At the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional, freshman Eric Steingruber continued his stellar freshman campaign, finishing sixth in the 149 pound weight class.
Steingruber won his first two matches at the Regional, before falling to two-time defending national champion Myanganbayer Batsukh of St. John’s in the semifinals. Steingruber lost the next two matches, finishing in sixth place overall.
Senior Edel Vaca, who was seeded seventh in the 133 pound weight class, was drubbed 11-2 in an opening round loss to Augstana’s Greg Gogonas. Vaca then won a 4-2 decision in wrestlebacks. In the wrestleback quarterfinals, Vaca was pinned by Augsburg’s Tossaporn Suparat.
Junior James Wagner was seeded seventh as a heavyweight. After an opening-round win, Wagner lost to the second-seeded wrestler in his class. Wagner then split matches in the wrestleback round, failing to place.
The Prairie Fire finished in 14th place out of 15 teams.
Men’s tennis struggles
Knox traveled north last Saturday for a pair of matches against St. Norbert College and University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Knox dropped both matches.
Against St. Norbert, the Prairie Fire were dismissed 8-1. Number one singles player Erik Hane won the lone match for Knox, a 1-6, 6-2, 10-6 victory over St. Norbert’s number one Derek Harrington.
UW-La Crosse beat the Prairie Fire 9-0. Knox did not win a single set against the Eagles, who are ranked 16th in the region.
Knox will not compete again until spring break when they take on Western New England College in Orlando, Fla. on March 15. While in Orlando, the Prairie Fire will also take on Bethel College, Earlham College and Philadelphia University. Their home debut will be a March 31 dual against Illinois College.
MWC preseason baseball poll
On Wednesday, the Midwest Conference released the preseason coaches’ poll. Knox was predicted to finish third in the South Division. Coaches voted Illinois College the favorite in the South Division and Ripon College in the North.
The Prairie Fire are looking to improve upon last year’s 8-25 performance. In the Midwest Conference, Knox was winless, and lost 12 of their final 13 games overall.
Knox will return eight of the team’s top nine hitters, including sophomore CJ Foster, who led the team with a .314 batting average last season. On the mound, the Prairie Fire will be led by seniors Jordan Ball and Colin Davis.
Knox will start the season with nine games in seven days at the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic in Fort Myers, Fla. They will take on St. Joseph’s (NY) College on March 15.
They will have their home debut March 26 with a doubleheader against IC. Games are at 12 p.m and 3 p.m.