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Tuesday, Feb. 27
The Indiana Daily Student

sports wrestling

Hoosier wrestlers head to North Carolina to face trio of opponents

The Hoosiers will face three teams Sunday in North Carolina.

The team will first travel to Raleigh, N.C., to compete against North Carolina State at 9 a.m. The team will then wrestle Virginia Military Institute at 11 a.m. The team will have a short break as it travels to Boiling Springs, N.C., to finish the day with a match against Gardner-Webb at 7 p.m.

“We’ll be taking a break from Big Ten competition,” IU Coach Duane Goldman said. “But we’ll be meeting a good ACC school with North Carolina State.”

North Carolina State has a season record of 4-6 and the No. 11 Darrius Little in the 141-pound weight class.

“I have a pretty tough match coming up with NC State,” senior Matt Ortega said. “I’m going to be wrestling against a guy who’s ranked pretty high. I’m definitely excited to wrestle him.”

The wrestlers said they hope to gain experience as they wrestle VMI and Gardner-Webb.

“We’re looking to also have other good matches to continue to give our guys some national exposure and help them become ready for the Big Ten tournament and qualify for nationals,” Goldman said.

The Hoosiers have an all-time series record of 3-0 with VMI, dating back to their first meeting in 1929. IU also has an all-time series record of 6-0 with Gardner-Webb, dating back to 2003.

To prepare for the weekend ahead of them, the team focused on endurance and earning points in practice.

“We’re wrestling hard in practice and just really paying close attention to finishing as well as earning riding time,” Ortega said.

Ortega said the team has had some slight problems in the past with letting its opponents up instead of taking advantage of earning points for riding time. The team is also using this weekend to set itself in the right direction for the future.

“We’ve been wrestling pretty well lately, and we’ve had some tough losses, but we’ve been wrestling better,” Goldman said. “I’ve been pushing them a little more to continue down the line to be more aggressive and wrestle with more confidence.”

After this weekend, IU’s season will near a close. IU will face Northwestern for its final meet before the Big Ten Championships on March 3 and 4. Following the Big Ten Championships, those eligible will go to the NCAA Championships.

“I think this weekend will be a good confidence booster with our meet with Northwestern,” Ortega said. “I think we’re matched up really well with them, and I think we’re going to win if we wrestle the way we’re supposed to.”

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