Who: Northern Iowa vs Northern Illinois
Date: Friday, January 8th, 2016
Time: 7PM (CST)
Location: Victor E. Court, DeKalb, Illinois
Video: NIUTube, for a fee
Online: Follow us on Twitter, @IAwrestle, for live updates
UNI Panthers 1-4 (0-2)
125- Leighton Gaul
133- #18 Josh Alber
141- Trevor Jauch
149- Jake Koethe or Jake Hodges
157- #20 Bryce Steiert
165- #8 Cooper Moore or Taylor Berger
174- Kyle Lux or Drew Foster
184- Cody Caldwell
197- Jared Bartel or Cody Krumweide
285- #15 Blaize Cabell
Northern Illinois Huskies 3-3 (0-1)
125- Alijah Jeffery
133- Austin Eicher
141- #15 Steve Bleise
149- Gabe Morse
157- Austin Culton or Andrew Scott
165- Shaun’Qae McMurtry
174- Trace Engelkes
184- Quinton Rosser
197- Shawn Scott
285- Arthur Bunce or Jake Cochrane
UNI continues it’s road trip with a short jump to DeKalb, Illinois to take on the Northern Illinois Huskies. NIU is coming off a 19th place finish at The Midlands, where they had two place winners in Trace Engelkes and Steve Bleise. Bleise finished second at 141 pounds and Engelkes finished eighth at 174.
The Panthers are coming off a disappointing trip to Eastern Michigan, where they fell to the Eagles 22-14. UNI had two top-ten ranked wrestlers out of that dual; Dylan Peters has been out since the Cliff Keen Invite with a knee injury and Cooper Moore was out after suffering a concussion at The Midlands.
The bad news is that Peters still doesn’t seem ready to go. The good news for Panther fans is that he’s not rushing back, and that hopefully he will be ready to go against Virginia Tech next week. The other piece of good news is that Cooper Moore is expected to be back in the lineup tonight, which will shore up the 165 pound weight class. Leighton Gaul will hold down the 125 pound spot, and he’ll take on former Linn-Mar standout Alijah Jeffery for NIU.
#15 Blaize Cabell continues to dominate MAC opponents, as he scored a 9-3 victory of the new number two heavyweight in the MAC, EMU’s Gage Hutchinson. Cabell is always looking to score bonus points and those potentially could come in big in the dual tonight.
At 141 pounds Trevor Jauch will face a tough test as he takes on #15 Steve Bleise. As I said earlier Bleise is coming off a second place finish at The Midlands, where he lost to the outstanding wrestler of the tournament in Andrew Long. This will be a good test for Jauch to see where he stands with one of the better wrestlers in the MAC.
The two youngest members of the Panther Train will look to build on their resumes, as they both secured dual victories last Wednesday. At 133 pounds Josh Alber will take on another redshirt freshmen in Austin Eicher. True freshman Bryce Steiert will take on one of two sophomores, either Austin Culton or Andrew Scott. I would expect both Panthers to be favored in their matches.
Just like the dual against Eastern Michigan, this will be an important dual for UNI in terms of keeping pace with the best of the conference. The MAC is one of the toughest conferences out there in college wrestling, and the Panthers need to get that first win under their belts this year, especially because their upcoming schedule is really tough. We’ll have live results from DeKalb tonight, so be sure to check by here frequently for updates!