Wrestling to host Buffalo this weekend

Mike Romor

NIU wrestling will host Buffalo at home Sunday to end its regular season.

The Huskies (8-8. 0-4 MAC) are fresh off back-to-back wins during last weekend’s homestand. NIU coach Ryan Ludwig hopes his team can continue its success in a dual that will influence the seeding for the MAC tournament, which is set to take place March 4.

“They’re all very important matches,” Ludwig said. “I think up and down the lineup, from 125 to heavyweight, that all of these matches carry MAC rankings significance, and in some cases, national ranking significance. Our guys are ready for the dual and ready to battle.”

Buffalo (5-14, 0-4 MAC) will come to DeKalb riding a three-dual skid with its last win coming Jan. 14 against The Citadel.

Despite a main focus of preparing for the MAC Championships, the Huskies would love to finish the regular season with an above .500 winning percentage in Ludwig’s first season as head coach, and for the first time since their 2007-2008 campaign.

“I can’t even remember the last time NIU wrestling had a dual-meet record of above .500,” Ludwig said. “I think it would be a significant win for us a team.”

The main storyline Sunday is at 184, where NIU’s Brad Dieckhaus is undefeated heading into the match, 10-0. Dieckhaus missed parts of the season with knee and ankle injuries, but has come back strong after both absences.

Also coming into the match on a tear are Kevin Fanta and Jared Torrence at 141 and 285 respectively.

Fanta is undefeated in his last seven matches, bringing his record to 12-3. His last loss was Dec. 30, 2011 against Northwestern’s Colin Shober.

Torrence won his last four decisions, making it the longest winning-streak of his collegiate career. This season, despite his 13-10 record, Torrence amassed 51 points for the Huskies, sacrificing 36.

“I’m pleased with the way they have all progressed,” Ludwig said. “These are the guys that we talk about on a daily basis who are buying into the things that we’re coaching. They wrestle a very solid, physical style and they make their opponents make the mistake. It’s what we preach here and they do it well.”