Huskies open 2020 as the nation’s number one ranked team

SCSU wrestling to host Western Colorado on Jan. 5

The #1 St. Cloud State University wrestling team (5-0, 2-0 NSIC) opened 2020 as the nation’s number one ranked NCAA Division II wrestling team. The Huskies received 111 points to maintain their top spot in the NWCA Division II Wrestling Coaches Association poll, which was released on Jan. 1.

The Huskies had nine individual wrestlers ranked in the latest DII poll and ranked 41 points ahead of #2 Pitt-Johnstown on the poll. The remainder of the poll’s top ten ranked NCAA DII teams includes Notre Dame of Ohio (67), Nebraska Kearney (57), McKendree (56), Central Oklahoma (49), Tiffin (45), Ashland (37), Upper Iowa (37) and Newberry (35). NSIC rivals Minnesota State (15th) and Northern State (17th) were also ranked in the poll this week.

St. Cloud State will continue its 2019-20 season with a non-conference match against #23 Western Colorado University at home on Sunday, Jan. 5 at 1 p.m. The match has been designated as SCSU Wrestling Alumni Day and all SCSU wrestling alumni are invited to return to campus for this match to meet up again with former teammates and watch the #1 nationally ranked Huskies battle Western Colorado that day.

The day will include a special introduction of SCSU wrestling alumni during the match intermission. To cap the day, a post-match social will be held at Howie’s Sport Bar, 101 9th Ave. North, St. Cloud, Minn. from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. SCSU wrestlers and coaches will be attending to meet and greet alumni at the social hour. Tickets for the match are available at the gate on Jan. 5.

SCSU WRESTLING HEADLINES:

  • The Huskies placed nine wrestlers in the latest NCAA DII national rankings, which is the most of any school at the DII level. At 133-pounds, Garrett Vos moved up to #2 in the nation. Vos currently owns a 4-0 record this season for the Huskies at 133. Garrett Aldrich was ranked #4 in the poll at 141-pounds. Aldrich is 9-0 for the Huskies this winter. At 149-pounds, James Pleski (6-3) is ranked #2 in the nation for SCSU. Jake Barzowski maintained his #1 national ranking in this poll at 157-pounds for the Huskies. He is 5-1 in 2019-20. At 165-pounds, Devin FitzPatrick owns a perfect 8-0 record and is currently ranked #3 in the nation for SCSU. At 174-pounds, Kolton Eischens is ranked #2 in the nation with a 4-0 record. SCSU’s Tyree Overton is also ranked #3 in the nation at 184-pounds and currently owns a 7-1 record. At 197-pounds, Noah Ryan joined SCSU’s nationally ranked group with a #12 ranking this week. He is 8-1 for the Huskies this season. The group is complete at 285-pounds by Ezayah Oropeza, who moves up to #9 in the national rankings this week with a 5-0 record this year.
  • Current SCSU Stats
  • SCSU most recently gained a 29-6 win over #17 Northern State on Dec. 13. The Huskies have now won 53 consecutive dual matches and are just one win away from tying the team’s current record (also an NCAA DII record) of 54 consecutive dual wins from Jan. 30, 2011 to Jan. 12, 2014. SCSU’s last dual loss was against Indianapolis on Jan. 14, 2017. On the topic of streaks, SCSU has not lost a conference match since Jan. 27, 2001 against Augustana and the Huskies have not lost a home dual match since Feb. 14, 2010 against Upper Iowa.
  • Since we are entering a new decade, the past decade marked a remarkable era for SCSU wrestling. Here is a rundown some of the highlights charted by SCSU during the years 2010-2019: NCAA Division II team titles in 2019, 2018, 2016 and 2015; NCAA DII team runner up in 2017, 2013, 2012 and 2011; NWCA DII National Duals Championships in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2013 and 2012; NSIC Championships: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012; NCAA DII Regional Championships in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2013, 2012 and 2011.
  • In the past decade, SCSU had five NCAA DII individual champs including John Sundgren (2011), Derek Skala (2012), Shamus O’Grady (2013), Tim Prescott (2015) and Brett Velasquez (2016).
  • Over the last 10 seasons, SCSU has posted a 74-3 NSIC record and the Huskies have charted a 183-14 overall record during that stretch, which includes undefeated seasons in 2018-19, 2017-18, 2012-13 and 2011-12.
  • SCSU will battle non-conference rival Western Colorado on Jan. 5 in Halenbeck Hall at 1 p.m. Western Colorado is ranked #23 in the latest DII poll. The Mountaineers own a 1-1 record this season, which includes a win over Chadron State and a loss to Colorado Mesa. Western Colorado will wrestle at Augustana on Jan. 2 and Minnesota State on Jan. 4 before facing SCSU on Jan. 5. WCU wrestlers ranked nationally are Patrick Allis (3rd at 125), Cody Fatzinger (11th at 133), Jimmy Laconte (11th at 174) and Ruger Wyneken (12th at 184).
  • Last year, SCSU scored a 33-9 win over Western Colorado at the Newberry Duals on Dec. 2, 2018.
  • Kolton Eischens leads SCSU with four falls this season.
  • James Pleski currently owns a 92-18 career record with the Huskies, while Eischens is 61-11 during his tenure in the Granite City.

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR SCSU (5-0, 2-0 NSIC) vs. WESTERN COLORADO (1-1):

125 – SCSU – Robby Horsman (6-1) or Brandon Betancourt (1-3)
WCU – #3 Patrick Allis (13-5) or Colby Duncan (1-3)

133 – SCSU #2 Garrett Vos (4-0) or Adam Hedin (4-2)
WCU – #11 Cody Fatzinger (7-6)

141 – SCSU – #4 Garrett Aldrich (9-0) or Joey Bianchini (9-0)
Jason Hanenberg (4-4) or Jody Sandoval (4-6)

149 – SCSU – #2 James Pleski (6-3)
WCU – Giovanni Cassioppi (12-6)

157 – SCSU – #1 Jake Barzowski (5-1)
WCU – Jason Slaughter (4-7) or Cole Mortensen (1-2)

165 – SCSU – #3 Devin FitzPatrick (8-0) or Brock Schlough (7-6) or Devin Donovan (8-1)
WCU – Michael Thelen (4-7)

174 – SCSU – #2 Kolton Eischens (4-0) or Sakai Kelly (6-5)
WCU – #11 Jimmy LaConte (10-6)

184 – SCSU – #3 Tyree Overton (7-1) or Billy Pitzner (8-2)
WCU – Hunter Mullin (7-7) or #12 Ruger Wyneken (8-1)

197 – SCSU – #12 Noah Ryan (8-1) or Riley Vankik (8-2)
WCU – Kris Davis (5-6)

285 – SCSU – #9 Ezayah Oropeza (5-0)
WCU – Sam deSeriere (2-2) or Logan Church (7-9)

Check out Huskies Wrestling at scsuhuskies.com and on Twitter and Facebook.

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