MARSHALL, Minn. – The Southwest Minnesota State wrestling team returns to the mat for the first time in 35 days, hosting Upper Iowa in their home opener on Friday, Jan 14th at 7 p.m. before traveling to Sioux Falls, S.D., for an NSIC dual against Augustana on Saturday, Jan. 15th at 2 p.m.
MUSTANGS IN THE RANKINGS: SMSU has three wrestlers ranked in the InterMat rankings and one wrestler ranked in the NWCA rankings. The team is also ranked inside of both rankings … Jackson Stauffacher slots in at No. 16 in the InterMat rankings at 125 pounds for the third week this season. He’s 6-0 this season, going 3-0 and winning each open tournament he has participated in. He’s recorded two pins and a major decision, and is 3-0 in decisions … Caden Steffen leads the charge for the individuals, ranking fourth in both the InterMat and NWCA rankings, at 184 pounds. Steffen is 9-1 on the season and 1-0 in duals. His only loss this season has been by injury default, and has won three matches by fall, one by tech fall, and three by major decision … Jacob Dykes rounds out the individual accolades, slotting at No. 16 at 285 pounds in the InterMat rankings. He’s 6-5 on the season and 1-0 in duals. Dykes leads the team with five wins by fall … SMSU has also been recognized for its team success, as InterMat ranks the Mustangs at No. 21 in the team rankings, and NWCA ranks them at No. 25.
LAST TIME OUT: The Mustangs competed in its first Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference home dual of the 2021-22 season, suffering a 24-19 loss against Northern State in Wachs Arena in Aberdeen, S.D., on Dec. 10 … The dual opened at 125 pounds, with Ben Emrich taking on Landon Fischer. Fischer was in the driver seat through this entire match earning a 5-2 decision. Hunter Pfantz would get the Mustangs on the board at 133, trailing 6-0 before marching back to tie the match at 6-6 before picking up a riding point to win 7-6. Luke Peterson would battle at 141, falling by decision 7-4. Robert Shields would lose by tech fall 15-0 at 149. Lucas Hodges opened 157 with a 6-0 lead early, but Issak Hunsley would score nine of the final 10 points to win 9-7 and take a commanding 14-3 lead into the intermission. Northern would extend the lead to 20-3 after a pin by James Burks at 165, but Carter Marx would end the run with a thrilling overtime pin to get the Mustangs to 20-9. Caden Steffen would keep the Mustangs in it with an 11-1 major decision to cut it to 20-14, but Marcus Placide would ice the match with a 9-1 victory over Dillon McEachran. Jacob Dykes would close the dual with a pin over Ali’I Loyola, but it wouldn’t be enough to overcome the early dominance of Northern State.
Caden Steffen (9-1)
Carter Marx (9-4)
Hunter Pfantz (9-6)
Neil Hanson (8-3)
Dillon McEachran (8-5)
The Mustangs head to Moorhead for a Thursday, Jan. 20 dual against MSU Moorhead. First bout is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
UPPER IOWA NOTES: The Peacocks (3-3 overall, 0-1 NSIC) comes in ranked 14th in the country in the latest NWCA rankings … They also have three wrestlers ranked in the top 12 of the NWCA, with Kaden Anderlik ranked sixth at 133, Eric Faught ranked seventh at 149, and Chase Luensman ranked fourth at 157 … UIU participated in the NWCA National Duals this past weekend, defeating Tiffin University 30-13 before losing to Newberry College (25-18) and Fort Hayes State (24-15) … Luensman leads the team with 13 wins, with Cael Meyer, Ethen Doty and John Ebaugh each earning 12 wins.
UIU SERIES HISTORY: Upper Iowa leads the all-time series 16-4 in a series that dates back to 1991. UIU has won 16 consecutive matches dating back to 2005. SMSU won the first four matches of the series.
AUGUSTANA NOTES: The Vikings (2-3 overall, 2-0 NSIC) are ranked tenth in the NWCA rankings and 12th in the InterMat rankings … Augie has six wrestlers ranked in the NWCA rankings, with Jaxson Rohman ranked fifth at 125, Jack Huffman ranked seventh at 133, Brandon Carroll ranked 12th at 141, Cade Mueller ranked seventh at 174, Kolby Kost ranked 11th at 184, and Steven Hajas ranked seventh at 285 … Augie comes in after participating in the Hastings Open in Hastings, Neb. … Six different wrestlers placed, with two placing second, three placing third, and one placing fourth … Their last conference dual was Dec. 19, when they defeated the then-No. 10 ranked Minnesota State Mavericks 27-6.
AUGIE SERIES HISTORY: Augustana leads the all-time series 31-5 in a series that dates back to 1982. Augie has won two of the past seven meetings, including a 29-12 victory in their last meeting on Jan. 28, 2021. SMSU’s last win came on Jan 14, 2014, a win that snapped a 13-match win streak by the Vikings.
SMSU Probable Wrestlers:
125 – Jackson Stauffacher
133 – Hunter Pfantz
141 – Luke Peterson
149 – Sean Howk
157 – Lucas Hodges
165 – Jace Paplow or Elijah Sterner
174 – Carter Marx
184 – Caden Steffen
197 – Dillon McEachran
285 – Jacob Dykes or Neil Hanson