No. 24 Northern Illinois Wrestling Rejoins National Wrestling Coaches Association National Rankings

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GO HUSKIES
January 17, 2005


No. 24 Northern Illinois Wrestling Rejoins National Wrestling Coaches Association National Rankings

DeKALB, IL –Northern Illinois wrestling continues to reap the benefits of its 10 match winning streak. Following victories over Kent State (19-18), Ashland (49-0), Cleveland State (31-6) and Slippery Rock (30-6) this weekend, the Huskies rejoined the National Wrestling Coaches Association’s Top 25 on Monday, debuting at No. 24.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment for our program,” head coach Dave Grant said. “We obviously have a young team and went through some growing pains early in the season. We have wrestled a tough schedule with three Big Ten teams and got a great win over Purdue. Now we get ready for the MAC schedule, so it won’t get any easier.”

After dropping a pair of dual matches to Wisconsin (27-12) and Northwestern (21-13) to open the season, the Huskies have raced to a 10-2 record which include a pair of critical Mid-American Conference wins over Buffalo (20-15) and Kent State (19-18). The Huskies defeated the Bulls at the Ohio State Buckeye Duals on Jan. 8, before earning a dramatic come-from-behind win at Kent State on Friday (Jan. 14). The Huskies trailed 18-16 heading into the final match with the Golden Flashes, but redshirt freshman Derick Hunsinger (197 pounds) came up with an 8-2 win over the KSU’s Ben Rings to keep the Huskies in the hunt for a MAC title.

Despite having just one senior in the starting lineup, outstanding team depth has propelled Northern Illinois into the national spotlight. Ten Huskies have at least 10 wins this season, with sophomore Johnny Galloway pacing the team with 20. Galloway, along with senior Sam Hiatt, led the Huskies over the weekend, going a combined 8-0 with three pins between them. Galloway, who is now 20-5, leads the team with five falls, while Hiatt picked up his first pin of the year and improved to 19-5 overall. Hiatt’s 20-6 win over Kent State’s Mike Compton on Friday also gave the DeKalb, IL, native his 100th career victory. The senior now needs just one more victory to reach the 20-win plateau for the fourth consecutive year.

The nationally-ranked Huskies return to action on Jan. 22 when they host the Ohio University Bobcats in another key MAC showdown at the Convocation Center. The contest begins at 2:05 p.m.

###NIU###