) both pushed past opponents in the second round of action to advance to the quarterfinals.

White will face longtime foe and two-time national champion, No. 2 Vincenzo Joseph of Penn State, in the quarterfinals Friday.

Joseph beat White in a 4-2 sudden-victory match in last year’s 165-pound quarterfinals.

Berger will wrestle Old Dominion’s No. 7 Larry Early on Friday after pinning Illinois’ No. 15 Eric Barone on Thursday night.

The third Husker quarterfinalist, and the somewhat surprising one, is a 174-pound redshirt freshman, No. 10 Mikey Labriola.

Labriola pulled off a small upset over No. 7 Jacobe Smith, of Oklahoma State, with an 8-4 decision in the second round. He converted on an escape, takedown and two near-fall points with less than 30 seconds left in the second period.

The other five Nebraska national qualifiers had mixed performances.

NU went 6-2 in the opening round of action, the only losses coming from David Jensen (285) and Zeke Moisey (125), but suffered three losses in the second round.

No. 16 Chad Red (141), No. 9 Taylor Venz (184) and No. 14 Eric Schultz (197) all suffered losses in the second round.

Moisey’s senior season ended in disappointment.

He lost both matches Thursday and was eliminated from the competition after battling a right shoulder injury the past month. Moisey transferred to Nebraska for his senior season after a national runner-up season in 2015 and an eighth-place finish last season for West Virginia.

No. 17 Jensen stayed alive in the first round of consolations, after his first-round loss to Ohio State’s Chase Singletary, with a 3-0 decision over West Virginia’s Brandon Ngati.

Six of the top eight in the team race after day one are from the Big Ten, with Penn State leading with 32½ points.