Wrestling falls short to Buffalo


Brad Dieckhaus

By Mike Romor

NIU wrestling came up short against Buffalo, 23-14, Saturday at Victor E. Court in its last dual of the regular season.

Izzy Montemayor, Brad Dieckhaus and Mike Lukowski were honored prior to the matches on Senior Day.

NIU (8-9, 0-5 MAC) fell behind early, dropping the first three matches of the dual. After Buffalo took a 10-0 lead into the 149 match, NIU’s Shawn Fayette momentarily stunned the Bulls (6-14, 1-4 MAC) with the most lopsided result of the day. Fayette dominated from start to end, earning an 18-3 technical fall in the final seconds of the match to bring NIU back into the dual, 10-5.

“We moved him up a weight class from 141 to 149,” said NIU coach Ryan Ludwig. “He’s a tough, good wrestler. I thought he had the performance of the day. His offense was non-stop, he worked hard on top and he knew he needed bonus points and he was able to get them with ten seconds left in the match. He got it done today with a huge win.”

In their last matches as Huskies, Dieckhaus and Lukowski showed their strengths as both grapplers earned decisive victories at 184 and 197 respectively. After vowing to improve his top work over the offseason, Dieckhaus showed his work has paid off while notching 4:33 of riding time in an 8-1 decision.

The win gave Dieckhaus an undefeated 11-0 record for the regular season, becoming the first Huskie to accomplish that feat since Neal McDonald posted 13 wins in an undefeated 1964-1965 campaign.

“It was a pretty big deal, being the last match here at NIU,” Dieckhaus said. “I was just trying to stay focused on what I needed to execute to win the match. There were some mixed emotions, sad and happy. Wearing red and black has been a blessing. It’s been good times and bad times.”

Buffalo head coach Jim Beichner was proud with his team’s effort after a lengthy, disappointing 2011-2012 campaign. The victory was the 150th of Beichner’s career at Buffalo.

“We wrestled pretty well,” Beichner said. “I think we won a couple matches that, on paper, we weren’t favored to win and that was the difference. Our team has had a pretty difficult year and for us to come here a long way from home and wrestle well, it was a good team performance. I’m really happy for the team.”