MSU falls to another ranked foe

One night after a shutout loss to the country’s third-ranked team, the Minot State wrestling team turned in a more competitive showing against No. 7 Upper Iowa, but it yielded the same result.

The Peacocks recorded wins in seven of the 10 weight classes Saturday night in posting a 34-15 win over the Beavers at the MSU Dome.

MSU (1-11 overall, 0-5 Northern Sun) dropped to 0-7 this year against ranked opponents. The 19-point loss is its third-closest result in those seven duals.

Upper Iowa (12-1-1, 4-0) claimed the first four bouts and took a 16-0 lead before MSU got on the board. At 157 pounds, MSU sophomore Ricard Akakovs recorded a takedown and near fall in the final 30 seconds to win 9-5 over Zac Benitz, who is ranked in the top eight of the Central Region.

“Ricard did a good job of staying loose and staying ready,” MSU coach Robin Ersland said in a press release. “I think if he can be within a point in every match, he has a shot to win because he can get takedowns. The problem is he makes everyone wait until the end of the match to do it, but that was a huge win for Ricard.”

MSU freshman Tiger Paasch won by injury default at 174 pounds for the Beavers’ second win. In the finale, senior heavyweight Bobby Bartz needed just 33 seconds to pin Upper Iowa’s Logan Hopp.

“(Hopp) is know for his wrestling,” Ersland said. “He was probably a wrestler before heavyweight, which isn’t too common. He was a good wrestler and he has beaten some people we’ve lost to, so that’s a nice win for Bobby.”

Bartz now owns two pins and five wins on the season.

The Beavers travel to Minnesota State Moorhead and University of Mary next weekend.

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