Missouri's Daniel Lewis secured a fall to give the Missouri Tigers the victory (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens.com)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Sixth-ranked Mizzou Wrestling entered the final bout of its dual against Virginia in unfamiliar territory, trailing 21-17. Needing bonus points to win or tie the match, fourth-ranked 174-pounder Daniel Lewis earned a pin 1:14 into the opening period to give Mizzou a come-from-behind, 23-21 win, moving its winning streak to 26 consecutive duals. That streak dates back to the 2016-17 season. Mizzou improves to a perfect 6-0 this season.
The dual was contested at Park Hill High School in Kansas City, Mo., the alma mater of Mizzou 133-pounder John Erneste. Erneste was one of five Mizzou wrestlers to earn wins as the team claimed points at 133, 141, 149, 174 and 184 pounds. Four of the five wins earned bonus points for the Tigers, including pins from Lewis and Jaydin Eierman (141), which was a key factor in the team score.
"We kind of struggled in a couple of matches, ones we felt we should have had," head coach Brian Smith said. "I knew Virginia was coming to wrestle. They pulled a couple kids out of redshirt. Last year we had a dual with them that went down to the wire. They seem to have our number a little bit. When I was sitting with Daniel before the match, he was complaining that we were ending the match at 174 pounds. After his pin, I looked at him and told him: that that was why we wanted him last."
The dual started a 184 pounds and RS junior Dylan Wisman came out and set the tone for Mizzou, winning his ninth consecutive bout by major decision, 10-2. During his personal nine-bout win streak, he has earned bonus points in eight.
At 197, Wyatt Koelling went toe-to-toe with the nation's eighth-ranked wrestler, Jay Aiello. He scored a big-time reversal with less than a minute remaining in the third period and forced overtime, but Aiello scored a takedown midway through the frame to earn the win. That was the first of three straight wins for Virginia, which opened a 12-4 lead after a pin by Jack Mueller over Mizzou's Dack Punke at 125.
Erneste then stole the show in front of his hometown crowd with a dominant, 9-0 major decision win over Louie Hayes, doing so in his old high school gym. He was dominant throughout the bout and exited the mat to a standing ovation. More importantly it cut Virginia's lead to 12-8 moving to 141 pounds.
Eierman then ignited the capacity crowd with his fifth pin of the season, giving Mizzou the lead back at 14-12. Brock Mauller then improved to 16-1 in his true freshman season with a 4-0 win at 149. Another true freshman, Jarrett Jacques then took the mat and led, 7-4, moving to the third, but was pinned with just 25 second remaining as Virginia regained the lead, 18-17, with two bouts remaining.
Virginia claimed a win a 165 as Luke Fortuna lost a 6-1 decision to No. 18 Cam Coy. That set the stage for Lewis, who earned an early takedown and quickly turned it into the match-winning pin.
184 Pounds - Dylan Wisman (10-4) vs. Will Schany (12-8) - W, 10-2 - | 4-0
197 Pounds - Wyatt Koelling (8-6) vs. No. 8 Jay Aiello (10-3) - L, 11-9 (SV-1) | 4-3
Heavyweight - No. 11 Zach Elam (14-2) vs. Quinn Miller (5-4) - L, 6-3 | 4-6
125 Pounds - Dack Punke (1-3) vs. Jack Mueller (1-0) - L, Fall (2:55) | 4-12
133 Pounds - No. 9 John Erneste (8-1) vs. Louie Hayes (7-3) - W, 9-0 (MD) | 8-12
141 Pounds - No. 3 Jaydin Eierman (10-1) vs. Gray Hart (8-6) - W, Fall (2:19) | 14-12
149 Pounds - Brock Mauller (16-1) vs. Michael Murphy (3-3) - W, 4-0 | 17-12
157 Pounds - Jarrett Jacques (13-5) vs. Jake Keating (8-5) - L, Fall (6:25) | 17-18
165 Pounds - Luke Fortuna (3-7) vs. No. 18 Cam Coy (11-5) - L, 6-1 | 17-21
174 Pounds - No. 4 Daniel Lewis (10-1) vs. Drew Peck (9-3) - W, Fall (1:14) | 23-21
Mizzou will be off over the holiday before heading to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for the South Beach Duals from Dec. 29-30. Mizzou will wrestle Lehigh and Kent State that Saturday before wrestling Purdue and Cornell Sunday. For all the latest on Mizzou Wrestling, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on social media (@MizzouWrestling on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook).