INDIANOLA, Iowa - Four straight wins helped Simpson put the No. 30 team in the nation on the ropes, but Augustana (Ill.) finished strong in a 31-19 win Thursday night at Cowles Fieldhouse.
Jason Kiehne and Shane Swank registered pins and Jonathan Melton added a major decision for the Storm (1-3), who rallied to take a 19-12 lead after getting pinned in the first two matches of the night.
The Vikings (2-1) re-took the lead, 22-19, when No. 8 Thomas Reyhons pinned Brett Roberts at 184 pounds. The loss was the first of the season for Roberts, who came in 3-0 with three pins. Augustana led 25-19 heading into the 285-pound match, where No. 7 Jack Seaman pinned Colby Vlieger to seal the win.
"We had opportunities against a really tough team," head coach Nate Hansen said. "I'm proud we went out and showed fight, showed improvement. Our effort was really good tonight."
The dual could have gotten out of hand early if not for a pick-me-up from Kiehne. The sophomore went into the third period against Sean McMahon at 141 before getting a pin in 5:18, turning the momentum in Simpson's favor.
"His win gave us some energy and some life," Hansen said.
Melton followed with a 10-2 major decision over Matt Sears at 149 and Jacob Mize got a takedown in the final 10 seconds for a 12-10 win over David Tessiatore at 157. Swank gave Simpson its biggest lead when he pinned Trace Timmons in 3:56 at 165.
Simpson trailed 22-19 when DeVaughn Scott took the mat at 197. After avoiding a pin in the closing seconds of the first period, he took Chris Giatras the distance before losing a tough 8-7 decision. Scott's foot was just inches outside the circle when he scored what would have been the go-ahead takedown with 27 seconds left in an exciting match.
Up next: Simpson goes to the Buena Vista Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 5 in Storm Lake, Iowa.