Wrestling team falls in NSIC action to ranked opponents

Jake Bennett works for the win in dual action last Thursday at MSUM.

Jake Bennett works for the win in dual action last Thursday at MSUM.

The Dragon wrestling team hosted two ranked opponents in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action this past week. With the season drawing to an end, each match is critical to both the individuals and the team as they prepare for regional action.

First up for the Dragons was a dual against No. 10 Minnesota State University, Mankato. The Dragons wrestled tough against the Mavericks but came up short in the dual losing 19-24.

“I thought we wrestled well against Mankato … we had some fire,” said Kris Nelson, head wrestling coach.

The Dragons won four of the 10 matches with Angel Vega and Gerad Fugleberg leading the way. Vega earned a decision and Fugleberg won by major decision.

After a close match, the Dragons were back in action when they hosted No. 6 Upper Iowa. The Peacocks won eight of the 10 matches with the Dragons getting wins from Vega and Fugleberg. The final score was 6-28.

“I thought we came out a little flat today, … they beat us to the punch from the beginning.”

Nelson said one thing the team will need to work on is when the wrestlers choose the down position.

“If we’re going to choose the down position, we have to be able to get out.”

Coming off two tough losses in conference wrestling, Nelson said the team shouldn’t hang their heads on the tough loses but rather get back in the practice room and regroup for the Concordia dual.

The team will look to improve their seed for the regional conference duals when they travel to Augustana and Southwest Minnesota State University.

The dual against Upper Iowa marked the last home dual for the season and the last home match for seniors Jake Bennett and Kerron Williams.

Williams is nearing 25 wins and Bennett is closing in on 50 wins.

“They’ve been great leaders for our team,” Nelson said.

He said Bennett’s and William’s hard work has shown their dedication to the program and to underclassmen how hard work can pay off in the end.

“We’re going to miss them in the room and competing for the team next season,” Nelson said. The biggest thing he said, is to keep working hard and to give 100 percent each time the wrestlers step out on the mat.

With the home schedule finished, the team will travel a short distance west to face Concordia in non-conference action.

PHOTO AND STORY BY BREANN LENZMEIER
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