Inconsistency dooms wrestlers at Missouri

Instead of asking for a full-time assistant coach, perhaps NIU wrestling boss Ed Vatch would prefer to see a psychologist added to his staff.

In Sunday’s triple dual at the University of Missouri Hearnes Center Arena, the Huskies lost a 36-9 contest to the host Mizzou Tigers, but almost pulled off an upset of Indiana University. NIU was a 25-20 loser on the scoreboard, but subtracting 12 points in forfeits, Vatch’s crew was seven points better than the Hoosiers on the mat.

“Our biggest problem was consistency. With the tri-dual format, you alternate weight classes and opponents and two mats. One match, we’d look real good, the next match we wouldn’t look sharp at all,” Vatch admitted.

“If we could have been a little more consistent, we really could have beaten Indiana. I can’t figure it out,” Vatch continued. “The matches we won, we were very aggressive. Then the next time out we’d look as if we were actually overconfident and not go as hard. Maybe a psychologist could explain it.”

Against Missouri, NIU did gain six points on a forfeit with 177-pounder Courtney Pitter accounting for the other three points with his 5-4 decision over Steve Nuhn.

Shannon Gregory gave NIU a 3-0 lead with his 4-1 triumph at18-pounds and Bill Walsh upped the ante with a 17-6 major decision in the 134-pound bout. Indiana reclaimed the lead with six forfeit points at 142 and edged ahead 13-8 with a win at 150.

T.C. Dantzler got a major decision at 158 to pull the Huskies back to within one, 13-12. Pitter battled his Hoosier opponent to a draw making the tally 19-14 before Mel Heckman pinned his 190-pound foe in 2:33 for a 20-19 NIU lead. Unfortunately, the NIU forfeit at heavyweight produced the winning margin for Indiana.

Missouri improved to 7-6-0 with the win over NIU and a 22-20 triumph over Indiana. The split gave the Hoosiers a 5-10-0 ledger while the Huskies slipped to 2-15-0.