Wrestling Opens Big Ten Season at Wisconsin
 
 
 
Nick McDiarmid and the Spartans open the Big Ten season Friday night at Wisconsin.
 
Nick McDiarmid and the Spartans open the Big Ten season Friday night at Wisconsin.
 
 

Dec. 6, 2012

Dual #3: Michigan State (1-1) at Wisconsin (3-2)
 Date | Time Friday, Dec. 7 | 8 p.m. ET
 Location Madison, Wis. | Wisconsin Field House
 Coverage Live broadcast available for purchase at BTN.com
Live results: Twitter @Badger_Wrestle | TrackWrestling.com
 Statistics  Michigan State | Wisconsin

Dual #4: Michigan State (1-1) at Northern Illinois (5-1)
 Date | Time Saturday, Dec. 8 | 3 p.m. ET
 Location DeKalb, Ill. | Convocation Center
 Coverage Live broadcast available for purchase at NIUHuskies.com
Live results: Twitter @NIUscores | TrackWrestling.com
 Statistics  Michigan State | Northern Illinois

The Michigan State wrestling team heads to the road this weekend for a pair of duals. The Spartans will take on Wisconsin Friday at 8 p.m. ET in the Big Ten opener before facing Northern Illinois Saturday at 3 p.m. ET. Friday's match will be streamed live on BTN.com through the Big Ten Digital Network.

MSU (1-1) is coming off a 22-12 loss to No. 17 Edinboro on Nov. 30 in the home opener at Jenison Field House. The Spartans won four of first seven matches to take a 12-9 lead, but bonus points proved to be the difference in the last three weight classes as the Fighting Scots recorded a major decision, a fall, and a decision to rally for the 10-point victory.

The Spartans began the dual season with a 25-11 win at Eastern Michigan on Nov. 16.

"There are a couple of things that we have to improve on from last week," said MSU head coach Tom Minkel. "One is that we have to create more pressure on our feet. We're keeping pretty good position, but we're not getting after it nearly as much as we should.

"Secondly, on top we didn't get any near falls or a fall. One of our goals moving forward is that we have to start turning people over on top. Often times, one turn is worth two or three takedowns. That's an area that we just have to be more committed."

Michigan State did not wrestle Wisconsin last season; in the last meeting between the two schools, the Badgers claimed a 27-9 victory at Jenison Field House on Feb. 22, 2011. UW is 3-2 on the season with victories over Hofstra, Campbell and Northern Iowa, and losses to Old Dominion and Virginia Tech.

The Badgers feature two ranked wrestlers in their starting lineup: No. 9 Tyler Graff at 141 pounds and No. 14 Connor Medbery at heavyweight.

Following the dual against the Badgers, MSU will travel to DeKalb, Ill., to take on Northern Illinois Saturday at 3 p.m. ET. MSU owns a 2-0 series advantage over NIU, including a 20-15 win in DeKalb in the last meeting on Dec. 3, 2010.

"The good part about it is that you're still in competition mode," said Minkel on the quick turnaround. "You don't have time to get distracted. I think it's a good thing."

At 5-1, the Huskies are off to their best start since 2001-02 with wins over Tiffin, South Dakota State, Indiana, Calumet College and Loras. NIU's lone loss came to Purdue, 37-0. A live webcast will be available for purchase at NIUHuskies.com.

Michigan State at Wisconsin: Probable Starting Lineups
 125 MSU: Josh Heinzer (So., 4-3) OR Brenan Lyon (Jr., 0-3) vs.
UW: Matt Cavallaris (So., 1-4) OR Matthew Kelliher (R-Fr., 0-0)
 133 MSU: Christian Olanowski (Fr., 7-4) OR Brandon Fifield (So., 5-2) vs.
UW: Tom Kelliher (Sr., 1-4)
 141 MSU: Nick Trimble (Fr., 6-6) vs.
UW: No. 9 Tyler Graff (Jr., 4-1)
 149 MSU: Dan Osterman (Sr., 7-3) vs.
UW: Cole Schmitt (Sr., 3-2)
 157 MSU: David Cheza (Sr., 2-0) vs.
UW: Kalvin York (Jr., 1-1)
 165 MSU: Ryan Watts (So., 5-2) OR Nick Proctor (So., 6-4) vs.
UW: Frank Cousins (So., 3-2)
 174 MSU: Jordan Wohlfert (Fr., 9-2) vs.
UW: Scott Liegel (Jr., 1-4)
 184 MSU: John Rizqallah (So., 7-3) vs.
UW: Ben Cox (So., 0-0)
 197 MSU: Nick McDiarmid (So., 3-4) OR Luke Jones (So., 7-3) vs.
UW: Jackson Hein (Jr., 5-0)
 Hwt. MSU: No. 10 Michael McClure (Jr., 11-0) vs.
UW: No. 14 Connor Medbery (Fr., 4-0)

Michigan State at Northern Illinois: Probable Starting Lineups
 125 MSU: Josh Heinzer (So., 4-3) OR Brenan Lyon (Jr., 0-3) vs.
NIU: Derek Elmore (So., 13-5)
 133 MSU: Christian Olanowski (Fr., 7-4) OR Brandon Fifield (So., 5-2) vs.
NIU: Nick Harrison (R-Fr., 1-4)
 141 MSU: Nick Trimble (Fr., 6-6) vs.
NIU: Tyler Argue (So., 9-4)
 149 MSU: Dan Osterman (Sr., 7-3) vs.
NIU: Rob Jillard (Jr., 13-3)
 157 MSU: David Cheza (Sr., 2-0) vs.
NIU: Andrew Morse (Fr., 9-5)
 165 MSU: Ryan Watts (So., 5-2) OR Nick Proctor (So., 6-4) vs.
NIU: Sam Bennett (So., 1-2 ) OR Dan Burk (Jr., 8-7)
 174 MSU: Jordan Wohlfert (Fr., 9-2) vs.
NIU: Matt Mougin (Jr., 15-4)
 184 MSU: John Rizqallah (So., 7-3) vs.
NIU: Bryan Loughlin (Fr., 10-2)
 197 MSU: Nick McDiarmid (So., 3-4) OR Luke Jones (So., 7-3) vs.
NIU: Shawn Scott (Fr.,10-3)
 Hwt. MSU: No. 10 Michael McClure (Jr., 11-0) vs.
NIU: Jared Torrence (Jr., 8-5) OR Arthur Bruce (R-Fr., 4-5)

McCLURE REMAINS UNDEFEATED
Junior heavyweight Mike McClure improved his record to 11-0 after defeating No. 20 Ernest James of Edinboro for the second time this season in last Friday's dual against the Fighting Scots. McClure moved up to No. 10 in this week's InterMat rankings and will look to stay undefeated when he faces 14th-ranked Connor Medbery of Wisconsin on Friday night. Medbery is also perfect on the season at 4-0.

"Mike has a tough match on Friday," said Minkel. "He has wrestled really, really well. I went back through some of his matches and I don't remember him even giving up a takedown yet. He's wrestling really hard and his conditioning is awesome. He's an avid weight lifter and lifted particularly hard last summer, and is a little stronger than he was. So he's in shape, plus his technique is improving. I don't think that either one will score much, but it will be a heck of a match."

WOHLFERT OFF TO IMPRESSIVE START
True freshman Jordan Wohlfert is 2-0 in duals this season and 9-2 overall at 174 pounds. In his first career home dual, Wohlfert defeated Edinboro's Patrick Jennings in the second sudden victory period, 5-3. A native of St. Johns, Mich., Wohlfert was a two-time Michigan state champion (152 pounds in 2011; 160 pounds in 2012) and helped lead the Red Wings to three consecutive state championships. He began the season with second-place finishes at both the Eastern Michigan Open and the Michigan State Open.

CHEZA GETS A SIXTH YEAR
Senior David Cheza was granted a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA and is back in the starting lineup at 157 pounds. Cheza, a two-time NCAA qualifier, lost multiple seasons due to injury and was granted a medical hardship waiver to compete this season. The Grand Blanc, Mich., native has won both of his dual matches in his only competition thus far in 2012-13.

UP NEXT
Michigan State will travel to Reno, Nev., for the Reno Tournament of Champions on Sunday, Dec. 16.