GPAC Duals set for Saturday at Briar Cliff

By Jake Knabel on Jan. 24, 2018 in Wrestling

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SEWARD, Neb. – If the Concordia University wrestling program is to defend its three-consecutive GPAC dual titles, it will mean that the Bulldogs will have cleaned up this coming Saturday. Four conference duals await Concordia this weekend in Sioux City, Iowa. Briar Cliff will serve as the host for one of two sites featuring the GPAC Duals.

Saturday, Jan. 27 Schedule
9 a.m. vs. Jamestown (0-2, 0-2 GPAC)
12 p.m. vs. Doane (4-4, 1-3 GPAC)
1:30 p.m. vs. Hastings (2-2, 0-2 GPAC)
3 p.m. vs. Briar Cliff (2-1, 2-1 GPAC)

Second-year head coach Andrew Nicola’s squad enters this pivotal Saturday with a conference dual record of 1-1. The Bulldogs handled Dakota Wesleyan, 55-0, on Nov. 30. In the team’s most recent dual, a 31-12 loss to Midland, Concordia saw its conference dual win streak of 22 come to a halt. Despite the defeat, the Bulldogs remain in the thick of a wide-open GPAC race. Only Morningside (3-0) and Northwestern (3-0) have yet to suffer a setback in conference dual action.

Concordia will bring four nationally-ranked competitors to Sioux City, where it will begin the day by taking on the newest member of the GPAC – Jamestown. The Jimmies are still in search of their first GPAC dual win after having endured losses to Midland and Morningside in their first ever conference matches. Of the four squads the Bulldogs will go up against on Saturday, only Briar Cliff possesses more wrestlers that own rankings at the conference level. Among Concordia wrestlers, Giovanni Castillo (No. 9 at 133), Jon Lado (No. 12 at 165), Walker Fisher (No. 20 at 174) and Josh Nelsen (No. 11 at 184).

The Bulldogs enjoyed some success against Briar Cliff at last week’s Missouri Valley Invite. Junior 141-pounder Chris Kimball upset third-rated Sonny Gulesian of the Chargers. Additionally, Fisher pinned Briar Cliff’s 19th-ranked Nathan Garcia. A big day on Saturday could help Concordia climb back up the rankings after dropping to No. 4 in the conference rating released on Jan. 15. Two GPAC squads appear in the national rankings: No. 16 Midland and No. 18 Morningside.

The Bulldogs are nearing the most critical portion of their schedule. After Saturday’s action, just two duals and one tournament will be left before the GPAC championships on Feb. 17. The national championships will unfold March 2-3 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Ranked wrestlers

(GR = GPAC ranking; NR = national ranking)

Concordia
125 – Jerry Stepps III (GR: 6)
133 – Giovanni Castillo (GR: 3 | NR: 9)
141 – Cam Devers (GR: 6)
165 – Jon Lado (GR: 1 | NR: 12)
165 – Chucky Hedrick (GR: 5)
174 – Walker Fisher (GR: 4 | NR: 20)
174 – Deandre Chery (GR: 5)
184 – Josh Nelsen (GR: 3 | NR: 11)

Briar Cliff
125 – Isiah Lysius (GR: 5)
133 – Michael Andreano (GR: 2 | NR: 5)
141 – Sonny Gulesian (GR: 2 | NR: 3)
141 – Nathan Ryan (GR: 4 | NR: 17)
149 – Zac Funderburk (GR: 5)
157 – Brandon Meyer (GR: 5)
165 – Chris Paulsen (GR: 3)
174 – Nathan Garcia (GR: 3 | NR: 19)
285 – Matthew Wilke (GR: 6)

Doane
125 – Triston Santos (GR: 2 | NR: 16)
133 – Jonathan Fletcher (GR: 4)
184 – Zach Linton (GR: 1 | NR: 5)
197 – Chandler Knight (GR: 2 | NR: 17)
197 – Herold Hudiburgh (GR: 3)

Hastings
125 – Albert Landeros (GR: 3 | NR: 10)
149 – Richard Pocock (GR: 2 | NR: 9)
157 – Chris Vaughan (GR: 3)
197 – Gideon Monette (GR: 6)
285 – Jeremiah Gerl (GR: 1 | NR: 4)

Jamestown
125 – Jesus Barajas (GR: 3)
141 – Devon Lyle (GR: 5 | NR: 20)
149 – Brandon Aragon (GR: 4)
157 – Jackson Schauer (GR: 1 | NR: 16)
174 – Mike Zupan (GR: 1 | NR: 14)
184 – Matthew Hernandez (GR: 6)
197 – William Parks (GR: 5)