Comprised of 18 duals and three tournaments, the slate features seven home matches. NIU’s schedule boasts seven teams who finished in the top 30 at the 2013 NCAA Championships, five of whom come to DeKalb.
“The goal is always to put together a challenging schedule,” Ludwig said. “We want to wrestle the best. The strength of the Mid-American Conference, coupled with our non-conference opponents, allows us to do just that on a weekly basis.”
Following the annual Red-Black Dual on Oct. 25, the Huskies open the regular season at South Dakota State in the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open Nov. 3. The next weekend, NIU takes part in their second consecutive tournament with a trip to East Lansing, Mich., for the MSU Open.
The team begins dual competition Nov. 16 when they take part in the EMU Duals in Ypsilanti, Mich. NIU’s first of four matches comes against Big Ten foe Michigan. In the next round, the Huskies face the Oregon State Beavers, a team that placed eighth at the 2013 NCAA tournament and returns all three of their All-Americans for this year. NIU finishes the day with duals against Clarion and Findlay, Ludwig’s alma mater.
The Huskie home opener is slated for Nov. 23 when Northern Iowa and North Dakota State come to DeKalb. UNI, who becomes a full wrestling-only member of the MAC this year, finished last season in 15th place with two All-Americans. Meanwhile, North Dakota State placed 30th with one All-American.
Following a weekend off for the Thanksgiving holiday, NIU stays home to battle Cleveland State on Dec. 5. Two weeks following, the Huskies face national power Central Michigan before finishing the first half of the season at the Midlands Championships in Evanston, Ill.
Northern rings in the new year on Jan. 4 when they host in-state rival SIU Edwardsville in a Saturday afternoon tilt. The matchup with the Cougars also ushers in a busy January with seven duals in a 28-day stretch.
The Huskies hit the road for five of their next six duals, beginning with a Jan. 10 contest against the Ohio Bobcats. The following Friday sends NIU back to the Great Lakes State to take on Eastern Michigan, followed by an appearance in the Wendy’s Duals Jan. 19 to face Purdue and Division II power Ashland.
The Huskies get back to DeKalb Jan. 25 for a dual against defending MAC Tournament champion Missouri, then finishes the month on Jan. 31 with a long trip out to Norfolk, Va., to tussle with new MAC member Old Dominion.
NIU hits the homestretch Feb. 8 when they face Kent State on Senior Night. They close the regular season with a Valentine’s Day trip to Brookings, S.D., to face SDSU and a matchup at Buffalo.
The MAC Tournament takes place from March 8 to March 9 in Kent, Ohio, as it reverts back to a two-day format. Meanwhile, the NCAA Championships will be in Oklahoma City, Okla., from March 20 to March 22.
For more information on NIU wrestling and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.