MOORHEAD, Minn. – The Minnesota State University Moorhead wrestling team will face a pair of tough tests at home against nationally-ranked opponents this week. The Dragons will host No. 13-ranked Minnesota State, Mankato for a 7 p.m. dual on Thursday and then host No. 6-ranked Upper Iowa for a 3 p.m. dual on Saturday.
MSUM won a pair of matches on the road last week, beating Mary, 23-13 and Minot State, 41-6.
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The Dragons earned road wins at Mary (23-13) and Minot State (41-6) last week to improve to 8-3 on the year. Going 2-0 on the week for MSUM were freshman Mitch Dunlap (125), sophomore Philippe Walker (133 pounds), junior Casey Williams (149 pounds), redshirt freshman Jesse Puncochar (174) and junior Matt Lewellen (197).
Junior Angel Vega, who has settled in at 149 pounds, leads the Dragons with a 19-9 record. Walker is 16-7, while
Kris Nelson is in his fourth season as MSUM’s head coach with a record of 23-31 at the school.
Projected lineup for MSUM
125 – Mitch Dunlap (Fr., 6-8 record)
133 – Philippe Walker (So., 16-7)
141-Angel Vega (Jr., 19-9) or Mariano Tuccitto (RFr., 2-4)
149-Casey Williams (Jr., 14-4) or Marianno Portillo (Jr., 4-10)
157-Jacob Bennett (Sr., 9-5)
165 -Kerron Williams (Sr., 10-5)
174-Jesse Puncochar, (Fr., 13-4)
184-Matt Lewellen (Jr., 13-7) or Matt Beehler (Jr., 1-8)
197-Lucas Moderow, (RFr., 9-15)
285-Gerad Fugleberg (So., 13-12)
The Mavericks are 7-2 overall and 4-0 in the NSIC. They have won five straight duals, including a 21-15 win over Upper Iowa on Jan. 24 and a 21-19 win over Augustana on Jan. 26.
Freshman Alphonso Vruno is 25-5 on the year at 133 pounds to lead the Mankato lineup. Junior Brendan Eichmann is 16-6 at 174 pounds, while sophomore Cody Quinn is 15-6 at 165 pounds.
Jim Makovsky is in his 20th season as Mankato’s head coach with a record of 232-90-3 at the school.
About Upper Iowa
The Peacocks are 7-3 overall and 3-1 in the NSIC. They fell to Minnesota State, Mankato, 21-15 on Jan. 24 before rolling to a 41-3 win over Northern State on Jan. 27.
Junior Carl Broghammer leads Upper Iowa with a 32-2 mark at 197 pounds, while senior Wade Gobin is 28-9 at 174 pounds. Sophomore Jordan Rinken is 26-9 at 149 pounds for Upper Iowa. Seven Upper Iowa wrestlers have 20 wins or more on the season.
Heath Grimm is in his 13th season as Upper Iowa’s head coach with a record of 124-46-2 at the school.