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Wrestling: Matt Mougin closed out NIU's season with an impressive performance at the 2013 NCAA Championships in Des Moines. The redshirt junior upset #11 Blake Stauffer of Arizona State before falling to #6 Logan Storley of Minnesota on Thursday. On Friday, Mougin defeated Virginia Tech's Austin Gabel and Penn's Ian Korb before bowing out of the tournament against #8 Nick Heflin of Ohio State.
Gymnastics: Northern Illinois took fourth place at the 2013 MAC Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich. Natalie Sutter highlighted the Huskies' day with a third place finish in the all-around.
Baseball: The Huskies went 1-2 in their MAC opening series against Kent State in Chicago. NIU dropped the series opener Friday by a 3-2 margin. However, Northern took the second game on Saturday, 3-0, behind Eli Anderson's complete game shutout. KSU would claim the finale, though, with a 13-1 win on Sunday.
Men's Tennis: In their lone match of the week, Northern Illinois traveled downstate and edged Southern Illinois, 4-3.
Men's Basketball: Northern Illinois dropped their lone game of the week Saturday in a 59-47 loss against Eastern Illinois in the Ramada Worldwide Bracketbusters.
Women's Basketball: The Huskies lost a pair of MAC West road games over the last week. On Wednesday morning, NIU was handed a 72-40 loss from MAC-leading Toledo. Three days later, Northern fell to Ball State, 64-54.
Wrestling: The Huskies ended their regular season on a high note, defeating Gardner-Webb, 22-12, and Cleveland State, 26-11. Nick Smith, Rob Jillard, Andrew Morse and Parker Settecase each won both of their matches on the day.
Gymnastics: Northern Illinois posted eight 9.8 scores against No. 21 Kent State Saturday, but it was not enough in a 195.800-194.350 loss to the Golden Flashes.
Track & Field: NIU finished 10th at the Mid-American Conference Indoor Championships in Ypsilanti, Mich. Janay Mitchell led the way with a second place finish in the 60 meters, while Jamie Burr and Megan Gregory earned sixth place finishes in the 800 meters and 60 hurdles, respectively.
Baseball: Northern Illinois went 1-3 in a four-game set with Nevada out in Reno. The Huskies' late rally on Friday came short in a 7-3 Wolfpack win. The two squads split a doubleheader Saturday, as NIU won, 12-4, prior to Nevada's 13-0 triumph in the first game. The series finale went the way of the Wolfpack in a tight 3-2 decision.
Softball: NIU went 2-3 at Florida Atlantic's Strike-Out Cancer Tournament in Boca Raton, Fla. On Friday, the Huskies split their two games, beating North Florida in extras, 4-2, and losing to Providence, 13-7. Northern was swept on Saturday with a 3-0 loss to Towson and a 1-0 loss to Connecticut. However, the tournament ended positively with a 7-3 win against host FAU.
Men's Tennis: NIU split a pair of Saturday contests at home. In the first match, the Huskies swept Western Illinois, 7-0, before falling to the Green Bay Phoenix, 4-1.
Women's Tennis: The Huskies easily defeated in-state rival Chicago State, sweeping the Cougars, 7-0.
Men's Golf: The Huskies took second place Saturday at the 36-hole Forest Hills Collegiate. Bryce Emory paced NIU with a fifth place showing.
Women's Golf: NIU kicked off their spring season in Daytona Beach with a second place finish at the Gary Freeman BCU Spring Invitational. Alllie Parthie and Taylor Ellett both earned top 10 showings by placing second and sixth, respectively.
While the starters were in Buffalo, a quartet of Huskies placed at the Jim Fox Open in Dubuque, Iowa. Leading the way was Billy Chancey, who won the 165-pound bracket. Meanwhile, Shawn Fayette took second at 149, while Braun Marquez (125) and Gabe Morse (149) each netted third place showings.
Here is the match-by-match breakdown of how each Huskie did in northeast Iowa.
125: Braun Marquez - Third Place
Kyle Larson (Iowa State) dec. Braun Marquez (NIU), 5-1
Braun Marquez (NIU) pins Chris Alvarez (Kennedy-King), 3:27
Braun Marquez (NIU) pins Tom Foy (Wheaton), 2:09
149: Shawn Fayette - Second Place
Shawn Fayette (NIU) pins Dylan Wright (St. Cloud State), 1:50
Shawn Fayette (NIU) dec. Eric Powell (Dubuque), 6-1
Roger Wildmo (Michigan State) pins Shawn Fayette (NIU), 0:47
149: Gabe Morse - Third Place
Roger Wildmo (Michigan State) pins Gabe Morse (NIU), 4:00
Gabe Morse (NIU) pins Gage Burt (Wheaton), 1:13
Gabe Morse (NIU) tech. fall Jason Clark (Simpson), 16-0
Gabe Morse (NIU) maj. dec. Dylan Wright (St. Cloud State), 9-0
Gabe Morse (NIU) dec. Duane Richardson (Upper Iowa), 3-1
Gabe Morse (NIU) dec. Eric Powell (Dubuque), 8-4
165: Billy Chancey - First Place
Billy Chancey (NIU) pins Matt Ellis (Wheaton), 2:01
Billy Chancey (NIU) dec. Peter Huang (Wheaton), 4-0
Billy Chancey (NIU) wins by injury forfeit over Matt Vercillo (Wartburg)
Men's Basketball: Northern Illinois lost two tight MAC West contests during the week. At home on Wednesday, the Huskies lost in a 56-52 decision to Ball State despite Antoine Christian's season-high 14 points. Saturday evening, NIU let an eight-point lead late in the game slip away in a 66-58 loss at Western Michigan.
Women's Basketball: The Huskies dropped their lone game of the week, a 60-49 defeat at the hands of Bowling Green. Amanda Corral paced the NIU offense with 12 points.
Wrestling: The Huskies capped their MAC slate on a positive note, defeating Buffalo, 20-18. Nick Smith, Rob Jillard, Andrew Morse and Matt Mougin got wins for NIU early before Jared Torrence won the meet with an overtime decision at heavyweight.
Gymnastics: Northern Illinois recorded a season-best score for the second consecutive meet, but it was not enough in a 195.175-194.375 loss at Iowa State. Kim Gotlund posted career-best scores on the balance beam and uneven bars.
Track & Field: NIU earned three event titles Friday at the Ball State Quadrangular en route to a second place team finish. Janay Mitchell and Megan Gregory won the 60 meters and 60 hurdles, respectively, while Meghan Heuer captured her first event title at NIU with a win in the 3000 meters.
Baseball: Northern Illinois opened their season at Texas Tech's Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic. The weekend opened with an 8-0 loss against the host Red Raiders. On Saturday, the Huskies used a late rally against BYU, but fell short in a 5-3 defeat. Sunday's twinbill saw NIU drop games against Northern Colorado, 3-2, and TTU, 13-0.
Women's Tennis: NIU grabbed three wins during a weekend swing in Indianapolis. The Huskies defeated IUPUI Friday, 6-1, Indianapolis Saturday, 7-0, and Butler Sunday, 6-1.
Men's Golf: NIU opened their spring season Monday and Tuesday with a fourth place finish at the MAC Match Play in Dade City, Fla. After upsetting second-seeded Akron in the first round, the Huskies lost to eventual champion Bowling Green to close out Monday. On Tuesday, Northern dropped a tight contest against Eastern Michigan in the third-place match.
Men's Basketball: Northern Illinois dropped two MAC East contests over the past week. On Wednesday, NIU fell 57-41 against Bowling Green in the Convocation Center. Three days later, the Huskies got through the snowstorm to Buffalo, but lost in the last seconds against the Bulls, 59-54.
Women's Basketball: The Huskies got their first two MAC wins of the year, both coming on the road. NIU shot 59.2 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from three-point range Wednesday to down Ohio, 73-52. Sunday at Kent State, the Huskies topped the Golden Flashes, 52-47.
Wrestling: The Huskies closed out their home schedule Friday inside the Convocation Center, losing to in-state rival Northwestern, 36-6. Rob Jillard got the lone NIU win with a first period pin.
Gymnastics: Northern Illinois posted their highest point total of the year Friday night, but lost to No. 21 Central Michigan, 194.800-194.025. NIU's team score was 1.150 points higher than its previous season best.
Track & Field: NIU continued their streak of strong performances over the weekend, posting 11 top 10 finishes and two MAC automatic qualifying marks over the weekend at the GVSU Big Meet. Janay Mitchell and Megan Gregory earned auto berths in the 60 meters and 60 hurdles, respectively, while Jamie Burr took third in the 800 meters.
Softball: Northern Illinois started their season with a 3-2 performance at Baylor's Getterman Classic. On Friday, the Huskies defeated Illinois State, 3-1, and Sam Houston State, 4-0. Saturday saw NIU drop a pair of games against No. 22 Baylor, 4-1 and 1-0, before capping their stay with a 5-3 victory over SHSU.
Men's Tennis: The Huskies split their two contests in the St. Louis area over the weekend. NIU defeated Saint Louis, 6-1, for their sixth-straight win Saturday, but lost to SIU Edwardsville, 4-3, on Sunday.
Men's Basketball: It was an up-and-down week for Northern Illinois on the road, as they split their two games in the Great Lakes State. On Wednesday, the Huskies came away with an impressive 74-61 win at Central Michigan, with Abdel Nader scoring a game-high 23 points. They followed that up with a rough 42-25 loss at Eastern Michigan Saturday.
Women's Basketball: The Huskies continued their mid-season struggles during the week with two home losses. Despite a valiant second half rally on Wednesday against Western Michigan, NIU lost to the Broncos, 54-51. It was a similar tale Saturday, as Northern fell in the final seconds to Toledo, 44-42.
Wrestling: NIU couldn't snap their losing streak Saturday, as they fell to #7 Missouri and Eastern Michigan. In the first half of the doubleheader, the Huskies dropped a close 22-17 decision to EMU. They followed that up with a 39-3 loss to the nationally-ranked Tigers.
Gymnastics: Northern Illinois suffered their first loss of the season Friday night, as they were ousted by Ball State, 192.475-192.075. NIU outscored BSU in three events and Megan Melendez won the balance beam, but it was not enough against the Cardinals.
Track & Field: NIU posted several great individual performances at the Indiana Relays. Rebecca Cronin won the 600 meters on Friday, while Sidra Sherrill inched closer to breaking the school's indoor shot put record with a 46-09.00 (14.25m) toss.
Men's Tennis: The Huskies kicked off their home schedule Friday with a pair of dominating wins against UW-Whitewater and Chicago State in Rockford. NIU beat the Warhawks, 6-1, and swept the Cougars, 7-0.
Women's Tennis: Northern Illinois got their seasons tarted right with three wins in the first weekend. On Friday, the Huskies defeated Bradley, 6-1. They would cap off the weekend with 7-0 sweeps against Valparaiso and Western Illinois.
Men's Basketball: Northern Illinois dropped two conference games during the past week. On Wednesday, the Huskies lost to preseason conference favorite Ohio, 81-63, despite four NIU players scoring in double figures. Northern closed out the week with a 71-34 loss at home to Western Michigan where the Huskies shot just 20 percent from the field.
Women's Basketball: The Huskies are still looking for their first conference win after losing two last week. NIU led at halftime against Akron on Wednesday, but an 18-2 Zip run to start the second sent the Huskies to a 63-52 loss. It was a similar story on Saturday afternoon in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. where Northern dropped an 83-56 contest against Central Michigan.
Wrestling: NIU pushed #12 Central Michigan, but could not pull off the upset Friday in a 23-12 loss to the Chippewas. Wins by Nick Smith, Kevin Fanta and Andrew Morse put the Huskies up 9-7 at halftime, but it was not enough against CMU's strong upper weight wrestlers.
Gymnastics: Northern Illinois came from behind for the second meet in a row Saturday, as they ousted Bowling Green, 192.775-192.525, in both schools' conference opener.
Track & Field: NIU placed seventh at Minnesota's Jack Johnson Classic over the weekend. Megan Gregory excelled on the track, earned a second place finish in the 60 hurdles.
Men's Tennis: The Huskies opened their season Sunday with a 6-1 loss to #35 Minnesota. Frederic Cadieux notched the lone point for NIU with a win in third singles.
Men's Basketball: In their opening week of MAC play, Northern Illinois split two matchups with MAC East foes. On Wednesday, the Huskies ended a 13-game skid at Miami (Ohio) with a 72-61 win against the RedHawks. Three days later, the Huskies dropped their home conference opener in a 68-53 loss to Akron.
Women's Basketball: The Huskies fell in their first two MAC games of the year during the past week. In their conference opener, NIU lost 60-53 to Buffalo in a game that was plagued by Northern turnovers. On Sunday, the Huskies hurt themselves again with 25 turnovers in a 57-51 loss to Ball State.
Wrestling: Northern Illinois' return from a month-long roadtrip did not go smoothly, as NIU lost, 32-13, to the Ohio Bobcats. Despite wins by Derek Elmore, Nick Smith and Kevin Fanta, Ohio dispatched the Huskies with four pins on the night.
Gymnastics: Northern Illinois got their season started in the right way with a narrow 192.175-192.050 win over instate rival Illinois State. Junior Natasha Jufko won the balance beam in the comeback win.
Track & Field: Northern Illinois opened 2013 with several promising performances. Sidra Sherrill won the shot put, while Ellen Renk, Alex Schad and Ida Burbulla turned out strong showings in jumps. On the track, Megan Gregory made two finals appearances.
Football: Northern Illinois ended its historic season on New Year's Day with a 31-10 loss against the Florida State Seminoles in the Discover Orange Bowl. Jordan Lynch finished the game 15-for-41 passing for 176 yards, while Tommylee Lewis led NIU with five catches for 61 yards. The Huskies finished the season with a 12-2 record.
Men's Basketball: NIU dropped three close contests over the break. During their swing through the Pacific Northwest, the Huskies dropped a 75-48 contest to the hot-shooting Seattle Redhawks. Later in the week, NIU came just short of knocking off the Washington Huskies, losing 67-57 despite Abdel Nader's 18 points. A week later on their home floor, the Huskies pushed UMass to the brink, but lost 64-59 in the Convocation Center.
Women's Basketball: The Huskies went 2-3 during the holiday stretch that saw them play in three different states. Right before Christmas, NIU defeated Eastern Illinois, 48-38, in the Convocation Center before dropping a 66-61 overtime heartbreaker at UIC. At the Virginia Cavalier Classic the next weekend, the Huskies lost to Xavier, 66-54, then followed that up with a 69-38 thumping of Norfolk State. The team closed out their non-conference schedule with a 54-49 loss at Valparaiso.
Wrestling: Northern Illinois had plenty of highs and lows during the holiday season. The Huskies lost their MAC opener, 29-9, at defending regular season champion Kent State to start off the break. At the Midlands Championships, Derek Elmore and Andrew Morse each posted two wins to lead the team, while Matt Mougin and Shawn Fayette each grabbed one victory. The three-week stretch ended on a positive note Sunday, when the Huskies earned dual wins against Appalachian State and SIU Edwardsville.
Men's Basketball: NIU split their two non-conference contests over the past week. The Huskies defeated SIU Edwardsville, 65-54, Wednesday behind double figure scoring from Aksel Bolin, Sam Mader and Travon Baker. However, Northern dropped a tight 80-73 overtime decision at Milwaukee Friday night despite Akeem Springs' 21 points.
Women's Basketball: The Huskies lost to a Missouri Valley Conference opponent for the second-straight week, this time falling to Indiana State, 58-52. Amanda Corral led NIU with 19 points.
Wrestling: The Huskies fell to Michigan State Saturday, 25-9, in the annual Showcase Meet. Nick Smith, Tyler Argue and Matt Mougin posted wins for NIU in the loss.
Track & Field: Northern Illinois began their indoor season strong with one event title and six top five finishes at the Cyclone Holiday Preview. Freshman Ida Burbulla took the high jump title with a mark of 5-03.75 (1.62m).
Football: Northern Illinois won their second consecutive Mid-American Conference title Friday with a 44-37 double overtime win over then No. 17 Kent State at Detroit's Ford Field. Jordan Lynch combined for 372 yards of total offense, while the Huskie defense held KSU's vaunted rushing attack in check before Demetrius Stone's fourth down interception in the endzone sealed the win. The victory solidified a spot for the Huskies in the 2013 Discover Orange Bowl against ACC champion Florida State.
Men's Basketball: NIU lost two non-conference games during the week. On Tuesday, the Huskies lost 58-46 to in-state rival UIC despite Sam Mader's 15 points. On Saturday, Northern dropped a 60-43 decision to the Dayton Flyers with Travon Baker leading NIU with 17 points.
Women's Basketball: The Huskies split two non-conference contests to close out November. NIU lost a tight one on the road Wednesday night with a 67-58 defeat at the hands of the Bradley Braves in Peoria, Ill. They would rebound Friday night, though, with a 67-63 victory over the Loyola Ramblers for the team's first home win in 2012-13.
Wrestling: The Huskies posted 14 placewinners and one champion Saturday at the Kaufman-Brand Open. Rob Jillard led the way for the team with a first place finish at 149 pounds. Meanwhile, Andrew Morse took second at 157 pounds and Jared Torrence took third at heavyweight.
Football: Northern Illinois clinched its third consecutive MAC West title Wednesday night with a 31-24 win over the Toledo Rockets at Huskie Stadium. Jordan Lynch led the Huskies back from a 14-7 halftime deficit with 295 yards passing in the third quarter alone as part of NIU's 21-point explosion. Lynch also became the first QB in NCAA history to pass for 400 yards and rush for 150 in the same game.
Men's Basketball: NIU went 1-1 during the week after a pair of games. On Tuesday, the Huskies took part in the ESPN College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon with a 7 a.m. tilt against Valparaiso. However, the Crusaders' hot shooting was too much in a 69-46 defeat. Northern rebounded from that loss Sunday with a convincing 72-54 win over Judson.
Women's Basketball: The Huskies went 2-0 in the consolation rounds of the WNIT. On Saturday night, NIU knocked off SoCon favorite Davidson in a 64-61 win for Northern's first win of the year. Yet, the squad would top that performance the next night with a 74-46 win over Morehead State.
Volleyball: The Huskies advanced to their third-straight MAC Tournament title match over the weekend, but found a similar result in the final. NIU opened the weekend with a 3-1 win over Akron, as the Huskies won three sets in a row after dropping the first set. They followed that up with a come-from-behind 3-2 win over top-seeded Ohio in which the Huskies dropped the first two sets. However, the run came to an end Sunday afternoon when NIU fell to Bowling Green, 3-2, in the championship match, despite leading two sets to none.
Wrestling: Northern Illinois went 2-1 in their three matches of the NIU Duals. After winning a forfeit-filled opener against Calumet College of St. Joseph, 57-0, the Huskies shut out the Loras Duhawks, 41-0, to set up a final showdown against No. 23 Purdue. However, the Boilermakers handed the Huskies a 37-0 defeat for NIU's first loss of the season.
Men's Basketball: Northern Illinois dropped their season opener Friday with a 77-64 defeat at Nebraska Omaha. Aksel Bolin paced NIU with 11 points, while freshman Daveon Balls added 10 for the Huskies.
Women's Basketball: The Huskies started their year off Monday with a tight 45-42 exhibition win over Indiana Wesleyan, as Amanda Corral led NIU with 12 points and sank to critical free throws late. The squad kicked off their regular season Friday night in Iowa City, Iowa, when they dropped a 63-40 decision to the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Men's Soccer: Northern Illinois' season came to a close over the weekend, but not without a run to the MAC Championship match. On Friday, the Huskies held West Virginia scoreless for the second time in 2012 en route to a 1-0 win over the Mountaineers in the semi-finals. However, No. 1 Akron ended NIU's run Sunday afternoon with a 2-0 victory in the title match to clinch the conference crown.
Volleyball: The Huskies wrapped up their regular season with a split against two of the MAC's leaders. NIU dropped a 3-1 decision at Western Michigan Thursday night, despite having two of the four sets go beyond 25 points. However, Northern rebounded on Senior Night Saturday with a 3-1 victory over Bowling Green.
Wrestling: Northern Illinois kicked off their home schedule in impressive fashion Saturday, grabbing the program's 500th win and knocking off Big Ten foe Indiana en route to a 3-0 performance at the Huskie Duals. The day began with a 36-3 win over Tiffin in which the Huskies won each of the first three matches. They followed that up with a strong 26-12 win over South Dakota State for the 500th win in program history. The day was not complete, though, until NIU got a 19-13 win over Indiana - the team's first over a Big Ten opponent since 2009.
Cross Country: The Huskies ended their 2012 season with a 27th place finish at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships in Springfield, Mo. Courtney Oldenburg capped off her career by finishing with a 23:17.367 clip despite battling a stomach bug all week.
Football: The Huskies moved to 9-1 on the year with a 63-0 shutout victory over the UMass Minutemen. QB Jordan Lynch combined for over 300 yards of total offense, while the NIU defense forced four turnovers. The shutout was the first by NIU since Sept. 27, 2008, when they blanked Eastern Michigan, 37-0.
Men's Basketball: Northern Illinois opened their season with a commanding 89-56 win against Aurora in an exhibition contest . Six Huskies scored in double figures, including 12 each from Kevin Gray and Mike Davis.
Men's Soccer: Northern Illinois clinched a spot in the MAC Tournament for the second consecutive season during the week, but not without some added drama. The week began with a 2-0 loss at Western Michigan, putting NIU in a "win or go home" situation Friday at Buffalo. However, Northern punched their ticket to Akron with a tight 1-0 win against the Bulls.
Volleyball: The Huskies improved their MAC Tournament hopes over the weekend with a pair of key road wins. On Friday, NIU fought off Toledo for a 3-1 win. They followed that up with a 3-0 sweep of Ball State in which they dominated most every statistical category.
Wrestling: NIU opened their season Saturday at the EMU Open by putting 13 wrestlers on the podium. Matt Mougin led the way with a third place finish at 174 pounds. Meanwhile, Jared Torrence placed fourth at heavyweight and Rob Jillard took fifth at 149, in addition to Derek Elmore (125), Ethan Davis (141), Caleb Busson (174) Shane Rosenberry (184) and Arber Bebo (197) each taking sixth in their respective brackets. On the fresh/soph side, Shawn Scott (1st - 197), Andrew Morse (3rd - 157), Gabe Morse (4th - 141), Braun Marquez (5th - 125) and Bryan Loughlin (5th - 184) all placed for Northern.
Now that the matchups are set for Friday night's Wrestle-Offs (which you can find here), check out the results from Tuesday and Wednesday's bouts in the NIU Wrestling Room, along with some intriguing exhibition matches.
Braun Marquez over Nick Harrison
Nick Harrison over Derek Elmore
Ethan Davis over Gabe Morse
Tyler Argue over Gabe Morse
Andrew Morse over Josh Smith
Josh Smith over Matt Smith
Trace Engelkes over Dan Burk
Sam Bennett over Dan Burk
Bryan Loughlin over Adrian Dickinson
Arber Bebo over Austin Pickering
Shawn Scott over Parker Settecase
Parker Settecase over Austin Pickering
Thorian Twyner over Nick Harrison
Derek Elmore over Jason Montemayor
Shawn Fayette over Tyler Argue
Rob Jillard over Gabe Morse
Caleb Busson over Trace Engelkes
Matt Mougin over Shane Roseberry
An NCAA Championship qualifier in 2011, Kevin Fanta is once again garnering national attention this year as he was included in WIN Magazine's preseason national rankings. The redshirt junior enters the 2012-13 season ranked 20th at 141 pounds following a 15-7 record last year.
Fanta is one of two MAC wrestlers ranked in the top 20, with Kent State's Tyler Small coming in at No. 7. Oklahoma State's Jordan Oliver sits atop the poll, followed by Oklahoma's Kendric Maple, Oregon State's Mike Mangrum, Ohio State's Hunter Stieber and Illinois' B.J. Futrell.
One interesting fact is that three of the Lake Zurich, Ill., native's opponents from the 2012 postseason - Small, Minnesota's Nick Dardanes and Iowa State's Luke Goettl - are included in the poll.
Three future Huskies - Gabe Morse, Andrew Morse and Shawn Scott - were named to the Michigan High School Dream Team by MichiganGrappler.com. The list annually recognizes the best wrestlers in the Great Lakes State - which produces some of the best talent on a yearly basis - based on their performance during the regular season and state tournament.
Both Andrew Morse and Scott were named to the first team Dream Team after going undefeated at 152 and 215, respectively en route to state championships. Meanwhile, Gabe Scott, Andrew's twin brother, earned second team recognition after winning a state title at 140 pounds.
Wrestling: Huskies Kevin Fanta and Brad Dieckhaus were eliminated Thursday at the NCAA Championships at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo. to end the Northern Illinois wrestling team's 2011-12 season. Fanta lost to #9 Nick Dardanes of Minnesota, 12-4, then was eliminated by pin against Iowa State's Luke Goettl. For Dieckhaus, he lost an 8-4 decision to Nathan Schiedel of Binghamton before being forced to forfeit his wrestleback match due to injury.
Gymnastics: Senior Tanya Rachan scored a 9.900 on floor exercise, the top score by a Northern Illinois gymnast on floor since 2005 and the first 9.9 by a Huskie on any event since 2009, to lead NIU at the State of Illinois Classic Saturday in Champaign, Ill. With the score, Rachan tied for first on floor exercise and was named to the 2012 All-State team. Rachan's score led the Huskies to a season-best 49.000 team total on floor exercise, the team's top score on any event all season and a mark the floor squad had targeted since the first meet of the season. Natalie Sutter scored a 9.825 on floor exercise to tie for fifth and freshman Peyton Taylor added a career-high 9.800 to take seventh place.
Baseball: The Huskies went 2-4 during the week. After dropping 7-2 and 4-1 decisions to Saint Louis in midweek play, NIU headed to Carbondale, Ill., to take on Illinois and Southern Illinois. After a 6-4 Friday loss to the Salukis, the Huskies were defeated by the Fighting Illini, 7-2. Northern rebounded with two wins to finish the week. Saturday afternoon, NIU topped SIU, 9-4, then followed that up with a 3-0 shutout of UI on Sunday.
Softball: Northern Illinois went 5-4 in a busy week in Florida. NIU began the week with a Tuesday sweep against Canisius and Florida Gulf Coast, then split their Wednesday pair of games against Iona and Central Florida. At the USF Tournament, the Huskies got off to a quick start by defeating Towson, 7-0, and Bryant, 7-6. The remaining games, though, did not go NIU's way. On Saturday, the Huskies lost 4-1 to North Florida and 5-1 to South Florida. Their week was completed with a 2-0 loss against Boston.
Women's Golf: The Huskies competed in two tournaments during the Spring Break week. On Monday and Tuesday, NIU finished 12th at the Don Benbow Invitational, with Allie Parthie leading the Huskies with a tie for 15th. At the NIU Snowbird, Northern held on to seventh place, while Parthie paced NIU with a fifth place showing.
Track & Field: The Northern Illinois track & field team got their outdoor season off to a quick start in Saturday with two event titles and two school records at the UCF Black & Gold Challenge. As a team, the Huskies combined for 15 top five finishes and nine personal records in the season-opening competition.
Men's Tennis: The Huskies went a perfect 4-0 in Florida. On Monday, NIU defeated North Carolina Central and Quinnipiac by identical 6-1 scores. They followed that up on Tuesday with a pair of 6-1 wins against Youngstown State and Bucknell.
Women's Tennis: NIU split their two games in Florida during the week. The Huskies defeated Bethune-Cookman, 5-2, to end the Wildcats' 10-match winning streak. The next day, Northern dropped a 6-1 decision to Embry-Riddle.
Six Huskie teams will be in action this upcoming week. Baseball opens their home schedule Tuesday with a game against UIC at 3 p.m., then begin MAC play during the weekend at Kent State. Additionally, men's golf has two tournaments in Florida, while men's and women's tennis open conference play on the road. Women's golf is also in action, as they head to Southern Illinois for the SIU Invitational.
Men's Basketball: The Huskies closed out their regular season by splitting two hard-fought games. On Wednesday's Senior Night, NIU came from behind to defeat Toledo, 65-61, behind double figures from Abdel Nader and Aksel Bolin. That momentum partially carried into Saturday, where the visiting Huskies grabbed an early lead on Ball State. However, the Cardinals emerged with a 62-51 win in Muncie.
Women's Basketball: Northern Illinois faced Western Michigan twice in DeKalb this week with far different results. On Tuesday, the Broncos spoiled Senior Night with a 66-64 overtime victory in the Convo, despite Satavia Taylor's 20 points. The Huskies, though, exacted revenge on their MAC West rivals in the first round of the conference tournament, handing the Broncos a 68-51 defeat Saturday.
Wrestling: Senior Brad Dieckhaus and sophomore Kevin Fanta both secured bids in the NCAA Championships for Northern Illinois Sunday at the MAC Championships. As a team, the Huskies finished fifth with 41 points, falling just a half-point behind Ohio for fourth. Central Michigan won the tournament title with 89 points, followed by Kent State, Eastern Michigan and the host Bobcats. Buffalo took sixth place on the day.
Gymnastics: The Huskies recorded the second-highest team score in school history en route to a 195.100-194.350 dual meet victory over Illinois State Sunday in Normal. NIU posted its best team totals of the year on uneven parallel bars, balance beam and floor exercise with six scores of 9.800 or higher in three different events. The Huskies did not count a score lower than 9.650 on the day while raising their record to 4-5 overall. Northern Illinois' total topped its previous season best of 194.775, set Feb. 11 at Bowling Green. The 195.100 matches the mark posted on Feb. 1, 2004 at Kent State which ranks behind only the 195.650 school record set March 23, 2003 at the State of Illinois Championships.
Baseball: Northern Illinois came close again, but failed to notch their first win of the season. Following Monday's 3-2 heartbreaker at No. 24 Texas Tech, the Huskies headed to Surprise, Ariz., for the Coca-Cola Classic. On Thursday, the team collected 10 hits, but lost 14-7 to Winthrop. The next day, NIU took No. 11 Arizona State to extras, but lost on a walk-off single, 4-3. NIU rounded out the tournament with a 10-5 loss to Iona and a 11-3 defeat from Oregon State.
Softball: The Huskies went 2-2 over the weekend at the Coach B Classic in Carbondale, Ill. On Saturday, NIU defeated Wright State, 5-1, before falling later to SIU-Edwardsville, 4-3, in eight innings. Northern would go 1-1 again on Sunday, shutting out Western Illinois, 5-0, and losing to the host Salukis, 15-7.
Men's Tennis: The Huskies returned to their winning ways at home Saturday with two 7-0 wins against Southern Illinois and Eastern Illinois. In both matches, NIU lost just one doubles match each to earn their ninth and 10th wins in 2012. However, the winning streak came to an abrupt end Sunday when Northern was handed a 6-1 decision at Wisconsin.
Women's Tennis: Northern Illinois took down the Milwaukee Panthers on Sunday by a score of 4-3 for its sixth win of the season. It was the second time this year the Huskies found themselves on the winning end while at the Boylan Tennis Center. With the victory, NIU sits at 6-4 on the season.
NIU's upcoming week will be dominated by MAC Tournament action. The women's team heads to Cleveland Wednesday to take on Akron at 1:30 p.m., while the men open their tournament Monday night at Eastern Michigan. Additionally, men's tennis hosts Brown in Rockford Friday; gymnastics goes to Ypsilanti, Mich.; baseball is in Clarksville, Tenn., and softball plays in Columbia, Mo.
It was another chock full week of Huskie action, with nine teams in action both in DeKalb and on the road.
Men's Basketball: The Huskies returned to MAC West play and stepped out for a non-conference matchup this week, but suffered a pair of losses. Playing in the Convo Wednesday night, NIU dropped a 78-63 decision to Western Michigan as Tony Nixon scored a season-high 12 points for Northern. The Huskies stepped out of conference play Saturday for a BracketBuster game at SIU-Edwardsville. Despite 12 points each from Abdel Nader and Nixon, the Cougars drilled a last-second shot to defeat NIU, 64-62.
Women's Basketball: Northern Illinois split a pair of MAC West games at home during the week to start on the regular season home stretch. NIU evened their record to 12-12 overall and 6-6 in the MAC with a 58-44 win against Ball State, with Claire Jakubicek leading the way with 17 points. That momentum did not last for the Huskies, though, as they dropped a 77-57 game to Eastern Michigan. Kim Davis led the way with 26 points.
Wrestling: The Huskies closed out their 2011-12 regular season Saturday with a 23-14 loss to Buffalo. Shawn Fayette (149), Brad Dieckhaus (184), Mike Lukowski (197) and Jared Torrence (285) each won matches on Senior Day, but Buffalo's six wins - including a pin and two major decisions - were too much to overcome.
Gymnastics: Northern Illinois came up with its second-highest score of the 2012 season but it was not enough to overcome a strong performance by Mid-American Conference powerhouse Kent State Sunday as the Huskies fell 195.525-193.625.
Track & Field: The Northern Illinois track & field team ended their 2011-12 indoor regular season with an impressive showing at the Ball State Quadrangular, as they captured three event titles and broke two school records en route to a second-place finish. Janay Mitchell Broke the school's 60 meters record for the third time this season with a time of 7.54, while Roneisha Frye eclipsed the 60 hurdles record with a run of 8.59.
Baseball: Northern Illinois opened their 2012 season at Tennessee, but were swept by the Volunteers in the three-game set. The Huskie bats went silent in the first game, only scoring one run in a 7-1 defeat. They would get more run support in a Saturday doubleheader, but dropped both games to the Vols, 10-5 and 7-2.
Softball: The Huskies dropped all three games in a rain-soaked weekend in North Texas to fall to 3-5 on the season. NIU lost their tournament opener to Creighton, 5-4, in eight innings Friday morning, then were bested, 8-3, by the host Mean Green. After Saturday's action was rained out, NIU could not get timely hitting in a 5-1 loss to Creighton Sunday.
Men's Tennis: The Huskies improved to 6-0 at home this year with a pair of wins against Valparaiso and IUPUI. NIU began the day with a 6-1 win over the Crusaders, then folloowed that up with a 5-2 defeat of the Jaguars.
Men's Golf: Northern Illinois opened their 2012 spring season in Dade City, Fla., where they took third place at the MAC Match Play tournament. After a convincing 4-2 win over Ohio in the opening round, the Huskies nearly knocked off top-seeded Ball State in the semifinals, but fell 3.5-2.5. NIU would rally in the third place match, though, with a 4.5-1.5 win against Miami (Ohio).
Another busy week awaits the Huskies with seven teams in action. Among them, only men's tennis and gymnastics are at home. the men's tennis squad looks keep their perfect home record intact Saturday against Dayton and Western Illinois, then Sunday versus Cleveland State. Meanwhile, gymnastics hosts Central Michigan Sunday in DeKalb.
Eight Huskie teams were in action during the week, including softball kicking off their 2012 season in Louisiana.
Men's Basketball: Northern Illinois wrapped up divisional crossover play with a split of their two games. The Huskies used Tyler Storm's career-best 17 points and a strong defensive effort on the boards Wednesday to knock off Miami (Ohio), 62-59, inside the Convocation Center. On Saturday, though, Northern was unable to hang with MAC leader Akron in a 75-51 defeat. Keith Gray paced NIU with 13 points.
Women's Basketball: The Huskies had a light week on the hardwood with only one game on the schedule. However, they grabbed a huge win on the road with a 70-58 win against Miami (Ohio). Courtney Shelton led NIU with 13 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds.
Wrestling: Northern Illinois returned to the .500 mark Sunday with a pair of dominating wins against Tiffin and SIU-Edwardsville. The Huskies began the day with a 42-0 shutout of the Dragons to earn their second shutout of the year. NIU would nearly repeat that performance in the last dual of the day with a 34-8 victory against the in-state rival Cougars.
Gymnastics: Northern Illinois hit all 24 of its routines en route to its seventh-best team score ever and a 194.775-193.975 victory over Bowling Green Saturday at Anderson Arena.
The victory lifted NIU's record to 3-3 overall, 2-1 in the Mid-American Conference, while Bowling Green fell to 1-8, 0-3.Track & Field: It was a record-setting weekend for the Huskies, as two school records fell and a third was tied at the Iowa State Classic. NIU's 4x400 relay of Chanel Kellyman, Jenelle McCalla, Julianne Cronin and Rebecca Cronin demolished the school mark with a time of 3:47.74 - breaking the former record by nearly two seconds. In addition, Jenner Sio surpassed the triple jump record with a 39-01.00 leap, while Kellyman tied the NIU 200 meter record with a run of 24.52.
Softball: Northern Illinois opened their season with a 3-2 performance over the weekend at Southeastern Louisiana. The Huskies won both of their rain-soaked Friday games with an 8-4 win over Southern and a 9-8 triumph against Nicholls State. NIU split their Saturday slate, falling 10-2 to Troy and defeating UT-Martin, 7-5. The team would fall in their tournament finale to the host Lions, 10-2.
Men's Tennis: NIU went 2-1 during the weekend to improve to 4-2 on the year. On Friday, the Huskies defeated SIU-Edwardsville and IPFW by identical 6-1 scores inside the Boylan Tennis Center. Northern hit the road Sunday to face No. 70 Drake, where they lost, 7-0, in Des Moines, Iowa.
Women's Tennis: The Huskies continued its fantastic start to the season Sunday by defeating Eastern Illinois, 6-1, at the Boylan Tennis Center. The 5-2 mark by the Huskies is the best start for the team in nearly a decade.
NIU's busy month continues this week when men's golf and baseball both tee off on their respective seasons. Men's golf is in Dade City, Fla., for the MAC Match Play tournament, while baseball has a three-game weekend series at Tennessee. Additionally, men's basketball host Western Michigan Wednesday and women's basketball hosts Ball State Thursday and Eastern Michigan Saturday, along with wrestling taking on Buffalo Saturday in Victor E. Court and men's tennis battling Valparaiso and IUPUI Friday in Rockford.
Northern Illinois kicked off a busy month of February with sex teams in action, as the transition between the winter and spring seasons gets into full force.
Men's Basketball: The Huskies continued to struggle in division crossover play during the week, as they fell to Ohio and Bowling Green. Despite only trailing by one at the half Wednesday, NIU failed to pull off a major upset against the Bobcats, falling 67-58 in DeKalb, despite Antoine Christian's season-high 15 points. In Bowling Green Saturday, Northern was doomed by a slow start offensively, falling behind by 25 at the half en route to a 65-40 loss to the Falcons.
Women's Basketball: NIU split their games during the week and have now won four of their last six games. Facing conference leader Bowling Green on Wednesday, the Huskies hung close to the Falcons, but couldn't get over the hump in a 57-47 defeat. Claire Jakubicek paced the NIU offense with 17 points in the loss. Northern rebounded Saturday against Ohio with a 50-46 win in DeKalb. Jakubicek led NIU with 16 points to help the Huskies avenge last season's MAC Tournament loss.
Wrestling: Northern Illinois dropped its fourth-straight dual match Friday, losing 24-18 at No. 19 Northwestern. Trailing 24-3 last in the match, the Huskies rallied with three straight wins - including pins by Brad Dieckhaus and Jared Torrence - in the final three matches. However, that comeback was a case of too little, too late for the NIU.
Gymnastics: Northern Illinois posted its top scores of the season on vault, balance beam and floor exercise and overcame a 1.225 point deficit in the final half of the meet to defeat Ball State, 192.925-191.125 Saturday in Victor E. Court. NIU claimed its first Mid-American Conference victory and first home win of the season to improve to 2-3 overall, 1-1 in the MAC. Ball State fell to 1-4, 0-3.
Men's Tennis: The Huskies traveled to Bloomington, Ind., Sunday for a matchup with No. 27 Indiana, but were defeated, 7-0, by the Hoosiers. Despite strong play from several Huskies, NIU failed to win a match on the day.
Women's Tennis: NIU went 2-1 for the second-straight weekend as they defeated North Dakota and Bradley to improve to 4-2 on the season. After falling to Northern Iowa, 6-1, on Friday, The Huskies rebounded with a 6-1 victory over North Dakota in Waterloo, Iowa. The team capped off their weekend in Peoria, Ill., where they swept in-state rival Bradley, 7-0.
The Huskies continue into February with a week chock full of competition both in DeKalb and on the road. Softball opens their 2012 season on the road at the Southeastern Louisiana Tournament, while men's basketball (Wednesday vs. Miami [OH]), men's tennis (Friday vs. IPFW and SIU-Edwardsville), wrestling (Sunday vs. SIU-Edwardsville and Tiffin) and women's tennis (Sunday vs. Eastern Illinois) are all at home.
With classes getting started again, the schedule did not lighten up for the Huskies, as five teams were in action during the past week.
Men's Basketball: The Huskies dropped two conference games to MAC West opponents during the week, as they lost to Toledo and Ball State. On Wednesday, NIU failed to get any momentum going against the Rockets in a 71-41 defeat on the road. Keith Gray and Stian Berg both led the Huskies with eight points in the loss. Northern returned home for a Saturday night showdown with Ball State, but it was the Cardinals who emerged with a 75-65 victory. Abdel Naber scored 26 points for NIU.
Women's Basketball: Northern Illinois split their two conference games during the week, breaking their six-game skid in the process. In a mid-week showdown in Kalamazoo, Mich., the Huskies got their first MAC win of the year, stifling Western Michigan's offense in a 53-41 Huskie win. On Sunday, the team welcomed Buffalo to the NIU Convocation Center. However, it was the Bulls who took a 62-46 win in divisional crossover play.
Wrestling: NIU saw their losing streak extend to three games over the weekend, as they dropped two critical MAC duals on the road. Facing defending conference champion Central Michigan Friday, Kevin Fanta, Matt Mougin and Mike Lukowski each won their respective matches, but it was the Chippewas who were on the winning end of a 24-9 decision. The Huskies faced off against the Eastern Michigan Eagles on Sunday, but lost by a 22-9 margin in Ypsilanti.
Track & Field: Northern Illinois claimed third place Saturday at the Illini Classic in Champaign, Ill., by scoring points in 14 of the 16 events. Courtney Oldenburg and Jenner Sio highlighted the Huskie performances, as Oldenburg placed second in the mile with a career-best time of 4:59.71 and Sio took second in the triple jump. NIU defeated SIU-Edwardsville, Southeast Missouri, Tennessee State, Lincoln (Mo.), Murray State and Bradley in the final team standings and were only outscored by Illinois and Missouri.
Gymnastics: NIU set a new season-high in total points, but it wasn't enough in a 194.575-193.350 defeat against Western Michigan in DeKalb. Megan Melendez won the balance beam, Tanya Rachan took top honors in the floor exercise and Kim Gotlund excelled in the all-around for NIU on the day.
Men's and women's tennis kick off their spring seasons this upcoming week, as the men host Butler and UW-Whitewater in Rockford and the women head to Des Moines, Iowa, to battle Drake, SIU-Edwardsville and South Dakota. Additionally, men's and women's basketball host their final doubleheader of the season Saturday, while gymnastics hosts New Hampshire Saturday night.
The Huskies continued their busy January, as five teams were in action in the final week of winter break.
Men's Basketball: The Huskies split their two games during the week, falling at Western Michigan and defeating Central Michigan Saturday in DeKalb. On Wednesday, the Huskies pushed the Broncos to the brink, but were unable to stop WMU in the end, falling 77-68 in Kalamazoo. They rebounded in a big way on Saturday, though, as they knocked off CMU, 74-66, behind Abdel Nader's 22-point performance.
Women's Basketball: Northern Illinois' losing streak reached six games during the week, as they dropped close games to Ball State and Toledo. After trailing by 12 at halftime Wednesday in Muncie, Ind., the Huskies came from behind to take the lead, but were unable to hold off the Cardinals in a 50-43 defeat. Saturday saw a heart-wrenching loss to MAC West favorite Toledo, who topped NIU, 49-47, in a last-second shot.
Wrestling: The Huskies fell to 0-2 in MAC action Friday, as they dropped a 27-6 decision to the Ohio Bobcats in Athens. Kevin Fanta and Mike Lukowski both recorded wins for NIU, but the Bobcats' five-straight wins from 149 through 184 doomed the Huskies.
Track & Field: Northern Illinois took two event titles and 15 top-five finishes Saturday at the Illini Open in Champaign, Ill. Rebecca Cronin won the 600 meters with a career-best time of 1:35.67, while Courtney Oldenburg took the 3000 meters in her 2011-12 debut, clocking in at 10:24.77. In addition, Rasheta Butler and Sidra Sherrill both earned multiple top-five finishes.
Gymnastics: Head coach Sam Morreale earned his first career win as a head coach Friday night with the Huskies' 190.350-190.100 win against Southeast Missouri State. Trailing after two rotations, NIU recorded strong performances in the floor exercise and balance beam to overcome the Redhawks. The victory evens the Huskies' record at 1-1 on the year.
Those same five teams will also be competing this week. The highlights include men's basketball facing Ball State Saturday at 7 p.m. and a two-sport dip Sunday, as gymnastics competes against Western Michigan at 2 p.m. in Victor E. Court and women's basketball takes on Eastern Michigan at 3 p.m.
The first week of 2012 was a busy one for Huskie athletics, with six teams competing. Among the highlights were football's GoDaddy.com Bowl victory, wrestling's dramatic come-from-behind win against Lock Haven and track & field's record-setting weekend in Kansas.
Football: The 2011-12 season ended on a positive note for the Huskies, who defeated the Arkansas State Red Wolves Sunday in the GoDaddy.com Bowl, 38-20. Quarterback Chandler Harnish was named the game's MVP after passing for 274 yards and two touchdowns, while Martel Moore caught eight passes for 224 yards and a touchdown in the victory. Meanwhile, the Huskie defense forced five ASU turnovers and collected three sacks in the game.
Men's Basketball: Northern Illinois hung tough with Eastern Michigan in both schools' MAC openers, but it was the Eagles who came away with a 47-40 win in DeKalb. Tim Toler led the Huskies with 11 points in the game, while Zach Miller added nine points and four assists in the game.
Women's Basketball: The Huskies had a rough opening to their conference season this week, as they dropped their first two games of the MAC slate. On Thursday, NIU was unable to contain Central Michigan's offense in an 86-67 loss to the Chippewas. Satavia Taylor led the Huskies with 17 points in the game. The Huskies' struggles continued Sunday in Ypsilanti, Mich., where they were bested by the Eastern Michigan Eagles, 64-52.
Wrestling: Northern Illinois opened up the second half of their season Sunday with a thrilling 22-16 win against the Lock Haven Bald Eagles. Trailing 16-3 at the halfway point of the dual, the Huskies stormed back, winning the final five matches to stun LHU. The victory gives NIU six on the season, surpassing their total from all of last year.
Track & Field: The Huskies kicked off 2012 with an impressive performance Saturday at the Bill Easton Classic in Lawrence, Kan. Jamie Burr highlighted the day, winning the 1000m run with a school record time of 2:59.50. Additionally, Roneisha Frye (60m hurdles) and Rebecca Cronin (600 yards) also won their respective events to lead the Huskies.
Gymnastics: Northern Illinois opened their 2012 season Sunday in DeKalb, where they lost to the UIC Flames, 191.575-188.350. Sonda Clore led the Huskies with a win in the uneven bars, while taking top five finishes in the beam and vault. Also, Tanya Rachan won the beam and floor routine.
The Huskies will be on the road for most of the upcoming week, with Saturday's basketball doubleheader being the only event in DeKalb. Wrestling, track & field and gymnastics also hit the road this weekend for competition.
Three sports - men's basketball, women's basketball and wrestling - had a busy holiday schedule, with each team competing on multiple days over that timeframe.
Men's Basketball: The Huskies split their two games during the two week stretch, as Mark Montgomery earned his first win as a head coach. After dropping a close 59-48 decision against Valparaiso on Dec. 20, the Huskies got their first win of the year with a 72-46 drubbing of Roosevelt. In the second half alone, NIU held the Lakers to 7.4 percent shooting.
Women's Basketball: Northern Illinois went 1-2 over the last two weeks as they wrapped up their non-conference schedule. The Huskies got their holidays off to a good start Dec. 22 when they upended Indiana State, 47-43, in a defensive struggle. Yet, NIU dropped both of their end-of-the-year road games, falling 72-62 at Eastern Illinois and 65-46 at No. 19 DePaul.
Wrestling: The Huskies concluded 2011 with two big meets within the Land of Lincoln. On Dec. 21, NIU defeated Cleveland State and Cumberland, but lost to Kent State in the MAC opener at the NIU Quad Meet. The next week, NIU took 26th place at the nationally-renowned Midlands Championships in Evanston, Ill., where Rob Jillard led the Huskies with a 4-2 record at 133.
NIU Athletics gets back into full gear this week with six different teams competing. Among the highlights include the GoDaddy.com Bowl, where the Huskies will face off against the Arkansas State Red Wolves in Mobile, Ala. Additionally, women's basketball hosts Central Michigan Thursday at 7 p.m. and men's basketball hosts Eastern Michigan Saturday at 3 p.m., while wrestling and gymnastics collaborate in the inaugural NIU Beauty and the Beast Meet Sunday at 2 p.m.
Following a 4-0 start to the season, senior Brad Dieckhaus is now ranked in the top 20 nationally in the 184 weight class in four major polls. The St. Charles, Mo., native currently sits in 18th with WrestlingReport.com and 20th with InterMat, WIN Magazine and D1CollegeWrestling.net.
Additionally, fellow Huskies Nick Smith and Kevin Fanta are getting some love for their fast start. Smith, who boasts a team-best 9-1 record this season, comes in at No. 21 with WrestlingReport.com's 125 pound rankings, while Fanta sits 32nd nationally with WrestlingReport.com after a 3-0 start to the season.
The Huskies earned another conference championship over the weekend with the football team's win against Ohio Friday night, while volleyball's season came to an end in the NCAA Tournament.
Football: The Huskies clinched their first MAC title since 1983 Friday night in Detroit with a 23-20 victory against the Ohio Bobcats. Trailing 20-0 at halftime, NIU engineered a second-half comeback that included three Chandler Harnish touchdown passes and a stout defensive performance. The win, though, was not secured until Mat Sims converted on a 33-yard field goal as time expired. The Huskies will now play Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, in the GoDaddy.com Bowl against the Sun Belt Conference champion Arkansas State Red Wolves.
Volleyball: Northern Illinois's season came to a close Friday night in Ames, Iowa, as the Huskies were defeated by No. 25 Miami, 3-1, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Lauren Wicinski paced the Huskies with 23 kills, while Kristin Hoffman registered a double-double with 47 assists and 13 digs. NIU finishes the season with a 28-7 record.
Men's Basketball: There were two more tough losses for the Huskies during the week, as NIU lost to Utah Valley and Nebraska Omaha. On Monday night, the Huskies were tied with UVU into the second half, but a scoring drought doomed Northern in a 58-47 defeat. In their return home Saturday afternoon, Tim Toler scored 25 points and the team committed a season-low eight turnovers, but the Mavericks' 52 percent shooting performance lifted them to a 77-72 win against NIU.
Women's Basketball: NIU pulled out a close win Tuesday night with a 53-50 win against instate rival Southern Illinois. Trailing 50-49 late, Alicia Johnson sank a jumper with 13 seconds left to put NIU ahead for good. The Huskies were paced by Amanda Corral, who put in 17 points in the win.
Wrestling: The Huskies pushed Purdue to the brink Thursday night in DeKalb, but couldn't pull out a win in a 19-15 loss at the annual NIU Showcase Meet. Trailing 16-9 with three matches left, the Huskies scored wins at 184 and 197 to pull within one point of the Boilermakers. Yet, Jared Torrence's valiant effort at heavyweight was for naught, as Purdue won the final match in triple-overtime to escape with a win.
With finals week in full swing, the schedule becomes very light for the Huskies. Men's basketball plays their lone road game in December Saturday at UIC, while the women's basketball team also heads to the Windy City to face Chicago State Sunday. Meanwhile, track & field kicks off their 2011-12 schedule Friday at the Iowa State Holiday Preview.
The Huskies had much to be thankful for during the Thanksgiving weekend, as football clinched the MAC West title for the second-straight season and volleyball earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament.
Football: The Huskies locked up the MAC West championship Friday at Huskie Stadium with a tough 18-12 win against Eastern Michigan. With the offense struggling, the defense stepped up to the occasion with four sacks of EMU QB Alex Gillett, while limiting the Eagles to 280 yards of total offense. Chandler Harnish gave the Huskies the winning points with a 68-yard scamper late in the third quarter.
Volleyball: Northern Illinois closed out their regular season Saturday afternoon with a commanding 3-0 sweep of the Marquette Golden Eagles. NIU held sizable advantages in hitting percentage (.315-.116), blocks (9-1) and kills (41-34) in the victory, which was their second of the season against MU and fourth against Big East opponents. On Sunday, the team learned they would earn a spot in the 64-team NCAA Tournament, where they will face Miami (Fla.) in the first round.
Men's Basketball: Despite shooting over 50 percent from the field in the second half, Northern Illinois was unable to come away with a win Saturday as they fell to Boise State, 71-57, in Taco Bell Arena. Abdel Nader led NIU with 16 points in the game, while Tony Nixon contributed 11 points in the losing effort. The Huskies held a 33-29 rebounding advantage to the Broncos, but also committed 21 turnovers.
Women's Basketball: The Huskies dropped two games against Missouri Valley Conference foes during the week to drop to 2-3 on the young season. The week started with a 50-45 loss to the Bradley Braves, despite Amanda Corral's three treys and seven rebounds. The struggles continued Saturday afternoon with an 81-62 defeat against Illinois State. Ashley Sneed led NIU with 14 points, but ISU's 52.9 field goal percentage was too much to overcome.
Wrestling: Northern Illinois returned to dual action Saturday in Bloomington, Ind., where they went 2-1 at the 2011 Hoosier Duals. The Huskies began the day with a 22-14 victory against Campbell and a 25-7 thrashing of SIU-Edwardsville. However, they would drop their final match of the day against nationally-ranked Indiana, 22-12. Individually, Nick Smith, Tyler Loethen and Brad Dieckhaus won all three of their matches on the day.
With November ending and December beginning, the Huskies will have a big week of competition. The headliners are both Friday, as Football plays Ohio for the MAC Championship at Detroit's Ford Field and volleyball takes on the Miami Hurricanes in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa. Meanwhile, men's basketball plays at Utah Valley Monday and hosts Nebraska-Omaha Saturday, women's basketball takes on Southern Illinois Tuesday, and wrestling hosts Purdue in the annual Showcase Meet.
It was a monumental week for Northern Illinois athletics, as the men's soccer team won the MAC Tournament championship - earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament in the process - and the volleyball team won the MAC West Division and regular season titles.
Football: The Huskie offense kept up their offensive momentum Tuesday against Bowling Green with a 45-14 thrashing of the Falcons. Chandler Harnish led the NIU attack with 294 yards passing and 151 on the ground, while the entire offense accumulated 623 total yards on the BGSU defense. On the other side of the line, the Huskie defense shut out the Falcon offense in the second half, limiting them to a measly 90 yards in the last 30 minutes of the game.
Volleyball: Northern Illinois went 2-0 during the week to clinch the 2011 MAC regular season championship and the top seed in this week's MAC Tournament. On Thursday, the team traveled to Kalamazoo, Mich., where they dispatched the Western Michigan Broncos, 3-1, to wrap up the MAC title. The Huskies extended their winning streak to 13 matches Saturday with a hard-fought 3-2 win against Bowling Green.
Men's Basketball: NIU opened their regular season Friday night in West Lafayette, Ind., where they fell to the Purdue Boilermakers, 96-34, in the rededication of Mackey Arena. Tim Toler paced the Huskie offense with 11 points on the night, while Freshman wing Abdel Nader added nine points and freshman forward Kevin Gray grabbed a game-high seven rebounds.
Women's Basketball: The Huskies dropped two games during the week to open their 2011-12 season. Tuesday, the team lost in an exhibition game against Indiana Wesleyan, 61-52, as NIU struggled to find any offense. They followed that up Sunday by dropping a 73-42 decision in Chicago against the Ramblers of Loyola. Ashley Sneed led NIU with a career-high 12 points on the day.
Men's Soccer: Northern Illinois brought home the MAC Tournament championship and an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament over the weekend with a pair of wins in Akron, Ohio. In the semifinals Friday, the Huskies used a Gael Rivera second half goal to get past Buffalo, 1-0, meaning they would face fourth-seeded Western Michigan, who upset top-seed Akron on penalty kicks earlier in the day. Sunday's title match also came down to the wire, but Sean Totsch found the back of the WMU net with 6:40 left in regulation to win, 1-0. NIU's NCAA Tournament opponent will be determined Monday afternoon on NCAA.com.
Wrestling: Northern Illinois put two wrestlers on the podium Saturday at the Michigan State Open, as Nick Smith and Rob Jillard both took top four finishes in East Lansing, Mich. Smith, who was competing less than two hours from his hometown of Ida, Mich., advanced all the way to the finals after winning three matches at 125. However, he would fall in the championship to Northwestern's Levi Mele. Jillard finished fourth at 133 after making it to the semifinals with two dominating wins.
Cross Country: The NIU cross country team closed out their 2011 season Saturday when they hosted the 2011 NCAA Midwest Regional. The team finished 28th behind Courtney Oldenburg's time of 23:21.16 on the 6K NIU North 40 to finish 121st. Further behind the junior was freshman Jamie Burr, who posted a season-best second place showing among Huskie runners with a time of 24:25.02 to take 164th overall.
Northern will have at least one team competing every day this week, including a host of games in DeKalb. Football highlights the week with a Tuesday night showdown against Ball State at Huskie Stadium in the Battle for the Bronze stalk. In addition, men's and women's basketball each have a pair of home games, including a doubleheader Sunday, while men's soccer will learn their opponent for Thursday's first round Monday afternoon. The top-seeded women's volleyball team will head east to Geneva, Ohio, to compete in the MAC Tournament.
After going 1-1 over the weekend, a trio of Huskie wrestlers are ranked among the nation's best in the most recent WrestlingReport.com rankings.
Sophomore Nick Smith moved up one spot to No. 25 at the 125-pound weight class. The Ida, Mich., native won both of his matches over the weekend by major decision, beating North Central's Brayan Gonzalez, 13-4, and Stanford's Matt Sencenbaugh, 20-9. Meanwhile, Rob Jillard dropped three spots after losing both of his matches Sunday. Despite not wrestling Sunday, Brad Dieckhaus broke into the top 30 at 184 at No. 29.
Northern Illinois returns to action this Saturday, when they travel to East Lansing, Mich., for the Michigan State Open.
With the move into November, Northern Illinois also began the transition to its winter sports schedule with men's basketball and wrestling opening their schedules and football, men's soccer and volleyball entering the home stretch of their respective slates.
Football: It was a wild game in Toledo's Glass Bowl between NIU and the Rockets, but it was the Huskies who emerged victorious by a 63-60 score. Trailing by four late in the fourth quarter, Huskie QB Chandler Harnish found Perez Ashford in the back corner of the endzone with 19 seconds left to give NIU the win, a share of the MAC West lead and bowl eligibility. Among the standout performances were Harnish's career-high six touchdown passes - three of which went to Nathan Palmer - and Tommylee Lewis' two kickoff returns for touchdowns.
Volleyball: Northern Illinois earned its 22nd and 23rd wins of the season and extended their current winning streak to 11 over the weekend at Victor E. Court with victories over MAC West rivals Toledo and Ball State. On Friday, the Huskies used a .429-.256 hitting percentage advantage and nine aces to defeat the Rockets, 3-0. NIU earned a critical 3-0 win Saturday night to push themselves into a tie for first place with Western Michigan.
Men's Basketball: The young Huskies squad showed signs of promise during Friday's exhibition against Carthage College, but it was the Red Men's 13 three-pointers that doomed NIU in Carthage's 74-70 overtime win at the Convocation Center. Abdel Naber put up a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Tim Toler scored 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the loss.
Men's Soccer: Northern Illinois wrapped up their 2011 regular season schedule by splitting a pair of road matches. The Huskies outshot Milwaukee Wednesday, 21-10, but were unable to fin the back of the net in a 1-0 non-conference loss, ceding control of the Lewang Cup. Northern would return to their winning ways on Saturday, though, with a crucial 2-1 win against the Hartwick Hawks. The victory gave NIU the No. 2 seed in this weekend's MAC Tournament in Akron.
Wrestling: The Huskies opened their 2011-12 regular season with a split in the triangular with North Central and No. 21 Stanford. After a sluggish start, NIU posted four straight wins to take a 30-15 decision against the North Central Cardinals. Later, Northern dropped a tough one to the nationally-ranked Cardinal, 20-13, after leading 13-7 through six matches.
NIU enters the thick of November with a busy week coming up. On Tuesday, the football team travels to Bowling Green to take on the Falcons and women's basketball takes on Indiana Wesleyan in the Convocation Center in exhibition action. In addition, volleyball closes out their regular season with two big road matches at Western Michigan and Bowling Green, men's soccer heads to the MAC Tournament, wrestling competes in the Michigan State Open, and both basketball teams open their regular seasons on the road (men at Purdue; women at Loyola).
The Huskies closed out October with a light week of competition, as only five teams were in action. Despite the short week, it was a highly successful one with volleyball extending their season-long winning streak and men's soccer clinching a spot in the MAC Tournament.
Volleyball: The Huskies made it nine in a row this weekend in Michigan as they recorded wins at Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan. On Friday, NIU avenged last month's home loss to the Eagles with a 3-1 victory in Ypsilanti, Mich. The win also gave Huskie head coach Ray Gooden his fourth 20-win season in ten season at Northern. The Huskies followed that up Saturday with another 3-1 win, this time against the Chippewas of Central Michigan.
Men's Soccer: Northern Illinois posted their third-straight conference win and clinched a spot in the MAC Tournament with a 3-0 rout of Bowling Green. Pat Sloan, Kenny Kranz and Jayson LeSeth all scored goals for the Huskies in the win, while goalie Jordan Godsey made four saves to record the shutout. The shutout was the ninth of the season for NIU.
Women's Soccer: The Huskies closed out their 2011 season with a tough 2-0 loss to Western Michigan in DeKalb. NIU had several chances to score, but was unable to find the back of the net in the loss. Northern finishes the season with a 2-15-2 record overall and 1-10-0 in the MAC.
Cross Country: Northern Illinois placed 11th at the MAC Championships Saturday in Muncie, Ind., posting a one spot improvement from last season. Courtney Oldenburg led the way for NIU with a time of 23:01.60, taking 54th place in the field. In second place for the Huskies was Claire McAuley, who crossed the finish line in 23:05.10.
Wrestling: NIU kicked off their 2011-12 season Saturday afternoon with the annual Wrestle-Offs. The exhibition, which helps determine the starting lineup for the season, saw the Black team top Red by a 17-14 margin. Nick Smith, Kevin Fanta, Tyler Loethen and Arber Bebo notched wins for Black, while Rob Jillard, Caleb Busson, Mike Lukowski and Jared Torrence got wins for Red.
The Huskies kick off November with football taking on Toledo at the Glass Bowl Tuesday night and men's basketball opening their season with an exhibition at the Convocation Center against Carthage. In addition, volleyball is at home against Toledo and Ball State, wrestling hosts Stanford and North Central and men's soccer travels to Milwaukee and Hartwick.
With the annual Huskie Wrestle-Offs set for Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Convocation Center's Victor E. Court, the matchups for the intrasquad meet have been set. The meet will begin with two exhibition matches, followed by the Red & Black Dual.
Red & Black Dual
With the start of the 2011-12 season only one month away, WrestlingReport.com unveiled their updated preseason rankings. Among the changes were in the 125 weight class, where Huskie sophomore Nick Smith jumped three spots to No. 26. Additionally, Rob Jillard fell one position in 133 to No. 29.
Outside the individual rankings, The Open Mat looked at the Mid-American Conference in the conference preview series. TOM picked senior Brad Dieckhaus to return to the MAC Tournament final at 184, while Matt Smith (147) and Sam Bennett (157) are projected to finish in the top four at the conference tournament. As a team, here is what they said about NIU:
One day after his addition to the staff was announced, Huskie wrestling volunteer assistant coach Ryan Tomei talked to Takedown Wrestling's Scott Casber about joining Northern Illinois and his days at Pittsburgh, among other topics.
Ryan Tomei talks to national writer Scott Casber on Takedown Radio
There may be 76 days between now and the Huskies' first dual of the 2011-12 season, but the Northern Illinois wrestling program is already getting national publicity among the nation's top wrestling websites. Sophomores Nick Smith and Rob Jillard were both ranked in the top 30 in their respective weight classes by WrestlingReport.com. Additionally, head coach Ryan Ludwig was recently interviewed by Andrew Hipps of InterMat wrestling. The transcript of that interview can be found here.
The Northern Illinois University Athletics Department wants to encourage all fans, staff and members of the community to join us at a farewell reception for former NIU head wrestling coach Dave Grant Friday, May 20 in the main lobby of the NIU Convocation Center. The Open House will take place from 3:30-5:30 p.m. with light refreshments available. Admission and parking are free.
Grant is leaving NIU after serving as head wrestling coach for the past 15 seasons. He sent 33 Huskie wrestlers to 40 NCAA Championships appearances, sending two this past season.
Brad Dieckhaus took home the 2011 MAC Championship at 184.
Junior Brad Dieckhaus became the first Huskie since Bryan Deutsch, who won the 2009 crown at 157, to win a MAC Wrestling championship when he defeated Kent State's Casey Newburg, 3-2, to take home the title at 184 and advance to the NCAA Wrestling Championships in Philadelphia, Pa. Deutsch will also be making his third straight appearance at Nationals after taking second, following a tough 10-9 loss to Mark Lewandowski at 157. The Daily Chronicle's Steve Nitz filed this report in today's paper.
Four Northern Illinois wrestlers are ranked in the latest edition of the Mid-American Conference's Coaches rankings. Tristen DeShazer and Bryan Deutsch headline the quartet ranking second at 141 and 157 respectively. Brad Dieckhaus is ranked third at 184, while freshman Nick Smith is ranked fourth at 125.
Smith leads the Huskies in victories with 19 and is 19-7 on the season. DeShazer (13-8) has won his last three matches, all by pinfall, and has eight pins on the season. Deutsch is second on the team in wins with 16 and has won six of his last eight bouts. Dieckhaus is 10-8 in his return to the mat this season after missing all of last year with an injury.
WIN-magazine.com profiled three retiring wrestling coaches, including Northern Illinois University head coach Dave Grant who is leaving NIU at the end of the season after 15 years of service to the university. Grant discusses building the NIU wrestling program and his plans for his life away from the mat.
"Perfect premeet huddle form on three.... 1, 2, 3 - PERFECT PREMEET HUDDLE FORM!"
What a hugely busy weekend in Huskie Athletics... let's recap.
- The NIU men's basketball team defeated Toledo, 64-54, to move to 2-1 in Mid-American Conference play. Coverage from HuskieWire.com and NIUHuskies.com as well as the box score.
- Rasheta Butler set a new NIU school record for the 200-meter dash.
- Holly Reichard won three events for the Huskie gymnastics squad (read about it).
- Bryan Deutsch won his fifth straight match, defeating Ohio's Casey Gordon by major decision.
Matt Levins of the Hawk Eye caught up with redshirt freshman Matt Mougin last week to profile one of Northern Illinois' up and coming wrestlers. Mougin, a native of Columbus Junction, Iowa has worked hard over the offseason to start in 2010-11.
Fans can get a chance to see Mougin and the rest of the 2010-11 Huskies Dec. 3, when the Huskies host Michigan State at the Convocation Center for their annual Showcase Meet.
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