Wrestling falls to Eastern Michigan


Junior Jared Torrence looks up for advice from the coaching staff during a match in the wrestling meet Saturday versus Eastern Michigan, he went on to win his match.

By Rick Green

Wrestling was unable to snap its conference losing streak this weekend with matches against Eastern Michigan (7-10, 1-2 MAC) and Missouri (9-1, 1-1 MAC).

The Huskies (7-7, 0-5 MAC) fell 22-17 in a hard-fought dual against EMU.

After losing the first match, the Huskies won three matches in a row against the Eagles. Junior Nick Smith, redshirt junior Kevin Fanta and junior Rob Jillard halted the victories for NIU.

The dual against the Eagles turned in the last match of first half where, at 157 pounds, freshman Andrew Morse was pinned by Eastern Michigan’s Aaron Sulzer with 52 seconds left in the first period. The six-point victory turned the Huskies’ lead to just one point, 10-9.

The Eagles won three of the dual’s last five matches, one by a major decision that gave four points to the team score, and yet another pin.

NIU head coach Ryan Ludwig said he felt his team should have come out with the victory against the Eagles and that the bonus points from pins and major decisions played a huge role in the outcome.

“A team like Eastern Michigan, we should of owned that dual,” Ludwig said. “But if you look up and add up the bonus points–I mean, the difference was seven points there. The matches where we got pinned made the ultimate difference.”

In Saturday’s second dual, the University of Missouri Tigers showed why they’re the seventh-ranked team in the country, beating the Huskies 39-3.

In a dominating victory, Missouri picked up three wins by pin, major decision and decision.

NIU’s lone victory against the Tigers came when Fanta picked up his second victory on the day against Missouri’s Nicholas Hucke, 6-1.

Fanta said the preparation for the match was key in helping him earn his second victory on the day.

“I think it was my mindset going into it,” Fanta said. “I just felt confident, energetic and that worked and I just wore him down with that.”

In the dual’s last match, NIU heavyweight Jared Torrence almost upset the nation’s top-ranked heavyweight, Dom Bradley, losing 2-1 on riding time.

Representatives for both Missouri and Eastern Michigan were unavailable for comment following the duals.