CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – North Dakota State rang in the new year on Saturday with a very successful day at the Southern Scuffle, as the Bison sit in second overall in the team standings, with three NDSU wrestlers in qualified for semifinals and five more reaching the consolation round of 8.
Jared Franek (157), Luke Weber (165), and Brandon Metz (285) all went undefeated on the opening day of the Scuffle, reaching the semifinals which are set to begin Sunday morning. Eight of the 11 Bison to compete on Saturday will have at least one match Sunday, helping the Bison to score 61.5 points, second of 30 teams competing in the event.
Franek began his day by defeating Ty Raines of Buffalo for the second time this season. Franek defeated Raines at Buffalo in the final match of the fall semester and backed it up with a 26 second pin Saturday morning. It was a career-best pin for Franek, breaking a 1:28 set earlier this season. Franek would go on to add victories by decision over Weston Wichman (Chattanooga) and Dazjon Casto (The Citadel) to set up a matchup with Jarrett Jacques (Missouri), who Franek defeated earlier this season.
Weber joins Franek in the semifinals after picking up three wins as well, including a thrilling tiebreaker victory over RJ Mosley (Gardner-Webb) in the quarterfinals. Weber also had a major decision win over Angel Garcia (Rider) and a win by decision over Tyler Brennan (UA- Little Rock).
Metz scored seven team points with a quarterfinal win by decision over Tyrie Houghton (North Carolina St), which not only put him into the semis, but moved NDSU into second in the team standings in the final match of the night. Metz started off the day with a tech fall win over Abraham Preston (Gardner-Webb), before defeating Brendan Furman (Cornell) 3-1 to reach the quarters.
Two other Bison reached quarterfinal matches but fell into the consolation bracket with losses. Riley Habisch (174) picked up wins over Cole Burke (The Citadel) and Paul Pierce (George Mason), before falling to Brennan Swafford (Iowa), in a 9-6 decision. DJ Parker (184) had early wins over Mason Diel (UA- Little Rock) and Cade King (South Dakota St), but fell to Hunter Bolen (Virginia Tech).
Gaven Sax (149), Austin Brenner (174), and Michael Nelson (184) all overcame early losses and have advanced through the consolation bracket to join Habisch and Parker in the second round of the consolation of 8.
The Bison are slated to get back to action on Sunday with consolation matches slated to start at 11 a.m. Semifinal matches are slated for 1 p.m. with championship finals beginning at 7 p.m.
Saturday’s Results (By Weight Class):
125 | Ryan Henningson
L Greg Diakomihalis (Cornell), Dec 11-9
L Tristan Lujan (Michigan State), Dec 11-6
133 | Kellyn March
W Drake Doolittle (Duke), Fall 0:36
L Aaron Nagao (Minnesota), Dec 4-0
W Trayton Anderson (South Dakota St), 6-2
W Jacob Perez-eli (Rider), MFF
W Connor Brown (Missouri), MFF
L Ethan Fernandez (Spartan Combat RTC), Dec 4-1
149 | Gaven Sax
W Fillers Seth (VMI), Fall 1:27
W Peyton Omania (Michigan State), Dec 3-1
L Josh Edmond (Missouri), Dec 6-4
W Matt Ryan (Buffalo), Dec 4-0
W Bretli Reyna (Iowa), TB-2 3-2
157 | Jared Franek
W Ty Raines (Buffalo), Fall 0:26
W Weston Wichman (Chattanooga), Dec 6-0
W Dazjon Casto (The Citadel), Dec 5-3
165 | Luke Weber
W Angel Garcia (Rider), MD 10-2
W Tyler Brennan (UA- Little Rock), Dec 2-0
W RJ Mosley (Gardner-Webb), TB-2 2-1
174 | Austin Brenner
W Natty Lapinski (Drexel), TF 15-0 5:58
L Bailee O’Reilly (Minnesota), Dec 8-3
W Payton Craft (Cornell), Dec 9-6
W Sean Harman (Missouri), Dec 8-4
174 | Riley Habisch
W Cole Burke (The Citadel), MD 9-1
W Paul Pierce (George Mason), Dec 4-3
L Brennan Swafford (Iowa), Dec 9-6
184 | Michael Nelson
W Ethan Woods (Stanford), Dec 7-0
L Layne Malczewski (Michigan State), MD 13-2
W Xavier Vasquez (Northern Colorado), Dec 5-2
W Josh Stillings (Drexel), Dec 1-0
184 | DJ Parker
W Mason Diel (UA- Little Rock), TF 17-2 6:20
W Cade King (South Dakota St), Dec 6-1
L Hunter Bolen (Virginia Tech), Dec 9-2
197 | Owen Pentz
W Brooks Sacharczyk (UA- Little Rock), Fall 2:58
L Garrett Joles (Minnesota), Fall 4:52
W Azeem Bell (Rider), Fall 2:16
L Rjaron Smith (Maryland), Dec 12-6
285 | Brandon Metz
W Abraham Preston (Gardner-Webb), TF 17-2 5:39
W Brendan Furman (Cornell), Dec 3-1
W Tyrie Houghton (North Carolina St), Dec 5-2