IU wrestling will have its first chance to compete in front of its home crowd Friday night against Northern Illinois University.
The team is coming off a pair of strong showings against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and at the Navy Classic, so the team will look to ride that momentum into its home opener.
Senior Jake Danishek said the team is ready to finally get out in front of its fans, and he said he sees competing at home as a new chapter of the season.
“For all the other seniors like myself, it’s exciting to be able to get out there in home territory,” Danishek said. “Your last home opener is a big one, and we’re all dialed in.”
Friday will mark the second season in a row the Hoosiers have faced off against the Huskies. IU won the competition handily last year with a score of 33-6.
The Hoosiers have found more success as the season has gone on, and Coach Angel Escobedo said he has loved the progress he’s seen from his team.
“Our progression plan has really started to show some results for the guys,” Escobedo said. “They’ve been training hard, and you can tell they’ve really made some strides in the last few weeks.”
As the team gets deeper into its schedule, Escobedo has preached the importance of conditioning to make sure his wrestlers are ready for the months ahead.
Even if they can’t overpower an opponent, they’re hoping to take advantage of that conditioning work to outperform other teams when things get tiring.
The meet will start at 7 p.m. and will be IU’s only competition at home until mid-January.
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The 1979 Hoosier team went 32-14 and finished the season tied for fifth in the country.
Lander was ranked as the No. 17 draft prospect while Jackson-Davis was slotted at No. 29.
The IU men’s team picked up 10 All-American accolades, while two individuals on the women’s team were tabbed as All-Americans.