Gophers Open Dual Season with Air Force on Sunday
Wrestling is back at the University of Minnesota, as the No. 6 Golden Gophers will open the 2017-18 dual season with Air Force at the Maturi Pavilion on Nov. 12 at 1:00 p.m.
Sunday’s match against the Falcons will begin at 1:00 p.m. CT at the Maturi Pavilion. Gopher wrestling fanatics are able to stream the live action on BTN Plus along with live updates on the Minnesota wrestling twitter page.
Both the Gophers and the Falcons have competed in one open this season. The Gophers traveled to Brookings, S.D. to take part in the Daktronics Open while Air Force was in Laramie, WY participating in the Cowboy Open.
Minnesota obtained three titles, marking one of the most successful Daktronics the Gophers have had in recent memory. Ethan Lizak (125), Mitch McKee (133) and Nick Wanzek (165) all finished first in their first action of the 2017-18 season. Air Force had one wrestler earn a title at the Cowboy Open, that being Alec Opsal in 141-pounds.
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133-pound sophomore Mitch McKee was able to pick up three pins in his run to the 133 Daktronics Open title, giving him half the amount he had all last season as a ture freshman when he led the team with six.
The Falcons do not currently have any current wrestlers in the top rankings, but Alex Lopouchanski was able to crack into The Open Mat’s national ranking last November at No. 19. That could set up a competitive match at 165 with Minnesota’s senior Nick Wanzek, who is ranked No. 10. Wanzek is coming off a week where he had the match of the week for the Gophers.
The #Gophers begin their 2017-18 Match of the Week honors with senior Nick Wanzek! #GopherTough pic.twitter.com/Gd7i73F4L2
— Minnesota Wrestling (@GopherWrestling) November 8, 2017
Minnesota comes into the dual as the No. 6 ranked dual team by Intermat, while five active individual wrestlers are all ranked in the top 10 by the same poll. Ethan Lizak holds the highest Intermat ranking at No. 5. He picked up four victories at the Daktronics Open on his way to the 125-pound title.
The Gophers last met the Falcons in 2015 where Minnesota prevailed 22-12 in Minneapolis. A few current Gopher grapplers competed back in 2015 including Tommy Thorn who defeated David Walker by decision 12-7 at 141. Chris Pfarr wrestled at 184 and broke a 12-12 tie between the two squads with an 11-minute match where Pfarr held a 0.4 second riding time advantage to give him the victory and the Gophers the momentum that they rode to the dual win.
Gopher legend Logan Storley will be in-person on Sunday in the Maturi Pavilion honoring as a special guest on the Gophers bench. Storley is a current mix-martial arts fighter for Bellator, and is coming off a victory in his last fight on Nov. 3 and is currently 7-0 with six knockouts.
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