The Johnnies host No. 8 Augsburg for a 1 p.m. dual on Sunday, Jan. 24, in Sexton Arena.
A LOOK AT THE JOHNNIES: Saint John’s (3-12 dual record) fell 40-3 to nationally-ranked, Division II MSU-Mankato last night (Jan. 21). The No. 14 Mavericks, who boast two wrestlers ranked in the top 10, recorded five bonus-point wins. Senior Mike Pleski (Stacy, Minn./Forest Lake) tallied the lone win for the Johnnies, a 5-4 decision at 133 pounds. Senior Ben Henle (Spicer, Minn./New London-Spicer) had a 4-1 lead in his match at 141 pounds but surrendered a four-point near fall at the end of the second period en route to a 10-5 loss. Henle is ranked No. 7 in National Wrestling Coaches’ Association (NWCA) Division III rankings. SJU suffered two one-point losses on the night. Junior Teddy Erickson (Annandale, Minn.) entered the third period with a 3-1 lead in an eventual 4-3 loss while junior Colin Fisher (Eagan, Minn.) took a 5-4 loss at heavyweight.
SUNDAY’S PROBABLES: The Johnnies are expected to send these 10 wrestlers to the mat on Sunday:
125: John Wells (9-7)
133: Mike Pleski (11-14)
141: No. 7 Ben Henle (14-9)
149: Branden Schorr (5-12)
157: T.J. Fulton (1-2)
165: Teddy Erickson (9-13)
174: Robert Tait (6-3)
184: Luke Dodd (8-8)
197: Nick Pegelow (7-19)
285: Colin Fisher (6-8)
A LOOK AT THE AUGGIES: Eighth-ranked Augsburg (9-2 dual record) is coming off a seventh-place finish at the NWCA Division III National Duals held Jan. 8-9. The Auggies started the dual tournament with a 28-13 victory over No. 20 Wisconsin-Whitewater. Following a 25-15 loss to No. 8 Wabash (Ind.), Augsburg bounced back with a 25-18 win over No. 17 Luther (Iowa). The Auggies started day two with a 20-19 loss at the hands of No. 3 Wisconsin-La Crosse and edged No. 5 Ithaca (N.Y.) 22-21 to take seventh. The Auggies have multiple wrestlers listed in both the D3wrestle.com and NWCA rankings. Junior heavyweight Donny Longendyke (19-2 record), the defending national champion and a transfer from Division I Nebraska, is No. 1 in both rankings. Senior Eric Hensel (16-2) is ranked as high as fifth by the NWCA at 165 pounds while senior Rashad Kennedy (3-2) is sixth at 149 in the same rankings. Augsburg heads to Moorhead tonight (Jan. 22) to take on No. 4 Concordia before paying the Johnnies a visit Sunday afternoon.
LAST YEAR: Saint John’s earned three wins in a 34-12 loss at Augsburg last year. Henle got the Johnnies on the board with a 5-3 win at 141 pounds. Sophomore Nick Hoff (Rushford, Minn./Rushford-Peterson) posted a surprise upset pin at 174 pounds and Ryan Michaelis ’15 recorded a 7-2 decision at 197. The Johnnies surrendered six bonus-point losses in the match.
SERIES HISTORY: The Johnnies have won two out of the last seven matches against the Auggies, with their last win occurring on Jan. 26, 2013 (23-10). The other win (18-13), on Nov. 26, 2008, snapped a 22-match losing streak to Augsburg, as well as the Auggies’ 70-match winning streak over Minnesota Division II and III opponents (since 1996) and their streak of 92 consecutive wins over Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference foes (since the 1986-87 season).