Here is a preview of this weekend's MAC wrestling action.
Regular Season Title on the Line Versus Rival Kent State
MOUNT PLEASANT — The No. 11 Central Michigan wrestling program can clinch at least a share of its 13th Mid-American Conference regular season championship when it hosts rival Kent State Sunday at 2 p.m.
The Chippewas (10-3) enter the dual with a perfect 3-0 record in MAC duals and with a victory over the Golden Flashes (6-3, 2-0 MAC) would clinch their eighth regular season title in the last 10 years.
Follow the Action: Fans unable to attend Sunday’s dual can watch live on the CMU Sports Zone or follow live stats provided through TrackWrestling.com. Updates will also be provided through the Chippewas’ official Twitter account @CMUWrestling and Facebook page.
Ottinger Named MAC Wrestler of the Week: Sophomore 165-pounder Mike Ottinger was named the MAC Wrestler of the Week for the first time this season after going 2-0 last weekend. Ottinger sparked the Chippewas’ victory over Northern Illinois with a 13-5 major decision before earning a 6-4 overtime upset of No. 10 Zach Toal Sunday at Missouri.
CMU vs. Kent State: The Chippewas hold a slight 24-20 edge over the Golden Flashes in the all time series as they have taken four of the last six meetings. Kent State defeated CMU in Kent, Ohio last season, 22-13.
CMU vs. The MAC: The Chippewas have won 73 of their last 77 MAC duals dating back to the 1997-98 season. Their current 11-year winning streak at the MAC Championships is the longest streak in conference history and their streak of 10-straight regular season titles from 1999-20008 was the second longest in any sport in MAC history.
100-Win Club: With senior Ben Bennett becoming the 16th wrestler in program history to record 100 career wins, senior Scotti Sentes is not far behind, needing just four more victories. Sentes holds a career record of 96-30 and is 15-1 all time in MAC duals.
In the Rankings: The Chippewas jumped one spot to No. 11 in both the NWCA/USA Today coaches’ poll and InterMat Tournament Strength Rankings after their win over No. 7 Missouri last Sunday. Kent State is unranked in the coaches’ poll and ranks 19th in the InterMat rankings. Individuals ranked in the top 20 according to InterMat:
Central Michigan: No. 10 Christian Cullinan (125), No. 7 Scotti Sentes (133), No. 2 Ben Bennett (184) and No. 6 Jarod Trice (Hwt)
Kent State: No. 16 Casey Newburg (184) and No. 1 Dustin Kilgore (197)
125: No. 10 Christian Cullinan (15-5, 1-0 MAC) vs. Stevie Mitcheff (21-9, 2-0 MAC)
133: No. 7 Scotti Sentes (10-5, 1-0 MAC) vs. Mack McGuire (19-12, 1-0 MAC)
141: Scott Mattingly (14-12, 2-1 MAC) vs. Luke Kern (8-15, 0-2 MAC)
149: Donnie Corby (13-9, 3-0 MAC) vs. Andrew Candiello (7-9) or NickCarr (21-10, 2-0 MAC)
157: Lucas Smith (13-7, 1-2 MAC) or Dakota Cooley (14-10) vs. Tommy Safsy (12-11, 1-0 MAC)
165: Mike Ottinger (13-13, 2-1 MAC) vs. Caleb Marsh (16-6, 2-0 MAC)
174: Craig Kelliher (18-9, 1-1 MAC) or Anthony Bill (7-10) vs. Sam Wheeler (18-9, 1-1 MAC)
184: No. 2 Ben Bennett (16-0, 3-0 MAC) vs. No. 16 Casey Newburg (27-4, 2-0 MAC) or Cory Campbell (10-10)
197: Jackson Lewis (9-15, 0-3 MAC) vs. No. 1 Dustin Kilgore (29-0, 2-0 MAC)
Hwt: No. 6 Jarod Trice (14-2, 3-0 MAC) vs. Keith Witt (12-12, 0-2 MAC)
Wrestling Looks to Lock Up First MAC Win Saturday at Northern Illinois
Eagles and Huskies both winless in MAC action this year
YPSILANTI, Mich. – After splitting a pair of dual-meets last week, the Eastern Michigan University wrestling team prepares to take on Northern Illinois in DeKalb, Ill., Saturday, Jan. 26. The original start time of 1 p.m. has been moved to 11 a.m. due to a scheduling conflict at Victor E. Court.
“We need to push through this rough patch we are experiencing and stay focused on peaking for the MAC Championships,” said Head Coach Derek DelPorto. “ We all understand the challenges ahead and the situations that are out of our hands. No matter what, we need to keep fighting.”
SCOUTING THE HUSKIES: The Huskies might be taking on Eastern Michigan at Victor E. Court Saturday, but despite the clever pun, Northern Illinois has struggled to post a victory as of late particularly in conference tussles. Northern Illinois comes into Saturday's affair 7-5 overall and 0-3 in the MAC. In their previous two conference matches, the Huskies dropped decisions to Ohio, 32-13, and Central Michigan, 23-12.
Northern Illinois last victory in a conference bout came against the Eagles back in the 2010-11 season. Since then, the Huskies have dropped eight consecutive MAC matches including a 22-9 decision to Eastern Michigan last season, Jan. 22, 2012, at Bowen Field House.
This season, the Huskies return seven starters to their lineup including a pair 2012 NCAA qualifier Kevin Fanta (141 lbs.) . NIU also adds nine newcomers to its roster including several who have cracked the starting lineup in their first season of competition.
DOUBLE TROUBLE: Redshirt juniors Phillip Joseph (184 lbs.) and Nick Whitenburg (197 lbs.) each finished last week's competition against Olivet and Buffalo with 2-0 records and a pair of major decisions. The duo nearly erased Eastern Michigan's 10-point deficit on their own with back-to-back bonus-point performances Friday, Jan. 18, at Buffalo.
Joseph is 14-9 overall on the season and leads the team with an 11-5 ledger in regular-season bouts. Since his return to dual-meet action last weekend, Whitenburg has put together a 3-2 record. The Temperance, Mich. native is 5-6 on the year.
BYERS PICKING UP THE SLACK: An injury to redshirt freshman Vincent Pizzuto has opened the door for redshirt sophomore Jake Byers to fill the void at 133 lbs. in Pizzuto's absence. Byers has fit in nicely in that slot, winning four of his last five matches including a pair at the Pitt Duals to go along with victories against Olivet and Buffalo. For the season, Byers is 5-1 in dual-meet action and 14-9 overall.
DELPORTO INCHING CLOSER TO 100 WINS: Eastern Michigan Head Coach Derek DelPorto recorded the 95th win of his career when the Eagles defeated the Comets, Jan. 16, at Bowen. DelPorto, now in his seventh season at the helm of Eastern Michigan wrestling, spent two seasons as the head man at his Alma Mater, Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, where he led The Rock to a 24-25 mark over that span. At Eastern Michigan, he is 71-65 and is nine wins shy of tying John Eisley's 80 victories from 1979-91. Overall, DelPorto is 95-90 as a Head Coach.
IT WAS A CLOSE ONE: The Eagles nearly erased a 10-point deficit with three matches remaining before ultimately dropping a 19-14 decision to Buffalo Friday, Jan. 18. Eastern Michigan wrestled hard with a depleted lineup but fell to 6-10 overall and 0-2 in Mid-American Conference action.
“I was happy with our effort regardless of the black and white results,” remarked Head Coach Derek DelPorto. “Our backs are against the wall with some bad luck and now we need to fight our way out. We must stay positive, get healthy and prep the best we can for the last leg of this regular season.”
The Green and White remained without the services of 2012 NCAA qualifier Jared Germaine for a second-straight weekend at 125 lbs. and redshirt freshman Vincent Pizzuto in the 133 lbs. slot.
PLENTY OF HOME ACTION IN 2013: Eastern Michigan wrestling fans are encouraged to come out to Bowen Field House to support the Eagles at the three remaining home matches of the 2012-13 season. The squad brings in Kent State, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m., for the lone home MAC match of the season.
Eastern Michigan closes out the regular season taking on Iowa State, Feb. 17, at 1 p.m. The Cyclones are one of three new universities joining the MAC as a full-time member in the sport of wrestling for the 2013-14 campaign.
MAC CHAMPIONSHIPS ON THE HORIZON: The 2013 MAC Championships will be held Sunday, March 10, on the campus of the University at Buffalo in Buffalo, N.Y. The Eagles will attempt to build off a third-place finish last season when they ultimately sent four grapplers to the NCAA Championships as a result of their performance at the conference tournament.
MAC Supremacy on the Line Sunday When Flashes Visit Central Michigan
The road to a Mid-American Conference regular season title goes through Mount Pleasant this season as Kent State (6-3, 2-0 MAC) visits Central Michigan (10-3, 3-0 MAC) Sunday at McGuirk Arena. The Golden Flashes are coming off a pair of decisive dual victories last weekend and have won four of their last five duals.
According to this week's InterMat Rankings, Central Michigan is No. 12, while Kent State is No. 19. On Thursday, six Golden Flashes were ranked in this season's first edition of the Division I Coaches Panel Rankings.
Two Teams Dominate Recent MAC Era: Since the 2005-06 season, Kent State has gone 105-34-1 in duals meets, while Central Michigan is 111-34-2. During that time, the Golden Flashes have gone 31-5-1 in MAC duals, while the Chippewas are 35-3. Sunday will likely mark the eighth straight season that the KSU-CMU dual directly impacts the MAC regular season champion. Last year, Kent State's 22-13 win at the M.A.C. Center was CMU's only conference loss. The Golden Flashes went on to win a conference regular season title with a 5-0 mark. The Flashes took 7-of-10 matches in Kent last year. Returning winners include Keith Witt (Oak Harbor, Ohio) and Stevie Mitcheff (Lorain, Ohio), who were each at different weight classes.
Since the 2005-06 season, the Golden Flashes have not lost a MAC dual to a team other than Central Michigan, going 29-0-1 against the combination of Northern Illinois, Buffalo, Ohio and Eastern Michigan. CMU leads the all-time series with the Flashes 24-20. Kent State's last victory in Mount Pleasant came in 2009.
Going For Another Record: Sunday against Clarion, Kent State's 2011 national champion Dustin Kilgore (Berea, Ohio) tied the school's career record for pins (46) set by Jim Swetter. Kilgore is also three pins shy of Swetter's single-season record (17). The last seven times he's stepped on the mat for a dual meet, no opponent has made it to the end of the second period. Kilgore's 14 pins are four more than any other Division I wrestler this season.
Kilgore was named Mid-American Conference Wrestler of the Week last week after going 5-0 at the Virginia Duals with four pins and a forfeit. He has already defeated three opponents currently ranked in the Top six spots: Jake Meredith (Arizona State), Matt Wilps (Pitt) and Alfonso Hernandez (Wyoming).
The Flashes' career-victory leader (164) extended his NCAA winning streak to 48. The 2011 MAC Wrestler of the Year also carries a 58-match winning streak in dual meets.
Now 29-0, Kilgore has 23 bonus-point victories this season. He has the highest pound-for-pound rating of any wrestler in the nation according to Takedown Wrestling. In career MAC duals, Kilgore is 17-0 with seven pins.
Last Weekend: Five Golden Flashes went 2-0 last weekend from a 26-11 victory over Ohio and a 29-10 victory over Clarion. True freshman Mack McGuire (Upper St. Clair, Pa.) made his Mid-American Conference debut with a 9-7 overtime victory against Ohio's Joe Munos. He then pinned Clarion's Joe Waltko in the second period on Sunday. Senior Casey Newburg (Union, Ohio) ran his career win total to 112, tying former teammate Brendan Barlow for seventh place. Newburg scored victories of 21-5 and 6-0 on the weekend.
Senior 133-pounder Stevie Mitcheff also had a pair of convincing victories, including a technical fall. Sophomore Caleb Marsh (Marysville, Ohio) and redshirt freshman Nick Carr (Fayette, Pa.) each improved to 2-0 in MAC duals.
The Competition: The Chippewas have won 11 straight MAC Tournament titles and have won 73 of their last 77 MAC duals. Central Michigan is coming off a 17-16 upset at No. 7 Missouri on Jan. 20. Other notable wins have come against Michigan and Edinboro. The Chippewas have won eight of their last nine duals, including a third place finish at the Virginia Duals. Central Michigan finished fifth at this year's Midlands Championships. The CMU lineup features three All-Americans (Scotti Sentes, Ben Bennett, Jarod Trice) and four wrestlers currently ranked in the Top 10.
125 – No. 9 Christian Cullinan (15-5) vs. No. 24 Stevie Mitcheff (21-9)
133 – No. 7 Scotti Sentes (10-5) vs. No. 31 Mack McGuire (19-12)
141 – Scott Mattingly (14-12) vs. Luke Kern (8-15)
149 – No. 23 Donnie Corby (13-9) vs. Nick Carr (21-10) or Andy Candiello (7-9)
157 – No. 28 Luke Smith (13-7) or Dakota Cooley (14-10) vs. Tommy Sasfy (12-11)
165 – No. 29 Mike Ottinger (13-13) vs. No. 32 Caleb Marsh (16-6)
174 – No. 23 Craig Kelliher (18-9) or Anthony Bill (7-10) vs. No. 32 Sam Wheeler (18-9)
184 – No. 2 Ben Bennett (16-0) vs. No. 16 Casey Newburg (27-4)
197 – Jackson Lewis (9-15) vs. No. 1 Dustin Kilgore (29-0)
285 – No. 5 Jarod Trice (14-2) vs. Keith Witt (12-12)
Top-Five Tigers Travel North to Face Northern Illinois, No. 21 Northern Iowa
The No. 5 Missouri Tigers look to rebound from last weekend's loss to Central Michigan on the road against two Mid-American conference foes.
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Following the team's first defeat of the season, the No. 5 Missouri wrestling team will hit the road to take on two MAC opponents, Northern Illinois and No. 21 Northern Iowa this Saturday, Jan. 26, and Sunday, Jan. 27.
The Tigers (8-1) battled with 11th-ranked Central Michigan last Sunday at the Hearnes Center, but the end result was a narrow 17-16 defeat in favor of the Chippewas for the team's first loss of the season. The hyped matchup featured impressive ranked victories from seniors Nathan McCormick and Dom Bradley. McCormick handled the eighth-ranked Scotti Sentes with a 7-1 victory that closed the Chippewas lead to one point early in the match. Bradley, the No. 1 wrestler at heavyweight, improved to an unblemished 24-0 record against No. 6 Jarod Trice. Bradley won the match via tiebreaker but despite the brilliant effort, Missouri fell one point short of a team victory.
Head coach Brian Smith welcomes junior Alan Waters back into the lineup this weekend. The second-ranked grappler at 125 pounds hasn't seen mat action since the Dec. 16 Grapple at the Garden in New York City, when he defeated Cornell's tenth-ranked Nahshon Garrett 8-5 to notch a 16-0 record on the year. Waters is 6-0 in dual meets this season.
Like Missouri, Northern Illinois (7-5) is also coming off a defeat to Central Michigan. The Huskies fell to the Chippewas 23-12 last Friday in Dekalb, Ill. The team is still searching for their first conference win of the season in the MAC. The Huskies boast nine former NCAA All-Americans in wrestling.
Along with Missouri, No. 21 Northern Iowa is in their inaugural season as a member of the MAC. The Panthers (6-2) have six wrestlers ranked in the top four of the MAC standings and four ranked in the top-20 nationally. Northern Iowa entered the national rankings for the first time this season after last weekend's victories over No. 13 Oklahoma and No. 21 Northwestern.
The Tigers will face Northern Illinois in Dekalb, Ill. On Saturday, Jan. 26 at 1:00 p.m. CT. Missouri will close the weekend road trip in Cedar Falls, Iowa against No. 21 Northern Iowa on Sunday, Jan. 27, at 2:00 p.m. CT.
Here are Missouri's projected lineups for this weekend's matches.
No. 5 Missouri vs. Northern Illinois
125 - No. 2 Alan Waters, Jr., (16-0) vs. Derek Elmore, So., (17-11)
133 - No. 6 Nathan McCormick, Sr., (22-2) vs. Nick Smith, Jr., (6-2
141 - No. 26 Nicholas Hucke, Sr., (7-7)/Trevor Jauch, RS Fr., (22-6) vs. Kevin Fanta, RS Jr., (4-2)
149 - No. 13 Drake Houdashelt, So., (18-7) vs. Rob Jillard, Jr., (13-9)/Shawn Fayette, RS So., (10-9)
157 - No. 20 Kyle Bradley, Jr., (17-9) vs. Andrew Morse, Fr., (14-10)
165 - No. 14 Zach Toal, Jr., (16-10) vs. Dan Burk, RS Jr., (8-15)/Sam Bennett, RS So., (3-6)
174 - No. 14 Todd Porter, Sr., (21-6) vs. Matt Mougin RS Jr., (17-10)/Caleb Busson, Jr., (8-7)
184 - No. 8 Mike Larson, Sr., (20-6)/Johnny Eblen, So., (19-3) vs. Bryan Loughlin, Fr., (12-8)
197 - No. 10 Brent Haynes, Sr., (22-4) vs. Parker Settecase, RS So., (4-8)/Arber Bebo, Sr., (5-5)
HWT - No. 1 Dom Bradley, RS Sr., 24-0 vs. Jared Torrence, RS Jr., (11-10)
No. 5 Missouri vs. No. 21 Northern Iowa
125 - No. 2 Alan Waters, Jr., (16-0) vs. Ryan Jauch, Sr., (4-4)
133 - No. 6 Nathan McCormick, Sr., (22-2) vs. No. 10 Levi Wolfensperger, So., (18-5)
141 - No. 26 Nicholas Hucke, Sr., (7-7)/Trevor Jauch, RS Fr., (22-6) vs. No. 14 Joey Lazor, Jr., (23-7)
149 - No. 13 Drake Houdashelt, So., (18-7) vs. Bart Reiter, Jr., (10-3)
157 - No. 20 Kyle Bradley, Jr., (17-9) vs. No. 17 David Bonin, Sr., (19-4)
165 - No. 14 Zach Toal, Jr., (16-10) vs. Jarrett Jensen, RS Fr., (13-10)
174 - No. 14 Todd Porter, Sr., (21-6) vs. Cody Caldwell, RS Fr., (23-5)
184 - No. 8 Mike Larson, Sr., (20-6)/Johnny Eblen, So., (19-3) vs. No. 9 Ryan Loder, Jr., (22-3)
197 - No. 10 Brent Haynes, Sr., (22-4) vs. Blaize Cabell, RS Fr., (10-9)/A.J. McBroom, RS Fr., (3-9)
HWT - No. 1 Dom Bradley, RS Sr., 24-0 vs. Blayne Beale, Sr., (11-6)/ Cody Krumwiede, RS Fr., (15-9)
GAME NOTES: Seniors Dom Bradley, Brent Haynes, Nathan McCormick, and Todd Porter all boast perfect records in dual meets this season. This will be Missouri's first conference road meet as a member of the Mid-American Conference. Missouri last faced the Northern Iowa Panthers at the 2010 Midlands Championships. Missouri won that dual meet 27-9. The Tigers haven't grappled with Northern Illinois since 2001, when they defeated them 24-9 in a home dual. Missouri is 11-2 all-time against the Huskies.
WHAT'S NEXT: Following this weekend's duals, Missouri Wrestling will team up with the Missouri Women's Gymnastics team for the 7th Annual Beauty and the Beast meet on Friday, Feb. 1, at 6:30 p.m. CT against No. 2 Oklahoma State at the Hearnes Center. Tickets are still available for Friday's meet but they are going quickly. Tickets cost $5 for adults and $3 for youth/senior citizens. Fans can purchase tickets on online or by calling 1-800-CAT-PAWS . The Tigers will close the home stand on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 6:30 p.m. CT against No. 11 Oklahoma. For all the latest on Missouri wrestling, follow us on Twitter @MizzouWrestling and right here on MUTigers.com.
Northern Illinois Faces No. 7 Missouri, Eastern Michigan Saturday
Huskies face second Top 25 opponent in eight days
DEKALB, Ill. – The Northern Illinois wrestling team will close out their January slate Saturday with a triangular meet against conference foes No. 7 Missouri and Eastern Michigan. The meet begins at 11 a.m. inside Victor E. Court with the Huskies taking on the Eagles. After that match, Northern Illinois will face off with the nationally-ranked Tigers.
“Eastern Michigan is a scrappy, tough team that will come to fight,” said Northern Illinois head coach Ryan Ludwig. “Missouri has a wealth of experience and talent.”
The Huskies come into the match with a 7-5 dual record and 0-3 MAC mark after a 23-12 loss to No. 12 Central Michigan on Jan. 18. NIU notched four wins against the Chippewas, with Nick Smith, Kevin Fanta, Andrew Morse and Parker Settecase all getting their arm raised. Despite the loss, Ludwig feels that Northern has progressed well since that loss.
“The team is progressing every day and responding well to the challenges put forth by the staff,” he said.
Missouri enters Saturday with an 8-1 dual record after dropping their MAC debut Sunday against Central Michigan, 17-16. In dual meets this year, the Tigers have notched impressive wins against Purdue, Cornell, Bloomsburg and North Dakota State. Individually, Mizzouri has eight wrestlers ranked in the Top 20, including top-ranked Dom Bradley at heavyweight, third-ranked Alan Waters at 125 and sixth-ranked Nathan McCormick at 133.
Eastern Michigan currently has a 6-10 record overall and a 0-2 mark in conference action. Of those six wins, the Eagles’ best wins have been against North Dakota State and Duke, both of which came early in the year. Eastern is led on the mats by 2012 NCAA qualifiers Aaron Sulzer (157 pounds) and Phillip Joseph (174/184).
The Huskies know that the final month of the regular season is an important point in order to put them in the best position possible for March’s postseason action.
“We are training for our ultimate goals in March, so we are keying on strengthening our attacks and pushing the pace ion each individual match,” Ludwig said.
Northern Illinois Huskies
125: Derek Elmore
133: Nick Smith
141: Kevin Fanta
149: Rob Jillard OR Shawn Fayette
157: Andrew Morse
165: Dan Burk OR Sam Bennett
174: Matt Mougin
184: Bryan Loughlin
197: Parker Settecase OR Arber Bebo
285: Jared Torrence
Eastern Michigan Eagles
125: Alexander Calandrino
133: Jake Byers
141: Seth Schaner
149: Mike Shaw
157: Aaron Sulzer
165: Jacob Davis
174: Jacob Dorulla
184: Phillip Joseph
197: Nick Whitenburg
285: Chris Eggert
#7 Missouri Tigers
125: #3 Alan Waters
133: #6 Nathan McCormick
141: Nicholas Hucke OR Trevor Jauch
149: #15 Drake Houdashelt
157: Kyle Bradley
165: #14 Zach Toal
174: #16 Todd Porter
184: #9 Mike Larson OR Johnny Eblen
197: #11 Brent Haynes
285: #1 Dom Bradley
History against the Eagles and Tigers: The Huskies hold a decisive 25-3-1 edge against Eastern Michigan since becoming a Division I school in 1969. NIU has defeated the Eagles in nine of the last 11 times, though EMU came away with a 22-9 win against Northern last year in Ypsilanti. Meanwhile, NIU and Missouri will meet for the 15th time Saturday, with the Tigers holding an 11-3 series advantage. The last Huskie win in the series came Feb. 16, 2003, with a 21-16 victory in DeKalb.
NIU Adds Two to Schedule: The Northern Illinois wrestling team announced the addition of two more duals to their 2012-13 regular season schedule Jan. 16, as the team will cap off their regular season Feb. 24 in Cleveland, Ohio. On that day, the Huskies will battle Cleveland State and Gardner-Webb. The meet will begin at noon CT with NIU facing GWU, followed by a 2 p.m. CT matchup with CSU.
Note the Time Change: The Northern Illinois wrestling team’s meet Saturday, Jan. 26, has been moved to an 11 a.m. start in Victor E. Court. The change was made to avoid a conflict with women’s basketball’s 3 p.m. start. NIU will face EMU starting at 11 a.m., followed by NIU-Missouri at approximately 1 p.m.
The Home Stretch: Saturday’s triangular marks the start of the final month of the regular season for NIU. In that span, the Huskies will have six duals - three home, two away, one neutral. The final month will also see Northern battle three conference foes in EMU, Missouri and Buffalo.
Torrence’s Tough Schedule: Of all the Huskie wrestlers this season, arguably no one has had a more daunting schedule than Jared Torrence. Thus far, the redshirt junior from Norwalk, Ohio, has faced five 2011 or 2012 NCAA qualifiers - Indiana’s Adam Chalfant, Michigan State’s Mike McClure, Ohio’s Jeremy Johnson, Kent State’s Keith Whitt and Central Michigan’s Jarod Trice. Yet, he will face two opponents ranked in the Top 10 nationally - No. 1 Dom Bradley (Missouri) and No. 9 Mike McMullan (Northwestern) - before season’s end.
Up Next: The Huskies finish their home schedule Friday, Feb. 8, when they take on No. 23 Northwestern at 7 p.m. on Senior Day. Before the match, Arber Bebo - the lone NIU senior - will be honored.
Panthers look to knock off its third Top 25 ranked team of the season when it hosts No. 7 Missouri
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa wrestling team is looking to knock off its third Top 25-ranked team of the season when it hosts No. 7 Missouri Sunday on Senior Night.
The Panthers debuted in the rankings this week after beating No. 13 Oklahoma 18-15 and No. 21 Northwestern last week.
“We need to be ready for Missouri,” said head coach Doug Schwab. “They are a solid team from top to bottom. There are going to be some hard-fought battles.”
No. 11 Central Michigan upset Missouri last week, giving the Tigers their only loss. Both Missouri and Central Michigan are the only teams ranked ahead of UNI in the Mid-American Conference rankings, which were released Jan. 23. This will be the Panthers’ first MAC dual this season.
Northern Iowa and Missouri agreed to joining the MAC for the conference tournament only for the 2012-13 season and then participate fully in regular season and tournament action for the next four consecutive years (2013-14 season through 2016-17 academic season).
UNI’S SEASON: The Panthers (6-2) are undefeated at home with wins over No. 13 Oklahoma and Ellsworth and Iowa Western community colleges. The team has outscored opponents 260-86 in duals, and blanked a couple of teams. Northern Iowa was a point shy of scoring an all-time high with its 56-0 win over Iowa Western. The Panthers also denied Southern Illinois-Edwardsville any points, winning 48-0.
Ryan Loder’s (184 pounds) fourth-place finish and Joey Lazor’s (141 pounds) seventh-place finish help the team place 13th overall at the Midlands Championships.
MISSOURI’S SEASON: Missouri (8-1) has wins against No. 8 Cornell and No. 22 Purdue. They finished one point behind No. 5 Ohio State to take second at the Cliff Keen Invite in Las Vegas, Nev. The Tigers return 10 NCAA national qualifiers.
Missouri has a wrestler ranked in the top four of the MAC in every weight class:
• 125 - Alan Waters 1st
• 133 – Nathan McCormick 1st
• 141 – Nick Hucke tied for 1st
• 149 – Drake Houdasheldt 1st
• 157 – Kyle Bradley 3rd
• 165 – Zach Toal 3rd
• 174 – Todd Porter 3rd
• 184 – Mike Larson 3rd
• 197 – Brent Haynes 2nd
• 285 – Dom Bradley 1st
THE MATCHUPS (UNI vs. OU):
• 125 - Ryan Jauch (4-4/4-2) vs. #3 Alan Waters (16-0):
After wrestling in the 133-pound weight class for the last couple of years, Jauch has moved down to 125 for his senior year. His fastest pin came in last week’s match against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville in 20 seconds. He upset No. 16 Dominick Malone of Northwestern last weekend.
Jauch, whose brother wrestles for Missouri at 141 pounds, faces Waters. He is a junior and the returning Big 12 champion at 125 pounds, losing just one dual match last year. He was 29-4 overall last year, winning 19 matches with bonus points.
• 133 - #10 Levi Wolfensperger (18-5/7-1) vs. #6 Nathan McCormick (22-2):
UNI's Wolfensperger is ranked 10th by Amateur Wrestling News. Wolfensperger, a sophomore, is a returning NCAA national qualifier for the Panthers and placed fourth at the Cliff Keen Invite earlier this year. His only dual loss came to No. 9 Cody Brewer of Oklahoma. Currently, he is ranked third in the Mid-American Conference and 12th by Intermat.
McCormick is also a returning NCAA qualifier with an overall record of 16-7 and going 10-4 in duals. He took second at the Big 12 Championships to earn an automatic bid. He earned six pins last year and scored 36 points. He is one of six seniors on the Missouri squad.
• 141 - #14 Joey Lazor (23-7/6-2) vs. Nicholas Hucke (7-7) or Trevor Jauch (22-6):
Joey Lazor is wrestling extremely well for UNI right now. Coach Schwab has singled out Lazor as being an example for the team. “He is being aggressive and taking what he wants,” said Schwab before the Oklahoma matchup. “We want to see that in the rest of the team.” Injury kept Lazor, a junior, out of the Panther lineup last year, but he has been an integral part of the UNI team this year. He placed seventh at the Midlands Championships. He is ranked 15th by Intermat.
Missouri will either wrestle returning NCAA national qualifier Nicholas Hucke, a senior, or Trevor Jauch, the brother of UNI wrestler Ryan Jauch (125 pounds). Hucke finished last season with a 16-14 record. Jauch, a redshirt freshman, won six of his 11 matches by fall. The fastest was in 1 minute, 4 seconds.
• 149 - Bart Reiter (10-3/6-1) vs. #18 Drake Houdashelt (18-7):
Injury slowed Reiter's start to the season, but he has been healthy and an asset to the Panther lineup since returning. He lost his only dual match this season to No. 10 Nick Lester of Oklahoma. Three of his dual wins were pins, and a fourth was by technical fall. He has lost just two matches this season in tournaments.
Houdashelt, a sophomore, beat Oklahoma’s Matt Lester to win the Big 12 title at 157 pounds as a redshirt freshman. He became Mizzou’s second 157-pound conference champion in program history to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. He lost four dual matches last year.
• 157 - #17 David Bonin (19-4/6-2) vs. Kyle Bradley (17-9):
Bonin is a returning NCAA national qualifier for UNI. He holds the top ranking in the MAC at 157 pounds. He has held a national ranking for the majority of the year and has lost just two dual matches. “It all came down to one position,” Schawb said of his first dual loss. “He got caught in a position and didn’t quite recover. The score doesn’t show how close that match really was.” Bonin won the UNI Open, was second at the Finn Grinaker Cobber Open and placed fifth at the Cliff Keen Invite. He beat No. 15 Matt Lester in SV2 to help the Panthers beat No. 13 Oklahoma Jan. 18 to regain a spot in the national rankings.
Bonin, a senior, will face Kyle Bradley, who is a junior. Bradley is a two-time returning NCAA national qualifier. He finished second in the Big 12 at 149 pounds last year. At the conference championship, he beat No. 11 Nick Lester of Oklahoma.
• 165 - Jarrett Jensen (13-10/5-3) vs. #19 Zach Toal (16-10):
Jensen, a redshirt freshman, has been in the UNI lineup for all of UNI’s dual meets this season. His recent losses came to No. 4 Patrick “Bubby” Graham of Oklahoma and No. 16 Pierce Harger of Northwestern. He is the Finn Grinaker Cobber Open champion.
Toal has been Mizzou’s started at 165 for three years and a two-time returning NCAA national qualifier. He is last year’s Big 12 champion.
• 174 - Cody Caldwell (23-5/7-1) vs. #15 Todd Porter:
Caldwell was seventh at the Cliff Keen Invite in Las Vegas, Nev. Caldwell, a redshirt freshman, won the UNI Open and the Finn Grinaker Cobber Open. His only loss in duals is to No. 9 Lee Munster of Northwestern.
Missouri will wrestle Todd Porter, a senior. Porter earned six major decisions last year. He posted a 14-5 record after competing in four opens and earning three top-three finishes.
• 184 - #9 Ryan Loder (22-3/7-0) vs. #8 Mike Larson (20-6) or Johnny Eblen (19-3):
Loder has been nationally ranked all season. Intermat has ranked him sixth. He is one of four returning NCAA national qualifiers for UNI. Amateur Wrestling News has ranked him ninth in the nation, while Intermat puts him at sixth. Loder’s career record (87-20) is the fifth-highest winning percentage among all UNI Panthers who have had at least 50 wins and competed at least two seasons in Division I. He consistently has been UNI’s top place winner at competitive tournaments, winning the UNI Open, placing third at the Cliff Keen Invite and taking fourth at the Midlands Championships.
Loder will wrestle Missouri’s Larson or Eblen. Larson is in his second year as Missouri’s starter. He captured his first Big 12 win and advanced to the 12th round of the NCAA tournament as the top seed. He had the second-best winning percentage on the squad. He ended the season with 11 wins with bonus points, including three major decisions and six wins by fall.
Eblen competed in six open tournaments as a freshman. He placed fourth at the Lindenwood Open and finished the year with an 18-6 record, securing eight decisions, four majors, three falls, two technical falls and a win by forfeit.
• 197 - Blaize Cabell (19-9/2-3) vs. #10 Brent Haynes (22-4):
Cabell is a redshirt freshman. He took second at the William Penn Open. He joined the dual lineup for the Panthers mid-January.
Haynes is a three-time returning NCAA national qualifier. He was 24-8 overall last season. Haynes won the Sourthern Scuffle by defeating No. 4 Matt Powless and No. 2 Sonny Yohn. He finished the year with five wins by technical fall, tying him for the fifth-most in a single season at Missouri.
• 285 - Blayne Beale (11-6/4-2) or Cody Krumwiede (15-9/1-1) vs. #1 Dom Bradley (24-0):
Beale, a senior, is one of four returning NCAA national qualifiers for UNI. He has wrestled the majority of the duals for the Panthers this season. He got fourth at the UNI Open, his first meet of the season. His last-second takedown against Keldrick Hall of Oklahoma helped secure the Panthers’ win against the Sooners. His 3-2 decision over Hall gave UNI the three points it needed to win as a team.
Cody Krumwiede, a redshirt freshman, is the William Penn Open champion. He was second at the Finn Grinaker Cobber Open and UNI Open and fifth at the Flash Flannagan Open.
Bradley has held a Top 5 ranking all season. He moved from third into first Jan. 8, where he continues to hold the top spot. He took an Olympic redshirt last year to serve as a training partner for American heavyweight Tervel Dlagnev. He won the Cliff Keen Invite this year in Las Vegas, Nev., and was third at the 2011 NCAA Championships.
Ohio Welcomes Buffalo and Michigan State This Weekend
ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio University wrestling team (4-5) will look to get back to its winning ways this weekend as it welcomes Buffalo (1-7) and Michigan State (12-4) to the Convocation Center.
The Bobcats open the weekend on Saturday with a dual matchup against the Bulls beginning at 7 p.m. Ohio will close out the weekend on Sunday against the Spartans with the first match set to begin at 2 p.m.
Ohio enters returns to the mat after dropping a pair of road matches at Kent State (26-11) and at Bloomsburg (24-9), which marked the first time this season the `Cats had lost back-to-back matches.
Despite the losses, the `Cats did receive strong outings from Kagan Squire (Wadsworth, Ohio), Cody Walters (Macedonia, Ohio) and Jeremy Johnson (Broadview Heights, Ohio). All three posted perfect 2-0 marks on the weekend.
Johnson's victory was his seventh-consecutive win and his 13th triumph in the last 15 bouts. The win also improved the Ohio junior's overall season mark to 24-7. Walter's win on Sunday gave him his team-leading 25th victory on the season, while Squire collected his 11th triumph on the year.
Johnson (No. 15), redshirt freshman Phil Wellington (Euclid, Ohio) (No. 32), Walters (No. 17) and Spartak Chino (Wheaton, Ill.) (No. 29) enter this weekend's matches ranked in the Top 33 of the latest Division I NCAA Wrestling weight class standings.
Buffalo enters the match on Saturday after it picked up its first victory on the year over Eastern Michigan last Friday. UB features a pair of wrestlers ranked in the Top 33 of the latest Division I NCAA weight class standings in the form of Mark Lewandowski and John-Martin Cannon.
Michigan State opens the weekend with a match at No. 23 Northeastern before traveling to Athens. The Spartans' dual with the Wildcats on Friday night marks the third straight ranked opponent MSU has faced this season. MSU features four ranked individuals in its lineup, including heavyweight Michael McClure, who comes into the weekend ranked No. 9 with a 23-2 mark.