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Jeff Kolpack, Published February 01 2010

Bison wrestling: Bison win 6th consecutive dual

Down by a point with under 10 seconds remaining in his match, Justin Solberg tapped into the Bison Sports Arena wrestling fans for a shot of motivation. It was worth a two-point takedown.

“That was an adrenalin rush,” he said.

That stirring win at 125 pounds got North Dakota State going and the Bison won their sixth straight dual with a 26-18 win Sunday afternoon over Air Force.

The Bison are hot. They withstood their usual six-point forfeit with two pins from Vince Salminen and Kenny Moenkedick and two major decisions to improve to 9-4 overall and 2-0 in the Western Wrestling Conference.

“You can tell the morale has picked up,” Moenkedick said. “But seven (in a row) is better than six so we’re not going to dwell on any wins. We’re going to keep moving forward.”

Solberg’s move with seven seconds remaining, which gave him a 9-8 win, prevented NDSU from trailing big heading into 141 pounds, where Air Force has nationally-ranked Cole VonOhlen.

Two matches later, Salminen gave the Bison a lead they wouldn’t give up. He broke Wade Stowe down for the first two periods, and then stuck him in the third to give the Bison a 13-9 lead.

NDSU, however, gave it back at 174 when Tyler French pinned Mac Stoll and cutting the Bison’s advantage to 17-15.

“The pin at 174 hurt us,” said NDSU head coach Bucky Maughan. “If you look at it, we wrestled nine matches and won six of them. That’s the way it’s been all year. You can’t give up six points with the forfeit and expect to dominate.”

In came Moenkedick at 184 pounds, who rescued his team with a third-period pin. Locked in a close battle with James Ciccone, Moenkedick registered the fall seconds after taking Ciccone down.

“I felt good at the start, then slowed down and I had to get back on my feet,” Moenkedick said. “And then I got lucky a little bit.”

It was NDSU’s first home dual since Dec. 13. The big test, Maughan said, will come next Sunday when Wyoming comes to the BSA.

“They’re coming in here with a head of steam,” he said.

But so too, is NDSU.

“We’ve been on a roll,” Solberg said. “We have something to prove.”

125: Justin Solberg, NDSU, dec. Andrew Zwirlein, 9-8.

133: Derek Gillespie, AF, won by forfeit.

141: Cole VonOhlen, AF, dec. Ryan Adams, 3-2.

149: Andrey Patselov, NDSU, dec. Gabe Martinenz, 15-6.

157: Vince Salminen, NDSU, pinned Wade Stow, 5:49.

165: Tyler Johnson, NDSU, dec. Joseph Stafford, 15-2.

174: Tyler French, AF, pinned Mac Stoll, 6:21.

184: Kenny Moenkedick, NDSU, pinned James Ciccone, 5:50.

197: Drew Ross, NDSU, dec. Neil Delaney, 4-1.

HWT: Stephen Larson, AF, dec. Joe Arthur, 5-0.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack at (701) 241-5546