IU wrestling went 0-2 in its first Big Ten Conference competitions this season, falling on the road against Michigan State and Michigan.
The Hoosiers narrowly lost their home opener Friday night to the Spartans by a score of 16-15. The loss marked Michigan State’s second-straight dual competition win over IU.
Last season was a narrow loss as well for IU, with the Spartans coming out on top 18-15 back in January.
Senior Bryce Martin put IU up 12-6 early with a decision victory, but the lead was quickly cut down by junior Drew Hughes of Michigan State. His major decision win brought the Spartans within arm’s length of the Hoosiers, at a score of 12-10.
Despite solid outings from junior Jake Danishek and seniors Fletcher Miller and Martin, it just wasn’t enough to overcome the Spartans and their aggressive offense.
Although the loss, IU will likely be seen as a disappointment, it does prove IU is capable of being competitive against other teams in the conference.
With the Big Ten being the dominant force in the world of college wrestling, matchups against teams like Michigan State should be looked at as opportunities for IU. If IU can pick off some wins against these lower-tiered conference opponents, they’ll be well on their way to correcting last season’s 0-9 Big Ten record.
But unfortunately for IU, Sunday's opponent, Michigan is not one of those lower-tiered teams. As the fifth-ranked team in the nation, the Wolverines handed IU a 32-7 loss in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Michigan had the upper hand from the start in this one, jumping out to an early 14-0 lead with a technical fall at 149 pounds from Malik Amine.
The Hoosiers never recovered.
This one didn’t go as hoped for IU, but there were still some promising results for the team. Danishek won his 11th match of the year, as well as his fourth major decision of the season. Miller continued his strong showing from Friday, and ended the weekend with two wins of his own.
After starting its Big Ten season 0-2, IU’s next shot at Big Ten competition will be Jan. 11 when Ohio State heads to Bloomington.
The Hoosiers get to head down south to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for their next competition, the South Beach Duals, Dec. 29 and 30.