CEDAR FALLS — It may have been an icy senior night in the West Gym for the University of Northern Iowa wrestling team, but coach Doug Schwab is looking for more fire after a 27-9 loss against Missouri on Sunday.
“Missouri came in to prove a point,” Schwab said on Monday. “We’re in their conference now and they were fired up. It got my blood boiling, but it doesn’t matter if it gets my blood boiling. It has to get our guys’ blood boiling. (Missouri) started off the rivalry and put it in their favor.”
The Panthers had just two wins in the dual, a much different outcome than when UNI faced Missouri at the Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas on Dec. 1.
“It’s not something we like to see happen,” Schwab said. “(David) Bonin had beaten his guy before in Las Vegas. Cody (Caldwell) had beaten his guy out in Vegas. To see those guys turn those matches around, that’s not what we want. We want to see the gap get widened in our favor.
“We just have to get back to work. The stretch run is coming, and we just need to have more energy.”
UNI has three more matches on the road before Feb. 17, the start date of the NWCA National Duals.
“Our shape is not going to be the issue,” Schwab said. “It’s going to be feeling good mentally and getting those guys feeling like they can get off the bottom. We told our guys they have to be sick and tired of being sick and tired and not liking the results they have enough to make a change.
“I’m not worried about shape at all. I’m worried about our wrestling being in tune.”
The Panthers return to the mat Friday, wrestling at South Dakota State.
Jake Bemis is a UNI senior, who also DJs a spectacular radio show in Cedar Falls.