Fehlhafer adds pin No. 16 in team loss at 11th-ranked York

Fehlhafer adds pin No. 16 in team loss at 11th-ranked York

YORK, Neb. – The 22nd-ranked Concordia wrestling squad went head-to-head with rival York College for the second time this season with the host and 11th-ranked Panthers (6-1) coming out on top, 27-12, on Thursday night. Despite the team loss, freshman Austin Fehlhafer again shined for the Bulldogs, who dropped to 6-7 in duals on the season.

Thursday’s dual offered a similar plotline to last week’s loss to then No. 13 Morningside when second-year head coach Dana Vote’s grapplers dropped four decisions by four points or less. Against York, Concordia suffered three setbacks by three points or fewer.

Vote stated simply, “we still need to find a way to win the close matches.”

Close matches have been rare for Fehlhafer (21-8), who notched his 16th pin of the season on Thursday. The former Seward High School standout ended his bout in the first period by wiping out Josh Kountz in 2:16. Fehlhafer has now won five-straight matches with four coming via pinfall. He is ranked 15th nationally at 174 pounds.

“Austin continues to believe in himself and dominate opponents,” Vote said.

Concordia’s additional two wins came at 141 and 157, where both senior Alex Stepanek (11-11) and Austin Starkey (9-12) won by decisions. Stepanek won 7-3 over Brandon Brown and Starkey triumphed 11-7 over Brian Magno.

The Panthers used two nationally-ranked wrestlers in their lineup. No. 9 Oscar Marin (125) topped Dmitri Smith 5-3 and Logan Paul Eickhoff (197), also sporting a No. 9 ranking, clipped Ken Burkhardt Jr., 9-7, to aid the York cause.

The Bulldogs will return to GPAC dual action on Thursday, Jan. 30 when they travel to Mitchell, S.D., for a pair of matches. Concordia takes on No. 17 Dakota Wesleyan (7-5, 3-1 GPAC) at 4 p.m. and No. 21 Midland (2-2, 2-0 GPAC) at 7 p.m.

23 January 2014

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