Wrestling goes 0-2 at home


Redshirt junior Caleb Busson (right) faces off with North Dakota State’s Kurtis Julson Saturday in the Convocation Center.

By Mike Romor

Wrestling hosted the Northern Duals, but did not reach the goals it had hoped to achieve.

NIU (2-4, 0-1 MAC) dropped both of the weekend’s duals, including its matchup against No. 17 Northern Iowa.

Opening against one of the best programs in the MAC, NIU won just two of its 10 matches against UNI (2-0, 1-0), losing 32-6.

“I was disappointed in our intensity and competitive fire in the first dual,” said head coach Ryan Ludwig. “They came out and beat us to the punch in every match that we gave to them, and that was the story of the dual.”

Redshirt freshman Gabe Morse, 149, and redshirt senior Jared Torrence, 285, were the victorious Huskies. Morse won the battle over Gunnar Wolfensperger, 8-7, while Torrence won a 4-2 decision over Blaize Cabell.

“[The heavyweight class] is traditionally tough in our conference, and Jared wrestled a very tough, very athletic opponent from Northern Iowa,” Ludwig said. “Jared dominated the match, and I was really proud of him getting off to a great start in conference action.”

NIU received a more competitive performance from its lineup in its dual against North Dakota State (1-2), but lost 21-16.

NIU’s Braun Marquez dropped his match at 125, but Nick Smith bounced back from his loss against Northern Iowa to defeat Clay Cathey, 7-3.

At 141, Tyler Argue dominated Devin Wolf from the start, winning by technical fall, 17-1.

Morse became the only Huskie to win both of his matches on the day, earning a 9-7 decision over Tyler Diamond. The two victories put Morse at 5-4 on the season.

The score was 11-3 in NIU’s favor, but North Dakota State’s strong core of middleweights mowed through NIU, giving the Bison an 18-11 lead.

Andrew Morse, who had been the hottest Huskie coming into the weekend, was pinned in his second loss of the day.

“There was a nine-point swing at 157,” Ludwig said. “Not to fault Andrew Morse, but we got caught in a throw there, where we were being aggressive and looking to execute a takedown, and the kid launched us through and stuck us. Instead of getting three on the board for us, we gave them six. That let them back in the dual.”

At 197, Shawn Scott gave NIU some hope to retake the match, earning a technical fall over Colt Castlebury, 21-4.

“We talked about stepping up and getting back in the dual, and I thought Shawn did a great job of that,” Ludwig said. “Shawn bounced back [from a loss] and did the things he’s capable of doing. When he’s in a scoring mindset and taking shots in attack mode, that’s when he’s at his best.”

Torrence delivered a strong performance, but NCAA qualifier Evan Knutson won in sudden victory, clinching the Bison win.