Dec. 20, 2011
Quad Meet Notes
DeKALB - Following a long break from competition, the Northern Illinois wrestling team returns to action Wednesday afternoon when they face Kent State, Cleveland State and Cumberland in a quadrangular meet inside Victor E. Court.
The meet gets underway at 11 a.m., when the Huskies face MAC rival and No. 23 Golden Flashes, while Cleveland State faces Cumberland. At 1 p.m., NIU takes on Cumberland and KSU goes against CSU. The meet concludes with a 3 p.m. dual between the Huskies and CSU.
"There will be some outstanding matchups not only within the conference with Kent State, but throughout the day in all three duals," said Huskie head coach Ryan Ludwig. "This will be a good day of action for all three teams. Several nationally ranked individuals will be going head to head on Wednesday, so intensity will be high."
The Huskies enter the meet with a 3-3 record after dropping a close 19-15 decision to Purdue in the annual Showcase Meet. Trailing 16-9 late, NIU mounted a comeback to get within one point before falling in the final match. Nick Smith, Kevin Fanta, Brad Dieckhaus and Mike Lukowski each recorded victories against the Boilermakers.
Kent State, meanwhile, enters the meet with a 2-4 record and a No. 23 ranking nationally. Led by Nic Bedelyon at 125 and Tyler Small at 141, the Golden Flashes boast five wrestlers who are nationally-ranked. So far this season, KSU has recorded wins against nationally-ranked Edinboro and Navy, while dropping duals against Nebraska, Illinois, Missouri and Ohio State.
Cleveland State also owns a 2-4 mark so far in 2011-12 after toppling The Citadel and John Carroll early in their schedule. However, the Vikings have dropped their last two duals, falling to Eastern Michigan Dec. 1, 33-9, and No. 9 Pittsburgh on Dec. 11, 39-3. The Vikings are led on the mat by Ben Willeford, who holds a 9-6 record at 125 after winning that weight class at the Cleveland State Open Dec. 18.
Cumberland, a member of the NAIA, is 0-4 in 2011-12. All four of their losses, though, have come against the NAIA's best in Campbellsville, Lindsey Wilson, Shorter and McKendree. This meet will be their first against a Division I program this season and the first since Nov. 14, 2010, when the Bulldogs lost to Chattanooga and Liberty. CU is led on the mat by senior Eddie Ortiz at 125, who is 8-8 this season, and freshman Michael Gonzalez at 149.
"We've had a good training phase and the guys are ready to compete," Ludwig said.