Fight for your right to tourney

MNSU wrestling face their last opponents this weekend before the NCAA Tournament

This week, The Mavericks will finish up their NSIC dual calendar with matchups against Northern State on Thursday, and Southwest Minnesota State on Friday.

As is commonly said in wrestling, or sports in general, it isn’t over until it’s over. This is the story of the 2017-18 Maverick wrestling squad. A group that has been on a roller coaster rider thus far, ups and downs around every corner of their season. All things considered, the group still can’t seem to have “surrender” be a piece of their vocabulary this season.

Minnesota State enters its last two duals this week with a record of 5-4 on the year, and is 3-3 this season in NSIC duals. The Mavericks’ 3-3 record in the NSIC places them amidst the pac, tied for fourth in the season standings. They trail St. Cloud State, Augustana and Upper Iowa in the conference, and are right now in front of their next two rivals, Northern State and Southwest Minnesota State.

To start off their road trip this week, the Mavericks will first travel to Aberdeen, S.D., to go up against the Northern State Wolves, Thursday, at 7 p.m. The Wolves hold a regular season record of 1-11, and are 0-5 in the NSIC. Northern State is amidst a five-dual home stand that included matchups against St. Cloud State, Upper Iowa and MSU Moorhead. NSU senior Tanner Olson, 157-pounds, was named NSIC Wrestler of the Week on Jan. 29, for defeating No. 1 Larry Bomstad of St. Cloud State. The Northern State wrestling group is instructed by Rocky Burkett in his third season as head mentor. In spite of the Wolves’ record on the year, this is a group of Wolves the Mavericks should not tread lightly.

After the Mavs complete their dual with the Wolves, Minnesota State will finish up its dual season in Marshall, Minn., against the Mustangs. Southwest Minnesota State holds a regular record of 7-6 on the year, and are 2-4 in the NSIC. The Mustangs barely vanquished Minot State 23-17 in their last bout on the mats. The Mavericks won the last dual between the two schools by a score of 38-6 a season ago. Minnesota State had won 8 out of their 10 weight classes in the dual. The Mustangs are coached by Jesse Nelson, who is currentyl in his eleventh season holding a career record of 81-85-1.

The Mavericks will have a short break after the current week’s duals, and won’t wrestle again until the Division II Super Region 3 Tournament Feb. 23-24, in St. Cloud, Minn. With their split coming up, the Mavs will hope to complete the season on a high-note headed into tourney play.

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