North Dakota State University wrestling ranked No. 25 in the first regular season USA Today/National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Coaches Top 25 released Oct. 27. The Bison were ranked No. 20 in the last year’s final regular season top 25 poll.
North Dakota State, directed by fifth-year head coach Roger Kish, won its second straight NCAA West Region championship and second Western Wrestling Conference regular-season dual title over the past three years in 2015. The Bison were 5-0 in the WWC and 9-4 overall including a 22-21 win by criteria over No. 18-ranked Wyoming. NDSU finished 23rd at the 2015 NCAA Championships.
NDSU returns NCAA Division I All-American 184-pound senior Hayden Zillmer (Crosby, Minn.), and three NCAA qualifiers in 125-pound junior Josh Rodriguez (Guadalupe, Calif.), 141-pound sophomore Mitch Bengtson (St. Cloud, Minn.) and 149-pound sophomore Clay Ream (Wentzville, Mo.).
North Dakota State is scheduled to open the season Sunday, Nov. 1, at the Warren Williamson Daktronics Open in Brookings. NDSU opens the home portion of its schedule at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, against Atlantic Coast Conference powerhouse University of Virginia in the Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse. The 45th annual Bison Open follows on Saturday, Nov. 14, in the Fargodome.