In Northwestern’s third dual of the year, the 14th-ranked ‘Cats were able to pick up a solid 28-18 victory over North Dakota State.
After having lost to NDSU in their first dual of the year in 2018, head coach Matt Storniolo and company came out strong, taking seven of the ten matches. After the Bison forfeited at 125, Sebastian Rivera took on No. 8 Cam Sykora at 133, defeating him with a 6-3 decision. At 141, NDSU was able to pick up their first victory of the night with a fall by Sawyer Degen, bringing the team score to 9-6.
The next two matches saw Yahya Thomas (149) and Ryan Deakin (157) each win by major decision in dominant fashion, pushing the ‘Cats forward to a 17-6 lead.
Following the intermission, a pin by NDSU’s Andrew Fogarty (165) gave the Bison another 6, bringing the team score to 17-12. Northwestern responded with three straight victories from Tyler Morland (174), Jack Jessen (183) and Lucas Davison (197) — the latter two coming by major decision — pushing their lead to 28-12 and securing a Wildcat victory.
In the final match of the night at 285, NDSU was able to pick up one more victory, a fall by Brandon Metz.
Aside from a good team victory, this meet had some great individual performances. In his third match this season at 133, Rivera was able to pick up an impressive win over a top-10 ranked opponent, further showing his abilities at the weight class.
Up to this point, it’s still not clear what weight class Coach Storniolo plans to have Rivera, who finished 3rd in the NCAA’s at 125 a year ago, wrestle at. With Michael DeAugustino proving to be capable at the 125 class as well, picking up a win over a ranked opponent in Jay Schwarm against UNI last week, it could be possible that they decide to roll with Rivera at 133 for the rest of the year.
This was Northwestern’s final dual of 2019. The ‘Cats will take a two-week break until heading to Las Vegas Dec. 6 for the annual CKLV Invitational, before they get ready to host Midlands in Hoffman Estates on Dec. 29-30.