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Saturday, March 2
The Indiana Daily Student

sports wrestling

Wrestling team to open season with Eastern Michigan tournament

The IU Wrestling team will embark on its first meet of the season in Ypsilanti, Mich., this Saturday to compete in the Eastern Michigan Open.

The tournament is open to any collegiate wrestler. The Hoosiers will have both attached and unattached wrestlers competing.

The squad will also appear younger this year, as five starters graduated from last spring’s squad.

“We have a lot of new faces,” IU Coach Duane Goldman said. “We’re probably going to start five freshmen and three sophomores this year.”

The team is dealing with a few minor injuries and seasonal sicknesses, and sophomore Zach Zimmer, who wrestles at 125 pounds, is not expected to wrestle at the tournament after suffering a minor injury in practice, Goldman said.

The wrestlers are hoping the tournament will better prepare them for the conference season, Goldman said.

“It’s the first tournament of the year, so there’ll be several Big Ten schools there as well as several other D1 universities from all over the place,” Goldman said. “Every year it’s a pretty tough tournament. It’s going to be a challenge. But it’s also an opportunity for our guys, hopefully, to get a lot of matches in.”

The biggest challenge the team faces will be simply getting experience with a young team, Goldman said.

“With things like our improved facilities, our recruiting has picked up, so we have a lot of talent on the team, but it’s just young,” Goldman said. “It’s going to be a challenging year.”

Senior Matt Powless finished first at 197 pounds in last year’s tournament and is eager to see how the team stands this year and where its needs improvement.

“I’m a little nervous. First tournament of the year,” Powless said. “You obviously don’t know what bugs you’ve got to fix and that’s what we’re going to find out this weekend: what’s wrong with us as a team and what’s wrong with me individually.”

Senior Matt Ortega placed second in the tournament last year at 133 pounds but will bump up this season to the 141 pound weight class.

“I feel pretty good,” Ortega said. “It should be a good warm-up for the season coming up.”

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