FARGO, N.D. – The North Dakota State wrestling team hits the road for a pair of Western Wrestling Conference duals at Utah Valley and Northern Colorado this weekend. The Bison (5-7, 2-1 WWC) take on Utah Valley (5-7, 0-3 WWC) Friday, Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. Central and Northern Colorado (3-5, 0-1 WWC) Sunday, Feb. 12 at 2 p.m. Central.
The Bison lead the all-time series with Utah Valley, 5-1. NDSU claimed a 25-10 victory in Fargo last season. The Bison also lead the all-time series with Northern Colorado, 30-4-1, including a 25-12 win last year.
Scouting the Wolverines
Utah Valley comes into the weekend with a 5-7 overall record and an 0-3 record in conference action. The Wolverines are coming off a pair of wins over Cal Poly and Stanford. UVU is led by Josh Wilson, who is ranked No. 14 at 149 pounds by InterMat. Head coach Greg Williams is in his sixth season with the team.
Scouting the Bears
Northern Colorado is 3-5 overall and 0-1 in the WWC. The Bears travel to No. 10 Wyoming tonight for a conference matchup. Gabe Burak is ranked No. 10 at 165 pounds to lead the Bears. Head coach Ben Cherrington is in his third season.
Bison fall to Northern Iowa, 22-18
Northern Iowa won its 12th straight dual over NDSU Sunday, Feb. 5, defeating the Bison 22-18. It was the first conference loss of the season for NDSU. Trent Sprenkle, Mark Erickson, Tyler Johnson and Joe Garner picked up wins in the loss. With the Bison down 19-18 going into the final bout of the night, UNI’s Blayne Beale was able to clinch a 7-3 win over Evan Knutson at heavyweight to win the dual for the Panthers.
Monk No. 14, Sprenkle No. 19 in InterMat rankings
North Dakota State sophomore Steven Monk fell three spots to No. 14 at 157 pounds in the latest InterMat rankings released Feb. 7 after dropping a 3-2 decision to UNI’s David Bonin. He is also ranked No. 13 by WrestlingReport.com, No. 10 by WIN Magazine and No. 11 by D1 College Wrestling. Junior Trent Sprenkle maintains his position as No. 19 in the InterMat rankings. Sprenkle is ranked No. 17 by WIN Magazine, No. 21 by WrestlingReport.com and No. 18 by D1 College Wrestling.
Monk, Sprenkle lead team in wins
Sophomore Steven Monk has set a career high for wins this season with 27, surpassing last year’s mark of 27. Monk has compiled an overall record of 27-7 and is 10-2 in duals. Trent Sprenkle has also cracked the 20-win barrier with a record of 25-9. With a win against UNI last weekend, Mark Erickson reached the 20-win mark for the first time in his career.