Wrestling to take Action into Dows Ballroom for Tonight's Home Finale

Wrestling to take Action into Dows Ballroom for Tonight's Home Finale

The Buena Vista wrestling team will wrestle its final home dual of the season tonight when it hosts visiting Nebraska Wesleyan in an Iowa Conference showdown starting at 7:00pm.  The meet will take place at Dows Ballroom, located inside of Siebens Forum, on the BVU campus.

This makeshift dual will be a part of the team's annual 'Dinner and a Show' event which allows fans to purchase tickets in advance for the opportunity to enjoy a three-course meal while kicking back and enjoying the wrestling action at the same time.

Previewing the matchup

The Prairie Wolves return to competitive wrestling this season for the first time since 1982.  NWU had a program from 196-82 and won a trio of conference championships.  The university announced in the summer of 2015 it was bringing wrestling back and then had one full year to recruit.

The Prairie Wolves officially became members of the Iowa Conference in the summer of 2016, and picked up its first win in more than 30 years when it defeated Northwestern Junior College, 25-17, to open a home double dual back on December 7.

Ben Lodema (197) and Justin Hennessy (285) lead a roster made up primarily of freshmen and sophomores, with 19 and 18 wins, respectively.  The duo, along with 165-pounder Nathan Hunt, have picked up a pair of wins during IIAC matches.

The Beavers, meanwhile, look to bounce back tonight from last Friday’s tough 23-21 road loss at Simpson College where it held an 18-8 advantage before the Storm scored bonus points in all three of its wins over the final four matches. 

BVU is at its toughest in the early weights where five of the first six weights have individuals with double-digit wins on the year, including a pair with 15.  Three of those six also enter tonight with winning overall records.  Sophomore Brad Kerkhoff and senior Andrew Nelson each have a team-leading 15 wins with fellow senior Ernesto Garcia right behind with 13.

The Beavers are less experienced in the upper weights with three of the final four weights locked in with underclassmen, and not as much mat time.  Tyler Puls, who was inserted into the lineup just two weeks ago, came through with a big win against the Storm for his first win of the year.

Last time out: The Beavers were handed a tough 23-21 road loss at Simpson College last Friday night.  The team built an 18-8 advantage with four bouts to go, but the Storm went on to win three of those (2 technical falls and 1 pin) to pull off the comeback.

Nebraska Wesleyan has not wrestled since taking part in the annual Pete Willson Invite, hosted by Wheaton College, back on January 27-28.  The team's last dual action was at the IIAC Duals on January 21.

Looking ahead: Following tonight's dual, the Beavers will travel to Deacorah, Iowa, on Friday, February 10, to face Luther College in what will be the final IIAC and regular season match of the year.  The NCAA Central Regional Tournament will follow on Saturday, February 25.

Tonight's Broadcast: A live video stream will be available at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/bvu/

Admission: $6 Adults, $3 Students & Senior Citizens

Tonight's Probable Line-up

Wt.     Neb. Wesleyan  
2016-17 W-L     Buena Vista     2016-17 W-L
125 Ryan Smales
 4-20 Ernesto Garcia     13-10
133 Jorge Hernandez
 2-18 Riley Altenburg 10-15
  OR Tyrell Turner 0-10  
141 Kendrick Frazier
 0-16 Carson Rhoads
149 Mitchell Hunt
 4-14 Shane Vaughan 11-9
157 Dustin Monroe
 6-15 Brad Kerkhoff 15-11
165 Nathan Hunt
 6-7 Andrew Nelson     15-13
174 Matthew Fricke
 5-16 Kevin Pape 5-15
184 Alex Kerr
 11-15 Lavaris Preston 1-10
197 Sam Simpson
 2-13 Tyler Puls
285 Justin Hennessy
 18-15 Nick Mitchell
      OR Anthony Ossman 2-8
      OR Christian Lewis 1-6