BISMARCK, N.D. -- On a night where seniors took center stage, it was the underclassmen who stole the limelight as the University of Mary Wrestling team took on Northern State University.
The Marauders (7-11, 2-5 NSIC) got ascending team points in the first four matches of the night as freshmen Josh Jensen, Tate Barnhardt, Rudy Guillen and Jakob Weisbrod powered U-Mary to an 18-0 team lead and eventually took the match at 33-13 over the Wolves (7-14, 1-6 NSIC), avenging the loss earlier in the season during the Marauder Duals. The seventh team win exceeds U-Mary's total wins in the past three seasons combined and the most since they went 6-5 in the 2011-12 season.
Jensen got the ball rolling at 125 pounds against Ben Cauffman as the Marauder scored the only points of the bout through the first two periods with a pair of takedowns and a 4-0 lead going into the third. Cauffman chose neutral in the final period and took a penalty point after Jensen was hit with two stall warnings, but the Wolf couldn't find the winning combination as Jensen took home the 5-1 decision to get U-Mary on the board.
Barnhardt followed that up with a dominant showing at 133 pounds against Carson Henry to keep the score in U-Mary's favor as Barnhardt notched three takedowns and a two-point nearfall through two periods for an 8-1 lead heading into the third. Barnhardt chose bottom in the third frame and scored the quick escape, fired off another takedown, and took the riding time point for the 12-2 major decision that put the Marauders up 7-0 early into the dual.
Guillen went next at 141 pounds against C.J. Voegeli as the Marauder continued the strong start with a pair of takedowns, a two-point nearfall, and a four-point nearfall for a commanding 10-0 lead heading into the third. Voegeli took neutral in the final period but Guillen would not be denied as the Marauder fired off four straight takedowns, coupled with the riding time point, for a 19-3 victory by technical fall at 6:42 for the 12-0 team lead through three matches.
Weisbrod carried his momentum from the spladle on Sunday and caught Matt Bettencourt at 149 pounds out of position early on with the inside trip and put the Wolf on his back with the pin at 1:11 to lock in the team win with an 18-0 lead through four matches. Northern State had a forfeit at the 174 and heavyweight bouts that would essentially give the Marauders a 30-0 lead with six matches in their favor.
The remaining bout still took their time on the mat, though, as Dane Fischer took on Blake Perryman at 157 pounds with the Wolf taking the early lead at 4-1 with a pair of takedowns in the first period. Fischer fought back in the second frame with a couple takedowns of his home to stay hot on Perryman's heel at 6-5 heading into the third.
Fischer kept the pressure up as Perryman chose bottom in the frame and scored a quick escape before Fischer recorded another takedown to knot the score at 7-7 with the riding time officially out of Perryman's hands.
Perryman scored the quick escaped and Fischer fired off another takedown attempt in the waning seconds but fell just short and Perryman countered with his successful takedown attempt to seal the first win for Northern State with a 10-7 decision, putting the team score at 18-3.
Paul Michaelson was the final Marauder to take a win in the dual as he faced Grant Steen at 165 pounds following the intermission. Both grapplers couldn't find an opening through the first two periods as Steen was issued a stall warning midway through the second, but Michaelson upped the ante in the third period as he scored the quick reversal after choosing bottom and followed up with an immediate four-point nearfall for a 6-0 lead late in the bout.
Steen scored the escape and took Michaelson down to cut into his lead at 6-3, but Michaelson scored an escape of his own paired with another takedown to take the decision over Steen at 9-3 and putting the team score at 21-3.
Dylan Mitzel took the forfeit at 174 pounds to move the score to 27-3 and Riley Nagel was the first senior to make an appearance as he moved up a weight class to 184 pounds to face David Murphy. Murphy's match was the deciding factor earlier in the season during the Marauder Duals and Nagel was tasked with making his Senior Night a success.
Nagel held the early lead after a quick takedown put Murphy to the mat, but the Wolf reversed the position and scored the four-point nearfall to take the wind out of the Marauder's sails. Nagel went bottom in the second period and recorded the escape, but Murphy fired off another takedown and caught Nagel out of position to score the pin at the 4:38 mark that put the score at 27-9.
Tom DeVito was the next senior to make an appearance as he took on No. 7 ranked Joe Gomez at 197 pounds, and Gomez demonstrated his national ranking early on with a pair of takedowns, and a penalty point after DeVito was flagged for stalling, for a 5-1 lead going into the second.
Gomez took another penalty point in the second period before DeVito scored the escape, and Gomez eventually took the 15-4 major decision after another trio of takedowns in the final period to put the score at 27-13.
Travis Smith was the last senior on the mat but was denied a bout in his final home dual as he took the forfeit to finalize the score at 33-13.
The Marauders will wrap up their regular season on the road this Sunday as they take on Minnesota State University Moorhead on Sunday, February 21, to make up for the postponement earlier in the year. The dual will start at 2 PM.
125: Josh Jensen (MARY) over Ben Cauffman (NOST) (Dec 5-1)
133: Tate Barnhardt (MARY) over Carson Henry (NOST) (MD 12-2)
141: Rudy Guillen (MARY) over Cody Voegeli (NOST) (TF 19-3 6:42)
149: Jakob Weisbrod (MARY) over Matt Bettencourt (NOST) (Fall 1:11)
157: Blake Perryman (NOST) over Dane Fischer (MARY) (Dec 10-7)
165: Paul Michaelson (MARY) over Grant Steen (NOST) (Dec 9-3)
174: Dylan Mitzel (MARY) over (NOST) (For.)
184: David Murphy (NOST) over Riley Nagel (MARY) (Fall 4:38)
197: Joe Gomez (NOST) over Tom DeVito (MARY) (MD 15-4)
285: Travis Smith (MARY) over (NOST) (For.)