If the Missouri Valley College men's wrestling team made a statement Wednesday, as head coach Mike Machholz wanted, it was one with qualifiers.
The ninth-ranked Vikings dominated the mat during their season opener in Grover C. Redford Gymnasium, blanking No. 8 Oklahoma City, 45-0. However, the Stars (1-2) elected to keep all five of their nationally-ranked grapplers at home, denying the fans of any featured bouts.
A team can only compete against those opponents who are there, and Valley did so exceptionally by winning all 10 matches, earning bonus points in seven of them.
Senior all-American Paulie Hansen, ranked third in the 125-pound weight class, won by fall with 17 seconds remaining in the first period. Third-ranked junior Shay Shive (149 pounds), also an NAIA medalist a year ago, and No. 12 junior Damon Jackson (165) both pinned their foes in the second set.
The Vikings (1-0) got victories by major decision from freshman Dennis Welch (133), sophomore Josh Manu (184), eight-rated senior Jesse Alter (197) and No. 4 sophomore Carl Lawrence (285).
Rounding out the sweep were wins by sophomore Wesley Dallas (141), No. 5 sophomore Gian Traverso (157) and junior Jamaal Bufford (174).
Valley will head to St. Charles for the Lindenwood Open on Saturday.
Earlier in the evening, the top-ranked Oklahoma City women's team defeated the No. 6 Lady Vikings, 33-8. The Stars (11-0), who haven't been beaten in 63 straight matches, won four of the 10 bouts by fall.
Valley's wins came from eighth-ranked senior Britney Heatherly (109) in three rounds and No. 6 senior Danielle Curliss (143) in straight sets.
Next up for the Lady Vikings (6-3) is the Harry Gehres Duals, Saturday at London, Ont.