Wrestling hosts Briar Cliff Tuesday with GPAC title at stake

By on Feb. 3, 2015 in Wrestling

Wrestling hosts Briar Cliff Tuesday with GPAC title at stake

SEWARD, Neb. – Now in year six since the rebirth of Concordia University wrestling in 2009, third-year head coach Dana Vote’s program enters Tuesday night (Feb. 3) with a prime opportunity to clinch at least a share of its first-ever GPAC dual title. In their most significant dual to date, the 14th-ranked Bulldogs put their undefeated conference mark up against a Briar Cliff team that sports an identical 5-0 GPAC record. The action is set to get started at 7 p.m. from Walz Arena.

The dual can be seen live via the Concordia Sports Network.

“I think guys are very excited. This is something we’ve prepared for all year,” Vote said. “We talked about winning a conference championship and we’ve put ourselves in a position to do it.

“I think it’s going to be a big crowd and an excited crowd. I know people have heard the buzz around town about how well we’ve been doing the second half of the year.”

Concordia has been dominant in its first five GPAC duals, winning them by an average score of 34.2 – 10. The Bulldogs have won 36 of the 50 individual bouts in conference action. They made their biggest statement with a 29-12 win at No. 19 Morningside on Jan. 22 to snap the Mustangs’ streak of 31-straight GPAC dual wins. Concordia will now have an opportunity to put a halt to Briar Cliff’s run of six-consecutive conference dual wins.

Like the Bulldogs, the Chargers own GPAC dual victories over Midland (25-18), Dakota Wesleyan (43-3), Northwestern (27-21) and Doane (44-6). Briar Cliff’s additional win came against Hastings (29-12). Fourth-year head coach Joe Privitere’s squad has impressively turned things around after finishing in a tie for sixth in the league standings last season with a 2-5 GPAC record. The Chargers boast three nationally-ranked wrestlers: No. 12 Kyle Robison (125), No. 12 Skylar Weber (157) and No. 10 Abram Reynolds (285). In addition, 174-pounder Anthony Pike is a returning All-American.

“It’s definitely a good matchup. It’s going to be a tough dual,” Vote said. “There are a lot of tough matches.”

In 14 matches between Bulldog and Charger wrestlers in this season’s tournament action, Concordia has won 11 times. Those 11 victories are spread out between 11 different Bulldog grapplers. Concordia heavyweight DJ McIntyre (20-12) owns a 2-1 win (Missouri Valley Invite) over 10th-ranked Abram Reynolds of Briar Cliff.

Concordia probable lineup
125 – Dmitri Smith (9-11)
133 – No. 4 Emilio Rivera (22-7)
141 – No. 6 Andrew Schulte (11-2)
149 – No. 7 Enrique Barajas (19-8)
157 – No. 15 Jr Lule (10-4)
165 – Austin Starkey (14-12) / Tommy Bailey (5-11)
174 – No. 14 Austin Fehlhafer (7-7)
184 – Noel Richardson (11-16)
197 – No. 12 Ken Burkhardt Jr. (24-14)
285 – DJ McIntyre (20-12) / No. 11 Ceron Francisco (23-12)

Briar Cliff probable lineup
125 – No. 12 Kyle Robison
133 – Dylan Tornabane
141 – Jacob Caskey
149 – Jacob Spadoni
157 – No. 12 Skylar Weber
165 – Steven Schaffer
174 – Anthony Pike
184 – Thomas Patterson
197 – Jordan Watkins
285 – No. 10 Abram Reynolds / Dalton Presley