The No. 25-ranked North Dakota State wrestling team returns home on Sunday, Feb. 3, to host No. 20 Northern Iowa in a non-conference dual at 2 p.m.
Live video of the dual will be available to NDSU All-Access subscribers.
About Northern Iowa
Northern Iowa (6-3) moved into the USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division I Coaches Poll on Jan. 22 after knocking off a pair of ranked opponents in the same weekend. The Panthers topped No. 13 Oklahoma 18-15 on Jan. 18 and followed up with a 21-13 win over No. 21 Northwestern on Jan. 20.
Junior Ryan Loder (No. 6 at 184 pounds) leads a group of four ranked wrestlers for UNI. Sophomore Levi Wolfensperger is ranked ninth at 133 pounds, junior Joey Lazor is 13th at 141 pounds, and redshirt freshman Cody Caldwell is 19th at 174 pounds. Senior David Bonin has previously been ranked at 157 pounds.
Northern Iowa leads the all-time series with North Dakota State, 18-2-1. The Panthers have won the last 12 meetings, and the last Bison dual victory over UNI occurred in the 1976-77 season.
Eighth Ranked Opponent
Northern Iowa will be the eighth ranked opponent that NDSU will face this season. The Bison are 3-4 in duals against ranked teams this year, with wins over No. 14 Wyoming, No. 24 Boise State and No. 25 Old Dominion. The Bison dropped duals versus No. 1 Minnesota, No. 7 Missouri, No. 9 Central Michigan and No. 15 Oregon State.
For the second time this season and the second time in the school’s Division I era, the North Dakota State wrestling team is ranked among the nation’s top 25 programs in the USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division I Coaches Poll. The Bison are ranked 25th in the latest poll released on Jan. 29.
NDSU’s dual with Northern Iowa will not count toward the Western Wrestling Conference standings, after the Panthers withdrew from the league in September to join the Mid-American Conference. UNI will compete in the MAC Tournament rather than the NCAA West Regional in March.
NDSU senior Trent Sprenkle is closing in on his 100th career victory. Sprenkle currently owns 96 career wins and is striving to become the eighth Bison wrestler to ever top the 100-win mark.
Bison junior Steven Monk is 14-0 in dual meets this season and has registered victories in 17 straight dual meets dating back to Feb. 5, 2012. Monk’s last defeat in a dual was a 3-2 decision by Northern Iowa’s David Bonin at 157 pounds in last year’s meeting between the Bison and the Panthers.
NDSU senior 125-pounder Trent Sprenkle and junior 165-pounder Steven Monk have combined to go 26-2 in duals this season.
Pair of 6’s
North Dakota State wrestlers Steven Monk and Trent Sprenkle are ranked No. 6 and No. 10, respectively, in the nation in the latest Amateur Wrestling News and Intermat individual rankings.
Monk (27-3, 14-0 duals) owns five wins this season over wrestlers ranked in the top 11 at 165 pounds – No. 7 Nick Sulzer (Virginia), No. 8 Conrad Polz (Illinois), No. 10 Cody Yohn (Minnesota), No. 10 Zach Toal (Missouri) and No. 11 Mark Lewandowski (Buffalo).
Monk is 44-6 in his last 50 matches and owns a record of 89-21 in his Bison career. His .809 career winning percentage is the 10th-best in NDSU history.
Sprenkle (21-4, 12-2 duals) is 4-2 against ranked opponents at 125 pounds this season, including wins over David Thorn of Minnesota and Christian Cullinan of Central Michigan, who were ranked No. 5 and No. 8 in the nation at the time of their meetings.
Sprenkle was ranked as high as No. 4 in December – the highest ranking ever achieved by a Bison wrestler in NDSU’s Division I era. He owns 96 career wins and is aiming to become the eighth wrestler in NDSU history with 100 or more victories.
Bison Take Down Second Ranked Foe
NDSU closed out the Virginia Duals on Jan. 12 with its second victory over a ranked opponent this season, topping No. 25 Old Dominion, 27-15, to go 3-2 for the tourney and claim a seventh-place finish.
Old Dominion forfeited to Trent Sprenkle at 125 pounds before recording wins at 133, 141, 149 and, by forfeit, at 157 pounds. Steven Monk sparked the comeback with a 16-0 technical fall that was followed by a decision from Kurtis Julson (174) and a major decision from Mac Stoll at 184 pounds.
Senior Kallen Kleinschmidt locked up the victory over ODU with a late third-period pin of Jacob Henderson, catching Henderson for the fall with 30 seconds remaining. Evan Knutson closed the dual with a 3-1 decision at 285 pounds.
Monk, Sprenkle Guide Bison to Ninth-Place Team Finish at Midlands
North Dakota State junior Steven Monk and senior Trent Sprenkle each earned top-five finishes at the prestigious Midlands Championships on Dec. 30 to help the Bison to a ninth-place team finish. Monk placed fourth at 165 pounds and Sprenkle took fifth at 125 pounds, while redshirt freshman Hayden Zillmer claimed eighth place at 157 pounds.
The Bison scored 57 team points to earn a ninth-place finish out of 34 Division I schools – an improvement of 15.5 points and seven places over one year ago. NDSU finished in front of seven schools currently ranked in the national coaches’ poll, including No. 13 Pittsburgh, No. 17 Nebraska, No. 18 (tied) Edinboro, No. 18 (tied) Maryland, No. 21 Purdue, No. 22 Penn and No. 23 Wisconsin.
Monk Claims WWC Wrestler of the Week
NDSU 165-pound junior Steven Monk (Wausau, Wis./Wausau West HS) was named the Western Wrestling Conference Wrestler of the Week on Jan. 1 after leading his team to a ninth-place finish at the 50th annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships. Monk was 4-2 for the tournament, winning twice by fall and defeating two opponents ranked in the top 11 in the nation at the time. The WWC weekly honor was the fourth of Monk’s career.
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 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 took the honor on Dec. 4 after earning a runner-up finish at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.
Two Good Runs
Steven Monk is 44-6 in his last 50 matches dating back to Jan. 13, 2012. Trent Sprenkle is 33-7 in his last 40 matches dating back to Jan. 20, 2012, with two of those losses coming against the No. 1 and No. 2-ranked wrestlers in the nation at last season’s NCAA Championships.
Sunday’s Probable Starters
125 – No. 10 Trent Sprenkle, Sr., 21-4 vs. Ryan Jauch, Sr., 4-5
133 – Josh Rodriguez, Fr., 19-12 vs. No. 9 Levi Wolfensperger, So., 18-6
141 – Mark Erickson, Sr., 15-12 vs. No. 13 Joey Lazor, Jr., 24-7 OR Adam Perrin, R-Fr., 7-5
149 – Joe Garner, Sr., 15-12 vs. Bart Reiter, Jr., 10-4
157 – Hayden Zillmer, RFr., 9-8 OR Tanner Carlisle, RFr., 0-2 vs. David Bonin, Sr., 19-6
165 – No. 6 Steven Monk, Jr., 27-3 vs. Jarrett Jensen, R-Fr., 13-11 OR Kyle Lux, R-Fr., 9-7
174 – Kurtis Julson, So., 12-13 vs. No. 19 Cody Caldwell, R-Fr., 23-6
184 – Mac Stoll, Sr., 14-7 vs. No. 6 Ryan Loder, Jr., 23-3
197 – Kallen Kleinschmidt, Sr., 9-12 vs. Blaize Cabell, R-Fr., 10-10
285 – Evan Knutson, So., 13-11 vs. Blayne Beale, Sr., 11-7 OR Cody Krumwiede, R-Fr., 19-10