DUBUQUE, Iowa – No. 21 Saint John’s wrestling split a pair of duals on Sunday, Feb. 9, in Dubuque, Iowa. The Johnnies defeated Wisconsin-Platteville, 29-14, before losing three matches by three points or less in a 25-14 loss to No. 28 Loras (Iowa).
SJU (8-9 dual record) started the day down 5-0 to Platteville before it tallied 23 unanswered points, via three consecutive pins and a technical fall, to gain a 23-5 lead. Senior Alex Peck (Edina, Minn./Benilde-St. Margaret’s), sophomore Ben Henle (Spicer, Minn./New London-Spicer) and junior Joe Hessing (Loretto, Minn./Delano) recorded the pins, while senior Ryan Arne (Orono, Minn.), ranked No. 10 by the National Wrestling Coaches’ Association (NWCA), registered a 15-0 technical fall at 157 pounds.
The Pioneers recorded a pair of decisions at 165 and 174 pounds, but a 4-0 win from sophomore Josh Willaert (Le Sueur, Minn./Le Sueur-Henderson) clinched the dual win for SJU at 184. Junior Ryan Michaelis (Monticello, Minn.) suffered the Johnnies’ second overtime loss of the dual, 4-2 in triple OT at 197 pounds, before senior John Scepaniak (Avon, Minn./Holdingford) wrapped it up with a 7-5 win at heavyweight.
Loras rode the bulk of its lineup at 141, 149 and 157 pounds to build a 16-4 lead en route to the 25-14 win over SJU, the Duhawks’ first dual of the day. Peck put SJU on the board with an 11-0 major decision at 133 pounds, his second bonus-point win of the day, before the Duhawks took control.
Matt Holmes, ranked as high as fourth by D3wrestle.com (No. 9 by the NWCA), edged Henle with a 6-4 decision. Joe Wood made it 13-4 with a 15-7 major decision over Hessing. Though unranked, Wood earned All-America honors with a fourth-place finish as a sophomore at the 2012 NCAA Division III Championships. Steve DeWitt, ranked third nationally at 157 pounds, defeated Arne, 15-8.
Senior Brandon Seppelt (Foley, Minn.) stopped the bleeding, temporarily, with a 14-6 major decision at 165 pounds. Willaert cut the Johnnies’ deficit to 19-14 via pin at 184 pounds with two matches to go. Michaelis, however, suffered the Johnnies’ third loss decided by three points or less, 3-1, at 197 pounds to seal the dual win for Loras. SJU went 1-5 in matches decided by a three-point margin or less on the day.
The Johnnies return to the road on Tuesday, Feb. 11, for a 7 p.m. dual at No. 6 Concordia-Moorhead.
No. 21 Saint John’s (SJU) 29, Wisconsin-Platteville (UWP) 14
125: Cole Ferguson (UWP) tech. fall Alex Rod, 16-0 [0-5]
133: Alex Peck (SJU) pinned Zach Stenger, 4:26 [6-5]
141: Ben Henle (SJU) pinned Mason Bohm, 1:24 [12-5]
149: Joe Hessing (SJU) pinned Emeric Williams, 3:43 [18-5]
157: Ryan Arne (No. 10, SJU) tech. fall Mike Uliana, 15-0 [23-5]
165: Trent Larson (UWP) dec. Brandon Seppelt, 8-4 [23-8]
174: Dylan DeShane (UWP) dec. Teddy Erickson, 10-8 (OT) [23-11]
184: Josh Willaert (SJU) dec. Devin Johnson, 4-0 [26-11]
197: Bryan Etherton (UWP) dec. Ryan Michaelis, 4-2 (3OT) [26-14]
285: John Scepaniak (SJU) dec. Brandon Boyle, 7-5 [29-14]
No. 28 Loras (LOR) 25, No. 21 Saint John’s (SJU) 14
125: Rudy Johnson (LOR) pinned Alex Rod, 1:50 [0-6]
133: Alex Peck (SJU) major dec. Denzel King, 11-0 [4-6]
141: Matt Holmes (No. 9, LOR) dec. Ben Henle, 6-4 [4-9]
149: Joe Wood (LOR) major dec. Joe Hessing, 15-7 [4-13]
157: Steve DeWitt (No. 3, LOR) dec. Ryan Arne (No. 10), 15-8 [4-16]
165: Brandon Seppelt (SJU) major dec. Billy Wood, 14-6 [8-16]
174: Joe Butler (LOR) dec. Teddy Erickson, 7-4 [8-19]
184: Josh Willaert (SJU) pinned Malcolm Watson, 1:27 [14-19]
197: Cody Flynn (LOR) dec. Ryan Michaelis, 3-1 [14-22]
285: James Buss (LOR) dec. John Scepaniak, 8-2 [14-25]