The Northwestern wrestling team hosted Morningside, Dakota Weselyan and Midland for the GPAC duals on Saturday, Jan. 30. The Raiders started out the day against 18th ranked Morningside Mustang. NW dropped the first dual, of the day 38-9, with freshman Trey Schuck and sophomore Luke Jenness both picking up wins for the team. In the second dual the Raiders battled the Dakota Weseleyan Tigers and put on a strong showing, winning 32-6. Captains junior Blake Pomajzl and senior Bennett Sikkink earned majorly decisive wins for the team, winning 10-2 and 15-6 respectively. Jenness and freshman Chris Van Der Brink both picked up wins at 184 and biggest weight spread by decisions.
In the third and final dual of the day, the team took on Midland. Three Raiders, Schuck, Jenness and sophomore Sam Copley, picked up falls to push the Raiders past their Midland foes 33-15. Copley had a big match of the day, pinning an opponent that had beaten him by technical fall earlier in the season. The final Raider who won in the dual was sophomore Austin Hendrickson, beating Jeshua Castillo 8-6 in a tough match.
Both Schuck and Jenness finished the day unbeaten, Jenness improving his record to 17-1, picking up another two pins and a decision. Schuck beat 14th ranked Taylor Vasquez of Morningside 15-9 and pinned Mario Martinez by fall to improve his record to 14-4.
“Our guys responded well after losing the first dual to Morningside. They were a more physical team team today and that won some big matches. Overall, though, I was pleased with how many guys were able to integrate what we worked on this week. Schuck handled another ranked wrestler and finished 2-0 on the day” head coach Rik Dahl said. “Jenness also made some little gains in some of the areas we have been working on. However, I was most proud of Copley’s win against Midland…that guy won by tech fall last time they faced each other but Sam was able to make some adjustments and pinned him this time out…that showed a great amount of courage.”
The Raiders have high hopes as the season continues. NW competes in two more meets on Friday, Feb. 5 against Hastings held at Orange City and Saturday, Feb. 6 where the Raiders will be competing in the Sioux City open to receive points before the GPAC championship that is being held the week of Feb. 19-20 in Fremont, Nebraska.