Bulldog grapplers combine for eight place finishes, 36 wins at BVU Open

By on Dec. 7, 2013 in Wrestling

Bulldog grapplers combine for eight place finishes, 36 wins at BVU Open

STORM LAKE, Iowa – Two days after hosting York for a dual, Concordia University wrestling returned to action and made a splash at the Buena Vista University Open on Saturday. Led by Austin Mogg’s second-place finish at 125, Concordia’s 17 wrestlers combined for eight place-finishes and 36 wins (12 via pinfall) in a solid overall day for second-year head coach Dana Vote’s squad.

“We performed better than I thought we would,” Vote said. “We showed improvement. We lost several close matches that could have made the day even better had we won some of them. We had a good day overall.”

Mogg, a native of El Reno, Okla., competed at the Buena Vista Open for the fifth-straight year and eclipsed 100 career victories by adding four to his total on Saturday. He stormed to the 125-pound title match at the event for the fifth time by defeating three GPAC opponents, one by major decision, before majoring top-ranked Grand View’s (Iowa) Jordan Ihle in the semifinals.

Mogg, the NAIA’s eighth-ranked 125-pounder, ended his day with a narrow 6-4 defeat to Iowa Western’s Adrian Lozano.

“It shows the consistency he’s had over his career in putting together 100 wins,” Vote said. “This is five years he’s wrestled at this tournament and he’s won it three times. He just keeps improving.”

Freshman Austin Fehlhafer (174) continued his impressive run by winning for the eighth and ninth-straight times with a pair of pins to begin the morning. The Seward native collected three total falls to push his team-leading count to 11 on the season. Fehlhafer (15-4) came away with a fifth-place finish in a weight class regarded as one of the most challenging in the tournament. One of his two losses on the day was a tight 13-11 overtime decision up against Briar Cliff’s eighth-ranked Anthony Pike.

Senior Alex Stepanek put forth one of his more complete efforts as a collegiate wrestler. The native of St. Paul, Neb., tied Fehlhafer for a team high with five wins at Buena Vista. He recorded two pins and secured a third-place finish by besting teammate Foster Bunce, 6-0, in his final bout of the open.

In addition, Vote gave high praise to freshman Kodie Cole (Palmdale, Calif.) who competed at 133. Cole claimed perhaps the team’s biggest victory with an upset of Morningside’s eighth-ranked Carter Tegeler in the quarterfinals of the bracket. Cole pinned Tegeler in 3:05 on his way to a fifth-place medal.

The Bulldogs’ other place winners included Bunce (141 – 4th place), Kale Hintz (184 – 7th place), Emilio Rivera (133 – 7th place) and Noel Richardson (184 – 8th place). Hintz and Richardson squared off in the seventh-place match in the 184-pound bracket with Hintz prevailing 6-3.

Of Concordia’s 17 wrestlers who participated on Saturday, 12 picked up at least one victory (seven had at least one pin). Stepanek and Fehlhafer led the way with five wins apiece, followed by four each from Bunce and Mogg. Registering exactly three triumphs were Cole, Hintz, Richardson and Rivera.

The Bulldogs’ 36 wins doubled their total from last year’s Buena Vista Open in Storm Lake, Iowa, where Concordia went 18-20 in 2012. Their eight place finishers at the 2013 event were five more than last year.

The Bulldogs have one final event scheduled before the holidays as they look forward to the Desert Duals in Las Vegas, Nev., on Saturday, Dec. 21. Concordia will dual four opponents to be determined on that date. The Bulldogs carry a record of 1-1 in dual meets.