Wrestling picks up first away wins of the season

By Marcel Carrasco

DeKALB — The wrestling team capped off its duals against The Citadel and Hofstra University Saturday with two dominating victories, giving the Huskies their first away wins of the season.

NIU is now on a three-match win streak after putting together a successful showing, beating the Hofstra University Pride 33-7 and The Citadel Bulldogs 42-3.

“The main focus after the SIUE win and heading into these two matches remains consistent,” Head Coach Ryan Ludwig said. “We focus on our preparation throughout the week in terms of diet and recovery.”

Both matches saw NIU surpass 30 points, the third time this year the Huskies have reached that mark.

The team has posted more than 20 points in all five of its wins during the season.

Saturday’s duals showed dominant performances from eight Huskie grapplers who finished undefeated. Some include redshirt sophomore Kenny Moore, who opened both duals with wins at 165 pounds, redshirt first-year Brit Wilson at 174 pounds, redshirt junior Caleb Gossett at 285 pounds and redshirt senior Alijah Jeffery at 133 pounds.

v. Hofstra

The Hofstra Pride showed up to the duals with one win in the season. NIU quickly set the tone with three victories before Hofstra took two of the next three matchups.

The Pride’s middle efforts were cut short when the Huskies closed out the meeting with four consecutive wins on their way to the 33-7 victory.

Moore was in charge of leading the pack as he came through with a decision 4-2 victory of redshirt sophomore Ricky Stamm.

Wilson followed with a powerful 1:47 pin win against first-year Corey Langner. Redshirt first-year Will Feldkamp added another big victory for the Huskies with a 1:21 pin victory over first-year Trey Rodgers in the 184 weight class.

The Pride pulled one back when redshirt senior Nezar Haddad handed redshirt sophomore Max Ihry a loss in the 197 weight class. Haddad’s victory put Hofstra on the board, but the Huskies held the lead 15-3.

Gosset followed with a 3-1 decision victory over redshirt junior Omar Haddad. Hofstra posted their second win of the dual when first-year Dylan Ryder handled redshirt first-year Bryce West in the 125 weight class with a 15-5 major decision victory.

The Huskies were able to answer and hit back harder as they went on to win the closing four matches. Jeffery posted his first victory of the night with a 2:10 pin against junior Jacob Martin.

Related: Wrestling dominates Southern Illinois

v. The Citadel

NIU opened with three consecutive victories before the Bulldogs grabbed one of their own. The Huskies were quick on their feet and tallied six victories to close out the bout. The Bulldogs are winless this season, and it showed as the Huskies powered their way to a duals sweep.

Moore hit the mats first again and posted the first win for NIU with a 3-1 decision over Citadel’s first-year Dazjon Casto in the 165 weight class.

Wilson powered his way to a second pin victory of the day, this time against first-year Kyle Kretzer at the 4:50 minute mark. Feldkamp chipped into the lead with a pin victory against junior Martin Duane in the 184 weight class.

The Bulldogs took the 197 weight class matchup when senior Sawyer Root put The Citadel on the scoreboard with a 6-3 decision victory over redshirt sophomore Max Ihry.

The Huskies’ dominance continued throughout the dual when they took victories in the next six matchups, including Gossett’s 10-1 major decision victory over junior Michael McAleavey.

Jeffery overpowered senior Charles Kearney in a 18-3 technical fall victory at the seven-minute mark.

Redshirt first-year Drew West added another victory for the Huskies with a pin over sophomore Ethan Phillips at the 1:02 minute mark.

NIU will be back in action this weekend as they prepare to host the University of Missouri Friday and Ohio University Sunday. Both are Mid-Atlantic Conference matches, and Sunday will be the Huskies’ last home matches of the season.