Feb. 4, 2010
DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University wrestling team returns to Mid-American Conference action this weekend when the Huskies travel to the state of Michigan to face Eastern Michigan Friday night and No. 6 Central Michigan Sunday afternoon.
"This is February, so we're really looking for our guys to have their top performances," NIU head coach Dave Grant said. "This is a big month. We wrestle a lot of MAC teams down the stretch. It's also big for our seedings heading into the conference championships."
NIU (8-7, 0-2) heads into the weekend looking to build off its 42-0 victory over SIU-Edwardsville. The Huskies recorded two pins, two major decisions and two technical falls against the Cougars and received impressive performances from Izzy Montemayor (Barrington, Ill./Grant Community) and Bryan Deutsch (Columbia City, Ind./Columbia City). Montemayor pinned his opponent, Dustin Young, in 3:52, at 125, while Deutsch earned a 7-3 decision over Steve Ross at 157.
Northern Illinois also saw the return of two wrestlers that have been off the mat for a few weeks. Patrick McLemore (Hinckley, Ohio/Padua Franciscan) posted a 6-3 victory over SIUE's Dillon Pousson at 141, and Tristen DeShazer (Wichita, Kan./Wichita West) scored a 12-6 victory over Brendan Murphy at 133 in the final match of the night.
The Eagles (10-9-1, 0-2) enter Friday's contest looking to bounce back from a 28-12 decision to the University at Buffalo. Central Michigan (12-2, 1-0) has won its last four duals and features seven ranked wrestlers, including four in the top 10. Jarod Trice, who is ranked third at 285 by InterMat.com, is the highest-ranked Chippewas at No. 3. Facing two MAC foes this weekend, Grant knows the importance of these two matches.
"This weekend, facing two MAC teams, is a big weekend for us. We're looking to wrestle hard and perform to the best of ability," Grant said. "We put in a great week of training. Our guys are looking real intense in the wrestling room and we want to bring that intensity to our matches this weekend."
The Huskies take on the Eagles of Eastern Michigan at 6 p.m. CST Friday night, while the match with Central Michigan begins at 1 p.m. CST.