St. Cloud State to wrestle No. 11 Mary in Saturday’s tournament Semifinal
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – No. 3 St. Cloud State Wrestling dominated their first two matches of the 2023 NWCA National Duals on Friday, dumping No. 18 Mercyhurst 32-9 in the Opening Round before earning a 28-7 win over No. 9 Upper Iowa in the Quarterfinal. With their 2-0 effort on Friday, SCSU has clinched a top-four finish at the National Duals with the Semifinal scheduled for 10:00 a.m. CT and the Placement Matches set for 2:00 p.m. CT.
Beginning their appearance at the Duals with an Opening Round match against Mercyhurst, the Huskies earned a thrilling 5-3 decision at 125 as Ashton Clark scored a takedown early into SV-1. No. 12 Caleb Meekins drew a big bout with No. 5 Eric Bartos at 133, building a 12-2 lead in the second before getting caught in a tough spot, dropping his match by fall.
No. 8 Alyeus Craig knotted things up at 6-6 with a shutout of Jake Niffenegger at 141, blanking him with a 6-0 decision. No. 4 Joey Bianchini scored a 11-1 major decision over Mike Zacur at 149 then 157-pounder and No. 4 Nick Novak added a 12-0 major of Max Stedeford.
No. 10 Anthony Herrera wrapped things up quickly at 165, sticking Mike Clark at 1:06. No. 1 Abner Romero drew a ranked foe at 174 in No. 10 Dillon Walker, riding out the entire third period to lock in the ride time point and a 2-1 decision.
Shaeden Scheidt added a second fall for St. Cloud State at 184, catching Chase Stein in a scramble and dropping him on his back for the pin at 4:12. No. 4 Dominic Murphy lost a tight 3-2 decision to No. 7 Luke McGonigal at 197 before Elijah Novak showed off an array of throws to ride out Hunter Harnish for a 2-0 decision at heavyweight.
No. 3 St. Cloud State 32, No. 18 Mercyhurst 9
125: Ashton Clark (SCSU) dec. Billy Smith (MU), 5-3 SV-1
133: No. 5 Eric Bartos (MU) fall No. 12 Caleb Meekins (SCSU), 4:27
141: No. 8 Alyeus Craig (SCSU) dec. Jake Niffenegger (MU), 6-0
149: No. 4 Joey Bianchini (SCSU) MD Mike Zacur (MU), 11-1
157: No. 4 Nick Novak (SCSU) MD Max Stedeford (MU), 12-0
165: No. 10 Anthony Herrera (SCSU) fall Mike Clark (MU), 1:06
174: No. 1 Abner Romero (SCSU) dec. No. 10 Dillon Walker (MU), 2-1
184: Shaeden Scheidt (SCSU) fall Chase Stein (MU), 4:12
197: No. 7 Luke McGonigal (MU) dec. No. 4 Dominic Murphy (SCSU), 3-2
HWT: Elijah Novak (SCSU) dec. Hunter Harnish (MU), 2-0
Advancing to the Quarterfinal with No. 9 Upper Iowa, SCSU 125-pounder and No. 6 Paxton Creese started things off with a textbook 20-6 major decision over Colby Lopez. Sam Spencer toughed out a key 7-5 decision over veteran Kaden Anderlik at 133, then No. 8 Alyeus Craig upset No. 5 Tate Murty with a 7-1 decision at 141.
No. 4 Joey Bianchini won a 8-6 decision over Ethen Doty at 149 before No. 4 Nick Novak rolled to a 16-2 major decision in his bout at 157 against Jackson Rolfs. No. 10 Anthony Herrera lost a tight bout at 165 to No. 2 Chase Luensman, then No. 1 Abner Romero dominated Cael Meyer with a 15-4 major decision at 174.
Bryce FitzPatrick dominated his bout at 184, majoring Cameron Lopez 12-0. No. 4 Dominic Murphy dropped a major decision to No. 9 Dalton Hahn at 197, then Elijah Novak closed things out by scoring an early takedown in SV-1 to earn a 4-2 decision over Jordan Baumler.
No. 3 St. Cloud State 28, No. 9 Upper Iowa 7
125: No. 6 Paxton Creese (SCSU) MD Colby Lopez (UIU), 20-6
133: Sam Spencer (SCSU) dec. Kaden Anderlik (UIU), 7-5
141: No. 8 Alyeus Craig (SCSU) dec. No. 5 Tate Murty (UIU), 7-1
149: No. 4 Joey Bianchini (SCSU) dec. Ethen Doty (UIU), 8-6
157: No. 4 Nick Novak (SCSU) MD Jackson Rolfs (UIU), 16-2
165: No. 2 Chase Luensman (UIU) dec. No. 10 Anthony Herrera (SCSU), 5-4
174: No. 1 Abner Romero (SCSU) MD Cael Meyer (UIU), 15-4
184: Bryce FitzPatrick (SCSU) MD Cameron Lopez (UIU), 12-0
197: No. 9 Dalton Hahn (UIU) MD No. 4 Dominic Murphy (SCSU), 15-7
HWT: Elijah Novak (SCSU) dec. Jordan Baumler (UIU), 4-2 SV-1
Quotables – St. Cloud State head coach Steve Costanzo
“It’s nice to come out and get two wins to put us into the semifinals tomorrow morning. I thought we wrestled fairly well – I think some of our guys could’ve done a better job, but for the most part it was a good effort.”
On the Mercyhurst dual… “Our guys were just relentless. On the attack, looking to score points. Unfortunate at 133, we were really getting the better of Bartos, who is a great wrestler. We got out of position, he caught us and pinned us. You can’t allow those things to happen down the road if you want to be in the national tournament and on the podium.”
On the Upper Iowa dual… “We had a lot of fight and scrap there out of our lower weights, which I really liked. We were really scrappy – looking at the results at 133 and 141, those really excited us. Those are two matches where we weren’t favored and ended up coming out on top with two good performances. I think that’s a match where as the dual progressed our upper weights could have wrestled a little bit better, and we’re going to have to do that tomorrow morning.”
On keys to success in Saturday’s Quarterfinal against Mary… “We have to come out and just be tough on them. We have to fight. They have some guys on their team who are really hungry, they’re starting to have some success and believe in themselves. We have to come out and start strong right away and not give them any momentum.”
The Huskies meet No. 11 Mary in the National Duals Quarterfinal on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. CT. Depending on the outcome, St. Cloud State will then wrestle the winner or loser of No. 1 Central Oklahoma and No. 4 West Liberty in the Finals or Third Place match at 2:00 p.m. CT on Saturday afternoon.
Information regarding single dual and season tickets can be found at scsutickets.com. For all the latest on St. Cloud State Wrestling, stay tuned to SCSUHuskies.com and follow the team on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.