The #1 ranked Huskies (21-0, 7-0- NSIC) will host the 2012 NCAA Division II Super Region 3 tournament on Feb. 26 at Halenbeck Hall in St. Cloud. The action gets under way at 10 a.m. and the finals are slated to start at 7:30 p.m. that evening. The top 4 placers at the regional in each weight bracket advance to the NCAA finals in Pueblo, Colo. on March 9-10. Tickets are available at the gate ($10 adults/$5 SCSU students and children ages 2-17/under age two free). Fans can watch the finals on the web at: www.pennatlantic.com/main.php?module=event-detail&eventId=23989
The Huskies finished their regular season on Feb. 16 with a 31-6 victory over Minnesota State in Mankato. The victory helped SCSU win the 2012 NSIC conference title with a 7-0 record. This is SCSU’s first conference title since 1977-78. The victory also provided the Huskies with their first undefeated season in team history at 21-0. The Huskies also broke the team record for most dual wins in a season this winter. The previous mark was 19 wins set in 2010-11.
SCSU remained in the #1 spot in the latest DII coaches’ poll released on Feb. 22, ahead of #2 Newberry and #3 Nebraska Kearney. Tad Merritt (165), Derek Skala (184) and Jake Kahnke (285) are all ranked #1 in this week’s national poll, while Shamus O’Grady (174), Andy Pokorny (133) and Luke Munkelwitz (197) are all ranked #3. Jacob D. Horn is ranked #4 at 149 in the poll. SCSU is also ranked #1 in this week’s DII Super Region 3 poll.
Tad Merritt leads the Huskies with 30 wins this season (30-2) and he also has 15 pins. Jake Kahnke is 29-1 this season, while Luke Munkelwitz owns a 23-4 record this winter. Others of note include Derek Skala at 23-2 and Josh Howk is 22-14 this year with a team-high 16 pins. Merritt currently has 136 career wins, and he needs eight more wins this season to tie the SCSU career record of 142 wins set by Dustin Darveaux from 1999-03. Of note, Howk needs just one more pin to tie the team record of 17 pins set by Tad Merritt in 2008-09.
Steve Costanzo ranks second in the SCSU records with 79 dual match wins as the Huskies’ head coach after six seasons at the helm. He only trails Husky legend John Oxton, who had 167 wins from 1967-87 at SCSU.
At 7-0 in 2011-12 in NSIC competition, this marks the first time since 1980-81 that the Huskies have finished their conference dual meet schedule with an undefeated record. SCSU charted a 6-0 record in the NIC under the leadership of Coach John Oxton that season…this is SCSU’s first conference title since the Huskies won the NSIC crown back in 1977-78 (then called the NIC)…this is the first time in team history that SCSU has finished its dual season with an unblemished record (21-0)…this marks the first time in Coach Costazno’s coaching career that he has gone undefeated. In 2005-06, Costanzo’s team at Dana College placed first in the nation at the NAIA tournament and finished the year with an 18-1-1 record…the Huskies established a new team standard in 2011-12 by earning six All-America awards at the NCAA championships. SCSU qualified eight wrestlers for the nationals last year and placed 2nd behind Nebraska-Omaha.