Bison Wrestling Meets Iowa State Sunday

The No. 21-ranked North Dakota State wrestling team will travel to Ames, Iowa, for a dual with the Iowa State Cyclones on Sunday, Dec. 16, at 2 p.m. It will be NDSU’s first road dual of the 2012-13 season.

NDSU BisonIowa State owns an 0-2 record in dual meets this season, with losses to Old Dominion (22-13 on Nov. 25) and Iowa (32-3 on Dec. 1). The Cyclones have six wrestlers ranked between 15th and 20th in the nation, according to the latest Amateur Wrestling News and Intermat rankings. Iowa State received votes in the USA Today/NWCA/AWN coaches poll earlier this season.

About Iowa State

The Series

This will be the second meeting all-time between the schools. Iowa State won the previous encounter on Dec. 13, 2008, by a 42-0 margin.

Intermat Rankings

The North Dakota State wrestling team improved its spot in the Intermat team rankings for the fourth straight week, moving up one spot to No. 21 in the national tournament-strength poll.

The Bison are once again the highest-rated team from the Western Wrestling Conference, and NDSU is ranked higher than five teams from the Big Ten Conference. The Intermat team rankings are based on projected NCAA Tournament strength.

Leading the Way

North Dakota State wrestlers Trent Sprenkle and Steven Monk continued their work as trailblazers for the Bison wrestling program this week, with Sprenkle moving up to No. 4 in the nation at 125 pounds and Monk climbing to No. 6 at 165 pounds in the latest Amateur Wrestling News (AWN) individual rankings.

Sprenkle’s No. 4 ranking is the highest ever achieved by a Bison wrestler in NDSU’s Division I era.

Sprenkle moved up one spot from his No. 5 ranking last week in the AWN rankings. He is 9-0 on the season with five wins by fall, including a win over the current No. 6-ranked wrestler at 125 pounds, David Thorn of Minnesota.

Monk improved to 14-1 on the season with a technical fall victory in the Dec. 9 dual with No. 15 Oregon State. He owns two wins this season over wrestlers currently ranked in the Top 10 at 165 pounds – No. 7 Nick Sulzer of Virginia and No. 9 Cody Yohn of Minnesota.

Monk is 31-4 in his last 35 matches and owns a record of 76-19 in his Bison career. His .800 career winning percentage currently ranks 10th-best in NDSU history.

Senior Mac Stoll maintained his spot at No. 16 in the AWN rankings. Stoll improved to 7-2 with a decision over Ty Vinson of No. 15 Oregon State on Dec. 9.

Sprenkle, Monk Named Back-to-Back WWC Wrestlers of the Week

NDSU wrestlers Trent Sprenkle (125) and Steven Monk (165) claimed back-to-back 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.

Two Good Runs

Steven Monk is 31-4 over his last 35 matches dating back to Jan. 13, 2012.  Trent Sprenkle is 21-3 in his last 24 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.