FARGO, N.D. – North Dakota State (6-3, 1-3 Big 12) will wrestle at home for the first time in over two months as the Bison welcome in a pair of Big 12 opponents to the Scheels Center on Saturday and Sunday. The Bison will take on West Virginia (5-3, 0-1 Big 12) on Saturday, Jan. 29, in the first-ever meeting between the two programs in Fargo. The match is slated to begin at 1 p.m. On Sunday, Jan. 30, North Dakota State will take on Air Force (2-3, 0-3 Big 12) to close out the weekend with an 11 a.m. start slated for the Bison and Falcons.
TICKETS: Bison wrestling events have returned to full capacity at the Scheels Center this season. 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.
DUAL COVERAGE: Both Saturday and Sunday’s duals will be available to watch on NDSU All-Access. The duals will also have live stats available through TrackWrestling. Sunday’s dual against Air Force will also be televised live on WDAY Xtra. Dom Izzo (play-by-play) and Jack Maughan (analyst) will be on the call.
LAST TIME OUT: North Dakota State fell on the road in a pair of Big 12 duals at Northern Iowa and #10 Iowa State. It’s the first time the Bison have had back-to-back losses in duals this season.
PENTZ APPEARS IN NCAA WRESTLING AWARDS STANDINGS: Sophomore Owen Pentz has made an appearance in the updated standings for the 2022 NCAA Wrestling Awards that will be awarded in March. Pentz, has nine pins on the year, including eight against Division I competition, which has him tied for seventh in Division I, just two off the lead. The top finisher over the course of the regular and postseason will receive the award.
THE SERIES (WVU): This is just the 3rd meeting between North Dakota State and West Virginia dating back to January 7, 2018. In fact, both meetings between the two programs came in 2018, with the last meeting coming on December 30, 2018. West Virginia won 19-12 in the first meeting, which was in Big 12 play in Morgantown, and then edged out the Bison 19-17 at the South Beach Duals in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in the last meeting.
THE SERIES (AF): This is the 21st meeting between the Bison and Air Force, with the first meeting coming on February 1, 1964. The Bison hold an 18-2 record against the Falcons, including wins in the last 10 duals dating back to January 27, 2012. Last season NDSU defeated Air Force 28-19 in a neutral-site match-up in Brookings, S.D. The Bison have never lost in Fargo to the Falcons, holding an 8-0 record. The teams have previously met twice on January 30, with the Bison taking both duals in Colorado Springs in 2009 (23-17) and 2015 (28-11).
HOME SUCCESS: North Dakota State holds a confirmed 259-91-5 (.737) record at home over the course of the program’s 64-year history. The Bison look to avoid back-to-back losses in duals at home for the first time since January 2019, when the Bison fell to No. 21 Iowa State and No. 18 Pitt. During the stretch since the consecutive losses, the Bison are 12-5 (.706) with four of the five losses coming against ranked opposition.
APPROACHING 100: NDSU Head Coach Roger Kish is quickly approaching 100 career victories in dual matches at the helm of the Bison. In his 11th season, Kish currently holds a 94-65 record.
NCAA D1 QUALIFIERS: The Bison have had 53 NCAA Div. I qualifiers in 14 years of postseason eligibility since moving to Division I in the 2004-05 season, including 10 qualifiers over the last two seasons. Rich in wrestling history, the Bison have also sent 26 wrestlers to the NCAA Div. I Championships from 1971 to 1991, bringing the total to 79 NCAA Div. I qualifiers in program history. The Bison have had 10 placing finishers at the NCAA Div. I Championships including an NDSU best finish of 3rd place by Steven Monk at 165 pounds in 2014. In 2015, Kurtis Julson and Hayden Zillmer both placed in the top 8.
BIG 12 CHAMPIONS: The Bison, who are in year seven in the Big 12, have a had a pair of conference champions since joining the conference, with both championships coming in the last two seasons. Current assistant coach Cam Sykora took home the 133-pound title for the Bison in 2019-20 and current senior Luke Weber won the 165-pound title during the 2020-21 season.