FARGO, N.D. – The North Dakota State wrestling program will open up the Big 12 slate for the 2021-22 season this Thursday, November 11, as the Bison welcome in new Big 12 Conference opponent Missouri, who returns to the Big 12 this season. The Bison are coming off a season-opening victory against California Baptist on Saturday, while the Tigers will begin their season when the two programs face off at 7 p.m. at the Scheels Center.
Following Thursday’s dual, North Dakota State will host the annual Bison Open on Saturday, November 13. The event is slated to begin at 10 a.m. at the Scheels Center, with four competition mats on the floor. The event is slated to feature wrestlers from 13 programs, including Big 10 programs Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as Big 12 rival South Dakota State.
Bison wrestling events will return to full capacity at the Scheels Center this season. Fans are strongly encouraged to wear masks to Bison wrestling events and maintain social distancing where possible with the COVID-19 Pandemic still impacting our community. Tickets for NDSU home matches are available online at GoBison.com/tickets or by calling the Bison Ticket Office in the south lobby of the Sanford Health Athletic Complex at (701) 231-6378 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets will also be available on Saturday at the door. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth ages 3-17.
On the Xtra
This week’s dual against the No.3 Missouri Tigers will also feature live coverage on the ABC network WDAY Xtra, being televised across the state of North Dakota. WDAY Xtra can be found over the air at WDAY channel 6-3 in Fargo, WDAZ channel 8-3 in Grand Forks, KBMY channel 17-3 in Bismarck and Dickinson, and KMCY channel 14-3 in Minot and Williston.
Thursday’s meeting will be the fifth all-time between the Bison and the Missouri Tigers. The two teams met last season in a season-opening quad in early January that also included Oregon State and South Dakota State. The then ranked No. 12 Tigers defeated North Dakota State 38-3 in the match. Prior to last season, the two programs have met just three other times, with Missouri winning all three matches in three consecutive seasons in 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-14. This will be the third-straight meeting in Fargo.
NDSU Routs California Baptist In Season Opener
The Bison opened up the 2021-22 season on Saturday with a dominating 43-3 victory that included three pins and seven bonus-point victories over California Baptist. Jaden Van Maanen, Owen Pentz, and Colby Evens picked up wins with pins to lead the way for NDSU, who improved on last season’s 30-6 victory over the Lancers. Luke Weber (injury forfeit), Dylan Droegemueller (tech fall), Jared Franek (major dec.), and Austin Brenner (major dec.) recorded bonus-point victories, while Brandon Metz and Kellyn March recorded victories by decision.
With a pin in overtime (7:39) of his 125-pound match on Saturday, Colby Evens became just the third Bison true freshman in the NCAA D1 era to open his collegiate career by recording a pin in a dual match. Evens joins Owen Pentz (197, 1/30/21, Fresno State’s Nick Villarreal, 2:09) and Justin Solberg (125, 1/30/09, Air Force’s Andrew Zwirlein, 3:43) as the only Bison to complete the milestone.
- Senior Jaden Van Maanen tied fellow senior Brandon Metz for the active lead at NDSU in pins, recording his 12th in the season opener on Saturday.
- Owen Pentz set a new personal best for quickest fall, as he pinned Cal Baptist’s Arick Lopez just 1:38 into the 197-pound match. Pentz’s previous quick pin was 2:09 in his first collegiate dual of his career in January.
Bison Hold Steady in FloWrestling Top 25
After beginning the season tied for 25th with Purdue in the FloWrestling Tournament rankings, North Dakota State holds steady at No. 25 this week, in sole possession, valued at 13 points. The Bison are one of six Big 12 programs currently ranked by FloWrestling, joining Oklahoma State (4), Missouri (14), Iowa State (18), Northern Iowa (20), and Oklahoma (24).
Six Bison Wrestlers In Rankings
For the second-straight week, North Dakota State has six wrestlers ranked in the InterMat and FloWrestling weight class rankings, headlined by Luke Weber’s No. 6 ranking in FloWrestling after a Big 12 Championship last season at 165. Jared Franek leads the InterMat rankings for the Bison, featured at No. 10 in 157. 197 Owen Pentz and 285 Brandon Metz were also ranked in both polls, while 133 Kellyn March and 174 Austin Brenner appear in the InterMat rankings.
Following two weeks off after the Bison Open, NDSU will return to action with the first road match of the season on December 4, as the Bison head to South Dakota to take on Augustana in the first of four road duals to close out the calendar year. The match is slated for a 1 p.m. start in Sioux Falls at the Sanford Pentagon.