Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Wrestlers fall to no. 2 Wartburg

Jan. 21, 2015 By Christopher Clapper

Fort Wayne, Indiana saw the top two Division III wrestling programs square off head-to-head in the semifinals at the National Wrestling Coaches Association DIII National Finals.

The then No. 1 ranked team in the country had a first round bye followed by No. 24 ranked Loras College and then No. 10 Augsburg College. The next day, they defeated No. 4 ranked Concordia College-Moorhead in the semifinals for a showdown of the No. 1 and 2 ranked teams in the country.

UW-Whitewater suffered to a loss against Warburg College. Wartburg has been in the finals of the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III National Duals for nine years running and has won the last five.

“They were a tough team, this is the fifth year in a row that they’ve won it,” head wrestling coach Ned Shuck said. “We knew we were going to be in a battle and we didn’t really help ourselves out by having to forfeit a weight class and giving up six points right away.”

When it was all said and done, the ’Hawks left with a disappointing 20-13 loss and a slight drop to No. 2 in the national rankings.

The ’Hawks quickly turned its attention back to WIAC conference play, however, and defeated UW-Oshkosh 41-3 for a victory after its only loss of the year.

“We wrestled really well,” Shuck said. “The guys opened up a lot more, were much more offensive than we’ve been recently which was really nice.”

Senior 184-pounder Ryan Aprahamian thinks the team fought well.

“We handled it [UW-Oshkosh] pretty well, which is to be expected, but we weren’t worried about the match or anything like that,” Aprahamian said.

Still undefeated in conference play (4-0), the ’Hawks return to the mat against also undefeated UW-Lacrosse. UW-Whitewater has already defeated Wartburg earlier this season, and are the other undefeated team in the conference.

Aprahamian said this is a game the Warhawks mark on their calendar every year.

“This is kind of like a rival game for us, we want to go out and beat Lacrosse,” Aprahamian said. “Us and them are the two best in the conference consistently, so I think that makes us rivals just based on that.”

With the middle of the season coming to an end, the ’Hawks know they have to be ready for anything for the home stretch.

They wrestle at UW-L next week on Jan. 24 for a WIAC dual that will leave one team with its first conference loss of the season.

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Founded 1901
Wrestlers fall to no. 2 Wartburg