The North Dakota State wrestling team returns home to host No. 15 Oregon State in the Bison Sports Arena on Sunday, Dec. 9. The dual will start at 2 p.m.
Oregon State (1-1) is ranked No. 13 in the latest Intermat team rankings and No. 15 in the USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division I Coaches Poll. OSU opened the dual season with a 21-18 loss to Michigan but bounced back to defeat Boise State, 21-16, on Nov. 24. The Beavers are coming off a fourth-place team finish at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.
Oregon State is scheduled to wrestle a dual at Minnesota on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m.
Oregon State leads the all-time series with North Dakota State, 3-0. The Beavers posted wins over the Bison in 2007, 2009 and 2012.
No. 17 Oregon State claimed a 20-13 victory over NDSU on Jan. 22, 2012 in Corvallis, Ore. Trent Sprenkle (125), Steven Monk (157), Tyler Johnson (165) and Mac Stoll (184) posted victories for the Bison, but OSU won the final two matches of the dual to break a 13-13 tie and take the victory.
NDSU climbed to No. 22 in the nation in the latest Intermat team rankings released on Dec. 4, moving up two spots from No. 24 one week ago.
NDSU is the highest-ranked team from the Western Wrestling Conference, and the Bison are ranked in front of five Big Ten Conference schools. The Intermat team rankings are based on NCAA Tournament strength.
Sprenkle, Monk Named Back-to-Back WWC Wrestlers of the Week
NDSU wrestlers Trent Sprenkle (125) and Steven Monk (165) have claimed the last two Wrestler of the Week awards from the Western Wrestling Conference. Sprenkle (8-0) won the award on Nov. 27 after defeating No. 5 David Thorn of Minnesota as part of a 3-0 record at the Bison Quad. Monk (13-1) took the honor on Dec. 4 after earning a runner-up finish at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.
Rodriguez Makes a Splash
North Dakota State freshman Josh Rodriguez made his first impact on the national scene on Nov. 30, defeating No. 10-ranked Brian Owen of Boise State at 133 pounds in the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.
Rodriguez won by 3-2 decision over Owen in the second round and eventually took seventh place in the prestigious tournament.
Looking for Two
NDSU will be looking for its second dual victory over a ranked team this season when it takes on Oregon State. The Bison knocked off No. 24 Boise State on Nov. 16 in the Bison Sports Arena, 24-15.
No. 5 in the Nation
Bison senior Trent Sprenkle became the highest-ranked wrestler in NDSU’s Division I era when he came in at No. 5 in two national polls on Nov. 27. Sprenkle was ranked at No. 5 by both Amateur Wrestling News and Intermat. The senior from Billings, Mont., owns an 8-0 record on the season including five pins.
Monk Up to No. 7
NDSU junior Steven Monk climbed to No. 7 in both the Amateur Wrestling News rankings and the Intermat rankings at 165 pounds. The junior from Wausau, Wis., defeated No. 10 Cody Yohn of top-ranked Minnesota on Nov. 24 and No. 8 Nick Sulzer of Virginia on Dec. 1. Monk now owns a 13-1 mark on the season.
Two Good Runs
Steven Monk is 30-4 over his last 34 matches dating back to Jan. 13, 2012. Trent Sprenkle is 20-3 in his last 23 matches dating back to Jan. 20, 2012, with two of those three losses coming against the No. 1 and No. 2-ranked wrestlers in the nation at last season’s NCAA Championships.
Monk Claims Runner-Up Finish in Las Vegas
NDSU junior Steven Monk took second place at 165 pounds at the prestigious Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational on Nov. 30-Dec. 1. Monk rattled off four straight victories, including a 1-0 decision over No. 8 Nick Sulzer of Virginia in the semifinals, to advance to the finals. Kyle Dake of Cornell, a three-time NCAA champion and the nation’s No. 1 wrestler, recorded a 6-0 decision of Monk in the finals.
Bison Challenge No. 1 Gophers
On Nov. 24, NDSU won four matches and totaled 12 team points in a dual with top-ranked Minnesota – the most by any school against the Gophers to that point in the season. Minnesota recorded victories in the final four matches to erase a 12-7 deficit and win 22-12.
In the Polls
North Dakota State entered the Top 25 for the first time in the school’s Division I era on Nov. 20 when the Bison came in at No. 24 in the USA Today/NWCA/AWN Coaches Poll.
NDSU redshirt freshman 157-pounder Hayden Zillmer made his Bison debut on Nov. 16 against No. 24 Boise State, taking on the No. 20-ranked wrestler in the nation in George Ivanov. Zillmer won a thriller, forcing overtime with a takedown in the final seconds and winning 8-7 by riding time advantage in the second tiebreaker period.
Tough Road Ahead
North Dakota State has three more ranked opponents scheduled for duals this season, including No. 7 Missouri, No. 15 Oregon State and No. 20 Wyoming.
Early Season Barometer
North Dakota State wrestlers posted a 5-1 record against opponents from Western Wrestling Conference schools at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational on Nov. 30-Dec. 1. Joe Garner (149) and Kurtis Julson (174) each beat opponents from Wyoming, Steven Monk (165) and Josh Rodriguez (133) each defeated opponents from South Dakota State, and Hayden Zillmer (157) went 1-1 against Northern Colorado and Utah Valley wrestlers, respectively.