FARGO, N.D. – Following a three-week break from dual match competition, Bison wrestling will go head-to-head against a single opponent on the mat this Saturday, as NDSU heads to Sioux Falls to take on Augustana University. North Dakota State is slated to take on the Vikings at 1 p.m. at the Sanford Pentagon in the 41st all-time meeting between the two programs.
Tickets for Saturday’s dual at the Pentagon will be $10 general admission for all adults and $7 for youth. Tickets can be purchased on Ticketmaster and through goaugie.com.
This week’s dual against the Augustana Vikings will also feature live coverage on Midco Sports, being televised on their second station, Midco Sports Two. The game will also be available to Midco Sports Plus subscribers through the Midco Sports App. David Brown will headline the broadcast team for the dual match.
Saturday’s meeting against the Vikings will be just the second meeting in more than a decade between the two wrestling programs. However, the Vikings and Bison have a rich history of head-to-head battles, including a span of 35 years with an annual meeting from the 1968-69 season through 2003-04. The Bison hold a commanding series lead, holding a 37-3 record overall, including a 14-3 record against the Vikings in Sioux Falls. After more than a 15-year break, the two programs met in Fargo in December of 2019, with NDSU winning 32-9.
The Bison have competed in three Open events through the first month of the season and have claimed at least one champion at each event. Prior to Thanksgiving, several Bison competed at the Daktronics Open at South Dakota State. Redshirt Michael Caliendo, who wrestled unattached, defeated a pair of ranked wrestlers to claim the 165-pound tournament title.
Luke Weber, Owen Pentz, and Brandon Metz all claimed individual titles at the Bison Open in mid-November. Pentz highlighted the performance with four pins in four matches, while Weber and Metz also claimed titles with pins.
It’s a Pentz Sweep
In his last outing, sophomore Owen Pentz dominated the Bison Open, recording a first in the Big 12 era for the Bison. Pentz opened the tournament with a collegiate-best pin of 53 seconds. He would go on to win all four of his bracket matches by fall, completing a pin sweep of the 197-pound division. He is the first Bison in the Big 12 era to record four consecutive pins. Pentz has also surpassed last year’s total of four pins in just three events, as he has won all five matches this season by falls and now has nine in less than a calendar year of collegiate wrestling.
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.
Four Bison Wrestlers in Rankings
North Dakota State has four 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. 9 in 157. 197 Owen Pentz and 285 Brandon Metz are also ranked in both polls. 141 Dylan Droegemueller is on the cusp of the rankings, listed as an honorable mention by flowrestling.
Following the first of four road duals to close out the calendar year at Augustana. The Bison will head east to New York for three duals in two days in the Empire State. The Bison will take on Binghamton and Edinboro at Binghamton on Friday, December 10. The first dual against Binghamton is slated for 1 p.m. CT with the second dual against Edinboro set for 2:30 p.m. inside West Gym.
On Saturday, December 11, the Bison will be at the University of Buffalo, set to take on the Bulls at 7 p.m. inside Alumni Arena.