No. 2 Augustana hosts No. 11 Upper Iowa on Friday

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This week: No. 2 Augustana (13-1, 6-0 NSIC) returns to the Elmen Center on Friday to host No. 11 Upper Iowa (4-3, 3-1 NSIC) at 7 p.m. in its final Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference dual of the season.

Last time out: Augustana collected two wins last week, topping Dakota Wesleyan 45-0 on Thursday and beating NSIC-neighbor Southwest Minnesota State 27-6 on Friday.  The Vikings picked up two wins by technical fall and two by major decision to roll past the Tigers.  Augustana won seven straight contests and jumped ahead to a 23-0 lead before taking down the Mustangs.

Conference title:  The Vikings can lock up the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference title with a win over Upper Iowa on Friday.  Augustana is the lone team in the NSIC left with a spotless conference record.  The NSIC crown would be the first for an Augustana wrestling team.  The Vikings finished fourth in 2008-09 and second in 2009-10.  A title would be the third overall conference championship for Augustana, which won the North Central Conference in 1981 and 2005.

A look back:  Not only will Friday’s dual with Upper Iowa have heavy implications for the conference race, it will also be an opportunity for the Vikings to avenge a late-season loss from 2009-10 that has been haunting Augustana for a year.  When the two teams met on Feb. 7, 2010, both teams were 5-0 in NSIC action, meaning the winning team was likely to lock up the conference crown.  The Pacocks managed a 19-18 victory after an usual chain of events late in the dual.  To read about last year’s contest, click here.

Nationally ranked opponents:  Friday will be Augustana’s fifth match this season against a nationally ranked opponent.  The Vikings are 4-1 against nationally ranked teams and 2-0 against them at home.  Augustana has beat No. 7/No. 8 Minnesota State twice and No. 2/No. 3 St. Cloud State twice.  The Vikings’ only loss to a nationally ranked program–and their only overall loss–was to No. 1 Nebraska-Omaha.

Northern Sun honors:  Augustana has had three athletes named NSIC Wrestler of the Week this season.

Date Wrestler
Nov. 29 Cody Lensing
Jan. 10 Jason Jeremiason
Jan. 31 Ty Copsey

Neutral site:  The Vikings’ lone loss the season came at a neutral site when No. 1-ranked Nebraska-Omaha edged Augustana 17-15 at the NWCA National Duals in Cedar Falls, Iowa.  The Vikings are 5-0 at home and 3-0 on the road in 2010-11.

By the numbers:  Augustana’s 13-1 record has included its fair share of one-sided wins this season.  The Vikings have pitched shutouts three times and held opponents to just six points six times.  Augustana has outscored its opponents 415-98 this season.

A chance at history:  The Vikings have an opportunity to post the most dual victories by a squad in school history if they win out the rest of the season.  Augustana has two duals left, and a win in each would give the Vikings 15 for the season, breaking the previous record of 14.  Augustana reached 14 wins during the 2004-05 season–also under the guidance of head coach Jason Reitmeier.

Viking lineup: 

Wt. Wrestler
125 Al Meger
133 Jason Jeremiason
141 Jay Sherer
149 Nate Herda
157 Marcus Edgington
165 Gavin Nelson
174 Carl Serck
184 Tom Davies
197 Ty Copsey
285 Lance Peters

Duals to finish:  From here on out, the Vikings’ schedule is filled with duals.  Augustana has no opens for the remainder of the season.

National news: Augustana retained its No. 2 ranking in the latest NCAA Division II wrestling rankings released Feb. 3 by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. The Vikings accumulated 150 points and had six individuals ranked.  Nebraska-Omaha held on to the No. 1 position, earning 158 points and eight first-place votes. The Mavericks have held the top spot all season. St. Cloud State received the other two first-place votes and 148 points to be ranked third.

Date
Ranking
Oct. 21 3rd
Dec. 8 3rd
Jan. 4 3rd
Jan. 2 2nd
Feb. 3 2nd

Who’s ranked: The Vikings had six individuals ranked in the latest NCAA Division II rankings. Ty Copsey collected the highest individual ranking for the Vikings, checking in at No. 2 at 197 pounds.  Marcus Edgington was No. 3 at 157 pounds, while Jay Sherer and Gavin Nelsonwere No. 4 at 141 and 165 pounds, respectively.  Nate Herda took the No. 6 spot at 149 pounds, and Carl Serck was No. 7 at 174 pounds.  To view the latest rankings, click here.

Northern Sun rankings:  Augustana is ranked No. 1 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.  The Vikings accumulated 57 points in the conference. Nate Herda was the top pick at 149 pounds, while Ty Copsey was also No. 1 at 197 pounds.  Jason Jeremiason (133 pounds), Jay Sherer (141 pounds), Marcus Edgington (157 pounds), Gavin Nelson (165 pounds) and Carl Serck (174 pounds) were all in No. 2 spots.  Al Meger (125 pounds) and Lance Peters (285 pounds) were both No. 5 at their respective weights, while Tom Davies was No. 7 at 184 pounds.

Regionally speaking:  The Vikings are No. 2 in Super Regional Three after earning 48 points in the rankings released Feb. 1. Ty Copsey (197 pounds) was the lone Viking to take a top spot regionally. Jay Sherer (141 pounds), Nate Herda (149 pounds), Marcus Edgington (157 pounds) and Gavin Nelson (165 pounds) were all ranked second.  Jason Jeremiason (133 pounds) and Carl Serck (174 pounds) checked in at No. 3, Al Meger (125 pounds) and Lance Peters (285 pounds) at No. 5 and Tom Davies (184 pounds) at No. 7.

Welcome to the Elmen:  The 2011 Super Regional Three Wrestling Championship will be hosted by Augustana on Feb. 27 in the Elmen Center.  To learn more about this year’s tournament, click here.

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