Augsburg advances to NWCA D-III National Duals semifinals

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The top-ranked Augsburg University wrestling team clinched its 16th top-four finish in the 19-year history of the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III National Duals championships, with two victories on Friday at the Kentucky Expo Center. The Auggies opened with a 43-3 win over Olivet (Mich.), then dispatched No. 8-ranked Johnson & Wales (R.I.) 27-14 in the quarterfinals.

HOW IT HAPPENED
The top-ranked team in the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III national rankings, Augsburg scored wins in 15 of its 20 bouts in the first day of the two-day event, including 11 bonus-point wins — six pins, two technical falls and three major decisions.

No. 2-ranked 184-pounder Tanner Vassar (SR, Maple Lake, Minn./Maple Lake HS) claimed two second-period pins on the day, a 3:40 pin against Olivet and a 4:49 pin against Johnson & Wales. Now 16-0 on the season and 109-29 in his Augsburg career, Vassar now has 40 career pins, including 10 this season.

Two-time defending 157-pound national champion Ryan Epps (SR, Cannon Falls, Minn./Cannon Falls HS) claimed an 18-2, 4:50 technical fall win in his opener, then scored a 5:16 pin of Johnson & Wales’ Da’mani Burns, the No. 8-ranked 149-pounder nationally. Epps is now 17-0 on the season and 130-11 in his career. He now has 57 career bonus-point wins (33 pins, nine technical falls and 15 major decisions).

Lucas Jeske (SR, St. Michael, Minn./St. Michael-Albertville HS), the defending back-to-back national champion at 165 pounds, claimed a 1:58 pin against Olivet and a 17-4 major decision win against Johnson & Wales. Now 89-9 in his Auggie career, Jeske now has 60 career bonus-point wins (37 pins, nine technical falls and 14 major decisions).

No. 6-ranked 149-pounder Aaron Wilson (SR, Oak Grove, Minn./St. Francis HS) also claimed two bonus-point victories on Friday, a 72-second pin in the opener and a 17-0, 4:03 technical fall in the quarterfinals. Now 16-1 on the season with 14 bonus-point wins (six pins, eight technical falls), Wilson now has 64 career bonus-point wins (33 pins, 15 technical falls and 16 major decisions) in his 87-30 college career.

Victor Gliva (SR, Farmington, Minn./Farmington HS) returned to the win column with a pair of victories, including a 3:43 pin in his opener. He is now 16-1 on the season and 105-23 in his career, with 61 bonus-point wins (32 pins, 10 technical falls and 19 major decisions).

One of the most dramatic wins on the day for the Auggies came in their very first bout, as Justin Stauffacher (FY, Belle Plaine, Minn./Belle Plaine HS (Scott West)) scored a late escape to claim a 3-2 win over Olivet’s Garret Cleveland in the third overtime tiebreaker session, completing a marathon 13-minute match.

BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
The NWCA Division III National Duals titlists each of the last two seasons, Augsburg is now 60-15 all-time in Division III National Duals competition since it started in the 2001-02 season. Including five other appearances in NWCA Division I National Duals competition prior to 2002, when the Division II, Division III and NAIA defending national champions were invited to participate, Augsburg is now 65-24.

UP NEXT
Augsburg will face No. 4-ranked Loras (Iowa) in the National Duals semifinals on Saturday (1/11) at 10 a.m. (Central time) at Freedom Hall in Louisville, and will face either No. 2-ranked Wartburg (Iowa) or No. 3-ranked Wabash (Ind.) in the final match, with the championship match at 2 p.m. and the third-place match at 12 p.m.

Against opponents from Divisions II and III, Augsburg is now 343-52-1 in dual meets since the 1989-90 season. Augsburg has lost just 48 matches to non-Division I opponents since the 1995-96 season. Against strictly Division III opponents, Augsburg is 330-51-1 since the 1979-80 season and 255-41-1 since 1989-90.

NWCA Multi-Divisional National Duals Brackets/Results on TrackWrestling.com

THE BASICS
FINAL SCORE: No. 1 Augsburg 43, Olivet (Mich.) 3; No. 1 Augsburg 27, No. 8 Johnson & Wales (R.I.) 14
LOCATION: Kentucky Expo Center, Louisville, Ky.
RECORD: Augsburg 5-0 overall

Quarterfinals:

No. 1 Augsburg (5-0) 27, No. 8 Johnson & Wales (R.I.) 14
125 — Christopher Caban (JWU) dec. Justin Stauffacher (AUG, 12-4) 5-2 (JWU 3-0)
133 — No. 2 Victor Gliva (AUG, 16-1) dec. Hayden Brown (JWU) 6-0 (TIED 3-3)
141 — Jordan Robinson (JWU) dec. No. 1 David Flynn (AUG, 7-1) 4-3 (OT-TB1) (JWU 6-3)
149 — No. 6 Aaron Wilson (AUG, 16-1) tech. fall Kyle Althenn (JWU) 17-0 at 4:03 (Augsburg 8-6)
157 — No. 1 Ryan Epps (AUG, 17-0) pinned No. 8 (149) Da’mani Burns (JWU) 5:16 (Augsburg 14-6)
165 — No. 1 Lucas Jeske (AUG, 3-0) maj. dec. Christian Murphy (JWU) 17-4 (Augsburg 18-6)
174 — No. 7 Solomon Nielsen (AUG, 13-1) dec. Cameron Altobelli (JWU) 15-9 (Augsburg 21-6)
184 — No. 2 Tanner Vassar (AUG, 16-0) pinned Nicholas Munsch (JWU) 4:49 (Augsburg 27-6)
197 — Giovanni Santiago (JWU) pinned No. 1 Lance Benick (AUG, 1-1) 0:47 (Augsburg 27-12)
Johnson & Wales penalized 1 team point for unsportsmanlike conduct (Augsburg 27-11)
HWT — No. 10 Michael DiNardo (JWU) dec. Tyler Kim (AUG, 12-4) 2-1 (Augsburg 27-14)

First Round:

No. 1 Augsburg (4-0) 43, Olivet (Mich.) 3
125 — Justin Stauffacher (AUG, 12-3) dec. Garret Cleveland (OC, 5-11) 3-2 (OT-TB3) (Augsburg 3-0)
133 — No. 2 Victor Gliva (AUG, 15-1) pinned Kyle Schaaf (OC, 3-3) 3:43 (Augsburg 9-0)
141 — No. 1 David Flynn (AUG, 7-0) maj. dec. Andre Bourlier (OC, 7-7) 13-0 (Augsburg 13-0)
149 — No. 6 Aaron Wilson (AUG, 15-1) pinned Zachary Wells (OC, 5-4) 1:12 (Augsburg 19-0)
157 — No. 1 Ryan Epps (AUG, 16-0) tech. fall Liam Kinjorski (OC, 5-3) 18-2 at 4:50 (Augsburg 24-0)
165 — No. 1 Lucas Jeske (AUG, 2-0) pinned Adam Hall (OC, 11-6) 1:58 (Augsburg 30-0)
174 — Nick Rogge (AUG, 13-1) maj. dec. Nicholas Worden (OC, 8-6) 15-2 (Augsburg 34-0)
184 — No. 2 Tanner Vassar (AUG, 15-0) pinned Hiram Robinson (OC, 4-7) 3:40 (Augsburg 40-0)
197 — Wyatt Richardson (AUG, 7-4) dec. Austin Engle (OC, 6-5) 8-4 (Augsburg 43-0)
HWT — Dominick Wilson (OC, 11-2) dec. Zach Muller (AUG, 4-3) 4-0 (Augsburg 43-3)

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