Full schedule for NIU athletics this weekend

Every NIU winter sports team is in action this weekend for the first time this semester. Here is a rundown of the matches.

Coach Ed Vatch obviously loves to test his NIU wrestling team.

After dual battles with 24th-ranked Nebraska and 14th-ranked Northwestern, the first-year Huskie boss takes his young NIU crew to the Second Annual Indiana University Hoosier Invitational scheduled for Feb. 1.

Included in the eight-team field are West Virginia, ranked 31st; Ohio State, ranked 32nd; and the 33rd-rated Hoosiers. Division II national powerhouse Southern Illinois is back after placing third behind Indiana in last year’s meet.

It’s true there have been many meets, invitationals, even an exhibition meet with the Japanese University All-Stars, but Friday night’s home dual meet is really when the Huskie men’s gymnastics team gets rolling in earnest.

NIU welcomes the Wisconsin Badgers to Evans Field House for the 8:15 contest which marks the start of the dual-meet campaign for the Huskies while UW stands 1-2 on the year. Both teams met at the Windy City Invitational where NIU placed eighth and the Badgers 11th.

Coach Chuck Ehrlich said Wisconsin is now ranked 12th while the Huskies are 19th.

NIU men’s swimming Coach Dave Clark likes to be direct and to the point. That’s why he lists his Huskies as among the top five contenders for the team title in the inaugural University of Illinois-Chicago Relays.

“We’d obviously like to win it because we’re not making the trip just to leave town,” Clark said.

For the second weekend in a row, the NIU women’s gymnastics team finds itself hitting the highway for competition against a Big Ten Conference foe.

The Huskies (2-2) will face Iowa this Saturday after finishing third behind Michigan and Minnesota last Saturday.

While the women’s gymnastics team travels to Iowa, the NIU women’s swimming team will stay in DeKalb and face Iowa at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Anderson Hall Pool.