Ladies and gentleman, the season is upon us! November has been quite the roller coaster, but the men have risen to the occasion and brought with it Northwestern's first defeat over a top 10 team in nearly a decade. Walt Disney once said, "you may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you." It took a kick in the teeth to get us there, but the men responded and responded admirably.
The first weekend of November was action-packed as the first years traveled to East Lansing to compete in the MSU Open, while the starters traveled to Fargo, ND for its opener against the Bison. In the open division, Jack Jessen premiered the first year party with a bronze medal, while high-flier Mike DeAugustino finished in 6th. Closing out the group, Matt Vinci lost a heart breaker, 6-4, in his bronze medal bout in the Fr/So Division. This was an extremely tough test event for the first year crew, but each one of them fought arduously.
800 miles away, the starters composed themselves knowing the first dual of the season would be a grueling contest without All-American Sebastian Rivera. Regardless, we believed we had the firepower to bring home the "W," but lost some key swing matches on some highly questionable calls, dropping the dual 26-17. In the "not all bad news" category, we had some bright moments like when redshirt freshman Yahya Thomas secured a fall in just over a minute to narrow the margin to 3.
Ryan Deakin continued to do Ryan Deakin things, registering a major decision and racking up five takedowns in the process. Senior Johnny Sebastian avenged a loss in a gutsy 13-8 decision. The big fella, Conan Jennings, capped it off with a 12-0 major decision, scoring 11 points off tilts in the third period. We left Fargo dismayed, but not discouraged.