BY BREANN LENZMEIER
The MSUM wrestling team took down Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference opponent Minot State last Thursday to pick up their first win at home this season.
The Dragons defeated the Beavers 30-12 and improved to 6-8 overall and 3-3 in conference duals.
The Dragons bounced back for the victory after falling to crosstown rival Concordia College 28-7. The Dragons started the match with a win from freshman Blake Bosch at the 125 weight class, who picked up a decision over Gabe Foltz. Senior Connor MacGregor won by major decision at the 141 weight class over Concordia’s Yonas Gebreab.
The Cobbers won the next seven matches en route to a 28-7 victory.
“I thought we wrestled hard and gave it our our all against Concordia,” head coach Kris Nelson said.
After a short turnaround for the team, the Dragons stepped back on the mat against Minot State on Thursday. Continuing his strong season Bosch pinned AJ Peterson in the first period and gave the Dragons the early lead.
The Dragons dominated in the lower weights and won the first three matches in the dual. Picking up a win at the 133 weight class was freshman Shane Novak and at the 141 weight class senior Connor MacGregor. Winning six out of 10 matches, the Dragons won by fall in four of the matches and decision in the other two.
“Our lower weights did a wonderful job against Minot State … the one thing that bothered me is that we lost the close matches,” Nelson said. “Overall, we did a good job.”
Junior Conner Monk continued his strong second half of the season picking up a fall in his match at the 174 weight class. Monk earned the pin in a time of six minutes.
“I went in with more of a defensive approach and tried to avoid the throws,” Monk said.
With the team picking up its first win at home, they look to continue to push their winning streak to two against Augustana on Wednesday. The team has two duals left in its regular season, then it will look to the regional qualifier. Monk points to the team peaking at the right time of the season as the key to finishing strong.
“Everyone needs to keep doing what they are doing, and work on what every individual needs to work on,” Monk said.
Nelson said that being confident will lead to success on the mat. He added that in the dual against Minot State, each wrestler stepped on the mat with confidence.
“Believing that they can win, and it will show when they step on the mat, and that can go a long ways,” Nelson said.
With the season winding down, assistant coach Eric Sanders said it was good for the team to get the win, and that they can’t overestimate anything.
“The littlest things will win the biggest matches … picking up some confidence against Minot and hope to continue winning,” Sanders said.
The Dragons host Augustana College at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse and finish their regular season against the University of Mary at 2 p.m. on Saturday at home.