Spartans Start Strong, but Fall to Gophers

The Michigan State wrestling team lost to No. 2 Minnesota, 36-3, at the Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis for the Big Ten opener Friday night.

The Spartans (2-2) were facing a tough match up with the Gophers (4-0), but they got things going when redshirt freshman Mitch Rogaliner won a 7-5 decision over Jordan Bremer at 125 pounds. This was his first career start in a Big Ten dual and he improved to 7-2 for the season.

Then, two nationally ranked wrestlers matched up at 133 pounds. No. 16 Javier Gasca of MSU, who became nationally ranked after beating two top-20 wrestlers at the Eastern Michigan Duals, took on No. 2 Chris Dardanes. Gasca only trailed 2-0 after the first period and only 5-1 at the end of the second, but Dardanes proved too much and won 10-4.

The Gophers led 16-3 going into intermission after Seth Lange, No. 1 Dylan Ness, and No. 3 Nick Dardanes all won their matches. Lange won a 7-2 decision over Nick Trimble at 149, Ness won a 9-1 major decision over Roger Wildmo at 157 and Dardanes pinned Garth Yenter at 141 pounds with only one second left in the first period.

After the intermission it was more of the same, with the Gophers winning the rest of the matches.

MSU’s Ryan Watts led No. 15 Nick Wanzek 3-1 at 165 for the first two periods, but Wanzek got a quick escape and a takedown in the third. After adding the riding time, Wanzek won 5-3.

No. 1 Logan Storley of Minnesota defeated Nick Proctor by a technical fall at 174, followed by No. 14 Brett Pfarr’s 6-2 decision over John Rizqallah at 184.

No. 1 Scott Schiller pinned Nick McDiarmid and then No. 20 Michael Kroells beat Luke Jones, 7-2, at heavyweight for the final match of the dual.

The Spartans’ next meet is against Iowa State at Jenison Field House for their home opener Sunday, Nov. 23.

Luke Robbins is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.

Photo: Hannah McEnroe/Impact Sports