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Wednesday, Feb. 21
The Indiana Daily Student

sports wrestling

Wrestlers face another stiff test in Michigan


As it approaches the halfway mark of the conference season, the No. 20 IU wrestling team still finds itself winless in Big Ten action having wrestled three top-15 conference foes.

Perhaps the fourth time will be the charm this weekend, as No. 12 Michigan comes to town.

“It’s a tough test,” IU coach Duane Goldman said. “They’re another top team. It will be a challenge.”

As opposed to previous matches, where IU’s opponent has featured as many as eight ranked wrestlers, both teams on Sunday will have four grapplers ranked in the most recent Intermat rankings.

Two weight classes will feature matchups of ranked wrestlers, and both will be rematches from earlier this season. Junior Matt Powless defeated the Wolverines’ Anthony Biondo 8-3 at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational at 197 pounds, while graduate student Ricky Alcala lost to Ben Apland at heavyweight 2-0 at the Southern Scuffle.

“Hopefully we can rise to the occasion and pull off some upsets,” Goldman said. “If you go with the favorites, they’re favored at most of the weights, but I think we can compete pretty well in there and hopefully do well. We’ve been practicing well. We’ll see what happens.”

Michigan will certainly be favored at 141 pounds, where they feature Kellen Russell, the top-ranked wrestler in the nation at that weight.

The IU team, meanwhile, is not yet sure who it will be sending out to face him. True freshman Mitchell Richey, the regular starter at the weight, was replaced by sophomore Geno Capezio on Sunday against Penn State due to a nagging injury. There is a similar case at 165 pounds, where redshirt freshman Ryan LeBlanc sat out in place of sophomore Ryan Konz.

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