MARSHALL, Minn. – The Southwest Minnesota State wrestling team (2-3, 2-2 NSIC), coming off the first 2-0 weekend since the 2016-17 season, is set to host No. 15 Minnesota State (4-1, 0-0 NSIC) on Saturday at 2 p.m. in the PE Gym.
SMSU earned an 18-14 victory over No. 17 Northern State last Friday in the PE Gym before traveling to Moorhead, Minn., to pick up a 24-15 victory over MSU Moorhead.
SMSU hosts Minnesota State on Saturday and those not competing in the dual will be traveling to the Minnesota West Open in Worthington, Minn., beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
CATCHING UP WITH THE MUSTANGS – The Mustangs started last weekend off with six bout victories over No. 17 Northern State for the first conference dual victory of the season. The Mustangs opened the dual with back-to-back victories at 125 and 133 by Hunter Pfantz and Jackson Stauffacher. Robert Shields (149), Jacob Backlund (165), Hayden Voxland (174), and Jackson Ryan (197) all contributed to the victory.
Last Saturday, SMSU earned five bout victories in the dual win over MSU Moorhead, but the three collective victories by fall would put the Mustangs over the Dragons. Justin Sampson (141) went 1-1 on the weekend with a win by fall at 6:32. Cole Hennen (184) also went 1-1 with a decision victory over MSUM’s Mitchell Kotschevar. Ryan (197) picked up his second dual victory with a win in sudden victory before Pfantz (125) and Staffacher (133) finished the bout, both picking up wins by fall.
REGIONAL RANKINGS – Four Mustang wrestlers made the cut in the Super Five Region Rankings, released on Dec. 31. Robert Shields ranks fifth at 149, Cole Hennen ranks fifth at 184, Jackson Ryan ranks fourth at 197, and Andrew Petersen ranks sixth at 285.
MINNESOTA STATE— Minnesota State is 4-1 overall and will open conference duals facing SMSU. MSU was ranked No. 15 in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) poll, released on Jan. 1. MSU has three wrestlers ranked in the NWCA Division II Individual Rankings with Kyle Rathman (149) leading the way ranked No. 3, and Louie Sanders (141) and Zach Johnston (174) both ranked No. 7. Senior Johnston was named an NSIC Wrestler of the Week on Dec. 9 after a 5-0 outing at the Buena Vista Open.
MINNESOTA STATE SERIES HISTORY — Minnesota State holds a 29-9 advantage over SMSU in the all-time series, dating back to 1980. SMSU snapped a 22-dual losing streak on Feb. 1, 2014, with a 31-9 victory in Marshall. Since then, SMSU has dropped the last five consecutive duals. MSU has a 12-6 advantage in competition in Marshall. MSU earned a 22-9 victory over SMSU last season on Jan. 26, in Mankato.
MUSTANG HEAD COACH — Jesse Nelson is in his 13th season as head coach at SMSU in 2019-20. Nelson was named the fourth coach in the program history on Aug. 22, 2007. Nelson, the 2013-14 NSIC Coach of the Year, Nelson has a career dual record of 84-98-1, including 33-59 in conference matches. During his tenure, Nelson has groomed 21 national qualifiers–including four two-time qualifiers and three three-time qualifiers–along with 12 All-NSIC honorees.
Probable SMSU Lineup
125 Hunter Pfantz
133 Jackson Stauffacher
141 Justin Sampson
149 Robert Shields
157 Nathan Moore
165 Jacob Backlund
174 Hayden Voxland
184 Cole Hennen
197 Jackson Ryan
285 Andrew Petersen