FARGO, N.D. - The No. 21-ranked University of Northern Iowa Panther wrestling team dug a deep hole on Sunday but was able to rally by winning the final five matches and secured a 21-17 triumph over the North Dakota State University Bison.
NDSU opened a 17-3 lead in the dual following a fall at 157 pounds from Vince Salminen over UNI's Tyson Reiner at the 5:48 mark of their match. The Panthers failed to give in and rallied for five straight victories to extend their Western Wrestling Conference dual streak to 12 in a row. UNI moved to 10-6 overall and 4-0 in the WWC this season. NDSU dropped to 5-10-1 overall and 2-4 in the WWC.
UNI also clinched a share of its third straight WWC dual title with the victory. Wyoming can also grab a share of the league title with a win over Northern Colorado on Feb. 25 in Greeley, Colo.
The Bison defended their home mat with a pair of wins to start the dual at 125 and 133 pounds. NDSU's Justin Solberg scored a 6-4 sudden victory over UNI's Cruse Aarhus at 125 pounds, while the Bison's Trent Sprenkle notched a major decision over Steven Fitzgerald at 133 pounds, 17-7.
UNI's Trent Washington got the Panther son the board with a 6-4 victory over NDSU's Gabriel Mooney at 141 pounds. Washington opened up a 5-0 lead over Mooney before allowing the Bison grappler back in the match near the end of the third period. Washington's win pulled the Panthers to within 7-3 in the dual.
At 149 pounds, NDSU's Ryan Adams notched an 11-3 major decision over UNI's Brett Robbins. Adams' victory gave the Bison an 11-3 lead in the dual as well.
The Bison turned the tables on the Panthers at 157 pounds when Vince Salminen turned a 3-2 deficit to UNI's Tyson Reiner into a fall at the 5:48 mark of their match. Salminen's pin moved the Bison lead to 17-3 in the dual.
UNI's Moza Fay did his best to get the Panthers going with a 21-6 technical fall over NDSU's Andrey Patselov at 165 pounds. The Panthers' Jarion Beets continued the Panther comeback with a 10-4 decision over NDSU's Adam Aho at 174 pounds. Beets' win pulled UNI to within 17-11 in the dual.
Panther senior Alex Dolly took care of NDSU's Kenny Moenkedick by the count of 12-6 at 184 pounds to get the Panthers three points closer in the dual, 17-14.
UNI senior Andrew Anderson dominated Bison freshman Drew Ross and tallied a bonus point for the Panthers with a 14-5 major decision. Anderson's win put the Panthers on top for the first time in the dual, 18-17.
But the dual would come down to the final match at heavyweight between UNI's Dustin Bauman and NDSU's Tyler Hemmesch. The first period saw no score between the two competitors. Bauman scored the first point of the match with an escape in the second period to take a 1-0 lead. Hemmesch then chose the neutral position to begin the third period despite trailing, 1-0. Bauman was able to fend off shots from Hemmesch in the final two minutes and hung on for the 1-0 victory. Bauman's win clinched the dual for the Panthers, 21-17.
UNI will now prepare for the NCAA West Regional slated for March 8 in Greeley, Colo.
FINAL RESULTS: UNI 21, North Dakota State 17
125 - Justin Solberg (NDSU) dec. Cruse Aarhus (UNI), 6-4 sv
133 - Trent Sprenkle (NDSU) maj. dec. Steven Fitzgerald (UNI), 17-7
141 - Trent Washington (UNI) vs. Gabriel Mooney (NDSU), 6-4
149 - Ryan Adams (NDSU) maj. dec. Brett Robbins (UNI), 11-3
157 - Vince Salminen (NDSU) pinned Tyson Reiner (UNI), 5:48
165 - Moza Fay (UNI) tech. fall Andrey Patselov (NDSU), 21-6 (6:02)
174 - Jarion Beets (UNI) dec. Adam Aho (NDSU), 10-4
184 - Alex Dolly (UNI) dec. Kenny Moenkedick (NDSU), 12-6
197 - Andrew Anderson (UNI) maj. dec. Drew Ross (NDSU), 13-5
285 - Dustin Bauman (UNI) dec. Tyler Hemmesch (NDSU), 1-0