Wrestling Takes to the Road to Face Northwestern, Illinois
Jan. 19, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Spartan wrestling team travels to Illinois this weekend for a pair of Big Ten Conference matches against No. 18 Northwestern on Friday, Jan. 20 and No. 6 Illinois on Sunday, Jan. 22.
The Spartans (3-4, 1-3 Big Ten) dual against Northwestern will be streamed live for a fee at BTN.com.
"I think with each dual the team matures a little bit," head coach Tom Minkel said. "We have some young guys in the lineup that are new to the environment and new to the pressure. But I am confident that as the season progresses, we will be a little bit better week after week."
Last season the Spartans fell to Northwestern at home, 22-15. Michigan State dropped the first six matches of the dual and was behind 22-0 before rattling off four consecutive victories. Curran Jacobs (174), Ian Hinton (184), Tyler Dickenson (197) and Joe Rizqallah each recorded victories for MSU.
"I think we can wrestle well against Northwestern, they've got a pretty good team and some kids that are formidable," Minkel said. "We are going to have to win those close matches like we did against Indiana."
Northwestern (5-3, 1-3 Big Ten) is coming off a very tough weekend, hosting Penn State on Jan. 13 and traveling to take on Iowa on Jan. 15. The Wildcats fell to Penn State, 38-3, and lost to Iowa, 24-13.
The Illini (10-2, 2-2 Big Ten) are coming off a home loss to Minnesota, 25-9. Illinois recorded wins at 197 and 165 pounds.
"Illinois is a much improved team and they are off to a really great start," Minkel said. "We need to stay focused on what we do and what we are able to do, and not get distracted by the environment or the crowds."
Following the road weekend the Spartans return home to host Nebraska on Jan. 27 and then face in-state rival Michigan on Jan. 29.
LAST TIME OUT
Against West Virginia, Michigan State dropped the first four duals but was able to rebound in the middle weight classes and received three consecutive victories from Spartan seniors. No. 13 Anthony Jones Jr. (157), David Cheza (165), Curran Jacobs (174) and Nick McDiarmid (197) all recorded victories for Michigan State in the loss.
Westling picked up its first confence win of the season over Indiana in exciting fashion in front of the home crowd. Michigan State led 20-16 heading into the final match at 141 pounds between Andrew Ermatinger and Matt Ortega of Indiana. Although Ortega recorded an 11-2 major decision over Ermatinger, the Spartans were awarded a tiebreaker point based on total match victories. MSU won six matches throughout the dual and Indiana won four.
SPARTANS IN BATTLE CREEK
"It is nice to have an event like this in conjunction with the youth tournament because youth wrestling is very important to collegiate wrestling," head coach Tom Minkel said after the dual. "We have to foster youth wrestling in the state of Michigan in order for collegiate wrestling to go to the next level."
SPARTANS PLACE FIFTH AT RENO
Anthony Jones Jr. placed fourth and reached the semifinals at 157 pounds with three straight victories. Curran Jacobs reached the semifinals and placed fifth at 174 pounds. Nick McDiarmid wrestled at 197 pounds for the Spartans and also placed fifth. At heavyweight, Steve Andrus finished the tournament with a 4-2 record and made it to the fifth place match before having to forfeit due to injury.
MILESTONE FOR MINKEL
BIG TEN OPENER
LOADED AT HEAVYWEIGHT
"Three of the best heavyweights in the country, and they're all in the same program," Minkel said at the beginning of the season. "Seriously, these guys are great wrestlers, but they have really helped make each other great. They all have different styles and they're all big."
Lock Haven was up first for the Spartans and Michigan State dropped only two matches en route to a 30-6 victory. After then traveling to Bucknell, Michigan State dropped two of the first three matches before stringing together seven consecutive wins to take a 27-6 win.
ANCHORS IN THE MIDDLE
REPRESENT ON HOME TURF
The Spartans had 16 wrestlers place in the top six on the day, including individual titles from David Cheza in the 157-pound open division and Nick Proctor in the 165-pound freshman/sophomore division
SPARTANS ADD TWO
"Nick and Jordan are both very successful high school wrestlers and are really committed to Michigan State," said Minkel. "They're really excited about wrestling here. We're definitely looking forward to having them as a part of our program.
Nick Trimble won the 2011 Michigan Division 2 state title at 130 pounds with a 9-5 victory over previously unbeaten Jeff Jenkins of Tecumseh and Jordan Wohlfert won the 2011 Michigan Division 2 state title at 152 pounds with a 14-6 win over Dan Fleet of Lowell.
ELEVEN PLACE AT EMU OPEN
In his first collegiate tournament, true freshman Roger Wildmo won all six of his matches, including two falls, to claim first place at 149 pounds in the freshman/sophomore division.
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