Minnesota Stampedes NDSU, 26-9
After No. 5 Scott Schiller won Sunday’s opening match for the Gophers in front of his hometown crowd in Fargo, No. 4 Minnesota took six of the next seven bouts against No. 23 North Dakota State to win the dual, 26-9. The match was an opening round regional contest in the NWCA National Duals. With its victory, Minnesota advances to the quarterfinals next weekend in Iowa City.
For Schiller, who wrestled for West Fargo High School before coming to Minnesota, Sunday wasn’t his first time competing in his hometown as a Gopher, but it was his first time wrestling in a dual in Fargo, meaning each of the 1,465 spectators who packed the Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse were watching him. And Schiller delivered, piling up third period points to earn a 12-3 major decision over Tommy Petersen.
Schiller was one of three Gophers to score bonus points in his match on Sunday. At 157, No. 1 Dylan Ness remained undefeated after promptly putting Mitchell Friedman on his back and then working to score the fall at 1:11 of the first period. It’s the second straight pin for Ness, who has wrestled a total of 2:28 in his last two matches. With 12 pins on the season, Ness has matched his previous career high and, with 37 for his career, he’s now tied with Mike Thorn for ninth on the Gophers’ career falls list. No. 17 Nick Wanzek also scored bonus points for the Gophers at 165, sealing an 11-3 major decision over Steven Keogh with a third period takedown. Sunday was the second consecutive dual in which Wanzek has earned bonus points for Minnesota.
In addition to those highlights, Sunday also was a memorable day for Ethan Lizak. The true freshman 125-pounder made his dual debut just a few weeks ago and found himself facing a fourth ranked opponent in his first five contests when he took on No. 13 Josh Rodriguez. With an escape in the second period and a ride out in the third to score the riding time point, Lizak prevailed, 2-1, securing his first career win against a ranked opponent.
Following Schiller’s victory at 197 to kick off the dual, No. 13 Michael Kroells fell to No. 15 Evan Knutson, 4-3, after Knutson escaped Kroells just before the third period buzzer for the winning point. It was Kroells’ first loss to Knutson in four career matches. Lizak followed with his victory at 125 before the Dardanes brothers added a pair of convincing decisions for the Gophers. First, at 133, No. 1 Chris Dardanes improved to 19-0 by defeating Kyle Gliva, 11-6. Then, at 141, No. 4 Nick Dardanes beat Mitch Bengtson for the third time this season, following up a pair of narrow victories earlier in the year with a decisive 10-4 win on Sunday.
At that point, halfway through the dual, the Gophers led 13-3. At 149, Jake Short took on Clay Ream, capturing a 10-5 decision. Ness followed with his pin at 157, then Wanzek added his major decision at 165 to put the Gophers ahead 26-3. North Dakota State took the final two matches of the dual, first at 174, where Kurtis Julson defeated Jordon Rothers, 5-2, in Rothers’ first career dual match. The dual concluded with No. 9 Hayden Zillmer securing a last-second takedown on No. 13 Brett Pfarr to win, 6-5.
While the win means Minnesota knows it will be in Iowa City for the next round of the NWCA National Duals next weekend, the Gophers do not yet know who their opponent will be when they get to Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Early this coming week, the NWCA will announce the brackets for next weekend. Regardless of the opponent, Minnesota will hit the mat on Saturday at 12 p.m. CT.
#4 Minnesota 26, #19 North Dakota State 9
197 #5 Scott Schiller (Minnesota) maj. dec.Thomas Petersen (North Dakota State) 12-3
285 #15 Evan Knutson (North Dakota State) dec. #13 Michael Kroells (Minnesota) 4-3
125 Ethan Lizak (Minnesota) dec. #13 Joshua Rodriguez (North Dakota State) 2-1
133 #1 Christopher Dardanes (Minnesota) dec.Kyle Gliva (North Dakota State) 11-6
141 #4 Nick Dardanes (Minnesota) dec. Mitchell Bengtson (North Dakota State) 10-4
149 Jake Short (Minnesota) dec. Clayton Ream (North Dakota State) 10-5
157 #1 Dylan Ness (Minnesota) fall Mitchell Friedman (North Dakota State) 1:11
165 #17 Nicholas Wanzek (Minnesota) maj. dec. Steven Keogh (North Dakota State) 11-3
174 Kurtis Julson (North Dakota State) dec. Jordan Rothers (Minnesota) 5-2
184 #9 Hayden Zillmer (North Dakota State) dec. #13 Brett Pfarr (Minnesota) 6-5