It was an all-MAC matchup for the 133-pound title at the Midlands Championships, with UNI Panther Josh Alber taking second.

After a scoreless first period, Emilio Saavedra of Old Dominion started down. Saavedra escaped Alber’s grip just after Alber got a minute of riding time to go up 1-0.

Alber started down for the final period. He got an early escape to tie it up 1-1, but he wasn’t able to keep his riding time. Alber pushed the match into the second sudden victory where Saavedra notched a takedown for the 4-2 decision win.

Alber is the lone Panther to survive the third session of the Midlands Championships.

It was a rematch of an earlier dual this season against No. 20 Anthony Giraldo of Rutgers. Alber beat him 3-1 Nov. 15 and extended his lead in today’s matchup.

After a scoreless first period, Alber escaped after Giraldo racked up 1 minute, 20 seconds of riding time in the second period. Starting in the down position, Giraldo earned an early third-period escape, holding on to 1:08 in riding time. However, Alber was able to keep Giraldo in on the edge of the mat to secure a takedown and the 3-1 lead.

Another third-period escape would close the gap for Giraldo, but Alber notched another takedown and erased all riding time to win 5-2.

Alber was seeded sixth in this tournament and faces the No. 13 seed Emilio Saavedra of Old Dominion. Both wrestlers are redshirt freshmen.

Alber's only losses this year have been to No. 5 Earl Hall of Iowa State, No. 12 Zach Synon of Missouri and Jaydin Clayton of Missouri. He has top-20 wins over then-No. 12 Josh Martinez of Air Force and No. 20 Giraldo.

Five more Panthers were eliminated after the first round of the consolation matches:

  • 149 pounds – Max Thomsen
  • 157 pounds – Bryce Steiert
  • 174 pounds – Jacob Holschlag and Taylor Lujan
  • 285 pounds – Blaize Cabell

133 – #18 Josh Alber (6th seed)
DAY 1:
Alber maj. dec. Ronald Stevens (Oregon State), 12-3
Alber dec. Scott Delvecchio (Rutgers), 11-6
Alber dec. Cameron Kelly (Ohio), 10-5
DAY 2:
Alber dec. No. 20 Anthony Giraldo (Rutgers), 5-2
Emilio Saavedra (Old Dominion) dec. Alber, 4-2 SV2

149 – Max Thomsen (15th seed)
DAY 1:
Thomsen dec. Devin Tortorice (Poeta Training Center), 12-6
#3 Jason Tsirtsis (Northwestern) dec. Thomsen, 4-3
Thomsen dec. Clayton Ream (North Dakota State), 6-3
Thomsen dec. Alex Kocer (South Dakota State), 6-3
DAY 2:
Ken Theobald (Rutgers) dec. Thomsen, 8-1

157 – Bryce Steiert (12th seed)
DAY 1:
Steiert dec. Timothy Schaefer (Buffalo), 3-2
Steiert maj. dec. Cole Walter (Lehigh), 17-5
Steiert dec. #18 Tyler Berger (Nebraska), 6-4
#11 John Boyle (American University) dec. Steiert, 3-1 (SV1)
DAY 2:
Greg Flournoy (George Mason) dec. Steiert, 5-4

174 – Taylor Lujan (6th seed)
DAY 1:
Lujan tech fall Clayton Bass (Southern Illinois – Edwardsville), 18-2 (4:01)
Lujan maj. dec. Zack Hernandez (Columbia), 17-8
#12 Micah Barnes (Nebraska) dec. Lujan, 6-5
DAY 2:
David Kocer (South Dakota State) dec. Lujan, 5-4

174 – Jacob Holschlag
DAY 1:
Holschlag dec. Josh Thomson (Messiah College), 7-3
Holschlag dec. #16 Matt Reed (Oklahoma), 5-2
#13 Jonathan Schleifer (Princeton) dec. Holschlag, 9-5
DAY 2:
Trace Engelkes (Northern Illinois) maj. dec. Holschlag, 12-2

285 – #7 Blaize Cabell (3rd seed)
DAY 1:
Cabell dec. Mauro Correnti (Rider), 13-8
Cabell dec. Mike Kosoy (North Carolina State), 5-3 (SV1)
Cabell dec. Ray O'Donnell (Princeton), 11-4
#11 Ross Larson (Oklahoma) dec. Cabell, 6-3
DAY 2:
Dawson Peck (Maryland) pinned Cabell, 6:02