Northern State finally had its first home wrestling match Thursday night, but the Wolves were greeted with a rude welcome at Wachs Arena.
Augustana, second-rated in NCAA Division II, spoiled the homecoming party with a convincing 32-6 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference victory.
“Augustana is ranked second for a reason and I think a lot of people saw that tonight,” said Northern coach Pat Timm. “They're an offensive style team. We couldn't stop their offense.”
The Vikings racked up 26 takedowns compared to just three for Northern. When the Wolves did get a deep shot, Augie was able to fight it off or score itself.
“We try to keep good position and not let guys get to our legs,” said Augustana coach Jason Rietmeier. “We're expecting to score there, not so much just try to counter. We want to score. We work hard on that.”
The Wolves won a pair of matches, including an exciting multiple overtime win by Cale Cornemann at 184 pounds. The senior needed 11 minutes to finally secure a 3-1 victory.
“Last week in Mankato I think I wrestled another 11-minute match,” Cornemann pointed out. “It's what I train myself for. Actually, I love wrestling them.”
In fact, Cornemann, who has a National Guard background, feels the longer a match goes, the more advantage he has.
“That's what you work out for. That's what you go to practice for. That's why you wrestle for two hours. That's why you do your extra workouts at night,” Cornemann said. “I love wrestling the extra time.”
Teammate Matt Meuleners did not need any extra time in his 4-0 victory at heavyweight. The sophomore looked solid on the way to another win.
“I'm feeling a lot more confident this year,” Meuleners said.
Meuleners is rated second in the nation at his weight class, but doesn't put much stock into the ratings.
“It's just a number really,” Meuleners said. “It's somebody's opinion, but we've got to wait until March to see who's really number two.”
Northern also received a strong effort from Benton Crow, who dropped a 5-3 decision to last year's national champion Jay Sherer.
“I was pretty proud of Benton Crow,” Timm noted. “We go right down to the wire with (Sherer). That's exciting to know we're right there with him.”
While the Vikings won the bulk of the matches, Northern held its own.
“Pat's got a good team,” Rietmeier said. “They fight hard.”
The Wolves, 3-4-1 on the season, will host Dakota Wesleyan at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Wachs Arena.
It will end a string of matches against the powers of the NSIC.
“We wrestled most likely the best team in our conference tonight. Actually we've wrestled probably the top three teams in a row,” Timm said. “We know what we have to do the rest of the year. We have to get individual wins to try to duplicate dual wins.”
174, Carl Serck, A, def. Chad Gibson, 8-3; 184, Cale Cornemann, N, def. Tom Davies, 3-1 6OT; 197, Ty Copsey, A, def. Brent Fosheim, 9-5; Hwt., Matt Meuleners, N, def. Lance Peters, 4-0; 125, Al Meger, A, won by forfeit;
133, Cody Lensing, A, def. Ian Muirhead, 14-4; 141, Jay Sherer, A, def. Benton Crow, 5-3; 149, Chism Fink, A, def. Beau Voegeli, 16-6; 157, Marcus Edgington, def. Blake Lundgren, 12-3; 165, Gavin Nelson, A, technical fall over Neil Sell, 17-0.
Official: Jason Hill.