The Dickinson State wrestling team hoped to get a victory against Minot State on Tuesday, but their hopes were slammed against the mat, falling to the Beavers 32-19.
The Blue Hawks got off to a good start against the Beavers, but after suffering four consecutive match losses — three ending with a pin — the Blue Hawks took a heavy deficit that was too much to overcome.
“Duals are a tricky thing, and they run out of momentum a lot,” head coach Justin Schlecht said. “We lost momentum as well as our young guys ... a couple of those matches we were wrestling good on our feet and then we hang out on (the) bottom, laying on our belly a little bit. They’re thinking, ‘give me some time to recover down here, and then I’m going to get to work, and at this level, you don’t get that opportunity.”
Senior Jamie Mullins took the first match of the night against Minot State with a 3-1 decision, giving Dickinson State a 3-0 lead to start. From there, the Beavers outscored the Blue Hawks 21-0, giving Minot State a large gap in points and narrowing the confidence of Dickinson State.
Seniors Kyle Anderson and Payson Dirk attempted to get the team back in the match by earning back-to-back victories by pin, Anderson defeating Matthew Rabe and Dirk defeating Dustin Swisher. With the two pins, the Blue Hawks brought the deficit down to single digits, but back-to-back pins by the Beavers brought their lead back to 19.
Blue Hawks star senior Gresh Jones ended the night being dealt a victory by forfeit as the Beavers were unable to bring out a competitor at 133. Despite the forfeit victory, the Blue Hawks fell by 13.
“It wasn’t a very good team effort,” Schlecht said. “There were definitely some good wins by some individuals, but on average we just had a lot of matches where we were in the match, and had an opportunity but decided not to wrestle hard for the entire (match.)”
Despite senior night ending on a sour note, it was the seniors that gave it their all and put points on the board for the Blue Hawks.
“Good win by Jamie, good win by Kyle and Payson and then guys doing a great job of being physical and aggressive right off twist,” Schlecht said. “We need some of those other guys to pay attention to that and have those kind of reactions during the match too.”
With the loss, the Blue Hawks no longer have a regular dual to prepare for, but now aim at the Heart of America Conference Qualifier on Feb. 22.
“Can’t just be an All-American in the (practice) room, you have to be an All-American on the mat too with an ankle band on,” Schlecht said. “And a few of our guys that had some nice wins tonight, that situation just comes down to continuing to make minor adjustments and build on our strengths, improve our weaknesses, and get our conditioning in check.”