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Maryland wrestling loses consecutive Big Ten duals to Wisconsin, Iowa

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The Terps remain winless in the Big Ten and haven’t won a team dual in almost a month.

Maryland wrestling Noah Niederhoffer

The Big Ten hasn’t been very kind to Maryland this year, including this week, as the Terps dropped two straight conference duals to No. 20 Wisconsin and No. 7 Iowa.

The Terps were overmatched in every weight class, except for the heavyweight class, where Youssif Hemida stood out against the Badgers and won in a forfeit against the Hawkeyes.

Thursday evening: Wisconsin 32, Maryland 6

The first dual of the week had Maryland face off against No. 20 Wisconsin. The Badgers (3-0, 1-0 Big Ten) dominated the Terps, winning the first nine matches of the dual to win the overall dual by 26.

Maryland’s only saving grace of the day was heavyweight No. 10 Youssif Hemida’s second straight pin and fifth of the season, improving to 9-0 overall. He pinned Wisconsin’s Ben Stone in just 1:11.

The Badgers threw out four ranked wrestlers against the Terps, but the surprise of the dual was an upset by Eli Stickley over No. 12 Ryan Diehl of Maryland by a 14-1 major decision.

Sunday afternoon: Iowa 40, Maryland 6

For the first time in a month, the Terps returned home to take on No. 7 Iowa on the the Xfinity Center main floor, but were no match for the Hawkeyes.

Sending out five ranked wrestlers, four of which ranked No. 8 or higher, Iowa (7-0, 3-0 Big Ten) was in control the entire dual. Maryland (3-4, 0-4 Big Ten) had no response to the offensive onslaught by the Hawkeyes.

The big matchup of the day, the heavyweight bout between No. 10 Youssif Hemida and No. 7 Sam Stoll, was forfeited by the Hawkeyes. Hemida improved to 10-0 on the season with the forfeit victory.

The overall dual ended up being more lopsided than expected, so to the disappointment of those in attendance, it never happened.

Overall thoughts

Despite the consecutive lopsided losses, head coach Kerry McCoy has a young roster of wrestlers, most with very little experience in the Big Ten. As the season progresses, they will mature into the conference.

“A lot of these guys, it’s their first time ever wrestling Iowa,” McCoy said Sunday. “They went out there expecting the guys to go and run over them.”

It’s tough for a program to jump from an decent wrestling conference in the ACC to the best wrestling conference in the nation in the Big Ten. Maryland is showing bright signs of their future in the conference, starting with Hemida, but the Terps are still looking for their first conference dual win since 2015.

Even though they’ve had trouble so far in the conference, they have a good chance to upset someone before the season’s end.

“We still have some time to improve. It’s all about the mindset,” McCoy said. “That’s really our biggest challenge right now is getting these guys to believe what they’re doing.”

The Terps don’t have another dual until Jan. 5, when they take on No. 2 Ohio State at home. In the meantime, Maryland will be sending wrestlers to the Wilkes Open on Dec. 22, and the Midlands Championships on Dec. 29-30.