Vikings finish home schedule against Northern State on Thursday

Augustana (10-4, 3-1 NSIC) turns their focus to the Northern State Wolves (3-7, 0-3 NSIC) for their next NSIC dual. The Vikings welcome NSU to the Elmen Center for a 7 p.m. match on Thursday, Jan. 30. Thursday’s dual will close out the home season for the Vikings.

Augustana VikingsAugustana returns from a 2-0 road trip in which they took down fourth-ranked, Division III Augsburg 26-9. The Vikings then returned to NSIC dual action with a 30-10 win over Minnesota State. TJ North and Sean Derry both posted 2-0 records improving their season records to 22-3. Jayd Docken and Morgan Engbrecht also posted 2-0 marks, helping the Vikings to reach double-digit wins this year.

Augustana is tied for third in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference standings with four duals remaining.

Saving the best for last
The Vikings head to the road for their three final duals of the 2013-14 season over a span of nine days. Beginning with third-ranked St. Cloud State on Feb. 7 and ending with No. 8 Upper Iowa on Feb. 16, the Vikings face the two top teams in the NSIC standings. Sandwiched in between the top-10 opponents, Augustana travels to take on MSU-Moorhead on Feb. 14.

Scouting the competition
Northern State enters Thursday’s dual with a 3-7 record, 0-3 in NSIC duals. A rough start to the conference season, the Wolves faced St. Cloud State and Upper Iowa after dropping their conference opener to MSU Moorhead. The Wolves’ preseason-ranked 125-pound Anthony Bruno has not wrestled since NSIC competed at the Midwest Duals. Bruno owns a 16-9 record this season and the No. 7 ranking in the NCAA Super Region 3.

Now leading Northern State are Sean Havlovic at 157 pounds and 197-pound Joe Gomez. Havlovic sports an 18-10 record, 8-4 against Division II competition which is the highest division winning percentage. Gomez owns a 17-11 record, 8-5 against Division II competition.

Series: Augustana is 24-0 against Northern State dating back to the first meeting in 1982. The Vikings opened the series with a 52-0 drubbing in 1982 and have reeled off 23 more wins since. Augustana has racked up three shutout-wins in the 24-match history. In conference -sponsored duals, the Vikings are 4-0 and Augustana is 8-0 at home. Last year, Augustana topped the Wolves 34-9 with a pair of pins and a tech fall.

Steady as the North star
In his sophomore campaign, TJ North has already turned in a dominating performance. Hailing from Elk Point, S.D. he is tied with senior Sean Derry for Augustana’s best record at 22-3. Against Division II competition, North is 11-0 with and has earned the No. 4 ranking at 125 pounds.

13 of the Vikings’ 14 duals, the action has started at 125 pounds and North has started the Vikings off with 56 points in those 14 matches, second on the team. North has scored on 52 takedowns, second on the team, while allowing just eight by his opponents. Proving his dominance on top, North has also scored points on riding time in 17 matches.

To close the season, North will face the fourth and eighth ranked wrestlers in the Super Region 3 rankings.

Derry’s dominating senior season
After qualifying but not able to compete due to injury at the NCAA Championships, Sean Derry is on a war path in his senior season and has earned the No. 8 ranking.

Tied with TJ North, Derry owns a 22-3 mark at 184 pounds, and holds an 11-0 mark against Division II competition. Derry’s takedown ability is shining through with 92 so far this season, while being taken down just five times. With 59 team points scored, Derry leads the Vikings and has proven to be a rock at the 184-pound class. Derry joins North with a perfect 14-0 dual record, giving the Vikings a chance in every match.

Derry’s competition stiffens as he will face Upper Iowa’s Blake Sorensen, who is ranked fourth in Division II.

Three Vikings hold onto their individual rankings; Augustana remains receiving votes
In the Jan. 15 release of the NCAA Division II Wrestling rankings, three Augustana wrestlers remained ranked. Augustana also remained in the receiving votes section of the semi-weekly poll.

Jayd Docken moved up one spot from the previous ranking to No. 4 at 197 pounds. Docken owns a 10-1 record, dropping his first bout of the season to No. 5 Julian Smith of McKendree on Jan. 18. TJ North debuted at No. 5 in the 125-pound rankings on Jan. 3 and since defeated the then-No. 1 Alex Johns of Indianapolis on Jan. 18 at the Ranger Duals. Sean Derry started the season at No. 8 jumped up one spot, then slid back to the eighth position, but Derry owns a 22-3 record, including a 11-0 mark against Division II competition.

Engbrecht emerges at 133 pounds
Redshirt Freshman Morgan Engbrecht has been trust into action at 133 pounds when the return of junior super region-ranked Jeremiah Peterson was delayed. Since joining Augustana’s lineup at 133 pounds, Engbrecht owns a 5-2 record with a pair of pins. Engbrecht wrestled at 125 pounds to open the season and recorded a 9-5 record then 0-2 at 133 before starting duals. The Sturgis, S.D. native then rebounded from a major decision loss to Minot State’s Josh Douglas and sparked his 133-pound dual run with a 6-1 win. One of Engbrecht’s losses came to Southwest Minnesota State’s Justin Reinsma who is nationally ranked at 133 pounds.

Vikings go 2-0 on Minnesota road swing
Augustana closed out a five dual road swing with a pair of wins while visiting Minnesota. The Vikings took down No. 4-ranked Division-III Augsburg 26-9 in Friday’s dual. Augustana won seven bouts and were paced by two major decisions in the first three bouts. Sean Derry collected his fifth pin of the season and second-fastest of the season. Returning to NSIC duals, the Vikings improved the league record to 3-1 with a 30-10 win over Minnesota State. Again the Vikings won seven bouts, with Morgan Engbrecht and Shawn Hatlestad each winning by fall. Augustana avenged last season’s narrow loss with a drubbing of the Monarchs to move into a third-place tie in the NSIC standings.

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