SMSU prepares for busy weekend facing NSIC and nonconference opponents

MARSHALL, Minn. – The Southwest Minnesota State wrestling team (2-3, 2-2 NSIC) is set to compete in a busy weekend with a conference dual at Augustana on Friday at 7 p.m. and traveling to non-conference duals in York, Neb., on Saturday.

SMSU travels to Augustana for a 7 p.m. conference dual on Friday before a weekend competing at the North Country Open beginning at 9 a.m. in Collegeville, Minn., and traveling to York, Neb., for a split dual facing Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and York College (Neb.) at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday.

CATCHING UP WITH THE MUSTANGS – SMSU earned an 18-14 victory over No. 17 Northern State on Jan. 10 in the PE Gym, before traveling to Moorhead, Minn., to pick up a 24-15 victory over MSU Moorhead on Jan. 11. The Mustangs started the weekend off with six bout victories over No. 17 Northern State for the first conference dual victory of the season. The Mustangs opened the dual with back-to-back victories at 125 and 133 by Hunter Pfantz and Jackson Stauffacher. Robert Shields (149), Jacob Backlund (165), Hayden Voxland (174), and Jackson Ryan (197) all contributed to the victory.

Versus MSU Moorhead, SMSU earned five bout victories in the dual win over MSU Moorhead, but the three collective victories by fall would put the Mustangs over the Dragons. Justin Sampson (141) went 1-1 on the weekend with a win by fall at 6:32. Cole Hennen (184) also went 1-1 with a decision victory over MSUM’s Mitchell Kotschevar. Ryan (197) picked up his second dual victory with a win in sudden victory before Pfantz (125) and Staffacher (133) finished the bout, both picking up wins by fall.

REGIONAL RANKINGS – Four Mustang wrestlers made the cut in the Super Five Region Rankings, released on Jan. 22. Jackson Stauffacher ranks fifth at 133, Robert Shields ranks fifth at 149, Cole Hennen ranks fifth at 184, and Jackson Ryan ranks third at 197.

AUGUSTANA— Augustana is 5-2 overall and 2-0 in the NSIC, coming into the dual on five straight victories. Augustana has two wrestlers ranked in the Top-12 NWCA Individual rankings, released on Jan. 22. Jack Huffman (133) ranks ninth, and Ben Kelvington (174) ranks eighth. Augustana is slated third in the Super Five Region Team Rankings, also released on Jan. 22. Augie’s winning streak began on Dec. 20 with a 20-15 victory over Wisconsin-Parkside. Since then, Augie has earned a victory over then-ranked, No. 2 Nebraska-Kearney, then-ranked No. 23 Western Colorado, then-ranked No. 17 Northern State, and MSU Moorhead.

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AUGUSTANA SERIES HISTORY — Augustana holds a 29-5 advantage over SMSU in the all-time series, dating back to 1982. Augie has won 18 of the last 19 duals, the last being a 28-9 victory in Marshall on Jan. 19. SMSU’s last victory was a 15-14 win on Jan. 14, 2014 in Sioux Falls.

MUSTANG HEAD COACH — Jesse Nelson is in his 13th season as head coach at SMSU in 2019-20. Nelson was named the fourth coach in the program history on Aug. 22, 2007. Nelson, the 2013-14 NSIC Coach of the Year, Nelson has a career dual record of 84-98-1, including 33-59 in conference matches. During his tenure, Nelson has groomed 21 national qualifiers–including four two-time qualifiers and three three-time qualifiers–along with 12 All-NSIC honorees.

Probable SMSU Lineup
125 Hunter Pfantz
133 Jackson Stauffacher
141 Justin Sampson
149 Robert Shields
157 Nathan Moore
165 Jacob Backlund
174 Hayden Voxland
184 Cole Hennen
197 Jackson Ryan
285 Andrew Petersen

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