LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Doane Wrestling hit the mat one last time on Friday afternoon in Louisville, Ky., at the NWCA National Duals as they took on No. 5 Reinhardt in the Third Place match. The outcome came down to the final match of the day at heavyweight where Doane recorded bonus points in victory to claim a 17-16 win over the Eagles.
Head Coach Dana Vote credited the entire team for being stingy, not only in the Reinhardt match but the entire tournament.
“It was a team effort from top to bottom,” Vote said. “The guys were stingy, working for the bonus points when they could while also avoiding bonus points for their opponent, and in the last match, that was the difference.”
Doane opened the final dual with No. 3 Daniel Vargas (JR/San Diego, Calif.) taking on No. 6 Koby Milner at 125. Vargas posted a 6-3 win to give the Tigers the early lead. In the 133 match, Justin Ramirez (FR/Clovis, Calif.) was defeated 6-2 by Ivan Arguello to even up the match.
The Tigers regained the lead at No. 1 Baagii Boldmaa (JR/Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia) defeated Dawson Bates at 141, 15-5, a major decision to earn a bonus point and put Doane up 7-3. Tristan Zamilpa (SO/Madera, Calif.) was defeated 6-1 at 149 by Avry Mutschler to cut the lead to one point.
The match at 157 proved to be a pivotal match as No. 9 Chinges Tsermaa(SO/Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia) took on Trevor Burdick. After the first period, Tsermaa found himself in a 4-0 deficit while Burdick had accumulated over two minutes of riding time.
Tsermaa battled back to tie the match at 5-5 after the second period and outscored Burdick, 4-3, in the final period to record a 9-8 win to put the Tigers back in front by four points.
“He (Tsermaa) battled hard for seven minutes,” Vote recalled. “As the match went on, he felt his opponent start to break and stayed aggressive to come from behind for the win.”
Reinhardt took the next three matches behind three of their ranked wrestlers. Benjamin Dobler (FR/Torokszentmiklos, Hungary) was edged out by No. 12 Matt Jenkins, 7-4, at 165 pounds. Michael Scarponi (SO/Temecula, Calif.) was defeated by No. 10 Cole Tenety, 11-4, at 174, and Garrett Cornwell (JR/Albion, Neb.) was defeated by No. 11 Kyle Homet by major decision, 16-5, at 184.
The Eagles held a 16-10 lead over Doane entering the final two matches.
“I felt like we were in good shape heading into the final two matches,” Vote said. “Having two guys who can get you bonus points at the end is important. Odgi (Batkhishig) is explosive and can score at any time as a heavyweight.”
Bradley Antesberger (FR/North Pole, Alaska), ranked No. 9, posted a 5-2 win over No. 19 Jacob Henderson. The match was scoreless after the first period with Antesberger taking a 1-0 lead after the second period. With the match tied 1-1 in the third, Antesberger picked up a takedown with 1:23 left in the match. Henderson was able to get an escape only to have Antesberger snag a takedown with two seconds left.
In the final match at 285, No. 3 Odgerel Batkhishig (SR/Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia) took on No. 12 Nic Jarvis. Batkhishig took down Jarvis early in the match and would record four takedowns in the opening period for an 8-3 lead. After the second period, Batkhishig led 11-4 as he was closing in on bonus point territory that could lift the Tigers to victory. Eight seconds into the final period, he recorded a takedown to move into a major decision victory. He wrapped up the win with an 18-6 final score to pick up four team points.
“The tournament featured nine of the top ten teams in the national rankings and our guys saw that they belong,” Vote commented. “There was a lot of emotion from the team at the end of the dual, you can see this meant a lot to them and they earned it.”
For the Tigers, it was only their second appearance at the NWCA National Duals as they went 3-1 after going 0-3 in 2017. The Third Place finish is the highest finish by a GPAC institution since Dana College placed second in 2007.
Additionally for Coach Vote, he is the last GPAC coach to have taken a team to place at the national duals, having led Concordia to a Seventh Place finish in 2016 and now Doane in 2022.
Next up for the Tigers will be a dual with Concordia on Friday, January 14, at 7 PM in the Haddix Center on the Doane campus. It will mark the last time the Tigers are scheduled to compete in front of the home crowd this season.