Jeff Kolpack, Published February 21 2014
Wyoming edges North Dakota State in key Western Wrestling Conference dual
The Bison came in ranked 19th in the USA Today Division I coaches poll, the highest the school has reached to date. They didn’t feel like it afterward.
“I’m disgusted with it,” said Bison senior Tyler Diamond. “Horrible. We should beat that team every time. We gave them too much respect. Disappointed. We all hate to lose.”
For the most part, the Bison have ascended the top 25 with impressive performances in the upper weights. That didn’t happen against Wyoming, who held serve against NDSU’s ranked wrestlers from 174 to heavyweight.
“They matched up well with us there,” said NDSU assistant coach Bret Maughan. “We had to find a way to get it done and they found a way in those tough matches.”
The best Bison win was a four-point major decision by third-ranked Steven Monk at 165, and even he didn’t look happy after a lackluster third period.
The Cowboys led 11-10 after Bison heavyweight Evan Knutson won by decision. Wyoming got major decisions at 157 and 197, which ultimately proved to be the difference.
It left the stretch run for NDSU to its unranked lighter weights
The Bison split those four matches leaving NDSU 3-1 in the conference and 10-7 overall. The Cowboys moved to 4-1, 6-6, but have won five straight since an 18-17 loss to South Dakota State.
NDSU needed a major victory (by at least eight points) but best he could do was 6-2.
“I kept trying to attack and he was limiting my offense to not give up the major,” Diamond said. “It was frustrating.”
There were isolated details of not-very-smart wrestling sprinkled throughout for NDSU, like giving up escape points in the last couple seconds of a period. The Bison don’t have to wait long for redemption – they host SDSU on Sunday afternoon.
“I would be pretty upset if I were a student and came here to see a good team,” Diamond said. “But we have to forget about this because we have a big dual Sunday against SDSU.”
157: Andy McCulley, UW, dec. Nick Olejnik, 15-2. 165: Steven Monk, NDSU, dec. Dakota Friesth, 11-2. 174: Hayden Zillmer, NDSU, dec. Brent Havlik, 3-2. 184: Benjamin Stroh, UW, dec. Kurtis Julson, 5-4. 197: Shane Woods, UW, dec. Tyler Lehmann, 14-5. Hwt: Evan Knutson, NDSU, dec. Tanner Harms, 6-3. 125: Tyler Cox, UW, dec. Hunter Weber, 4-1. 133: Justin LaValle, NDSU, dec. Gunnar Woodburn, 6-2. 141: Cole Mendenhall, UW, Clay Cathey, 14-7. 149: Tyler Diamond, NDSU, dec. Brandon Richardson, 6-2.
Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.
Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found