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Wrestling hosts No.21 Purdue Friday, Bucknell and Lindsey Wilson Sunday

Senior David Cheza is 4-0 in duals this season.

Jan. 3, 2013

Dual #5: Michigan State (2-2) vs. No. 21 Purdue (9-2)
 Date | Time Friday, Jan. 4 | 7 p.m. ET
 Location East Lansing, Mich. | Jenison Field House
 Live Results Twitter @wrestlingmsu |
 Statistics  Michigan State | Purdue

Dual #6: Michigan State (2-2) vs. Bucknell (2-3)
 Date | Time Sunday, Jan. 6 | 12 p.m. ET
 Location East Lansing, Mich. | Jenison Field House
 Live Results Twitter @wrestlingmsu |
 Statistics  Michigan State | Bucknell

Dual #7: Michigan State (2-2) vs. Lindsey Wilson (1-3)
 Date | Time Sunday, Jan. 6 | 2 p.m. ET
 Location East Lansing, Mich. | Jenison Field House
 Live Results Twitter @wrestlingmsu |
 Statistics  Michigan State

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Fresh off the holiday break, the Spartans kick off the New Year with a dual meet against No. 21 Purdue on Friday, Jan. 4 at Jenison Field House at 7 p.m. MSU will then host both Bucknell and Lindsey Wilson on Sunday, Jan. 6 at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.

In its last competition, Michigan State finished third at the Reno Tournament of Champions and placed eight individual wrestlers. Junior Michael McClure finished first and is 17-1 on the season; he is currently ranked No. 5 in the country at heavyweight according to InterMat.

"The Reno Tournament was the best we wrestled as a team in a number of years, now our challenge is to maintain that momentum and we need to wrestle this weekend as we did in Reno," head coach Tom Minkel said. "We need to improve and we have a lot of work to do. Purdue is a very strong program and we are going to have to bring our A-game. It's important that every guy, at every weight, wrestles his very best."

The Boilermakers are 9-2 on the season and are coming off a 28th place finish at the Midlands Championships. Purdue has yet to compete in a Big Ten dual this season and are led by No. 17 Camden Eppert at 125 pounds and No. 13 Ivan Lopouchanski at 149 pounds.

The Spartans will see a familiar face for the second straight season when Bucknell visits East Lansing. Dan Wirnsberger, head coach of the Bison, was a three-time All-American at MSU from 1993-95. Michigan State topped Bucknell last season, 27-6 at Bucknell. The Bison are 2-3 on the season and is coming off a 37-6 loss to Oklahoma State.

"Dan Wirnsberger was an All-American and an NCAA finalist for us here at Michigan State and a goof friend of our program," Minkel said. "He's working hard to build a strong program at Bucknell. And then Lindsey Wilson is a young program that is trying to grow and we will wrestle them right after. It is a good weekend for us, we have Purdue first and then we can get on to Sunday."

Lindsey Wilson competes in the Mid-South Conference of the NAIA and is 1-3 this year. The Blue Raiders recently placed 11th at the Midwest Classic.

Michigan State vs. Purdue: Probable Starting Lineups
 125 MSU: Brenan Lyon (Jr., 5-5) vs.
PU: No. 17 Camden Eppert (R-Jr., 15-6)
 133 MSU: Brandon Fifield (So., 8-6) vs.
PU: Cashé Quiroga (R-Jr., 3-1)
 141 MSU: Nick Trimble (Fr., 6-7) vs.
PU: Brandon Nelsen (R-So., 15-6) OR Nick Lawrence (R-So., 9-8)
 149 MSU: Dan Osterman (Sr., 13-4) vs.
PU: No. 13 Ivan Lopouchanski (R-Sr., 14-0)
 157 MSU: David Cheza (Sr., 4-0) vs.
PU: Tommy Churchard (R-Sr., 15-5)
 165 MSU: Nick Proctor (So., 12-5) vs.
PU: Pat Robinson (R-So., 18-6) OR Doug Welch (R-Fr., 13-7)
 174 MSU: Jordan Wohlfert (Fr., 12-6) vs.
PU: Chad Welch (R-Fr., 15-4)
 184 MSU: John Rizqallah (So., 14-4) vs.
PU: Patrick Kissel (R-So., 18-8)
 197 MSU: Luke Jones (So., 13-5) vs.
PU: Branden Atwood (R-So., 16-3)
 Hwt. MSU: No. 5 Michael McClure (Jr., 11-0) vs.
PU: Alex White (R-Jr., 7-7)

Junior heavyweight Michael McClure is the highest ranked Spartan in the lineup at No. 5 in the latest InterMat rankings. McClure is 17-1 to start the season, including first-place finishes at the Eastern Michigan Open, Michigan State Open and the Reno Tournament of Champions. McClure was named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week on Nov. 13 after winning the MSU Open and on Dec. 17 after winning the Reno Tournament of Champions. McClure's only loss came against No. 14 Connor Medbery of Wisconsin and he has defeated five ranked wrestlers this season.

Michigan State wrestling took third place at the Reno Tournament of Champions, finishing with 107. 5 team points and also placed eight individual wrestlers in the event. Then-No. 11 Michael McClure led the Spartans with a first place finish at heavyweight and went 5-0 in the tournament. Dan Osterman (149 pounds), Nick Proctor (165) and Ryan Watts (165) each placed second in their respective weight classes.

Sophomore John Rizqallah is 14-4 this season and 4-0 in dual matches, wrestling in his first season in the starting lineup. Rizqallah has won nine of his last 10 matches and recently finished third at the Reno Tournament of Champions. He also finished second at the EMU Open and sixth at the MSU Open.

Junior heavyweight Michael McClure was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week as announced by the conference office on Tuesday, Dec. 18, after taking first place at the Reno Tournament of Champions. McClure was also named wrestler of the week on Nov. 13 after taking first at the MSU Open. McClure defeated three wrestlers ranked inside the top 20 in Reno, including No. 6 Chad Hanke of Oregon State, No. 9 J.T. Felix of Boise State and No. 16 Odie Delaney of the Citadel.

Senior David Cheza was granted a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA and is be back in the starting lineup for the Spartans. Cheza lost multiple seasons due to injury and was granted a medical hardship waiver to compete this season. Currently he is 4-0 in dual matches on the season, joining Rizqallah as the only two Spartans to win their first four duals.

Michigan State lost four NCAA qualifiers from last season and six seniors that saw regular action in the starting lineup. The Spartans have just two seniors this season in David Cheza and Dan Osterman. Cheza will serve as the captain for the 2012-13 season.

Following this weekend, the Spartans will travel to Clarion, Pa., to take on North Carolina and Clarion on Saturday, Jan. 12.



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