UNO captures National Duals title
Escamilla wins twice to give Mavs victories in semis and final
Nebraska at Omaha Athletics
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- No. 1 Nebraska at Omaha won its third consecutive NWCA National Duals title on Sunday with a 17-15 win over No. 3 seed Augustana (S.D.) at the UNI Dome.
The Mavs rallied from a 12-6 deficit by winning three of the last four weight groups. Taylor Escamilla earned a 3-1 decision over Lance Peters at 285 pounds to clinch the thrilling comeback, the second time on the day that UNO won a dual in the last match.
Nebraska-Omaha capped the weekend with a perfect 4-0 record in the duals. Mario Morgan, George Ivanov and Ryan Pankoke all went 4-0 on the weekend for the Mavs.
The championship dual started off with Augustana taking an early 6-0 lead. Alex Meger defeated the Mavs' Cody Tyler 11-6 at 125 pounds, then Jason Jeremiason won a 2-0 decision over Sim Bribieseca.
Morgan then faced off at 141 pounds against Augustana's Jay Sherer in a rematch of last year's national championship bout which Sherer won 3-1 in overtime. Sherer came into the duals ranked first in Division II with Morgan second. This time, Morgan got the best of Sherer to get the Mavs on the board.
At 149 pounds, top-ranked Esai Dominguez was upset by Nate Herda, 7-3. The loss was only the second of the year for Dominguez (24-2). Herda is ranked third in the NWCA Coaches Poll. Dominguez, who had compiled two falls and a major decision on his way to the final, was not able to take down Herda, who recorded two of his own.
Trailing 9-3 in the team race, UNO got a big boost from Ivanov, who won an 8-6 decision in overtime over Marcus Edgington. Ivanov rallied from behind to force an overtime period, then earned the sudden victory via a takedown. The win gave Ivanov a perfect 4-0 weekend and improved the sophomore to 17-3 on the year.
UNO fell behind 12-6 when Nathan Sigman was defeated by fifth-ranked Gavin Nelson 2-0 at 165 pounds.
Pankoke turned the tide with an 11-1 major decision over Carl Serck. Pankoke recorded three takedowns and earned three near-fall points on his way to the victory that drew the Mavs within 12-10 with three weight groups remaining.
Aaron Denson kept the Mavs rolling with a 16-3 major decision over Matt Morris, giving UNO the 14-12 lead heading into the final two matches. Denson earned four takedowns and six near-fall points on his way to improving to 3-1 at the duals and 17-4 overall on the year.
At 197 pounds, second-ranked Tyler Copsey handed the Mavs' Matt Baker his first loss of the weekend in a 3-2 decision. Baker went 3-1 for the Mavs at the duals to improve to 23-8 on the year. Copsey's win gave Augustana a 15-14 lead going into the final heavyweight match-up between Escamilla and Peters.
The fifth-ranked Escamilla, who earlier in the day had won a sudden victory match to advance the Mavs to the final, came through again for UNO, earning the 3-1 decision over Peters to win the trophy for the Mavs. Escamilla recorded a second period escape and takedown to take a 3-0 lead, then held on in the third period for his second huge victory of the day.