After dropping its home opener against Illinois on Jan. 10, IU wrestling will look to take down No. 3 Michigan at noon Sunday in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
IU head coach Angel Escobedo said the message this week has been to be resilient after the loss. He said the team has put in a good week of training and they’ve been vocal and calling each other out during practice.
“They don’t want that to ever happen again, and I can see it,” Escobedo said. “We’re going to see against Michigan. It’s a really great opportunity.”
Escobedo said hand fighting was an area the Hoosiers needed to improve on against the Wolverines and they’ve been working on being more aggressive this week in practice. Getting out hand fought against Illinois meant the team had to be on the defensive and wasn’t able to attack, Escobedo said.
“I’m getting our guys to understand what being aggressive is and so hopefully it will translate,” Escobedo said. “Obviously it’s going to take some time and we’re going to continue to do these drills, but now they know what we expect out of them as far as being aggressive.”
As a team, the Wolverines have dominated in their first two matches on the road. Michigan took down No. 15 Rutgers 26-10 in its opener Jan. 8 and beat down Maryland 38-3 two days later. IU will look to pick up its first win of the season in Michigan’s home opener, against a team IU hasn’t beat since 2010.
Six Wolverine wrestlers are coming into the match ranked, including freshman Dylan Ragusin, who was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week last week and moved up to No. 10 in the country in the 125-pound weight class. Ragusin is set to take on IU’s senior Brock Hudkins, who fell to No. 12 in the country after a 3-1 loss to Illinois’ sophomore Justin Cardini.
No. 28 sophomore DJ Washington, IU’s lone winner from the Illinois dual meet, is set to take on Logan Massa in the 174-pound weight class. Massa, ranked No. 2 in the country, is 2-0 this season and has won both of his matches by major decision.
No. 26 sophomore Nick South will match up with No. 19 redshirt freshman Cameron Amine in the 165-pound weight class. After losing by technical fall against No. 11 sophomore Danny Braunagel from Illinois, South will look to hand Amine his first loss of the season after starting 2-0.
Sophomore Matt Ortiz is set to make his first appearance for IU this season, facing off with his former Montini Catholic High School teammate No. 10 Will Lewan in the 157-pound weight class. Junior Kyle Luigs and sophomore Asa Garcia are also set to make their first appearances for IU this season in either the 133-pound and 141-pound weight classes, along with junior Rudy Streck at heavyweight.
IU’s lineup will be rounded out by 149-pound sophomore Luke Baughman, 184-pound freshman Drayton Harris and 197-pound sophomore Nick Willham against Michigan on Sunday. The meet will be broadcasted on BTN Plus.