Dual Preview: Concordia to battle DWU, Morningside on Wednesday

By Jacob Knabel on Nov. 29, 2021 in Wrestling

SEWARD, Neb. – After a break from competition over the week of Thanksgiving, the Concordia University Wrestling team will return to action on Wednesday with a pair of GPAC duals in Sioux City, Iowa, where it will go head-to-head with Dakota Wesleyan and Morningside. Hosted by the Mustangs, the event will feature a total of eight GPAC duals (all nine conference teams in action) that will be contested inside The Arena Sports Academy, which will have four mats set up.

This Week

Wednesday, Dec. 1 – two GPAC duals
vs. Dakota Wesleyan, 5:30 p.m. / vs. Morningside 7 p.m.
The Arena | Sioux City, Iowa
--Live Webcast | Live Results

Saturday, Dec. 4 at Doane Open
--Live Results

Head Coach Myron Bradbury’s squad last competed at the Younes Hospitality Open hosted by the University of Nebraska-Kearney on Nov. 20. On that date, three Bulldogs emerged with tournament place finishes: Mario Ybarra (second at 133), Thomas Ivey (third at 125) and Mason Garcia (sixth at 197). It marked the 2021-22 season debut for the returning All-American Ybarra. Thanks to wins over Morningside’s Taylor Vasquez (ranked 14th in NAIA) and Colorado Mesa’s Collin Metzgar (ranked 14th in NCAA Division II), Ybarra was named the GPAC Wrestler of the Week. In sum, 18 Concordia wrestlers combined for 30 wins, including nine via fall at the Younes Hospitality Open.

The following Bulldogs have collected at least five wins so far this season:

·        Connor Burrus (141) – 6-3

·        Mason Garcia (197) – 11-1

·        Thomas Ivey (125) – 10-2

·        Anthony Perez (157) – 5-4

·        Jose Sanchez (165) – 7-8

·        Tavoris Smith (157) – 6-6

·        Jacob Telles (285) – 5-2

Due to a snafu in the ratings process, the NAIA has not released new conference or national rankings since the preseason. The next set of conference ratings are scheduled to be announced on Tuesday (Nov. 30). In the preseason, Ybarra (eighth at 133) and Jacob Telles (19th at 285) represented the Bulldogs with individual national rankings. In the dual with Morningside, Concordia could face as many as three nationally ranked competitors: 16th-ranked Evan Shell at 125, Vasquez at 133 and sixth-ranked John Diener at 149.

In recent years, Concordia has experienced plenty of success in GPAC duals. Dating back to the 2014-15 season, the Bulldogs have won or shared the GPAC regular season title in five of seven seasons. From 2014-15 through the start of 2017-18, the program won 22 consecutive GPAC duals. Concordia went 7-0 in GPAC duals each season from 2014-15 through 2016-17 and then went 8-0 in 2019-20. Since the start of the 2014-15 campaign, the Bulldogs are a combined 44-10 in conference duals. In the lone dual of this season, Concordia fell at home to Hastings, 29-17.

At 3-5 in GPAC duals last season, the Bulldogs finished fifth behind Doane (8-0), Morningside (7-1), Briar Cliff (6-2) and Jamestown (4-4). Jacob Telles is the reigning GPAC heavyweight champion while Ybarra won the 125-pound conference title in 2020.

Looking ahead to the weekend, Concordia will be at the Doane University Open on Saturday with action slated to begin at 9 a.m. CT from Crete, Neb. The Bulldogs will make their next home appearance on Dec. 9 when they are scheduled to host a dual versus Midland.