PHOENIX, Ariz – A 40-6 decision over Life Pacific and a 24-22 thriller against No. 20-ranked Eastern Oregon University spotlighted Morningside College’s Sunday at the 2018 Great Plains Athletic Conference/Cascade Collegiate Conference Duals hosted by Embry-Riddle University.
Coach Jake Stevenson’s Mustangs opened a quick 13-0 lead in their opener against Life Pacific. Devin Phaly, a senior 125-pounder from Sergeant Bluff, won by major decision, 133-pounder Keegan Hessler gained a pin and 141-pounder Lane Eggen rolled to a 16-3 victory.
Both Phaly and Hessler represented Morningside in last year's NAIA national tournament.
Caleb Deemer (197) won by pin against Pacific while Nickolas Madsen (174) won by fall. The matchup concluded with Dakota Drenth (157) and Alex Thompson (165) earning forfeits while Phil Rasmussen winning 4-3.
The second victory over Eastern Oregon was anything but easy.
Trailing 22-12 through 174, Deemer received a forfeit, and then Rasmussen, as part of a 3-0 day at the event, pinned the Mountaineers’ Justin Wilson in 1:03 to close the comeback.
Embry-Riddle, ranked No. 8, topped Stevenson’s squad 47-3 with Rasmussen enabling Morningside to avoid a shutout with a 4-3 triumph.
Fifth-ranked University of Providence (Mont.), defeated the Mustangs 31-16 due in part to a pin and major decision in the final two matches. Hessler was a major decision victor and Phaly received a forfeit to give Morningside a 10-0 advantage, while Madsen and Alex Thompson (165) posted back-to-back decisions to close within 21-16.
Morningside breaks from competition until Jan. 5, when it competes at the Central College Invitational in Pella, Iowa.