BY BREANN LENZMEIER
The Dragon wrestling team took down Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference rival University of Mary (N.D.) on Saturday to finish the season 4-4 in conference wrestling.
The team finished their regular season and defeated the Marauders 42-3, winning nine of the 10 matches. The Dragons won four of the matches by pin, and picked up a technical fall from freshman Shane Novak to finish the dual.
The team honored four Dragons that were wrestling their final home match; Connor MacGregor, Connor Monk, Matt Lewellen and Gerad Fugleberg. Each picked up wins in their final time on their home mat.
Starting at the team’s 141 pound weight class, MacGregor picked up the first win. Head coach Kris Nelson said that it just took off from there for the team.
Sophomore Mario Tuccitto picked up a pin at the 149 pound weight class and kept the momentum on the side of the Dragons.
“The whole team wrestled aggressive … we wrestled smart,” Nelson said. “We were looking to get bonus points throughout the entire match, and we did.”
Nelson said it was a great way for the four seniors to finish the way they did. Picking up a pin at the 174 pound weight class was Conner Monk, and Nelson pointed to him being aggressive in the top position as the key to getting the win.
“He goes after that cradle, and he keeps doing it, and it’s fun to watch … people know he does it, and he still gets it,” Nelson said.
Nelson said that it’s about going out there and staying with the basics and doing what you are good at.
Earlier in the week the team wrestled NSIC opponent Augustana and fell 25-16. MacGregor, Monk and Fugleberg all picked up wins for the team in the dual.
Nelson points to confidence being a key to the victory in the dual against Mary.
“They were confident as soon as they stepped out on the mat, and it did show,” Nelson said.
The team is off until Feb. 28, when they travel to Edmond, Okla. for the Super Region Three qualifier.
“We need to work on a lot of technique, keep our conditioning up and be really smart about your weight management.” Nelson said. “Make your goals and know what you want to accomplish at the regional tournament.”
The top five in each weight class qualify for the NCAA Division II Championships. There are 17 teams in the conference the Dragons wrestle.
“We have to keep our goals in mind, and work hard every day to achieve those goals,” Nelson said.