The North Dakota State Bison earned a victory in their Western Wrestling Conference opener, defeating the Air Force Academy Falcons 41-6 Friday, Jan. 24, at the Bison Sports Arena.
The Bison (7-3) have now won five straight duals, including seven of their last eight.
NDSU took an early lead and finished the dual by winning five consecutive matches.
After Hunter Weber earned six points at 125 pounds for the Bison with Air Force leaving their slot open, NDSU's Justin LaValle, Clay Cathey and Tyler Diamond picked up decisions to give the Bison a 15-0 lead through 149 pounds.
Air Force's Josh Kreimier cut the NDSU advantage to 15-6 with a 3rd-period pin at 157 pins.
NDSU senior and third-ranked Steven Monk reversed the momentum at 165 pounds, earning a pin in the second period and extending his match winning streak to 14.
Bison sophomore Hayden Zillmer – ranked No. 10/11 in the nation at 174 pounds – followed with a major decision to put the match out of reach, 25-6.
Kurtis Julson and Tyler Lehmann picked up pins for NDSU at 184 and 197 pounds, respectively, and Evan Knutson won by an 11-1 major decision over Cody Davis to conclude the match at 285 pounds.
The Bison travel to Madison, Wis., for their next dual against the Wisconsin Badgers in a non-conference match on Sunday, Feb. 2, at 1 p.m.
No. 21/23 North Dakota State 41, Air Force 6
125: Hunter Weber (NDSU) won by forfeit NDSU 6, Air Force 0
133: Justin LaValle (NDSU) won by decision over Greg Rinker (Air Force), 9-7 NDSU 9, Air Force 0
141: Clay Cathey (NDSU) won by decision over David Walker (Air Force), 3-2 NDSU 12, Air Force 0
149: Tyler Diamond (NDSU) won by decision over Natrelle Demison (Air Force), 8-4 NDSU 15, Air Force 0
157: Josh Kreimier (Air Force) won by pin over Nick Olejnik (NDSU), 6:07 NDSU 15, Air Force 6
165: No. 3 Steven Monk (NDSU) won by pin over Daniel Baucke, 4:30 NDSU 21, Air Force 6
174: No. 10/11 Hayden Zillmer (NDSU) won by major decision Konner Witt (AFA), 19-5 NDSU 25, Air Force 6
184: Kurtis Julson (NDSU) won by pin over Scott Reilly (AFA), 3:48 NDSU 31, Air Force 6
197: Tyler Lehmann (NDSU) won by pin over Parker Hines (AFA), 2:52 NDSU 37, Air Force 6
285: Evan Knutson (NDSU) won by major decision over Cody Davis (AFA), 11-1 NDSU 41, Air Force 6