The Johnnies returns to the road for a dual tonight at Concordia-Moorhead

No. 21 Saint John’s will dual No. 6 Concordia-Moorhead tonight at 7 p.m. in Moorhead.

Saint John's JohnniesA LOOK AT THE JOHNNIES: No. 21 Saint John’s wrestling (8-9 dual record) 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 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.

SJU’s PROBABLE LINEUP: Here is SJU’s probable lineup tonight against the Cobbers:
-125: Sophomore Alex Rod (0-13 record)
-133: Senior Alex Peck (8-6 record)
-141: Sophomore Ben Henle (15-8 record)
-149: Junior Joe Hessing (16-9 record)
-157: Senior Ryan Arne, ranked No. 10 (17-4 record)
-165: Senior Brandon Seppelt (7-14 record)
-174: Freshman Teddy Erickson (7-12 record)
-184: Sophomore Josh Willaert (10-6 record)
-197: Junior Ryan Michaelis (11-8 record)
-285: Senior John Scepaniak (10-9 record)

SJU vs Concordia Live Video

A LOOK AT THE COBBERS: No. 6 Concordia-Moorhead (14-4 dual record) has six wrestlers mentioned in the latest d3wrestle.com rankings, including three in the top 10. Junior Jacoby Bergeron (23-7 record) is ranked as high as No. 5 by the NWCA at 133 pounds (No. 8 by D3wrestle.com). He has won 14 of his last 16 matches dating back to Dec. 7 and is followed by senior Jake Long (23-7 record), who is ranked fifth (D3wrestle.com) at 149. Long has won 13 of his last 15 matches, including each of his last 11 dating back to Dec. 21. Senior heavyweight Cody Kasprick (20-9 record) is ranked as high as fourth (NWCA) and has won 10 of his last 14 matches, eight of which have been bonus-point victories. Sophomore Gabe Foltz (16-12 record) and junior Chris Harrison (21-8 record) were listed as “Contenders,” just outside of the top 10, by D3wrestle.com.

CONCORDIA’S PROBABLE LINEUP:
-125: Sophomore Gabe Foltz (16-12 record)
-133: Junior Jacoby Bergeron (23-7 record), ranked No. 5/8; or junior Will McCarthy (13-8 record)
-141: Junior Yonas Gebreab (19-15 record)
-149: Senior Jake Long (23-7 record), ranked No. 5/7
-157: Senior Kyle LeDuc (22-9 record)
-165: Junior Jake Krogstad (15-8 record)
-174: Junior Sebastian Gardner (21-11 record)
-184: Junior Chris Harrison (21-8 record)
-197: Junior Delson Saintal (14-13 record)
-285: Senior Cody Kasprick (20-9 record), ranked No. 4/5

LAST YEAR: Then-No. 18 SJU fell to then-No. 21 Concordia via criteria (total match points, 51-42) 17-16 last Feb. 16 (2013) in Collegeville. SJU fell behind 10-0 before gaining a 16-10 lead with six consecutive wins. Chris Stevermer ’13 weighed in at 149 pounds for the second time that season and improved to 13-5 overall with a 3-2 upset over Jake Long, the 10th-ranked wrestler according to the NWCA. Arne tallied a 6-1 decision over Kevin Fynboh at 157 pounds before Nick Schuler ’13 tied the match at 10-10 with a 16-8 major decision of Josten Coleman at 165. Willaert earned his team-leading 17th win of the season (17-3 record) with a hard-fought 7-6 win over Sebastian Gardner at 174. Mitch Hagen ’13 recorded a one-point win of his own, 2-1, over Chris Harrison. Michaelis lost a close 3-1 decision in overtime to Nathan Schmitz and Tom Bouressa, the fourth-ranked heavyweight in the country (NWCA), ended the dual with a 6-0 decision over Scepaniak to tie it at 16-16.

RECENT SERIES HISTORY: The Johnnies are 15-6 against the Cobbers in dual meets since the 1994-95 season, though Concordia has won six of the last eight meetings. SJU won 13 straight from 1995-2007 before the Cobbers started a streak of four straight (2008-10).

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