NIU wrestling: Huskies need ‘total team effort’ against Kent State

By Frank Gogola

What’s happening

Wrestling (9-10, 1-4 MAC) will look to string together wins for the first time since a 3-0 day Nov. 29 when it takes on the Kent State Golden Flashes (7-12, 3-4 MAC) 6 p.m. Friday at the M.A.C. Center in Kent, Ohio.


The Huskies are coming off their first MAC dual win of the season. They beat the Eastern Michigan Eagles, 21-12, Friday in DeKalb.

The Golden Flashes enter their final home dual on a two-match losing streak and have dropped five of their last six duals. Their last win came against Eastern Michigan, 25-9, Jan. 30 in Kent, Ohio.

Four Golden Flashes were ranked in the latest MAC Coaches Rankings, released Feb. 6. Junior Mark McGuire was ranked No. 3 at 133 pounds, junior Ian Miller topped the 157-pound list, redshirt senior Caleb Marsh ranked No. 3 at 174 and sophomore Mimmo Lytle came in at No. 4 at 285 pounds. Miller is also ranked No. 4 at 157 pounds in the NCAA Coaches Panel.

On the Huskies’ side, junior Andrew Morse was ranked No. 3 at 157 pounds and redshirt sophomore Shawn Scott came in at No. 3 in the 197-pound class.

Dual to watch

The 157-pound dual will pit the MAC’s No. 1 wrestler, Kent State junior Ian Miller, against the No. 3 wrestler, NIU’s Andrew Morse. Miller is 10-2 in dual matches and 6-1 in the MAC, and Morse is 12-6 in dual matches and 3-2 in the MAC.

Last meeting

The Golden Flashes squeaked out a 19-18 victory when they came to DeKalb Feb. 8, 2014. The Huskies and Golden Flashes were tied 18-18 after 10 matches, but Kent State won on criteria of winning six matches to the Huskies’ four. NIU picked up two victories by pin and two wins by decision.

The quotes

“We’re going to have to take the same approach we did this past Friday, and that’s committed to a total team effort, every man knowing his role, knowing his job and putting his full effort out there for a full seven minutes,” said head coach Ryan Ludwig. “There’s not a second in any match where you can take a break or lose focus. And if we’re able to do that and bring our best effort to the mat, I’m confident” we’ll win.

The Golden Flashes “are a really talented team,” Ludwig said. “They’ve got several returning national qualifiers on that team. What that means to us is that means a lot of great opportunities for us to move up in the MAC rankings and the national rankings.”

“I think we’re peaking at the right time,” said senior Derek Elmore (125). “Yeah, we still have some improvement, some mistakes to work on. In the room and [at] the dual meets on the mats I can see, like as a senior, the team’s getting better and better.”

“I feel like we’re at a really high level,” said senior Tyler Argue (141). “Everybody’s wrestling real good right now at a real high pace. I still think we got a little bit of ways to go just until we get to exactly where we want to be, but we’re like this close from it.”