Sat, Jan. 26, 2013 - [Wrestling]
By Jim Naprstek, Assistant Sports Information Director
#12 Coe, 22
#24 Luther, 31
After a tough loss earlier in the week to 1st ranked Wartburg, the Loras College Wrestling squad traveled to Decorah to participate in the Iowa Conference Duals. Loras would face 12th ranked Coe, 24th ranked Luther, and Simpson in three separate dual meets.
The Duhawks got off to a phenomenal start against the Kohawks, winning three of the first four matches. After forfeiting at 125#, freshmen Nick Steger, Evan Weaver, and Greg Vance all brought home victories. Coe would take the next two matches at 157# and 165# before Stephan Birt brought Loras three points with a 5-3 decision over 6th ranked Ethan Ball. With the overall score tied at 13, Loras dropped the next nine points with a pinfall at 184# and a close 3-2 decision at #197. 5th ranked James Buss won his match at 285#, but the match was already decided as Loras lost 22-16.
Just a short time later, Loras kicked off their second dual of the day, this time against the hosts, Luther College. Steger notched his second victory of the day, winning 7-1 over 6th ranked Evan Obert. A major decision loss at 141# left Loras down 10-3 before Vance was able to score six points with his pinfall at 149#. Birt would continue his streak, defeating Jarid Groth 5-2, but this would be the closest that Loras could make it, as they dropped 11 points between 184# and 197#, before Buss secured six points with his pinfall over Nick Pearch.
In their last dual of the day, the Duhawks squared off against the Storm. Neither team presented a wrestler at 125#, so Steger found himself in a unique position with the team not being down by six points. Loras would win seven of the ten matches on the day, with five of them coming via pinfall. In addition, all five pinfalls came in the first period of play. Freshman Ben Kindle also recorded an injury defeat at 157#, bring Loras six points.
Going into the day, Head Coach Randy Steward put a lot of pressure on his team to perform right out of the gate. "It's critical for us to get a good start since we don't have someone at 125, but I felt that we did a very good job at jumping on our opponents right from the start."
While the team went 1-2 on the day, four different wrestlers went undefeated on the day. Freshman Nick Steger won his three matches 5-3 (OT), 7-1, and by pinfall (1:28). Freshman Greg Vance won his three matches 15-7, by pinfall (1:40), and 10-8. Junior Stephan Birt won 5-3, 5-2, and by pinfall (2:40). Freshman James Buss won 5-0 and by back to back pinfalls (1:28 & 1:20).
After today, Loras now sits in the Iowa Conference at 3-3 with a very important dual coming up next week against the University of Dubuque. The Spartans went 2-1 at the Iowa Conference Duals with wins over Buena Vista and Central, whom Loras defeated in head to head duals earlier this season.
"Our guys are going to be excited and ready to go. They know all about the rivalry and they know what's at stake," Steward said.