Dziewa going home
Josh Dziewa and Mike Evans were pelted with questions about wrestling in their home state the last time No. 2 Iowa traveled to Pennsylvania. That was in December, when the Hawkeyes traveled to face Edinboro, which is located much closer to Evans’ hometown of Enola, Pa.
But during this trip to the Keystone State, Dziewa will get the chance to wrestle in front of his friends and family when Iowa takes on Lehigh on Friday night. His hometown of Yardley, Pa., is roughly an hour’s drive from the Mountain Hawks’ campus.
“It’s exciting, I’ve got a good fan base there, family, friends — so it’ll be nice,” the junior said.
Dziewa said a few people he knew came to watch him wrestle the Fighting Scots on Dec. 5, but no immediate family saw him fall to Mitchell Port in the second period of that match.
The 141-pounder will try to come back from an upset loss to Michigan’s Steve Dutton. He lost a 3-2 decision for the one of the two bouts the Hawkeyes dropped on Sunday in Carver-Hawkeye, but the Council Rock product said wrestling close to home should give him an extra boost.
“It’s a good opportunity to put on a show,” Dziewa said. “I’m fired up to get in front of my people that have been around me since I was yea big.”
Minnesota win keeps Iowa alive
While Iowa was putting a beat-down on the Wolverines Sunday, the two programs the Hawkeyes have lost to this season were squaring off in Minneapolis. The dual came down to heavyweight, in which Minnesota’s Tony Nelson, ranked fifth, defeated Penn State’s Jon Gingrich with a 6-0 decision to clinch the 18-17 victory.
The Golden Gophers’ win clinched a share of the Big Ten dual-meet championship and also opened the door for Iowa to clinch a share of that title with a win over Wisconsin on Feb. 23.
But for Dziewa, the Big Ten Tournament overshadows the possibility of a title.
“I think there’s more of an emphasis on [the Big Ten Tournament], but the dual championship is in the process along the way; it counts,” Dziewa said. “It’s important, but individual titles are what we fight for. You don’t see banners hanging around in our wrestling room saying we were Big Ten dual-meet champions.”
His head coach added to his opinion, saying just because some polls rank Minnesota in the top spot after the win doesn’t mean it will have a walk in the park to a national title.
“They have to show up, and we have to show up in Madison, and we have to show up in Oklahoma City,” head coach Tom Brands said. “Penn State will, too, and everybody else that’s going for all the marbles is in the same boat.”
Grothus looking ahead after crazy match
Hawkeye 149-pounder Brody Grothus wrestled in his highest-scoring match of the season on Sunday against Eric Grajales of the Wolverines. The tilt finished with the Iowa sophomore scoring a 17-14 decision over Grajales.
The grapplers combined to score 17 different times, but Grothus said to get past the wild bout he used advice from a friend to prepare for his upcoming match against Lehigh’s Mitch Minotti.
“Only a fool trips on what’s behind him,” the Davenport Assumption product said. “You can’t focus on that match anymore; you have to look forward to the future.
“Like Coach Brands was saying in his talk the other day, that’s done with. We’re looking on, and we’re building for Big Tens and NCAAs, because that’s what people remember, and that’s why you wrestle.”
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