DWU shuts out Minnesota West Community College, 51-0

The Dakota Wesleyan wrestling team broke into the national rankings this week, and the No. 19 Tigers looked the part Wednesday in a 51-0 rout of Minnesota West Community College.

Matt Bunke/Republic Dakota Wesleyan's Tanner LaValliere takes down Minnesota West Community College's Ryan Teal during the 165-pound match of Wednesday's dual at the Christen Family Recreation/Wellness Center.

The Dakota Wesleyan wrestling team broke into the national rankings this week, and the No. 19 Tigers looked the part Wednesday in a 51-0 rout of Minnesota West Community College.

The Tigers recorded two pins, three technical falls and two decisions, and won the final three weight classes by forfeit as DWU closed the home portion of its schedule.

"The biggest thing is I just wanted to see our guys go out and wrestle hard," DWU coach Josh Hardman said of the obvious mismatch. "It was nice to see they did that."

The non-conference dual started at heavyweight, where Derek Ashley, still trying to work his way back into wrestling shape, got the match off to a strong start for the Tigers by pinning Jerrik Bannister in 2:50 to earn his first win of the season and give the Tigers a 6-0 lead.

"He didn't really want to wrestle tonight if the dual didn't come down to it, but we kind of finagled it where he'd have to wrestle the first match, so he had to wrestle," Hardman said. "It was nice he went out there and got the fall, and hopefully it keeps him itching to keep going."


At 125 pounds, DWU's Brandon Goodwin gave the Tigers a 9-0 lead with a 9-3 decision over Ashton Griffin. DWU's Jeff Holmes cruised to a 15-0 tech fall over Danial Cordido at 133 pounds and at 141 pounds, Jordan Harer followed with a pin of Jamal McAllister in 1:43 to put the Tigers up 20-0. Harer moved up from No. 4 to No. 3 at 141 pounds in the latest NAIA ratings.

Ray Rickenbach then won a 17-2 tech fall over Jose Ayala at 149 pounds and Danny Hutcheson followed with a tech fall of his own, a 15-0 win over Bryan Louis at 157 pounds that gave DWU a 30-0 lead.

"I know a couple of our guys were going for a tech fall career award, and that's what they were going after tonight," Hardman said. "It's nice they could keep wrestling toward that."

DWU's Tanner LaValliere won a 5-0 decision over Ryan Teal in the closest match of the night at 165 pounds. LaValliere got an early takedown in the first period, earned a reversal in the second and closed with a riding time point in the third.

"I was happy with the way Tanner wrestled," Hardman said. "He had the closest match of the night, but he had to wrestle a kid from his own high school. It's kind of tough to have to wrestle a kid you used to wrestle with. I thought he did a good job of wrestling smart, and he controlled the match the whole time."

DWU's Blake Hodne, Kyle Henderson and Todd Casselman closed the night by winning forfeits at 174, 184 and 197 pounds, respectively.

The win pushed DWU's record in duals to 4-3 one day after the Tigers cracked the national poll for the first time this season.

"That's based a lot on (Harer) getting up to No. 3 in the rankings, but it's nice that the raters see that we're coming along," Hardman said. "The guys were excited to see that for the first time, and we just need to keep building on that."


DWU will return to the mat Tuesday night for a pair of duals at Morningside. The Tigers will take on Morningside at 4 p.m. and Grandview College at 5:30 p.m.

"(DWU's wrestlers) are going to get a day off, and they'll have the weekend off, and then we have pretty tough duals on Tuesday," Hardman said. "This was a nice lead up to that, and a confidence builder."

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