Wrestlers host Eastern Michigan tonight

NIU Huskies wrestlingThe Northern Illinois University wrestling team returns home to face Mid-American Conference rival Eastern Michigan at 7 p.m. today, Friday, Feb. 4, at Victor E. Court in the Convocation Center.

Tonight’s match against the Eagles is Senior Night for NIU’s six departing seniors: Vince Castillo (Western Springs, Ill./Lyons Township), Tristen DeShazer (Wichita, Kan./Wichita West), Bryan Deutsch (Columbia City, Mo./Columbia City), Dakota Greenhaw (Monett, Mo./Monett), Patrick McLemore (Hinckley, Ohio/Padua Franciscan) and Zach Taylor (Machesney Park, Ill./Harlem).

“I look forward to our final home dual meet and introducing the seniors,” coach Dave Grant said. “These guys put in a lot of dedication and hard work into the program and we want to see them go out at home with their hands raised.”

Dave Grant
Dave Grant

NIU’s final home match of 2010-11 is also Grant’s final home match as head coach of the Huskies. He is retiring after 15 years of service to Northern Illinois University.

“This year, I’ve been taking it one week at a time,” he said. “This week has given me a little time to reflect. We’ve had some great wins at home. Overall, in my career, we’ve had some great teams. We’ve got a great group of seniors this year that I can be proud to go out with.”

The Huskies (2-10, 0-4) enter Friday night’s match looking to improve on their performance at Northern Iowa last week. While Northern suffered a 23-15 setback, it did see the return of freshman Nick Smith (Ida, Mich./Ida) to the line up at 125. Smith, who missed the previous two matches due to injury, posted a 10-8 victory over Caleb Flores.

At 197, Mike Lukowski (East Dundee, Ill./Dundee-Crown) recorded his first pin fall victory of the season over Jarion Beets, who was an All-American last year at 174 pounds in 6:30. DeShazer posted his second pin in as many matches with a victory over Joey Lazor in 48 seconds.

Eastern Michigan (11-6, 0-0) comes into Friday night’s match winners of seven of their last eight matches. Friday’s match is the conference opener for the Eagles.

Fans can follow all the action live at NIUHuskies.com by following the live scoring or by watching the match live via Huskies All-Access. All-Access subscriptions start at $6.95 a month.

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

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