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Wrestlers head to Michigan State Open

November 11, 2011
Kevin Fanta

Kevin Fanta

The Northern Illinois wrestling team will hit the road for the first time this season Saturday, Nov. 12, when they head to the Great Lakes State for the Michigan State Open.

The meet will feature 600 wrestlers from some of the best programs in the nation, including the host Spartans, Michigan, Ohio State and Central Michigan. Competition begins at 8 a.m. CT with the preliminary rounds.

“I expect us to come out and compete as hard as we can,” said Huskie head coach Ryan Ludwig. “If we can do that, the results will happen. We’re looking forward to getting into this tournament because there is a tremendous amount of talent there.”

The tournament will be the first for the Huskies this season and the third straight year in which NIU competes in the open, which is annually one of the largest and most competitive meets in the nation. Sixteen Huskies, including the undefeated duo of Nick Smith and Kevin Fanta, will hit the mats for Northern.

Ryan Ludwig

Ryan Ludwig

For Ludwig, he believes this tournament could serve as a true test for his squad and how they will match up against other top-notch programs later in the season.

“It’s early and people develop throughout the season, but it is great to get out right away and lay it on the line with some of the best people in the country. That’s why we schedule like we do.”

Last weekend, the Huskies split a pair of duals at home against North Central and Stanford.

NIU topped the Cardinals, 30-15, to give Ludwig his first win as NIU’s head coach. They returned later in the day to face the nationally-ranked Cardinal of Stanford. Despite taking an early 13-7 lead, the Huskies could not hold on to the lead and lost, 20-13.

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