SMSU returns to NSIC Play and travel to DIII defending national champion, Augsburg, in back-to-back duals

MARSHALL, Minn. – The Southwest Minnesota State wrestling team will return to NSIC play with a conference dual at No. 6 Upper Iowa (2-0, 2-0 NSIC) on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Dorman Gymnasium, before heading to defending national champion, Augsburg University, on Friday for a non-conference dual at 7 p.m. in Si Melby Hall.

Thursday’s dual against Upper Iowa is the first conference dual for the Mustangs since a 42-0 loss to NSIC-powerhouse, St. Cloud State, on Nov. 20.

SMSU NOTES: SMSU competed in four opens to kickstart the season. SMSU, in total this season, is 182-166 in bouts. Leading the Mustangs in victories is Robert Shields (149) who has earned 16 victories for a team-high. Shields has eight victories by decision and five by fall. Shields has placed at all four opens, including a consolation championship at the Buena Vista Open last weekend, after he went 4-1.

The Mustangs placed a season-high 12 wrestlers at the Auggie-Adidas Invitational on Nov. 23. Cole Hennen (184), Jackson Ryan (197), and Gage Wevley (285) all placed second for SMSU while Ben Thompson (197) and Nathan Moore (157) were named consolation champions.

SMSU Leaders:
Robert Shields (16-7)
Hunter Pfantz (11-6)
Jackson Ryan (11-4)
Kevin Bostwick (10-8)
Cole Hennen (10-4)

UPPER IOWA: Upper Iowa ranks sixth in the latest NCAA DII poll, released on Nov. 27. UIU has four wrestlers ranked as Nick Baumler (197) leads the way ranked No. 1. Brock Benitz (165) ranked fourth, Justin Folley (133) ranked fourth, and Dalton Hahn (184) ranks 11th.

Hahn leads with the most wins this season with a 24-7 record, followed close behind with Folley who has a 23-5 record.

UIU earned a 28-6 victory over UMary last weekend in which UIU earned victories in eight of the 10 bouts.

UIU SERIES HISTORY: Upper Iowa leads the all-time series 15-4 in a series back to 1991. SMSU opened the series with four straight victories, have lost the last 15 duals. The Peacocks earned a 25-8 victory in the last meeting which occurred on Jan. 18, 2019, in Marshall.

Mustangs at Peacock Live Video

AUGSBURG: Augsburg is the Division III defending national champion and a member of the MIAC. Augsburg sent nine wrestlers to nationals a season ago where the Auggies earned four national titles to finish with 130 points to earn the title. Augsburg’s 2019-20 roster includes five ranked wrestlers with All-American Ryan Epps (165) at No. 1, All-American, Tanner Vassar (184) at No. 2, All-American Victor Gliva (125) at No. 3, Solomon Nielsen (174) at No. 9, and All-American Aaron Wilson (149) at No. 10.

AUGGIE SERIES HISTORY: Augsburg leads the all-time series 26-3, dating back to the 1972-3 season. Augsburg earned a 32-6 victory in the last meeting on Jan. 12, 2019, in Marshall. Augsburg has maintained a 24-dual winning streak over the Mustangs, which began in the 1988-89 season.

Mustangs at Auggies Live Video

Probable SMSU Line Up:
25 Willie Meine or Ben Emrich
133 Brock Buysse or Hunter Pfantz
141 Justin Sampson
149 Robert Shields
157 Nathan Moore
165 Kevin Bostwick
174 Hayden Voxland or Jacob Backlund
184 Cole Hennen
197 Jackson Ryan or Ben Thompson
285 Andrew Petersen

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