IU wrestling will have its hands full this weekend, facing No. 18 Rutgers on Friday and No. 25 Stanford University on Saturday.
IU currently sits at 4-9 and 1-5 in the Big Ten, while Rutgers and Stanford have records of 9-5 and 7-1, respectively.
Despite the success that Rutgers and Stanford have had this season, IU Head Coach Angel Escobedo said he is confident that his team can go toe-to-toe with the top-flight competition.
“We match up pretty well against both teams.” Escobedo said. “It’s a good opportunity for us to go out there and compete at a high level and have a chance at winning.”
Upsetting both teams would certainly be a boost of energy for the team heading into the tail end of the season. Its last two competitions have been losses to top-ranked Penn State and Purdue.
It will be crucial for IU to take advantage of being in its home gym. This weekend marks the third and fourth competitions held at the new Wilkinson Hall.
While grabbing a few wins this weekend is a possibility from the Hoosiers, they’ll need some help from their seniors to do it.
Seniors Jake Danishek and Bryce Martin lead the team in wins so far this season, with 15 each. The duo is a combined 30-16 on the season and 8-3 in Big Ten matchups.
Danishek did not wrestle against Penn State and used the extra week off to recovery fully from a minor injury.
This is only the second time all season IU has had two separate competitions in the same weekend. Escobedo has worked with his squad to get them ready for the extra workload.
He’s placed an emphasis on conditioning and diet, as well as knowing how to avoid overworking oneself before the second competition.
“It’s the preparation of nutrition and staying on top of your current weight.” Escobedo said. “There’s an importance to not get too out of hand since we’ve got to compete that next day.”
IU’s Friday matchup with Rutgers, as well as its Saturday matchup with Stanford, will begin at 7 p.m.