DII wrestling: Week 13 power rankings
1 ― Notre Dame College (Ohio): The Falcons beat No. 16 Wheeling Jesuit (W.V.), 24-15, to stay perfect. NDC will try and close out the regular season unbeaten this weekend at the Maryville Duals where a rematch from the National Duals with Maryville should be good. The Saints started the season ranked first, but the Falcons, boosted by the return of three-time NCAA champion Joey Davis, took over the top spot in January and have not looked back since. Frank Romano’s squad was already tough … Cobey Fehr at 141 pounds has made them even better.
2 ― St. Cloud State: To say head coach Steve Costanzo’s Huskies have not been challenged in their last six duals is an understatement. Last time out it was Minnesota State-Mankato who took a 30-5 whipping. Over its last six meets, SCSU has outscored opponents 251-18. One of the better duals in the country this week pits No. 8 Upper Iowa at St. Cloud State on Thursday.
3 ― Pittsburgh-Johnstown: Entering Tuesday’s meet with Shippensburg, UPJ outscored Millersville, Wheeling Jesuit, Gannon, and Seton Hill by a combined 154-17. The Mountain Cats face rival Mercyhurst this Saturday in what could be a very competitive dual meet.
4 ― Nebraska-Kearney: The Lopers may be getting hot at the right time. No surprise, UNK has finished either first or second at the last four NCAA Championships, winning back-to-back in 2012 and 2013 and finishing second in 2014 and last March. Marc Bauer’s team has won eight-straight duals, including an easy 31-9 win over No. 10 Lindenwood (Mo.) last Saturday.
5 ― Wisconsin-Parkside: One thing for sure, Wisconsin-Parkside will be well rested heading into Super Region II action in Indianapolis, Feb. 26-27. That can be good or bad. Two days in Indy will determine if the Rangers remain among DII’s elite.
6 ― Maryville (Mo.): Mike Denney’s Saints have limped through the second semester so far. They welcome Notre Dame College this weekend, but first meet a good Lindenwood squad on Wednesday night. Keep an eye on that one.
7 ― California Baptist: The Lancers made some early noise with a win over Mercyhurst and have not looked back since. The last West Coast team to win a DII title was San Francisco State in 1997. Bakersfield, Portland State, Cal Poly … There has been plenty of championship-caliber teams west of the Rocky Mountains. Could Lennie Zalesky be building a new contender?
T8 ― Mercyhurst (Pa.): The Lakers have two big road tests this week, meeting Findlay (Ohio) Wednesday and traveling to Johnstown to meet UPJ on Saturday. MU has dropped three duals this season, but should still be considered a threat next month. Good news for MU … they host Super Region I in their gym.
T8 ― Upper Iowa: Since falling to Maryville, the Peacocks have won eight straight including Sunday’s win over Augustana (S.D.). UIU (14-1) challenges St. Cloud State on Thursday.
Knocking of the door
Lindenwood (Mo.), Minnesota State-Mankato, Augustana (S.D.), Colorado Mesa, Wheeling Jesuit (W.V.)