No. 10 Peacocks Set to Close 2020 Regular Season with No. 1 Huskies

By Howie Thompson, UIU Athletic Information

Nick Baumler

Nick Baumler

TONIGHT IN PEACOCK WRESTLING... No. 10 Upper Iowa will close out the regular season with a Northern Sun Conference dual at No. 1 St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minn. on Thursday at 7 p.m. The top-ranked Huskies are currently 14-0 on the year and 6-0 in the NSIC and can earn at least a share of the NSIC title with a victory against the Peacocks, who enter the dual with a 12-4 mark overall and a 5-2 record against NSIC teams.

LIVE OPTIONS... Fans unable to make the trip to St. Cloud, Minn. can follow the action through live scoring or a webcast online or stream the dual with the NSIC app on Roku and Fire devices, as well as Apple and Android televisions.

PEACOCK LEADERS ON THE MAT... Among the Peacock varsity wrestlers, Nick Baumler (197) and Chase Luensman (149) lead the team in wins with 26 apiece. Tate Murty (141) follows closely behind with 25, while Dalton Hahn (184), Justin Folley (133) and Donny Schmit are all just behind with 23 each. Murty has recorded 13 falls to hit the high mark for the team, while Mac Spotts (157) and Luensman are tied at the top of the tech fall leaderboard with four apiece. Nick Baumler has registered the most major decisions with 11 and has scored the most takedowns on the squad with 102 in his 28 bouts for an average of 3.6 takedowns per match.

RANKED WRESTLERS IN ABUNDANCE... In addition to both teams being in the NWCA Division II Coaches Top 25, there are 11 individuals between the two squads who are recognized as some of the best wrestlers nationally in their respective weight classes. Upper Iowa claims three young men that are nationally ranked including a pair of All-Americans and a true freshman; Justin Folley (Sr., 133, No. 3), Chase Luensman (Fr., 149, No. 7) and Nick Baumler (197, 197, No. 2). St. Cloud State boasts a ranked wrestler in eight of the ten weight classes including individuals at 133, 141, 149, 157, 165, 174, 184 and 197. Seven of the eight of the ranked wrestlers claim spots at No. 5 or above with the eight coming in at No. 9 in his weight class.

PUTTING THE NO. 1 HUSKIES UNDER THE MICROSCOPE... St. Cloud State has won 62 straight duals, which marks the NCAA DII record for most consecutive dual match wins. The Huskies have not lost a match since dropping a decision against the University of Indianapolis on Jan. 14, 2017. SCSU owns a 12-match win streak against Upper Iowa, dating back to a 21-15 loss on Feb. 14, 2010. Last year, SCSU scored a 27-12 win over UIU at the NWCA DII National Duals and a 33-4 win over the Peacocks in Fayette during the NSIC season. The last time UIU visited St. Cloud, Minn., the Huskies charted a 33-6 win in February 2018. Undefeated starters for SCSU this season include Garrett Aldrich with a 14-0 record at 141-pounds and Garrett Vos with a 12-0 record at 133-pounds. SCSU starters with just one loss this season include Joey Bianchini with a 16-1 record at 141-pounds, Kolton Eischens with a 12-1 mark at 174-pounds and Devin FitzPatrick 13-1 at 165-pounds. Kolton Eischens leads SCSU starters this season with seven falls. SCSU top win producers are Joey Bianchini with 16 wins, Noah Ryan and James Pleski with 15 wins.

Upper Iowa PROBABLES...
125 Philip Ihde
Jared Hensley
133 #3 Justin Folley
Donny Schmit
141 Tate Murty
149 #7 Chase Luensman
157 Mac Spotts
165 Chance Throndson
Brock Benitz
174 Jamie Gehling
184 Dalton Hahn
197 #2 Nick Baumler
285 Triston Westerlund
Jordan Baumler

St. Cloud PROBABLES...
125 Robby Horsman
Brandon Betancourt
133 #2 Garrett Vos
141 #5 Garrett Aldrich
141 Joey Bianchini
149 #2 James Pleski
157 #2 Jake Barzowski
165 #3 Devin Fitzpatrick
Devin Donovan
174 #4 Kolton Eischens
184 #2 Tyree Overton
Billy Pitzner
197 #9 Noah Ryan
Riley Vankik
285 Ezayah Oropeza

UP NEXT... Upper Iowa will head to the Sioux Falls Arena in Sioux Falls, S.D. on Feb. 29 for the NCAA Super Region V Championships. The first session will begin at 10 a.m. on that Saturday. The Peacocks are one of ten teams at the regional event, which consists of the nine Northern Sun Conference schools that wrestle and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.