NIU Faces Kent State in Final Home Dual of Season

GO HUSKIES Nick Smith is one of seven seniors who will be honored prior to Saturday's dual
GO HUSKIES
Nick Smith is one of seven seniors who will be honored prior to Saturday's dual
GO HUSKIES

Feb. 7, 2014

Meet Notes | Live Results | FREE Live Stream
 
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University wrestling team wraps up the home portion of their 2013-14 schedule Saturday in Victor E. Court when they take on Kent State.
 
The dual between the Huskies and Golden Flashes starts at 3 p.m. Prior to the meet, NIU seniors Kevin Fanta, Rob Jillard, Matt Mougin, Shane Rosenberry, Parker Settecase, Nick Smith and Jared Torrence will be honored. In addition, all fans are encouraged to wear black to the meet for the annual "Black Out."
 
"This group of seniors is special in that the group is so large," said NIU head coach Ryan Ludwig. "There are seven individuals who have dedicated themselves to NIU wrestling for the past four or five years and that is something we don't take lightly. These guys have been our backbone and we have built off their successes as the young crew establishes itself. This group is made up of high-quality people. It has been and continues to be an honor to serve as their coach."
 
The Huskies enter Saturday looking to snap a three-match losing streak. Last time out, NIU suffered a 23-12 loss on the road against Old Dominion. After Smith's pin at 133 gave the Huskies a 6-3 lead, the Monarchs won each of the next six matches - including two in overtime - to seize control of the match. NIU closed the meet on a positive note, though, as Shawn Scott and Torrence each claimed decisions.
 
KSU comes into Saturday with a 9-8 record overall and a 3-2 MAC mark. Last weekend, the Golden Flashes scored an 18-12 win at Eastern Michigan. They are led on the mats by nationally-ranked wrestlers Ian Miller (#5 - 157) and Phillip Wheeler (#13 - 184).
 
"Kent State is a strong program," Ludwig said. "Every program in the MAC is strong. Kent likes to scramble and ride. We will work hard to minimize their strengths and wrestle our brand of match. Every individual on our team is improving on a weekly basis."
 
Live results will be available on NIUHuskies.com via TrackWrestling.com.
 
Projected NIU Lineup
125: Nick Harrison OR Braun Marquez
133: Nick Smith
141: Tyler Argue OR Kevin Fanta
149: Rob Jillard OR Gabe Morse
157: Andrew Morse
165: Shaun'Qae McMurtry
174: Matt Mougin OR Billy Chancey
184: Caleb Busson OR Shane Rosenberry
197: Shawn Scott OR Parker Settecase
285: Jared Torrence OR Arthur Bunce
 
Projected Kent State Lineup
125: Alfredo Gray OR Del Vinas
133: Mack McGuire
141: Tyler Small
149: Mike DePalma
157: #5 Ian Miller OR T.J. Keklak
165: Tyler Buckwalter
174: Caleb Marsh
184: #13 Sam Wheeler
197: Cole Baxter
285: Mimmo Lytle
 
Scouting Kent State
Kent State enters Saturday with a 9-8 overall record and a 3-2 mark in the Mid-American Conference. Much like the Huskies, the Golden Flashes have faced a daunting schedule this season, as they have gone head-to-head with current Top 25 teams Virginia (twice), Virginia Tech (twice), Michigan and Ohio State thus far, while still having to face Northern Iowa, Missouri and Edinboro, along with competing in the 2014 NWCA National Duals. KSU's starting lineup features two nationally-ranked wrestlers in Ian Miller (#5 - 157) and Phillip Wheeler (#13 - 184). NIU trails the all-time series with KSU, 19-5-2.
 
Senior Salute
Saturday afternoon will mark the final home dual for seven Huskie seniors - Kevin Fanta, Rob Jillard, Matt Mougin, Shane Rosenberry, Parker Settecase, Nick Smith and Jared Torrence. In their collective career, the group of seven has combined for a 270-235 record and two NCAA tournament appearances (Fanta in 2012, Mougin in 2013). So far this year, five of the seven seniors have seen time in the starting lineup. The seniors will be honored prior to the meet for their contributions to the NIU wrestling program on and off the mat.
 
A Long Time Coming
Senior Nick Smith earned his first pin of the season Friday night at Old Dominion when he stuck Michael Hayes late in the third period. Not only was it his first pin of the season, but it was also the first for the Ida, Mich., native in almost a full calendar year, as his last victory by fall came March 10, 2013, against Kent State's Mack McGuire in the first round of the MAC Tournament. Oddly enough, his opponent on Saturday will likely by McGuire.
 
The Big 5-0
NIU redshirt senior Jared Torrence earned his 50th career victory Friday night when he took a 5-3 decision against Old Dominion's Matt Tourdot. 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.
 
Up Next...
The Huskies get back on the road next weekend when they head up to Brookings, S.D., to take on the South Dakota State Jackrabbits at 7 p.m. on Valentine's Day night.