Jan. 23, 2014
Meet Notes | Live Results
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University wrestling team comes back to DeKalb this weekend, as they host the #7 Missouri Tigers Saturday in the inaugural Military Appreciation Meet.
The dual starts at 3 p.m. inside Victor E. Court. As part of the meet, the Huskies will don special "Stars and Stripes" singlets.
"Momentum is a great thing, but you've always got to build it yourself," said NIU head coach Ryan Ludwig. "Intensity and focus are key elements in a wrestling match and the guys have been bringing that kind of attitude to practice every day."
The Huskies are coming off a successful 2-1 weekend on the road in Michigan and Ohio. Friday night, NIU picked up its first Mid-American Conference win of the season with a 24-9 victory against the Eastern Michigan Eagles. Two days later at the Wendy's Duals, the Huskies defeated Ashland, 36-6, before falling to #22 Purdue, 26-11.
On the other side of the mat will be Missouri - the nation's seventh-ranked team according to the NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll. Last weekend, the Tigers improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the MAC with a tight 16-15 victory at Central Michigan. MU's lineup features five individuals positioned in the InterMat rankings, including top-ranked Drake Houdashelt at 149 and sixth-ranked J'Den Cox at 197 pounds. The Tigers face fellow conference associate member Northern Iowa Friday night before coming to DeKalb.
"Our schedule is as demanding as any in the country," Ludwig said about NIU's daunting schedule, as MU marks the fifth Top 25 team the Huskies have faced this year. "Our team wants to lace them up with top competition every week and be prepared to make a strong push in March. Missouri is another challenge we see as an opportunity."
Live results will be available on NIUHuskies.com via TrackWrestling.com.
Projected NIU Lineup
125: Braun Marquez OR Nick Harrison
133: Nick Smith
141: Tyler Argue
149: Rob Jillard OR Gabe Morse
157: Andrew Morse
165: Shaun'Qae McMurtry OR Sam Bennett
174: Matt Mougin
184: Caleb Busson OR Shane Rosenberry
197: Shawn Scott OR Parker Settecase
285: Jared Torrence OR Arthur Bunce
Projected Missouri Lineup
125: Zach Synon OR Barlow McGhee
133: Matt Manley
141: Lavion Mayes OR Trevor Jauch
149: #1 Drake Houdashelt
157: Joey Lavallee
165: #8 Zach Toal
174: #19 Mikey England
184: #10 John Eblen
197: #6 J'Den Cox
285: Devin Mellon
Missouri comes into the weekend with a 4-0 dual record and a 2-0 conference mark after Sunday's tight 16-15 victory at Central Michigan. Despite the light dual schedule, the Tigers have made a name for themselves in tournament action. Most recently, they placed fifth at the Southern Scuffle in Chattanooga, as they placed seven wrestlers in the top eight of their respective weight class. MU features five wrestlers ranked in InterMat's ratings, including #1 Drake Houdashelt (149), #6 J'Den Cox (197) and #8 Zach Toal (165). NIU trails the all-time series with Missouri, 12-3.
Only the Best
When Missouri comes to town this weekend, it will mark the fifth time this season that the Huskies have taken on a team ranked in the NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll. Back in November, NIU faced two nationally-ranked foes - Michigan and Oregon State - at the EMU Duals, then battled then-#17 Northern Iowa a week later in the home opener. Last weekend, the Huskies wrestled against #22 Purdue. Oddly enough, when NIU faced Ohio on Jan. 10, the Bobcats were one spot out of the Top 25 at #26.
Also In Action
Though the starters will be competing in DeKalb Saturday afternoon, a select group of other Huskies will be in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday to compete in the Grand View Open. Hosted by the defending NAIA champion Vikings, the tournament will also feature wrestlers from Iowa, Iowa State, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota State, Northern Iowa and Wisconsin. Fans can follow along with the action on TrackWrestling.com.
The Big 5-0
NIU redshirt senior Matt Mougin reached the 50-career-win mark this past weekend when he got a forfeit Sunday against Ashland. Meanwhile, Jared Torrence's 6-4 decision against Eastern Michigan's Khodar Hoballah put him one victory away from 50 career wins. Earlier this season, senior Nick Smith earned his 50th career victory with an 8-4 decision against Clarion's Sam Sherlock at the EMU Duals on Nov. 16.
The Huskies make their longest trip of the regular season next weekend when they take on the Old Dominion Monarchs Friday, Jan. 31. The dual begins at 6:30 p.m. inside ODU's Ted Constant Center.