Wrestling takes loss in first home contest

By Raven Boyd

Wrestling (2-3, 0-1 MAC) took a loss against undefeated Central Michigan (3-0, 1-0 MAC) in its home opener Thursday.

Redshirt senior Shawn Scott, ranked 16th in the nation, brought home the Huskies’ only win of the night. Scott secured his 10th win of the season, defeating the Chippewas’ 197-pound senior Jackson Lewis in a 5-3 decision.

Central Michigan, ranked 19th in the nation, won 39-3 after taking an early lead over the Huskies in the first period.

NIU freshman Steve Bleise, ranked 15th in his weight class, matched up against reigning MAC Champion Zach Horan, ranked 14th in the nation, in the only ranked contest of the night. Horan defeated Bleise late in the first period to give Central Michigan a 13-0 lead. Horan was the first to be taken down in the match, but pulled out the win after taking advantage of a scramble and pinning Bleise in two minutes and four seconds.

“Overall, we didn’t wrestle poorly tonight,” said head coach Ryan Ludwig, according to an NIU Athletics news release. “The effort was there. We enjoy wrestling the very best and having teams like this on our schedule.”

Ludwig attributed the loss to “some bad moments” that swayed parts of the match in Central Michigan’s favor.

Other competing Huskies included redshirt sophomores Alijah Jeffery, Austin Eicher and Chris Garcia. Upperclassmen Quinton Rosser, Austin Culton, Trace Engelkes and Arthur Bunce competed as well, all taking losses.

The Huskies will move on and prepare for a non-conference matchup against Grand Canyon at 2 p.m. Dec. 19 in Phoenix.