Hoosiers finally get to grapple for home audience

The IU wrestling team finally has a chance to perform before a home crowd at University Gym on Friday. The Hoosiers will take on Northwestern to open the Big Ten season. This will be the second home match of the season for the Hoosiers, who took on Gardner Webb and Cumberland Dec. 19 in Bloomington. But this will be the first with a crowd since most students weren't in town for their home opener. And the team could not have been more excited.\n"We're going to win," said redshirt freshman Max Dean. "I know they're good and I respect them, but I just don't see us losing at home."\nIU will certainly have their hands full against a Northwestern team ranked ahead of them in some polls. The young Wildcats, featuring four freshmen and three sophomores, are led by Jake Herbert, a up-and-coming freshman who is a perfect 16-0 on the season wrestling at 174 pounds. \nIU will try to rebound from last weekend's loss to Nebraska in the finals of the Virginia Duals. They hope that the tough schedule early on will help them against what is by far the most dominant conference in college wrestling. Nine teams are currently ranked in the top twenty.\n"We feel pretty confident," said junior Andy Rios. "We've wrestled a tougher schedule than last year and we're ready. We've already forgotten about the loss."\nOn Saturday, the Hoosiers will travel up Interstate 37 to take part in the Indianapolis Duals with Division II Indianapolis and NAIA schools Missouri Baptist and McKendree College.\nThe Greyhounds are 0-3, but feature top-ranked Mitch Napier at 157 pounds and No. 4 Shane Perkey at 133. Missouri Baptist is 1-9 and McKendree is 0-1.\nWith such a short turnaround, coach Duane Goldman will try to rest some of his starters. "We'll probably have a few new faces," Goldman said. "Most of our starters will wrestle, but we want to get some guys experienced."\nDean said the team would be ready.\n"You don't wrestle your best, you open a door," he said. "And I don't want to open any doors."\n-- Contact Staff Writer Andrew Petersen at

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