The Northern Illinois University wrestling team split its four dual matches on a busy Saturday of wrestling at the Eastern Michigan University Duals, defeating Olivet and Clarion while falling to No. 14 Edinboro and Chattanooga.
Redshirt sophomore 197-pounder Shawn Scott (Holly, Mich./Holly) led the way for the Huskies (2-5), winning all four of his matches on the day. Senior Derek Elmore (Loves Park, Ill./Harlem) and redshirt freshman Jordan Northrup (Machesney Park, Ill./Harlem) also shined, picking up key bonus points for NIU against Olivet and Clarion.
“We are growing as a team and as individuals,” said NIU head coach Ryan Ludwig. “We saw some nice things out there today. We also saw a lot of things we need to improve. We are finding our identity and making strides.”
Dual One: NIU shuts out Olivet, 44-0
NIU picked up its first dual victory of the season by winning all 10 bouts against Division III powerhouse Olivet on Saturday morning. The Huskies blanked an opponent in a dual for the first time since they shut out Loras (41-0) and Calumet (57-0) on November 17, 2012 at the NIU Duals.
Elmore got NIU off to the perfect start with his fifth pin of the season. Then redshirt freshmen Northrup and Sal Annoreno (Hanover Park, Ill./Bartlett) followed that up by recording major decisions, with Annoreno earning the first dual victory of his NIU career.
The bonus points kept coming for NIU, with Andrew Morse (Alto, Mich./Lowell) and Arthur Bunce (Munith, Mich./Dansville) recording pins while Shaun’Qae McMurtry (Lockport, Ill./Nebraska), Bryce Gorman (Manhattan, Ill./Lincoln-Central Way) and Scott earned major-decision wins.
Dual Two: #14 Edinboro Beats Huskies, 40-3
Defending Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) champion and nationally ranked Edinboro, led by its five ranked wrestlers, won the first eight bouts and defeated NIU 40-3 on Saturday at the EMU Duals.
Scott picked up his second victory of the day, defeating Vincent Pickett with a 7-2 decision at 197 pounds. Northrup almost pulled off a huge upset against the nation’s No. 1 ranked wrestler at 133 pounds, A.J. Schopp from Edinboro. Northrup led Schopp 4-1 after the first period and maintained that lead deep into the third period before Schopp was able to secure a late pin.
But that was as close as NIU came to threatening Edinboro’s talented group of wrestlers, giving up bonus points to each of the five ranked Fighting Scots before Scott ensured that the Huskies didn’t get shut out.
Dual Three: Huskies Fall to Chattanooga, 34-9
Morse (Alto, Mich./Lowell) picked up his first fall of the season and Scott added a decision for his third victory of the day, but NIU dropped a 34-9 dual to Chattanooga.
Chattanooga’s three ranked wrestlers all picked up bonus points to lead the defending Southern Conference champion Mocs to the victory.
NIU dropped eight of the 10 bouts, including the first four against Chattanooga’s lively lower weights, in its third dual match of the day as the Huskies fell to 3-2 all-time against the Mocs.
Dual Four: NIU Controls Clarion for 31-7 Victory
Pins from Elmore and Northrup sent NIU on its way to a dominant 31-7 triumph over Clarion to conclude Saturday’s action at the EMU Duals.
Scott also picked up bonus points to complete his undefeated day, winning a 13-4 major decision over Ryan Darch.
The Huskies won eight of the 10 matches, including sudden-victory triumphs from McMurty and Quinton Rosser, in their second dual of the day against EWL opposition. NIU improved to 3-0 all-time against the Golden Eagles and bettered last season’s narrow 21-15 victory against Clarion.
NIU opens the home portion of its schedule Saturday, Nov. 22, when the Huskies host Tiffin and Buena Vista in the Huskie Duals. The triangular starts at 10 a.m. in the NIU Convocation Center.
For more information on NIU wrestling and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.