The IU wrestling team will travel to the Michigan State Open on Saturday for the start of its 2019-20 campaign.
IU will send wrestlers to clash in individual tournaments based on weight class, with a tally of each being added toward an overall team score.
A total of 21 teams are set to take part in the event, including a variety of Big Ten programs. Conference foes Michigan, Purdue, Ohio State and Illinois will all be competing in the tournament.
Junior Jake Covaciu placed first in the Edinboro open last year and said he hopes to continue his progress in tournaments this year.
“We want to bring excitement to the Indiana wrestling program,” Covaciu said. “I’m going to go out there every match and give it my all. I know that I’m prepared. I know that I have coaches and teammates that support me, so I'm just going to go out there and compete.”
The early season tournaments provide an opportunity for wrestlers to gain experience before heading into a Big Ten conference schedule when IU will face five ranked opponents, according to Flo Wrestling.
The open is the first of five customary early season tune-ups that the Hoosiers will compete in before the start of conference Jan. 10 when they welcome in Iowa.
Last season, IU placed second as a team in the Navy Classic in Annapolis, Maryland.
IU head coach Angel Escobedo is excited about the prospects of a new year and said he hopes to build off of last season's success.
“I think we’re going to do really big things,” Escobedo said. “I can see the program growing and going in the right direction.