North Dakota State 24, Utah Valley 13

No.19/24 NDSU Wrestling Wins Seventh Straight With 24-13 WWC Win Over Utah Valley

FARGO, N.D.–North Dakota State University 285-pound Evan Knutson recorded a pin and 184 Hayden Zillmer posted a tech fall as the No. 19/24-ranked Bison defeated stubborn Utah Valley University 24-13 in a Western Wrestling Conference dual on Saturday, Feb. 7, before 365 at the Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse.

NDSU (8-3, 4-0 WWC) is scheduled to host No. 2/3-ranked University of Minnesota at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 15, in one of eight National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) National Duals Regionals being held at campus sites. The eight winners will converge on the University of Iowa on Feb. 21-22. Utah Valley dropped to 2-8 overall and 1-3 in the WWC.

NDSU BisonWhile Knutson and Zillmer came up with huge bonus points for North Dakota State, it was the middle of the lineup that turned things around winning four matches in a row.

The Bison trailed Utah Valley 7-3 after three matches before 157-pound redshirt freshman Grant Nehring (Kimball, Minn.) dominated throughout and came up with an important 10-1 major decision over Utah Valley’s Jared Harris to knot things at 7-7. Nehring has won three of his last four matches to improve to 6-10 overall and 3-3 in duals.

Moving up a weight class to 165-pounds was redshirt sophomore Steven Keogh (Thief River Falls, Minn.). Keogh and the Wolverines’ Dalton Harmon went back and forth for three periods. Keogh recorded an escape with under 15-seconds left in the third period and held on for a 1-0 win. Keogh snapped a personal four-match losing streak, won his first dual in seven tries and stands 7-14 overall. NDSU

The first of two Bison seniors honored prior to the match, 174-pound Kurtis Julson (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) posted an 8-2 win over Ethan Smith. Then Bison ninth-ranked junior Zillmer (Crosby, Minn.) was relentless in a 22-7 tech fall over Ross Taylor at 184. NDSU built the lead to 18-7. Julson stands at 14-9 and 6-5, while Zillmer improved to 27-4 including a 11-0 ledger in duals.

Utah Valley stopped the run at 197-pounds and cut the deficit to 18-10. UVU’s Derek Thomas scored a late third period takedown to defeat redshirt freshman Tommy Petersen (Lakeville, Minn.), who fell to 9-14 overall and 1-7 in duals.

Enter the second senior, Knutson (Wausau, Wis.), who was leading the Wolverines’ Jordan Karst 3-1 late in third. Knutson kept driving and recorded his third pin of the season with 15-seconds left in the match. He improved to 21-7 overall and has won nine of 11 duals. That fall put the Bison ahead 24-10.

Utah Valley’s 20th-ranked Chasen Tolbert recorded a takedown with two seconds left to post a 5-3 decision 13th-ranked sophomore Josh Rodriguez (Guadalupe, Calif.). Rodriguez dropped to 14-6 overall and 8-3 in duals.

UVU open the match with wins by Jade Rauser at 133-pounds with an 11-3 major decision over Kyle Gliva, and 149 Trevor Willson, who edged Clay Ream 5-4. North Dakota State 141-pound redshirt freshman Mitch Bengtson (St. Cloud, Minn.) posted a 10-5 decision over Matthew Ontiveros. Bengtson became the fourth NDSU wrestler to reach 20 wins (20-9, 8-3 duals).

#19/24 North Dakota State 24, Utah Valley 13
133: Jade Rauser (UVU) over Kyle Gliva (NDSU) (MD 11-3)
141: Mitch Bengtson (NDSU) over Matthew Ontiveros (UVU) (Dec 10-5)
149: Trevor Willson (UVU) over Clay Ream (NDSU) (Dec 5-4)
157: Grant Nehring (NDSU) over Jared Harris (UVU) (MD 10-1)
165: Steven Keogh (NDSU) over Dalton Harmon (UVU) (Dec 1-0)
174: Kurtis Julson (NDSU) over Ethan Smith (UVU) (Dec 8-2)
184: #9 Hayden Zillmer (NDSU) over Ross Taylor (UVU) (TF 22-7 6:59)
197: Derek Thomas (UVU) over Tommy Petersen (NDSU) (Dec 3-1)
285: #15 Evan Knutson (NDSU) over Jordan Karst (UVU) (Fall 6:45)
125: #20 Chasen Tolbert (UVU) over #13 Josh Rodriguez (NDSU) (Dec 5-3)

Referee—Bill Benson
NDSU had choice in even matches
Match started at 133 pounds

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