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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Wrestling pitches shutout in home opener

Tim Dodge
Redshirt freshman Danny Curran and Dylan Gvillo stare each other down at the Red/Black Dual on Oct. 27. NIU defeated Lindenwood University and St. Ambrose University by a combined score of 98-0 on Friday at the Huskie Duals. (Tim Dodge | Northern Star)

DeKALB – Four pins, seven major decisions, 6 technical falls and earning bonus points in 19 bouts, Huskies blew out Lindenwood University and St. Ambrose University during the Huskie Duals on Friday. 

The Huskies went a combined 95-0 between both meets, defeating St. Ambrose 47-0 and Lindenwood 48-0. Just one out of 20 matchups were decided by decision. 

“We were very competitive – we’re very aggressive in our pursuit of points, and that’s what we ask from them,” said NIU wrestling head coach Ryan Ludwig.


Battling illness all week and struggling to make weight, redshirt sophomore Blake West conquered both his opponents via technical fall. 

“Honestly, performance on paper looks good,” West said. “I didn’t feel great today. Bit of a tester of a week – had a hard time getting down to weight, and I was battling sickness. So it just feels good to kind of overcome that.”

West cruised to a 16-0 technical fall over St. Ambrose’s senior Steele Dias at 125. After a slow and scoreless minute and a half of grappling, West dropped his opponent to the mat with a single-leg takedown. 12 points later, the reigning third-place MAC finisher paved the way for a technical fall. 

West recorded a 20-3 technical fall against Lindenwood senior Austin Kegley. West sent his opponent to the mat after a failed takedown attempt, flattened him out and recorded a takedown of his own. Two periods and 17 points later, West clinched his second technical fall of the evening. 


Redshirt freshman and homegrown DeKalb talent Tommy Curran and Danny Curran took very little time checking into the win column as Huskies.

Tommy Curran recorded his first points with a behind the back slam directly into the mat. After collecting several back points, escapes and takedowns, Tommy Curran claimed his first victory as a Huskie. 

“I loved it, it felt great to be back,” Curran said. “I could feel the hometown energy – I had some people come out – but I could feel the hometown energy.” 

Danny Curran jumped out to an 11-0 advantage after two periods, before pitching the 15-2 major decision in his Huskie debut. 

“It was awesome to have those hometown guys back in here and perform very well obviously,” Ludwig said. “I think they’re going to be major contributors to the program, we couldn’t be more happy to have them. “Tommy (Curran) is a very dangerous wrestler as you can see. So really excited to have him in here.”


In his first match since suffering a season-ending injury in 2022, redshirt sophomore Jacobi Jackson was one point shy of a technical victory. 

Jackson was in control during his seven-minute bout, leading 13-0 entering the third period. After allowing his opponent to escape for the third time, Jackson won by a 17-3 major decision.

“We’ve been waiting for Jacobi (Jackson) to get into the lineup for a couple of years,” Ludwig said. “He’s done a great job persevering through all those things (injuries). I think the hardest part of coming back from the injury is the mental piece, so he’s done a fabulous job handling that. Came into season this year in incredible shape, and he’s just getting started.” 


NIU wrestling will travel to Michigan State University to participate in the MSU Open at 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 11 in the Jenison Field House. The meet will be televised via FloSports

“The way we compete is our signature,” Ludwig said. “We wanna compete for every second, we get all of our offense out there and leave that man with no regret that we left anything on the table.”

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