SIOUX FALLS – Fresh off their first dual of the season, the Augustana wrestling team returns to the Elmen Center for its first home dual of the season on Wednesday, when the Vikings host Dakota Wesleyan at 7 p.m.
The Vikings dropped their first dual of the season, falling 21-13 at Northern State on Thursday in a match that came down to the final bout.
After dropping the first four matches against the Wolves and falling into a 15-0 hole, the Vikings rallied for three straight wins, highlighted by Colin Ayers’ team-high 20th win of the season, and bookended by Lukas Poloncic earning a major decision victory to cut the NSU lead to 15-10 with three matches left.
Unfortunately, the Clayton Wahlstrom win at 197 lbs. represented the final victory of the night for the Vikings in the loss, but they look to get back on the winning track against the Tigers on Wednesday.
Individually, Ayers leads the Vikings with a team-high 20 wins to go along with eight losses. Despite his record at 157 lbs., he enters the week without a pin this season, but does come in with a technical fall and five major decisions.
Jebben Keyes only wrestled in 21 matches this season, but posted a 11-10 mark to date at 141 lbs., which includes a team-best six falls to go with his five decisions.
Other Vikings to watch against DWU include Daniel Bishop, who enters the dual with a 16-9 mark at 184 lbs., and with a team-high 10 technical falls, and Jackson Sweeney at 165 lbs., as he makes his dual debut with a 10-5 record.
Dakota Wesleyan comes to Sioux Falls with a 1-2 mark in duals this season, which includes a pair of hefty losses to both Concordia (Neb.), which blanked the Tigers 58-0 on Nov. 9, and Briar Cliff, which won 56-0 on Nov. 20. The win come in an almost equally lopsided affair against Hastings on Jan. 4, a 53-6 DWU win.
The Vikings lead the all-time series against the Tigers, which dates back to the 1999-2000 season, by a 17-0 margin, and includes a 51-6 Augustana win last season on Dec. 3, at the South Dakota Showcase in Spearfish, S.D.
Following Wednesday’s action, the Vikings get almost a week to prepare for MSU Moorhead, which comes to the Elmen Center on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m.
Probably Lineup vs. Dakota Wesleyan
125: Ethan Cota
133: Brayden Curry
141: Jebben Keyes
149: Tyler Wagener
157: Colin Ayers
165: Jackson Sweeney
174: Lukas Poloncic
184: Daniel Bishop
197: Clayton Wahlstrom
285: Matt Naig