No. 2 Vikings entertain No. 1 Nebraska-Omaha in dual finale on Wednesday


This week: No. 2 Augustana (14-1) will conclude dual action for the season on Wednesday when it hosts No. 1 Nebraska-Omaha (11-1) at 7 p.m.

Last time out: Augustana secured its first Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference wrestling title with a 29-8 victory over No. 11 Upper Iowa last Friday night in Sioux Falls.  The Vikings won eight of 10 matches to throttle the Peacocks.

Top-teams tilt: The buzz around Wednesday’s dual with Nebraska-Omaha exists for two main reasons.  First, it’s a classic No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup that will likely determine who takes the top spot in the final NCAA Division II rankings.  Second, Augustana has a chance to deliver a dose of payback to UNO, which beat the Vikings 17-15 in January at the NWCA National Duals.  That defeat marked Augustana’s only loss of the season.

We meet again:  The Vikings are 2-0 this season when facing a team for the second time.  Augustana has defeated both Minnesota State and St. Cloud State twice in 2010-11.  Wednesday’s contest with Nebraska-Omaha is also a second meeting.  To read about the last time the two teams faced off, click here.

A chance at history:  A win on Wednesday against Nebraska-Omaha would be historic.  A victory over the Mavericks would give the Vikings their 15th dual win of the season, beating the previous record of 14.  Augustana also reached 14 wins during the 2004-05 season–also under the guidance of head coach Jason Reitmeier.

Conference title:  The conference crown picked up by the Vikings last Friday was their first in the NSIC and their third overall. Augustana finished 7-0 in NSIC competition. The Vikings won the North Central Conference in 1981 and 2005–the latter also under head coach Jason Reitmeier.

Nationally ranked opponents:  Wednesday will be Augustana’s sixth contest this season against a nationally ranked opponent.  The Vikings are 5-1 against nationally ranked teams and 3-0 against them at home.  Augustana has beat both No. 7/No. 8 Minnesota State and No. 2/No. 3 St. Cloud State twice and No. 11 Upper Iowa once.

Home improvement: 
 Augustana hasn’t lost at home since the 2008-09 season.  The Vikings finished 4-0 at home last season and are currently 6-0 in the Elmen this season.  The last time Augustana lost at home was on Feb. 6, 2009, when St. Cloud State topped the Vikings 17-16.

Northern Sun honors:  The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference announced Monday that 133-pounder Jason Jeremiason is its Wrestler of the Week.  Jeremiason knocked off top-ranked Kyle Pedretti of Upper Iowa on Friday night, helping Augustana to a 28-9 victory over the Peacocks. The win secured the NSIC title for the Vikings, who finished conference dual action with a perfect 7-0 mark. Jeremiason used a pair of takedowns and more than two minutes of riding time to notch the 5-1 win. His victory pushed the Viking lead to 12-3.  The Vikings have had four Wrestler of the Week honorees this season.

Nov. 29Cody Lensing
Jan. 10Jason Jeremiason
Jan. 31Ty Copsey
Feb. 14Jason Jeremiason

By the numbers:  Augustana’s 14-1 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 444-106 this season.

Viking lineup: 

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

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.

Oct. 213rd
Dec. 83rd
Jan. 43rd
Jan. 22nd
Feb. 32nd

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.