KEARNEY, Neb. – Fourth-ranked Nebraska-Kearney won six matches, including two by major decision and another by fall, to beat 18th-ranked Western State, 23-13, Saturday night at the Health & Sports Center.
The Lopers (9-3, 5-0 RMAC) remain unbeaten in league duals while a very young Mountaineers team falls to 8-6 (4-5 RMAC).
Western won the first two matches of the night but UNK’s “Big Four” then took over, taking the next four matches to open up a 17-6 Loper lead.
At 141 lbs., top-ranked Dalton Jensen, after having seven takedowns, recorded a fall at 6:31 to start the win streak. Next, third-ranked Raufeon Stots had five takedowns in the first period en route to a 15-6 major decision while second-ranked T.J. Hepburn had three takedowns in the first and third periods to major his opponent, 18-7, at 157 lbs.
Finally, second-ranked Joey Wilson used three takedowns to win by a 7-4 score at 165 lbs.
The dual win, however, wasn’t in the bag until senior Ross Brunkhardt went well into overtime at 184 lbs. Coming off back-to-back 3-1 victories against nationally-ranked individuals, Brunkhardt rode out freshman Kyle Piatt (20-9) for 30 seconds to cap an 11-minute battle, 3-2.