Jan. 21, 2010
DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University wrestling team returns home to face No. 17 Kent State Friday night in Victor E. Court at the Convocation Center in a match up of Mid-American Conference foes. The first bout begins at 7 p.m.
"On paper, Kent State has a very talented team," NIU head coach Dave Grant said. "They have three guys ranked. We're just going to have to get in there and wrestle them hard."
The Huskies (7-6, 0-1) head into Friday night's match looking to build on some solid individual performances against tough competition at the Spartan Duals. As a team, NIU defeated Findlay, 27-12, and fell to Stanford, 22-18, and Michigan State, 28-6, while several individuals distinguished themselves on the day.
Bryan Deutsch (Columbia City, Ind./Columbia City) has been living up to his MAC Championship season of a year ago, winning 11 of his last 13 matches, including four straight, at 157. Deutsch owns a 14-3 record and will face redshirt freshman Mallie Shuster (20-9).
"He's a solid wrestler," Grant said. "He'll wrestle anyone anytime. He's a tough competitor and we love that about him."
Vince Castillo (Western Springs, Ill./Lyons Township) was a perfect 3-0 at the Spartan Duals to improve to 9-4 on the season. Wrestling at 141, Castillo has won four of his last five matches. Either he or Patrick McLemore (Hinckley, Ohio/Padua Franciscan) will be facing redshirt freshman Chase Skonieczny (17-12). Another Huskie who has shown improvement of late has been Dakota Greenhaw (Monett, Mo./Monett). Greenhaw posted a 2-1 record at the Spartan Duals and will take on No. 17 Brendan Barlow Friday night.
"Vince is a hard-nosed, in your face wrestler," Grant said. "Dakota is coming along as a Heavyweight. He's got a pretty good match up with Barlow this week. We're excited to see how he'll do."
In addition to Barlow, the Golden Flashes (11-3) feature ranked wrestlers at 133 and 184 as senior Danny Mitcheff ranks 10th and Dustin Kilgore is No. 4 respectively. Friday's match with the Huskies is the conference opener for Kent State.