Saint John’s travels to top-ranked Augsburg for a 7 p.m. dual on Friday, Feb. 8, in Minneapolis.
A LOOK AT THE JOHNNIES: Seven Saint John’s (1-5 dual record) wrestlers competed at Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s Don Parker Open last Saturday (Feb. 2). Freshman Jacob Scherber (Buffalo, Minn.) posted a 3-2 record and led the Johnnies with a fourth-place finish at 174 pounds. He started his day with a pin of Concordia-Moorhead’s Nick Gravdahl but dropped a 6-2 decision to Augsburg’s Nick Rogge in the quarterfinal. Scherber bounced back with a pair of close decisions, 12-9 and 4-2, and took fourth after suffering a fall to Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Nate Mlodzik (the results above are incorrect). He avenged last night’s 5-3 overtime loss to Eau Claire’s Toby Mosley with the 4-2 victory and is now 25-17 on the season.
Junior Andrew Smith (Amery, Wis.) responded from an opening-round loss with five straight wins, including three pins, to claim the 141-pound consolation title. Junior Jerod Novak (Aitkin, Minn.) posted a major decision (15-7 over Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s Nick Pretto) and a close decision (5-4 over Concordia-Moorhead’s Alexander Skaare) before bowing out of the tournament prior to facing top-ranked Ryan Epps of Augsburg in the semifinal. Novak recorded the Johnnies’ lone win (8-1) in last night’s dual loss to Eau Claire and is now 12-5 on the year.
THE PROBABLE MATCHUPS: The Johnnies are scheduled to forfeit four weights Friday night and field the probable lineup below.
125: Josh Clark (10-14) vs. No. 3/5 Victor Gliva (21-4)
133: Open vs. No. 3/4 Sam Bennyhoff (19-4)
141: Andrew Smith (9-13) vs. No. 3/9 David Flynn (20-4)
149: Anthony Hennen (9-21) vs. No. 2 Alex Wilson (29-5)
157: Open vs. No. 2 Ryan Epps (27-3)
165: Open vs. No. 1 Lucas Jeske (12-0)
174: Jacob Scherber (25-17) vs. No. 5 Tannar Vassar (17-6)
184: Open vs. No. 9/10 Solomon Nielsen (21-6)
197: Luke Dodd (12-5) vs. No. 4 Lance Benick (21-3)/Wyatt Richardson (11-5)
285: J.W. Windsor (0-2) vs. Ethan Hofacker (13-14)/Timothy Mandyck (16-15)
A LOOK AT THE AUGGIES: Augsburg (10-1 dual record) followed its loss to No. 3 Wartburg (Iowa) Jan. 31 by sending wrestlers, like SJU, to Eau Claire’s tournament last Saturday. Both the Auggies and Knights won five bouts, all decisions, with the team score ending up 15-15. Under the NCAA’s third tie-breaker criteria, Wartburg gained the bonus point for the dual victory by outscoring Augsburg 47-43 in total match points. The Auggies won three weight classes and took second in five others at Eau Claire. Junior (No. 3/5) Victor Gliva took home first place with three wins at 125 pounds, senior (No. 2) Alex Wilson went 5-0 to claim first at 149 and juniors (No. 2) Ryan Epps and Aaron Wilson both went 3-0 to earn co-first-place honors at 157.
LAST YEAR: Augsburg blanked SJU by a 54-0 score last Feb. 9 (2018) in Collegeville. The Johnnies forfeited four weights to the Auggies, who tallied five bonus-point wins in the other six matches. The dual was delayed an hour and a half due to a scheduling error with the official.
Novak fell to Epps, who entered the match 32-1 and ranked No. 1 in NCAA Division III, by a 6-1 score at 157 pounds. Junior Noah Becker (Browerville, Minn.) and senior Luke Dodd (Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview), did not wrestle for SJU at 125 and 184 pounds, respectively, due to injury.
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