Wrestling bested by Buffalo rally

Huskies unable to seal victory Saturday, drop final two matches to MAC rival Buffalo.


Courtesy of UB Athletics

Redshirt senior Brit Wilson assumes top position over Buffalo redshirt junior Pete Acciardi in Saturday’s dual against the University at Buffalo at Alumni Arena in Buffalo, New York. Wilson won the matchup by decision 5-0 to put NIU ahead 15-11 before the Huskies lost the final two matches to seal a 17-15 loss. (Paul Hokanson | UB Athletics)

DeKALB — The NIU wrestling team faced off against Mid-American Conference rival University at Buffalo Bulls Saturday afternoon in a back-and-forth match that ended with the Huskies losing narrowly 17-15 to the Bulls.

Redshirt senior Bryce West (left) engages with Buffalo sophomore Tristan Daughterty during Saturday’s dual against the Buffalo Bulls. West defeated Daugherty 4-1 in the first match of the day to put NIU ahead early. (Paul Hokanson/UB Athletics)

The Huskies and the Bulls split the first four matches of the dual. Redshirt senior Bryce West picked up a 4-1 win against Buffalo sophomore Tristian Daugherty in the first match of the afternoon. The Bulls won the next two matches along with a tech fall with Buffalo graduate student Derek Spann defeating sophomore Lucian Brink 17-2 and Buffalo redshirt senior Ben Freeman defeating junior Javion Jones 3-2 to make the official score 8-3.

Senior Anthony Cheloni was able to come away with a 1-0 victory against Buffalo graduate student John Arceri. It was a battle to the end as Cheloni was only able to come away with the victory by gaining a point from an escape that came late in the second period. This got the Huskies back in the match, now only trailing the Bulls 8-6.

Buffalo won the next match to make the score 11-6. The Huskies went on a run by winning the next three matches to take the lead 15-11. Redshirt junior Izzak Olejnik won in a shutout 4-0, redshirt senior Mason Kauffman won a tough match against Buffalo redshirt freshman Jay Nivison 5-4, and redshirt senior Brit Wilson won in a 5-0 shutout to give the Huskies all the momentum heading into the last two matches. 

“Our guys wrestled hard all day,” head coach Ryan Ludwig said in an NIU Athletics press release. “It was good to see us rally from an early hole to win some important matches down the stretch.”

With the Huskies holding the lead, all the Huskies had to do was win one of the final two matches. Buffalo did not give up as the Bulls went on to win the final two matches. Bulls redshirt sophomore Sam Mitchell defeated senior Tristian Guaman 7-2 and Bulls redshirt senior Toby Cahill defeated sophomore Colin Jagielski 5-2 to give the Bulls the victory in the dual with a final score of 17-15.

The Huskies are now on a two-game losing streak and look to put an end to it at noon on Feb. 13 against Northwestern University in Evanston.