Wrestlers take on Central Michigan Jan. 18

Huskies, No. 12 Chippewas to meet for 39th time

Derek Elmore

Derek Elmore

The Northern Illinois wrestling team continues its mid-season homestand Friday, Jan. 18, when it matches up with conference power and 12th-ranked Central Michigan.

The meet, NIU’s second of five consecutive duals at home, starts at 7 p.m. in Victor E. Court.

“Central is a well-coached program that has built a tradition of success in this conference,” said NIU head coach Ryan Ludwig. “They wrestle well within a system that they have bought into. ”

The Huskies will look to end their skid against Mid-American Conference schools Friday after falling to Ohio, 32-13, on Jan. 11. Despite wins by Derek Elmore, Nick Smith and Kevin Fanta, Northern could not stop the Bobcats, who registered four pins in the match.

On the other side of the mat, CMU has an 8-3 record and 2-0 MAC mark to go along with their No. 12 national ranking in the NWCA/USA Today Coaches’ Poll. The Chippewas come to DeKalb after taking third place at last weekend’s Virginia Duals, notching wins over Rider, North Dakota State and No. 16 Edinboro to go along with a loss to No. 9 Virginia.

Individually, five CMU wrestlers are currently in InterMat’s Top 20 rankings. That group includes 2012 MAC champion and All-American Ben Bennett (2nd, 184 pounds), 2011 All-American Jarod Trice (6th, 285), Scotti Sentes (7th, 133), Christian Cullinan (9th, 125) and Craig Kelliher (20th, 174).

For NIU to have a shot of knocking off the Chippewas, Ludwig believes the Huskies have to be aggressive and maintain their techniques.

“Good things happen in wrestling matches when you attack with solid and familiar techniques and wrestle to improve your position at all times,” he said.

Tickets are still available and can be purchased at the door. Fans can also follow along with the action online and on Twitter @NIUscores.

For more information on NIU wrestling and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.

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