The NIU wrestling team had the University of Notre Dame in an amiable position.
The Huskies only trailed the Fighting Irish by four points (13-9) after the first six matches, but ND’s strength down the stretch provided the 34-9 final difference.
Shannon Gregory got the Huskies off and running with an 8-5 decision at 118-pounds to give NIU a 3-0 lead. The lead was shifted back to the Irish when Notre Dame’s top wrestler Marcus Gowens (12-3) pinned John Willems at 126-pounds.
Bill Walsh ignited the Huskies with a 4-2 decision at 134-pounds to even the score at 6-6. It looked like the Huskies were going to take the lead again, but came up short when Bruce Takasaki dropped a tough 2-1 decision at 142-pounds. Jim Gussman then lost at 150-pounds 14-4 and the Fighting Irish were back in command with a 13-6 advantage.
With NIU’s top wrestler T.C. Dantzler (4-2) coming up next at 158-pounds, a quick pin by the recent football returnee would have cut the margin to one. Dantzler found himself in a tough match, but still managed to come out with a 6-5 decision to close the Irish margin to 13-9.
That was all the Huskies could muster up as they lost the next four matches plus a forfeit at 190-pounds and a disqualification at heavyweight to give the Irish a 34-9 win.
The Huskies dropped their record to 1-6 and evened the Irish ledger to 2-2. NIU will have more traveling time ahead as they head south for three meets. The Huskies travel to Champaign, Ill. Saturday to take on the University of Illinois and the Boilermakers of Purdue before heading to Southern
Illinois-Edwardsville for a dual meet on Sunday.