Dec. 20, 2013
Meet Notes | Live Results
DeKALB, Ill. – The Northern Illinois University wrestling team returns to conference action Saturday afternoon when they host the Central Michigan Chippewas.
The dual gets underway at 3 p.m. inside Victor E. Court.
"We are looking forward to the opportunities presented in this dual,” said NIU head coach Ryan Ludwig. “CMU has a strong squad put together with some nationally-ranked individuals, so this dual will shape up to be an exciting Mid-American Conference battle."
NIU gets back on the mats after a two-week break. Last time out, the Huskies handily defeated Cleveland State, 25-6. NIU claimed eight of the 10 matches, including a major decision from senior Rob Jillard at 149.
Conversely, CMU enters the meet with a 5-4 record and a 1-0 MAC mark. The Chippewas fell to #19 Michigan Sunday, 30-9, as three of their four losses have come to teams ranked in the USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll. Individually, they are led by four Top 20 wrestlers in Corey Keener (10th – 125), Joe Roth (11th – 133), Zach Horan (10th – 141) and Mike Ottinger (11th – 174). CMU leads the all-time series with NIU, 25-12-2, and have taken the last 10 meetings against the Huskies.
Live results will be available on NIUHuskies.com via TrackWrestling.
Projected NIU Lineup
125: Braun Marquez OR Nick Harrison
133: Nick Smith
141: Tyler Argue OR Kevin Fanta
149: Gabe Morse OR Rob Jillard
157: Andrew Morse
165: Shaun’Qae McMurtry OR Sam Bennett
174: Matt Mougin
184: Caleb Busson OR Bryan Loughlin
197: Shawn Scott
285: Jared Torrence OR Arthur Bunce
Projected CMU Lineup
125: #10 Corey Keener
133: #11 Joe Roth
141: #10 Zach Horan
149: Scott Mattingly
157: Lucas Smith
165: Nick Becker
174: #11 Mike Ottinger
184: Craig Kelliher
197: Jackson Lewis
285: Adam Robinson
Scouting Central Michigan
Central Michigan enters Saturday’s dual with a 5-4 dual record. The Chippewas opened their MAC schedule Dec. 8 with a 29-6 win against Buffalo before falling against Michigan Sunday, 30-9. CMU boasts four wrestlers in InterMat’s rankings, including 125-pounder Corey Keener (10th) and 141-pounder Zach Horan (10th). The Huskies trail the all-time series with the Chippewas, 25-12-2, after dropping a 23-12 decision to CMU last year in DeKalb.
After missing the first month of the season, senior Rob Jillard made his 2013-14 debut Dec. 5 against Cleveland State and was impressive in his return to the mat. Facing Viking redshirt sophomore R.J. LaBeef, the Franklinville, N.J., native earned the lone bonus point win of the night with a decisive 12-3 win over LaBeef. Jillard is 36-27 all-time at NIU and 56-39 in his collegiate career after beginning at Liberty.
Variety Is the Spice of Life
The Huskies have had 15 different wrestlers start at least one dual for them this season, but no one class has seen more change than 149 and 165. Each of those positions have each seen three different individuals start. Gabe Morse, Tyler Argue and Rob Jillard all have started at 149, while Sam Bennett, Shaun’Qae McMurtry and Trace Engelkes have all started at least once at 165. By comparison, six other weights - 125, 157, 174, 184, 197 and 285 - have had the same starter all season.
While the Huskies only have three meets the entire month of December, January will be much busier. In total, NIU will have seven duals on six dates, including four MAC matchups. The only home dates in that stretch are Jan. 4 vs. SIU Edwardsville and Jan. 25 vs. Missouri.
The Huskies close out the 2013 calendar year in Evanston, Ill., where they will face some of the nation’s best wrestlers in the 51st annual Midlands Championships. The tournament begins Sunday, Dec. 29, at 9:30 a.m. and continues Monday, Dec. 30, with the finals.