Spartans Host No. 4 Iowa in Lone Weekend Dual
 
 
 
Sophomore John Rizqallah leads MSU with nine dual wins this season.
 
Sophomore John Rizqallah leads MSU with nine dual wins this season.
 
 

Jan. 18, 2013

Dual #11: Michigan State (4-6, 0-3) vs. No. 4 Iowa (12-1, 2-0)
 Date | Time Sunday, Jan. 20 | 2 p.m.
 Location East Lansing, Mich. | Jenison Field House
 Live Stream (Fee) Spartan All-Access via the Big Ten Digital Network
 Live Stats TrackWrestling.com
 Social Media Twitter @wrestlingmsu
 Statistics  Michigan State | Iowa
 Notes  Michigan StateIowa

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State wrestling will host No. 4 Iowa on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 2 p.m. inside Jenison Field House. MSU will wrestle just one dual this weekend after previously having three duals the last two weekends. The dual against the Hawkeyes will stream live on Spartan All-Access via the Big Ten Digital Network.

"We know they are a very good team," head coach Tom Minkel said. "Coming out of the Penn State dual, we wrestled the best team in the country and Iowa's isn't far behind them. The experience at Penn State will help us prepare for the Iowa dual. We know what we have to do to deal with wrestling teams of this caliber."

Minkel and the Spartans hope the lone weekend dual will allow the team to rest up and focus solely on one opponent this weekend. MSU went 0-3 last weekend in Pennsylvania and picked up two wins after falling to No. 21 Purdue at home the weekend before.

"It is really nice and will be nice to have our crowd here at home," Minkel said. "I think those things will certainly help us but we are under no illusion that this will be an easier dual than at Penn State. We have to be tougher, fight harder and be more resilient."

Michigan State vs. Iowa Probable Starting Lineup
 125 MSU: Brenan Lyon (Jr., 5-11)
Iowa: No. 1 Matt McDonough (Sr., 10-0)
 133 MSU: Brandon Fifield (So., 9-10)
Iowa: No. 2 Tony Ramos (Jr., 13-0)
 141 MSU: Nick Trimble (Fr., 6-13)
Iowa: No. 9 Mark Ballweg (Sr., 12-1)
 149 MSU: Dan Osterman (Sr., 15-7)
Iowa: No. 17 Michael Kelly (So., 10-4) OR Brody Grothus (Fr., 6-2)
 157 MSU: No. 19 David Cheza (Sr., 7-2)
Iowa: No. 1 Derek St. John (Jr., 13-0)
 165 MSU: Nick Proctor (So., 13-8)
Iowa: No. 19 Nick Moore (So., 8-3)
 174 MSU: Jordan Wohlfert (Fr., 15-9)
Iowa: No. 6 Mike Evans (So., 9-1)
 184 MSU: John Rizqallah (So., 19-5)
Iowa: No. 11 Ethen Lofthouse (Jr., 11-2)
 197 MSU: Luke Jones (So., 16-8)
Iowa: Nathan Burak (Fr., 10-7)
 Hwt. MSU: No. 7 Michael McClure (Jr., 22-2)
Iowa: No. 5 Bobby Telford (So., 11-2)

SCOUTING IOWA
No. 4 Iowa comes to East Lansing with a 12-1 record on the season and is 2-0 in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes fell last weekend at No. 2 Oklahoma State, 18-12 and topped both then-No. 4 Ohio State and then-No. 21 Purdue the previous weekend. The Hawkeyes boast nine starters ranked inside the top-20 and both Matt McDonough and Derek St. John top the rankings at 125 and 157 pounds, respectively. Tony Ramos checks in at No. 2 at 133 and Bobby Telford is ranked No. 5 at heavyweight.

SPARTANS IN THE RANKINGS
Junior heavyweight Michael McClure is the highest-ranked Spartan and checks in at No. 7 in the latest InterMat rankings. McClure is 22-2 overall and 8-2 in duals this season, last weekend he went 2-1, falling to No. 16 Jon Gingrich of Penn State, 5-3. McClure currently leads the team with seven falls. Senior David Cheza is ranked No. 19 and is 7-2 in duals this season. The 157-pounder rattled off seven straight wins before falling in duals at Clarion and at Penn State. John Rizqallah is ranked No. 19 by Amateur Wrestling News and is 19-5 on the season and 9-1 in dual matches.

RIZQALLAH LEADS MSU IN DUALS
Sophomore John Rizqallah is in his first year in the starting lineup and leads MSU with nine dual wins on the season. Rizqallah, wrestling at 184 pounds, had won nine consecutive matches before falling to No. 1 Ed Ruth of Penn State last weekend. He is ranked No. 19 by Amateur Wrestling News and is 19-5 overall this season.

SPARTANS SIGN PAGDIALO, BRINGING CLASS TO FOUR
Michigan State wrestling head coach Tom Minkel announced on Tuesday, Jan. 15, the signing of Christian Pagdilao (Corona, Calif./Corona Santiago) to a National Letter of Intent, bringing the 2013-14 recruiting class to four student-athletes. Pagdilao will be joined by Javier Gasca (Kingsburg, Calif./Kingsburg), Josh Pennell (St. Johns, Mich./St. Johns), and Mitch Rogaliner (Temperance, Mich./Temperance Bedford) who each signed a NLI in November.

"This is an outstanding group of young men," Minkel said. "Not only are they exceptional athletes but they are all very good students. They are men of great character and were exactly what we were looking for as we head into the future."

JONES LEADS MSU IN BONUS POINTS
Sophomore Luke Jones is in his first season in the starting lineup for Michigan State at 197 pounds and he leads the team in dual points. Jones in 16-8 on the season and has recorded bonus points in 11 matches. Jones has notched five falls and six major decisions this season.

YOUNG TALENT
The Spartans will rely on young talent to contribute in the starting lineup and could have either freshman or sophomores starting in six different weight classes this season. Nick Trimble, a freshman at 141 pounds and Jordan Wohlfert, a freshman at 174 pounds have each started this year for MSU and are relied on to contribute in their first season. Wohlfert is 15-9 on the year and Trimble is 6-13.

TOUGH TREK IN PENNSYLVANIA
Michigan State dropped duals to UNC and Clarion before falling to No. 1 Penn State at Rec Hall. The Spartans dropped a close dual to the Tar Heels, 23-21 and then fell to Clarion, 25-16. MSU lost five matches to wrestlers ranked inside the top-3 against the Nittany Lions.

McCLURE AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS
Junior heavyweight Michael McClure is the highest ranked Spartan in the lineup at No. 7 in the latest InterMat rankings. McClure is 22-2 this season, including first-place finishes at the Eastern Michigan Open, Michigan State Open and the Reno Tournament of Champions. He 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 has lost two duals to Big Ten opponents, but has defeated five ranked wrestlers this season.

MSU REBOUNDS WITH WINS OVER BUCKNELL AND LINDSEY WILSON
After falling to No. 21 Purdue, the Spartans came away with back-to-back wins over both Bucknell and Lindsey Wilson. MSU beat the Bison 28-11 in the first match of the doubleheader and won 28-12 over Lindsey Wilson. Michigan State dropped the first three matches of the dual against Bucknell, falling behind early 11-0. However, Dan Osterman was able to turn the tide for Michigan State with a fall over Adam Healey at 149 pounds in 0:49, leading to seven-straight victories for MSU.

RIZQALLAH MAKING A NAME FOR HIMSELF
Sophomore John Rizqallah is 19-5 this season and 9-1 in dual matches, wrestling in his first season in the starting lineup. Rizqallah has won 14 of his last 16 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.

SPARTANS SHAKING UP THE LINEUP
In 10 duals this season the Spartans have utilized eight different starting lineups. Freshman Jordan Wohlfert (174), John Rizqallah (184) and Michael McClure (HWT) have been the only mainstays this season, starting in all 10 duals.

SPARTANS FINISH THIRD IN RENO
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.

BIG TEN WRESTLER OF THE WEEK FOR SECOND TIME
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.

CHEZA MAKES MOST OF SIXTH YEAR
Senior David Cheza was granted a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA and is back in the starting lineup for the Spartans. Cheza, ranked No. 19, lost multiple seasons due to injury and was granted a medical hardship waiver to compete this season. Currently he is 7-2 this season.

REPLACING SENIOR LEADERSHIP
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.

NEXT UP
Following this weekend, the Spartans will host Northwestern on Friday, Jan. 25 at 6 p.m., and then travel to take on Ohio on Sunday, Jan. 27.