MADISON, Wis. -- The Wisconsin wrestling team (1-0) got its season started on a winning note Sunday, taking down No. 25 Hofstra (0-2), 18-13, in a thrilling dual at the UW Field House.
After a disappointing 2011-12 campaign for the Badgers, heavyweight Cole Tobin - whose 4-3 win by decison clinched the meet for Wisconsin - said knocking off a team like Hofstra is a great start for UW.
"Getting off on a good start against a tough team like that, that was ranked, was a good momentum boost for the rest of the season," Tobin said.
• In his first match for the Badgers since the 2010-11 season, No. 3 Tyler Graff scored a 5-3 win by decision over No. 13 Luke Vaith in the 141 lbs. match.
• Wisconsin completed its comeback with three-straight match wins by Dylan Iczkowski, Jackson Hein and Cole Tobin to win the dual.
• Cole Schmitt earned the Badgers' other win on the day at 149 lbs.
Coming into the meet it was Connor Medbery, not Tobin, that was scheduled to wrestle at heavyweight for the Badgers, but with Medbery not feeling well Tobin was forced into the lineup and ended up providing a big win for Wisconsin.
Wisconsin head coach Barry Davis said that he and his staff called Tobin, who was at the library studying, around 10 a.m. Sunday morning to tell him he was in the lineup.
"We called him and said, `hey, you need to close your books and get over here for this meet,'" Davis said. "And he responded really, really well."
The Badgers found themselves down, 13-9, after seven matches, but found the momentum swinging in their favor after the 184 lbs. match between Dylan Iczkowski and Hofstra's Taras Luzhnyy.
In one of many close, hard fought matches on the afternoon, Iczkowki beat Luzhnyy by decision, 8-5, which Davis called the turning point of the dual.
"Dylan came through with a big win for us," Davis said. "As the match went on he built more confidence.
"Dylan never won a state title, and is a kid no one even expected to be in our lineup, and he came out with a big win today," he added.
Iczkowski's victory was the first of three-straight match wins for Wisconsin. Jackson Hein followed with a 12-5 decision win over Victor Pozsonyi to give the Badgers the team score lead, 15-13. Davis said that the momentum from those matches carried into the decisive heavyweight bout where Tobin sealed the Wisconsin win with a 4-3 win by decision over Paul Snyder.
Tobin said he could feel the fans getting behind him, and that gave him the push he needed to pull out the win.
"It gives you that extra adrenaline boost to wrestle to your maximum ability," he said.
Wisconsin's offensive play, especially getting to the opponent's legs, riding and finishing, impressed Davis against the Pride, and with those improvements he said his team is off to a promising start.
"We're starting off on the right foot. Hopefully we continue to move forward and build," he said.
Wisconsin returns to action next weekend with a pair of duals on the road in Virginia. The Badgers will face Old Dominion Friday, Nov. 16, and Virginia Tech Sunday, Nov. 18.
125 #4 Steve Bonanno (HOF) maj. dec. Matt Cavallaris (WIS), 12-3 4 0
133 #15 Jamie Franco (HOF) dec. Tom Kelliher (WIS), 9-7 7 0
141 #3 Tyler Graff (WIS) dec. #13 Luke Vaith (HOF), 5-3 7 3
149 Cole Schmitt (WIS) dec. Matt Spataro (HOF), 3-0 7 6
157 Tyler Banks (HOF) dec. Alex Yde (WIS), 6-2 10 6
165 Frank Cousins (WIS) dec. Nick Terdick (HOF), 9-7 10 9
174 Jermaine John (HOF) dec. Scott Liegel (WIS), 3-2 13 9
184 Dylan Iczkowski (WIS) dec. Taras Luzhnyy (HOF), 8-5 13 12
197 Jackson Hein (WIS) dec. Victor Pozsonyi (HOF), 12-5 13 15
HWT Cole Tobin (WIS) dec. Paul Snyder (HOF), 4-3 13 18