By Tiffany L. Rehbein
Shortly after the MSU-Northern Lights wrestling team extended its winning streak to seven-straight matches, the Lights fell to the University of Findlay at Primm, Nev., Thursday.
The Lights (7-1) downed Embry-Riddle University 35-12 en route to their seventh straight victory.
Abel Valdez, at 125 pounds, won by forfeit. Jessie Schaeffer, who has been strong all season, won a 4-2 decision at 141 pounds.
Brendan Burns at 157 pounds, Dane Jacobsen at 197 pounds, and Turk Lords at heavyweight each won by fall.
Burns timed out at 2:20, Jacobsen at 2:27, and Lords at 3:21 for the wins.
Tyson Thivierge, wrestling at 184 pounds, won a 10-0 decision over Jay Wariner of Embry-Riddle.
However, the tide was changed against the University of Findlay. Findlay came away with a 30-13 win over the Lights, handing them their first loss of the season.
Highlights for the Lights included Burns, who won an 8-4 decision at his weight. Thivierge won by fall in 5:57, and Lords won a 10-0 decision over Jim Joaquin at heavyweight.
They were the only Lights to gain points.
In both matches, the Lights forfeited at 133 pounds.
The Northern wrestling team will now have an opportunity to shine against nationally-ranked competition Friday at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational also held at Primm, Nev.
The tournament will play host to approximately 45 teams. Last season, 30 teams were ranked in the NCAA division. The Lights finished 15th, the top NAIA team at the tournament.
"It's a very prestigious tournament," head coach David Ray said. "It's one of the top two NCAA Division I seasonal tournaments prior to the national tournament."
The caliber of competition will allow for the Lights to do two things: Improve individual rankings, and wrestle the best possible against the best competition.
"If you compared this tournament to basketball, it would be like the Skylights playing Tennessee (Vols, three-time national champion women's college basketball team) or the Lights playing Duke," Ray said.
Because of the high level of competition, Ray said, he would be happy with another 15th place finish.
"There shouldn't be an intimidation factor, because you go in there and you shouldn't win," Ray said. "The level of competition is so high, you just go in and do your best."
Lords, who will wrestle at heavyweight, has placed third at the tournament in the past.
Schaeffer, at 141 pounds, has placed fourth in the past.
"We have two individuals on the team that have placed previously," Ray said. "They probably have high expectations of themselves."
Other Lights' matchups include: at 125 pounds, Abel Valdez; 133 pounds, Kurt Lorenz; 149 pounds, Lyle Cronk; 157 pounds, Brendan Burns; 165 pounds, Chris Hayes; 174 pounds, Nate Laslovich; Casey Pinion will wrestle unattached; 184 pounds, Tyson Thivierge; HWT, Dane Jacobsen.
In a duel last weekend against Western Wyoming College, Northern won every match except at 133 pounds, when Lorenz forfeited due to illness.
MSU-Northern dual meet report
125 -- Abel Valdez, MSU, won by forfeit; 133 -- Marty Croft, ERU, won by forfeit; 141 -- Jessie Schaeffer, MSU, def. Biji Adams, ERU, 4-2; 149 -- Lyle Cronk, MSU, def. Tony Losealzo, ERU, 11-3; 157 -- Brendon Burns, MSU, pinned Brian Campbell, ERU, 2:20; 165 -- Pete Runez, ERU, def. Chris Hayes, MSU, 8-4; 174 -- Joe Hurtado, ERU, def. Nate Laslovich, MSU, 8-4; 184 -- Tyson Thivierge, MSU, def. Jay Wariner, ERU, 10-0; 197 -- Dave Jacobsen, pinned Ryan Parsons, ERU, 2:27; HWT -- Turk Lords, MSU, pinned Dan Maynard, ERU, 3:21.
MSU-N record: 7-0
University of Findlay
125 -- Chad Hendeny, UF, def. Abel Valdez, MSU, 3-1; 133 -- Joey Simcoe, UF, won by forfeit; 141 -- Marc Bullard, UF, def. Jessie Schaeffer, MSU, 8-1; 149 -- Ryan Dickson, UF, pinned, Lyle Cronk, MSU, :37; 157 -- Bredon Burns, MSU, def. Axel Risner, UF, 8-4; 165 -- Marcus Sidoti, UF, def. Chris Hayes, MSU, 9-8; 174 -- Dinos Angelas, UF, pinned Nate Laslovich, MSU, 4:09; 184 -- Tyson Thivierge, MSU, pinned, Matt Tyrrall, 5:57; 197 -- Brian Scislo, UF, def. Dave Jacobsen, MSU, 10-3; HWT -- Turk Lords, MSU, def. Jim Joaquin, UF, 10-0
MSU-N record: 7-1