The Northern Illinois University wrestling team travels Saturday afternoon to Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville to face Knox College and the Cougars at the SIUE Fitness Center.
NIU will face Knox College at 1:30 p.m. and SIUE at 3 p.m. This weekend’s match begins a two-match road trip before the MAC Championships in March.
“You approach every match the same,” NIU head coach Dave Grant said. “Even though these aren’t conference dual meets, every match is the same at this point. You have to be concerned with how you wrestle and less about the opponents that you wrestle and bring your best game. It’s all about wrestling hard and being dominant.”
The Huskies (3-10, 1-4) enter Saturday’s matchup looking to build on their strong performance against Eastern Michigan last week. Northern came out victorious against their conference rival and walked away with their first conference win with a 21-18 decision over EMU. The Huskies came out strong winning their first five matches and six overall.
Tristen DeShazer (Wichita, Kan./Wichita West) looks to stay hot, posting three wins in as many matches, all by pin fall. With a victory over Mike Leholm at the end of the first period (2:47), DeShazer recorded his eighth pin on the season, a team high. Freshman Nick Smith (Ida, Mich./Ida) also posted a win in his second straight match since returning from injury, beating Jared Germaine 7-4. Smith has won three straight overall and leads the team with 19 victories.
“Nick’s been a consistent guy for us,” Grant said. “He’s been out of the line up and now he’s back in and given a great spark to our line up.”
Bryan Deutsch (Columbia City, Ind./Columbia City) regained his form with a decision over Aaron Sulzer 6-2. Deutsch has won six of his last eight matches, improving his season record to 17-8.
Southern Illinois-Edwardsville (4-13) comes in to Saturdays match winners of two straight, defeating Tiffin University and Central Missouri while Knox is coming off a 31 place finish at the Pete Wilson Invitational.
For more information about NIU wresting and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.