IU wrestling will face the No. 1 team in the country Sunday, as Penn State heads to Bloomington.
The Nittany Lions are 7-0 this season, while the Hoosiers have a record of 4-8 in their dual competitions.
IU Head Coach Angel Escobedo said he wants his athletes focused for the competition. To become a team of Penn State’s caliber, he believes the standards set for his squad need to be high.
“If you want to be an All-American, you’ve got to beat guys that are ranked that high,” Escobedo said. “If we focus on the things we do well, the rest will take care of itself.”
The Hoosiers do have some momentum heading into this weekend’s bout.
The team returns to Wilkinson Hall for its second competition in the brand-new arena. Expect them to try and ride that fresh wave of energy from the home crowd in the new environment.
In the season’s first NCAA coaches rankings, released this week, four Hoosiers found a place on the list. Senior Bryce Martin at 22, Sophomore Jake Covaciu at 25, Senior Jake Danishek at 27 and Junior Garrett Pepple at 29.
Danishek is also the Big Ten Co-Wrestler of the Week after winning eight of his last 11 matchups.
Martin thinks the team is ready for a big matchup, and has been focusing on coming out with high energy.
“We’re always motivated when it’s a big opponent, doesn’t matter who it is,” Martin said. “We’re focused on high effort and scoring as many points as possible.”
There will be a matchup between old friends this weekend as well.
IU redshirt freshman Kyle Luigs will wrestle his former high school teammate sophomore Nick Lee at 141 pounds.
The Wilkinson Hall matchup with start at 1 p.m. Sunday.
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