NIU’s wrestling team grabbed two wins Saturday at the 2011 Hoosier Duals, defeating Campbell and SIU-Edwardsville while dropping a tough one to host Indiana.
“I’m proud of our effort and competitive fire today,” said NIU head coach Ryan Ludwig.
“I was impressed with the intensity of Nick Smith, Tyler Loethen and Brad Dieckhaus, who all went 3-0.”
Overall, the team went 2-1, which was a one-win improvement from last season. Yet, Ludwig felt that the Huskies could have easily finished undefeated on the day.
“It is a positive note, but we do know if we could have fixed a few errors in our technical ability, we come out of that thing 3-0,” he said. “We didn’t, though. We came out 2-1 and we’ll get back in the wrestling room the next couple days, straighten out our technical errors and look forward to getting back out on the mat Thursday against Purdue.”
Round One: Huskies Get Over the Hump, Top Fighting Camels, 22-14
NIU opened the day with a hard-fought 22-14 win against Campbell that may have been closer than the score indicated.
The Huskies charged out to an early 10-0 lead on CU behind Nick Smith’s 12-3 major decision over Josh Fisher and a pair of decisions from Rob Jillard at 133 and Shawn Fayette at 141. Yet, the Camels fought back at 149 with Mark Hartenstine recording a major decision against freshman Tyler Argue, who was making his debut in the starting lineup.
At 157, Loethen would extend NIU’s lead back to nine with a 4-0 win against Ryan Krecker. CU, though, would mount a comeback with wins at 165 and 174 to bring the team score to 13-11 heading into the 184 match.
Senior Dieckhaus put an end to any hopes of a CU comeback, though, when he pinned Teshaun Johnson early in the second period to record the winning team points. After a loss at 197, Jared Torrence would cap off the victory with a decision against Joe Nolan.
Round Two: Huskies Declaw Cougars, 25-7
The Huskies followed up their close win over Campbell with a convincing 25-7 romp over the SIUE Cougars to up their record on the day to 2-0.
NIU got off to an incredibly fast start by winning their first five matches for a 15-0 lead. At 125, Smith got past Patrick Myers, 6-1, while Jillard sneaked past Brendan Murphy, 7-6, at 133. Afterward, Fayette, Argue and Loethen notched decisions to give Northern a comfortable advantage.
The Cougars would threaten that lead at 165, when Gabe Hocum knocked off Matt Mougin, 8-6 to bring NIU’s lead down to 12.
However, Caleb Busson (174) and Dieckhaus (184) effectively put an end to any SIUE threat with an overtime decision and a major decision to push the tally to 22-3. Following a major decision by SIUE at 197, Torrence again put the finishing touches on a win with a decision over the Cougars’ Cole Rodgers, 8-3.
Round Three: Huskies Put Scare Into Hoosiers, Fall 22-12
After two dual wins, NIU entered their final match of the day against the undefeated Indiana Hoosiers. IU, though, emerged unscathed with a 22-12 victory that was far closer than the scoreboard indicated.
NIU got out to an early 3-0 lead courtesy of Smith’s 5-2 decision against Zach Zimmer at 125. The hosts, though, won the next three with decisions at 133 and 141 and a Taylor Walsh pin of Argue in the first period to go up 12-3.
The Huskies would fight back with two more wins to get within 12-9. Loethen would make it three-for-three at 157 when he earned a decision against Ryan Konz, 8-2. Dan Burk followed that up with an exhilarating 5-4 win against Sawyer Morris. Tied at four late in the period, Burk managed to get an escape with the clock winding down to seal the win and three points for NIU.
Following a major decision at 174 by Indiana, Dieckhaus kept the Huskie hopes of an upset alive when he scored an 8-2 decision against Cheney Dale to get Northern within four with two matches to go. Yet, Indiana would hold of NIU with decisions at 197 and 285.
The Huskies will return to action Thursday, Dec. 1, when they host the Purdue Boilermakers inside the Convocation Center for the annual NIU Showcase Meet. The dual begins at 7 p.m.
For more information on NIU wrestling and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.