Since the beginning of the 2012-13 season, there was a sense that things were looking up for the Wisconsin wrestling team.
However, those feelings couldn’t be confirmed until the Badgers got off the schneid in Big Ten dual competition.
Well, UW did just that on Friday night, taking care of Michigan State 19-12 in the first conference dual of the season for both squads.
The victory snapped an eight-match losing streak in conference matches. The Badgers last won a Big Ten dual Feb. 20.2011 when they beat the Spartans in East Lansing, Mich.
MSU got on the board first courtesy of Josh Heinzer’s 11-7 win over Matt Cavallaris at 125 pounds.
Tom Kelliher provided a quick response for Wisconsin at 133 when he picked up a win by decision.
No. 9 Tyler Graff kept the momentum rolling for the Badgers with an impressive 23-9 major decision of Nick Trimble that gave UW a 7-3 edge in the team score.
The lead was short lived as the Spartans came back to take the next two matches and, with them, 9-7 advantage on the team front.
Frank Cousins put the Badgers back on track at 165 with an 11-5 win over Ryan Watts.
A win from Scott Liegel in the next match helped Wisconsin jump out to a 13-9 lead with just three matches remaining.
MSU pulled back within one when John Rizqallah emerged as a 6-0 victor over Ben Cox at 184.
Jackson Hein scooped up a 4-0 win at 195 to put UW’s lead back to four points heading into the heavyweight match.
Fourteenth-ranked Connor Medbery sealed the deal for the Badgers with a 6-2 upset of No.10 Mike McClure.
With the win, Wisconsin improves its dual record to 4-2 overall and 1-0 in the Big Ten. The Badgers will get back after it on Sunday when they travel to Lincoln. Neb. to take on No. 9 Nebraska in a match that will be aired on BTN.com at 1 p.m.