Men's Sports

WRESTLING PREVIEW: What makes this weekend important for the surging Cyclones

Iowa State wrestling has momentum

The Cyclones are 6-1, 3-0 in Big 12 and are set for a massive weekend that will serve as a measuring stick as to how far the program has come in the second year under Kevin Dresser.

Tonight, it’s a home date with Oklahoma.

On Sunday, a road trip to No. 3 Oklahoma State.

These two matches are crucial.

Why?

The Cyclones one and only loss of the season so far came to No. 4 Iowa in Carver Hawkeye Arena. That is the last time Dresser and his team faced a top five program.

Iowa State hasn’t beat Oklahoma since 2015 and Oklahoma State since 2010.

“I think we’re ready for a good test right now,” Dresser said.

No. 15 Iowa State has seven individually ranked wrestlers and looks better on paper than unranked Oklahoma, who only has two individually ranked wrestlers. The Sooners have had an up and down season so there is no guarantee what team will show up to challenge the Cyclones.

“Oklahoma is a team that you can’t sleep on,” Dresser said. “On paper we might be a slight favorite but again, it’s a team we can’t sleep on and we have to be ready to go. They’re a well coached team.”

Dresser and his team have held a mentality to focus on the challenge at hand and look to the next one when you get there. Oklahoma State can’t cross their minds until after that last bell goes off Friday night.

“I’m excited for that and it’s another opportunity to be in our home arena and compete in front of our fans,” assistant coach Brent Metcalf said. “They’re probably one of the stiffer opponents we’ve had. Definitely the best opponent we’ve had in our arena this year.”

The Cyclones are undefeated at home this season.

“They’re going to be well conditioned and we need to make sure we’re in there for all seven minutes,” Dresser said. “That’s probably the main takeaway from Oklahoma.”

Sunday will be a different animal.

“Sunday is obviously something that we’ve circled on our calendar twice when you normally circle things once,” Dresser said. “It’s an exciting opportunity to get to go to Stillwater and wrestle a team that’s really good.”

No. 3 Oklahoma State will bring a stacked roster of ranked individuals to challenge Iowa State top to bottom.

“To me, it’s another version of where we started back at Iowa. You’ve got the type of team that has really good guys at every single weight and it’s one of those where we’re going to have to go in and fight for every point, every position,” said Metcalf. “Just go in and battle and believe in yourself. If we go in and do that I think we can see some good things can happen for us.”

The entire Iowa State roster has shown that moral victories are hogwash.

When the Cyclones lost to No. 4 Iowa by one point, there were no smiles in Iowa State’s locker room.

Competing against a Big 12 rival in the top-5 who currently leads the all-time seriesĀ 20-59-3 holds more weight for the Cyclones as they hope to compete well in Hilton hitting the road once again.

“There’s been a lot of consistency so the level has been raised as far as the guy on the other side of the mat goes. Can you still bring that consistency when things get hard?” Metcalf said. “We’ve answered the bell and now we’re going to step in with another really great team to see if we can keep answering that bell.”

Jacqueline Cordova

author

Jacqueline graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Journalism. She is currently the Iowa State Wrestling beat reporter, staff photographer and works closely with our social media. Jacqueline loves reading and watching trash reality TV shows when she's not watching sports.