____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Fresh off their first conference victory of the season, the IU wrestling team members return to the familiar position of underdog when it travels to No. 25 Illinois at 7 p.m. today in a dual meet.IU head coach Duane Goldman said he expects a closely-contested dual that the Hoosiers, despite not being favored, can still win.“There are a number of matches we can be in,” Goldman said. “We’re going to need to win them to come away with a victory.”One such match that may yield a major sway in the overall outcome is at 125 pounds, as IU freshman Justin Brooks, coming off a win against Michigan State, faces freshman Logan Arlis. With no matchups pitting two ranked wrestlers against each other, matches at 125, 165, 174 and 184 pounds with unranked wrestlers could likely determine the overall outcome.Another matchup of unranked foes could be at 149 pounds if senior Kurt Kinser is unable to go for the Hoosiers, as he was against Michigan State. Sophomore Geno Capezio would likely fill in again, if necessary.Kinser is not helped by the quick turnaround between matches for the Hoosiers. The team will close the season with three meets in eight days, including today’s meet with Illinois and another match against Purdue on Friday.“It’s a pretty quick turnaround,” Goldman said. “Making weight two days in a row is a pretty big challenge. We need to refocus and be ready to compete again. It’s good tournament preparation as well.”With the Big Ten tournament on the horizon, the matches this weekend also carry implications for the postseason.“It comes down to individual matchups as far as it will work out for seeding for various guys at various weights,” Goldman said. “It will affect their seeding in the Big Ten, which could determine whether or not their season continues at the nationals.”
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____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Favored for the first time this season in conference action, the IU wrestlers lived up to expectations.On Friday, the Hoosiers took seven of 10 matches and never trailed, defeating Michigan State 22-9 on Senior Night at University Gym.“It was good to get a Big Ten win,” IU coach Duane Goldman said. “We’ve wrestled some pretty tough competition. Michigan State does have a pretty good team this year. The dual meet was a lot like I foresaw. There were a lot of close matches, and we were fortunate to win a majority of those.”IU got off to a quick start as freshman Justin Brooks used a series of reversals to notch an 8-3 victory in the opening match.“We needed our lighter weights to come through,” Goldman said. “Even at 125 (pounds), that was sort of a toss-up. For Justin to come through and win that, sort of break the ice, was good for everybody.”A major decision by junior Matt Ortega at 133 pounds and a decision by true freshman Mitchell Richey at 141 pounds — the first conference wins of the year for each wrestler — put the team up 10-0. Ortega’s major decision produced the only bonus points for either team in the match.For the first time this season, senior Kurt Kinser did not take the mat for the Hoosiers at 149 pounds as he was forced to sit with an injury. Sophomore Geno Capezio, normally a 141 pound wrestler, filled in against No. 20 Dan Osterman. Capezio lost, but the 7-4 margin was close enough to not allow bonus points.“With Geno filling in for Kurt Kinser, he took that match right down to the wire against a ranked kid,” Goldman said. “He did a nice job of keeping it a competitive match and keeping us in the game.”Wins at 157 and 165 pounds gave IU a commanding 16-3 lead, though the Spartans pulled to within seven points with wins at 174 and 184 pounds. In the 174 pound match, IU senior Nick Avery sent the back-and-forth match to overtime with a takedown of Curran Jacobs seconds before the buzzer, though he eventually lost after allowing an escape in the third overtime period.Matt Powless’ 31st win of the year at 197 pounds clinched the match for IU.In the most anticipated match of the evening, featuring two ranked grapplers at heavyweight, graduate student Ricky Alcala scored a takedown in the second period to make the score 2-1. Alcala then defended against Michigan State’s No. 20 Joe Rizqallah in neutral for the entire third period to win the match 2-1.The dual was the final match at home this season for the Hoosiers, and a Senior Night ceremony took place before the meet.“We’re proud of (the seniors) and the effort they put in,” Goldman said. “Wrestling is a very tough sport. To put in five years in the room and to get to this point, I tip my hat off to them. We had a great crowd tonight. For Paul and Ricky to win was obviously a really neat thing. Even Nick Avery, Eric Cameron, they lost, they didn’t win their matches but they wrestled well.”The Hoosiers will look to build off of the win with back-to-back road matches Thursday and Friday against Illinois and Purdue, respectively, to close out the regular season.“We’re still trying get back where we want to be and where we think we can be,” Goldman said. “It’s not going to change the difficulty of what we have (left).”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Facing a lower-ranked conference opponent for the first time this season, the No. 33 IU wrestling team will look to close out its home wrestling season with a win against No. 54 Michigan State at 7 p.m. Friday in University Gym.“It will be a good duel,” IU coach Duane Goldman said. “I think both teams are pretty evenly matched on paper.”As it is the last home match of the season, a Senior Night ceremony will take place before the match. Six seniors will be honored, including five of the team’s regular starters.However, one of them, senior Kurt Kinser at 149 pounds, has been nursing an injury this week and may be unable to go Friday. His possible replacement has yet to be determined.“Right now we’re just motivated trying to get our first win,” Goldman said. “We’re pretty motivated regardless (of Senior Night).”— Max McCombs
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Defending champions do not rebuild. They reload, which the IU wrestlers found out the hard way against Iowa.In their most lopsided defeat of the season, the Hoosiers fell 35-6 to the three-time defending champion Hawkeyes on Friday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.Against an Iowa lineup featuring seven ranked grapplers, IU managed only two wins, and all but three of its losses were by major decision.In the first Hoosier victory, 149-pound senior Kurt Kinser racked up an entire period of riding time in the second period, then escaped at the beginning of the third, leading to a 2-0 win with riding time against Iowa’s Matt Ballweg.At heavyweight, graduate student Ricky Alcala continued his recent successes with snatch singles, taking a 6-1 lead in the first period before holding on to win 6-5 against Blake Rasing.For the first time in a dual meet this season, junior Matt Powless did not get his hand raised. In just his third defeat of the year, Powless, ranked fifth in the latest Intermat rankings, lost to 12th-ranked Luke Lofthouse, 10-5. His record now stands at 30-3 on the year.The Hawkeyes took a commanding lead early with pins by defending national champion Matt McDonough against IU redshirt freshman Justin Brooks at 125 pounds and Tony Ramos against IU junior Matt Ortega at 133 pounds.Throughout the meet, Iowa recorded 32 takedowns to five for IU.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>When Penn State visited University Gym two weeks ago, it looked nearly unbeatable.Last week, Iowa proved otherwise, defeating the Nittany Lions 22-13 and proving that the team is reloading rather than rebuilding after losing the core of last season’s national champion squad.On Saturday, IU will attempt to mimic the Hawkeyes’ upset of Penn State and end Iowa’s 73-dual unbeaten streak.“They might not be number one, but they’re defending national champions, and we wrestle them on the road,” IU coach Duane Goldman said.The match was originally scheduled for Sunday, but was moved to Saturday so as not to conflict with the Super Bowl.The only blemish on the Hawkeye’s dual record this season was a 15-15 draw on the road against longtime rival Oklahoma State.Iowa is led by defending 125-pound national champion Matt McDonough, who is currently ranked No. 1 in the latest Intermat rankings and is favored to repeat.The marquee matchup will likely be at 157 pounds where senior Paul Young, ranked fifth, will face Iowa freshman Derek St. John, ranked ninth. Young battled nagging injuries throughout the season and was forced to sit out IU’s home loss to Michigan on Sunday.The 197 pound class will also feature a pair of ranked wrestlers as junior Matt Powless, 30-2 on the year and ranked fifth, faces No. 12 Luke Lofthouse.— Max McCombs
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Wrestling without senior captain Paul Young, the IU wrestling team dropped Sunday’s match against Michigan 23-9 on Alumni Day at University Gym.“We’re just spending too much time on bottom and not finishing hard enough,” IU coach Duane Goldman said. “We’re going to address it. Whether it gets fixed or not, time will tell.”Freshman Justin Brooks dropped a 9-1 major decision at 125 pounds to start the meet, but when junior Matt Ortega opened the 133 pound match with a quick single-leg takedown, the Hoosiers looked to be right back in it. However, a pair of controversial takedown calls on the edge of the mat for Michigan’s Zac Stevens swung the match back in the Wolverines’ favor en route to an 8-5 win for Stevens.With Young out due to injury, IU dropped the 157 pound match and trailed Michigan 14-3, entering the intermission ceremony honoring the 1990 IU wrestling team. The Hoosiers’ only points at that time came from a decision by senior Kurt Kinser at 149 pounds. Three more decisions after the intermission clinched it for Michigan.At heavyweight, graduate student Ricky Alcala avenged an earlier loss to Michigan’s Ben Apland in which he had not scored by taking down the Wolverine four times using snatch singles.“Me and Nate Everhart worked on the match, the strategy to beat him, and all week, that’s all I did,” Alcala said. “He would wrestle like Apland and I would wrestle him and work on takedowns and it ended up working. Everything he told me to do worked.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>As it approaches the halfway mark of the conference season, the No. 20 IU wrestling team still finds itself winless in Big Ten action having wrestled three top-15 conference foes.Perhaps the fourth time will be the charm this weekend, as No. 12 Michigan comes to town.“It’s a tough test,” IU coach Duane Goldman said. “They’re another top team. It will be a challenge.”As opposed to previous matches, where IU’s opponent has featured as many as eight ranked wrestlers, both teams on Sunday will have four grapplers ranked in the most recent Intermat rankings.Two weight classes will feature matchups of ranked wrestlers, and both will be rematches from earlier this season. Junior Matt Powless defeated the Wolverines’ Anthony Biondo 8-3 at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational at 197 pounds, while graduate student Ricky Alcala lost to Ben Apland at heavyweight 2-0 at the Southern Scuffle.“Hopefully we can rise to the occasion and pull off some upsets,” Goldman said. “If you go with the favorites, they’re favored at most of the weights, but I think we can compete pretty well in there and hopefully do well. We’ve been practicing well. We’ll see what happens.”Michigan will certainly be favored at 141 pounds, where they feature Kellen Russell, the top-ranked wrestler in the nation at that weight.The IU team, meanwhile, is not yet sure who it will be sending out to face him. True freshman Mitchell Richey, the regular starter at the weight, was replaced by sophomore Geno Capezio on Sunday against Penn State due to a nagging injury. There is a similar case at 165 pounds, where redshirt freshman Ryan LeBlanc sat out in place of sophomore Ryan Konz.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Upon first glance, it may be easy to dismiss Ricky Alcala as no match for the tall, lean heavyweights he often faces. Opposing wrestlers, coaches and even fans often have.Alcala does not blame them.“I’m unpredictable, in a way,” Alcala said. “Looking at me, you wouldn’t expect me to be as good as I am or as fast as I am. I’m 275 pounds, but I’m pretty quick. I surprise a lot of people.”Most recently, Alcala surprised Minnesota’s Tony Nelson, the then-seventh-ranked heavyweight in the country. The win vaulted Alcala (22-6) to 14th in the latest Intermat rankings.As the lone graduate student on the IU wrestling roster, Alcala has taken a roundabout path that no one, including himself, saw leading to this year, his first and only year as a Hoosier.***As one of 11 children born to Mexican immigrants, Alcala was encouraged by his father, a former professional boxer in Mexico, to take up a sport. Boxing, however, was not an option, so Alcala turned to football, joining his school’s team in sixth grade.“My family had a bad rep in the town,” Alcala said. “The teachers and principal already had a bad perspective of my last name. My principal told my coach not to rely on me making grades just because of who I was.”With the help of his coach, whom Alcala called ‘a new father figure,’ Alcala stayed eligible the entire season. With football season finished, the same coach suggested he try wrestling.“I didn’t do well in sixth, seventh, eighth grade, even my freshman and sophomore years of high school,” Alcala said. “My junior year of high school, everything just clicked and I started winning.”Denied a chance to place at the state meet his junior year due to being late to weigh-ins the second day, Alcala nonetheless began to realize that his athletic future lay on the mat instead of the gridiron. He turned down inquiries from Tyrone Willingham, then head football coach at Washington, to play defensive tackle for the Huskies.“As a senior in high school in football, I played fullback for the first three games of the season,” Alcala said. “I scored a game-winning touchdown in the first game. Other coaches started scouting me and telling players to take out my knees, chop me, tackle me low. My coach said, ‘We’re going to take you out and put you back at lineman. I don’t want to risk your wrestling career.’”The 5-foot-11-inch Alcala was moved back to defensive tackle but knew his days in football were numbered.“I felt like I wasn’t tall enough to play football,” Alcala said. “I played d-tackle, but I still felt like I was shorter than the average d-lineman.”On the wrestling mat, though, Alcala’s career was just taking off as he placed third at the state meet that season.“There hasn’t been a year I’ve regressed,” Alcala said. “Every year I’ve gotten better. Every year I’ve had a better record. I wish I had one more year.”***Football and wrestling kept Alcala busy and his grades up, but the two sports also kept the self-described childhood “troublemaker” from living up to the negative expectations his teachers and principals once had for him. But the “bad rep” that followed his family wasn’t built off of rumors. Only three of Alcala’s 11 siblings graduated from high school, and money was so tight that some mornings, he would have to do laundry just so he would have clothes to wear to school that day. When Ricky was in seventh grade, one of his older brothers was sentenced to 35 years to life and later was killed in prison.“It messed my entire family up,” Alcala said. “My brothers started doing really bad stuff. My mom and dad were sad, and I didn’t want to put them through that again. Doing sports kept me away from everything else: drugs, gangs, violence, all the things that had been prevalent in my town. I would stay in school even after practice, stay in the library and study and not go home, just because I enjoyed school.”Alcala said he never planned to go to college, but after graduating from Arvin High School in Bakersfield, Calif., his good grades and emerging wrestling prowess took him to the University of California at Davis. As a wrestler at UC Davis, Alcala qualified twice for the NCAA championships, made public speaking appearances and served as a representative on the school’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee. Entering this year, Alcala was set to be president of the SAAC, primed for a big senior season and planned to attend graduate school for physical therapy after graduation.One afternoon at 2 p.m., that all changed.***Rumors swirled that budget cuts would force the cancellation of some athletic programs at UC Davis, but Alcala was sure wrestling would not be one of them. After all, in 2007, UC Davis wrestler Derek Moore became the school’s first national champion in any sport and according to Alcala, the team had been named the best team on campus four out of the past six years up to that point. “They had already told a few teams that they were being eliminated, but our team was never brought up,” Alcala said. “It was a last-minute decision to eliminate our program. That day our coach texted us and told us they eliminated our wrestling program and that we had to meet up at 2 o’clock in the wrestling room to talk about it, pretty much out of the blue. I knew they were going to eliminate some teams, but I really didn’t think it was going to be the wrestling team.”Despite the plans he had made, Alcala knew as soon as he heard the news of the cancellation that he would be going elsewhere. He had a year of eligibility left and had no plans to waste it.“It wasn’t even a question,” Alcala said. “I told the coaches, ‘I’m out of here.’ They told me it was my decision. I didn’t know what my options were at the time. I knew I wanted to wrestle my last year.”After exploring his options and receiving interest from “20 or 25 schools,” Alcala narrowed his choices to Appalachian State, Old Dominion and IU — all schools that are in a different time zone than California. He was ready to see a new part of the country. Alcala said he chose IU because of the academics and the opportunity to work with heavyweight coaches such as Pat DeGain and the man he replaced as IU heavyweight, Nate Everhart, now a student assistant. Kevin Stanley, a 2001 IU All-American, was Alcala’s upper-weight coach at UC Davis and encouraged him to attend IU.“When he came in on a visit, he was very personable and seemed like a guy with very high goals and a guy with a good head on his shoulders,” IU wrestling coach Duane Goldman said. “We just felt he would be a good fit on our team.”Taking summer classes at UC Davis allowed Alcala to graduate and then transfer as a graduate student. He is now seeking a master’s degree in Athletic Administration/Sports Management.***Joining a close-knit program as an outsider appeared difficult and unenviable at first, but Alcala quickly succeeded in carving out a niche on the team.“I lighten the mood a little bit,” Alcala said. “Everybody’s sad and cutting weight, and I’m the heavyweight who doesn’t have to cut weight, so I’m trying to bust jokes and make people laugh and forget about cutting weight. I’m just social.”This year, for the first time, Alcala has had top-notch heavyweights to wrestle in practice, and both he and his coaches have seen the benefits.“He really creates the right opportunities for himself and utilizes the coaching staff,” DeGain, a former IU All-American heavyweight, said. “He’s picking everyone’s brain. He’s the reason he is as good as he is.”Alcala’s future could be in a number of places or professions. Teaching, coaching or returning to physical therapy are all options, as is continuing with sports management. Right now, though, he said his focus is on his last season of wrestling, the sport that helped him escape from the perils of his hometown and gave him the options he now has before him.“Once you’ve done it for as long as I’ve done it, it becomes part of your identity, so to speak,” Alcala said. “It becomes how you define yourself, as a wrestler. It’s a huge part of my life.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Despite opening the meet with a win, the IU wrestling team fell to No. 1 Penn State 36-8 Sunday afternoon at University Gym as the Nittany Lions took eight of 10 matches, notching bonus points in six of them.“Some of our guys competed hard even in their losses,” IU coach Duane Goldman said. “I think in a couple areas, guys got discouraged as the matches went on and didn’t maintain their focus.”Redshirt freshman Justin Brooks recorded his first career Big Ten win in the opening match against Penn State’s Eric Caschera with a 5-1 decision. Caschera was a late addition to the lineup after No. 11 Brad Pataky was scratched.IU had some lineup changes of its own as sophomore Geno Capezio filled in at 141 pounds for true freshman Mitchell Richey and sophomore Ryan Konz replaced redshirt freshman Ryan LeBlanc at 165 pounds. Goldman said following the match that both starters simply had minor nagging injuries and were withheld as a precaution.Following Brooks’ win, IU lost seven straight matches, clinching the match with a 33-3 margin before junior Matt Powless, ranked sixth nationally, gave the Hoosiers their second and final win of the meet with a 19-4 tech fall at 197 pounds. His record now stands at 29-2.The team will look to bounce back and record its first Big Ten win of the year when No. 13 Michigan comes to town next Sunday.“We just have to go back and try to get each guy ready,” Goldman said. “A lot of it is in the individual matchup and who they’re going to compete against. We’re just going to continue to move forward and see what happens.”— Max McCombs
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The IU wrestling team is not getting much of a break.Just a week after dueling No. 5 Minnesota, IU will play host to Penn State, currently tied for the top ranking in the nation.“We need to go in and still have high expectations of ourselves and try to win as many matches as we can,” IU coach Duane Goldman said.“Penn State’s got a great team. We have our work cut out for us, but we need to go in there like we do for every match and try to win the individual matchups and not worry so much about the team score.”Nearly every individual matchup will pose a challenge for the Hoosiers. The Nittany Lions bring ranked wrestlers in eight of 10 weight classes and are undefeated on the year in duals.Among the highly ranked wrestlers for Penn State are a pair of freshmen: David Taylor, who defeated IU senior Paul Young (17-2) earlier this season, at 157 pounds and Ed Ruth at 174 pounds.“They have a young group but they’re a very, very talented team,” Goldman said. “I don’t think youth is really a factor. Even though they’re young, they have a lot of experience.”Despite losing 25-14 to Minnesota, Goldman said he was pleased with his team’s performance in the match but that it is an indication of how the team is wrestling rather than a source of momentum.“We wrestled real well against Minnesota, and I expect us to wrestle well this week,” Goldman said. “It doesn’t really play out momentum-wise match-to-match because each match is different. It turns out this match this weekend, every one of our guys has a very difficult matchup, so we’ve been watching film and working in the room, and hopefully our guys can compete well and hopefully win some matches.”— Max McCombs
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Despite wins in the final two matches of the evening, the IU wrestling team fell at No. 5 Minnesota on Friday 25-14, to drop to 0-2 in the Big Ten.“We knew what we were up against,” IU wrestling coach Duane Goldman said. “We wrestled well, probably our best meet of the year.”The Hoosiers found themselves in an early 14-0 hole after dropping the first three matches. Underdogs in all three, the team allowed bonus points at 125 pounds and 141 pounds.At 133 pounds, the only match of the night without a ranked wrestler, junior Matt Ortega led until the end of regulation when the Gophers’ David Thorn tied the score at five apiece. Thorn won with a takedown in overtime.IU also narrowly lost at 165 pounds, where freshman Ryan LeBlanc was unable to escape from the bottom in the third period to even the score and prevent his foe, No. 7 Cody Yohn, from clinching the riding time point. LeBlanc fell 2-0.“When you have a close match, a ‘could-have, should-have, would-have’ mentality kicks in,” Goldman said. “Hopefully, we can make up the ground by the Big Ten Tournament. It’s better to win then than win now.”The Hoosiers’ other four losses each yielded bonus points for the favored Gophers, allowing them to clinch the meet by the end of the eighth match at 184 pounds, when the score stood at 25-7. IU’s only points up to that face-off came from a decision by senior Kurt Kinser at 149 pounds and senior Paul Young’s major decision at 157 pounds. Young was considered questionable to go before the match due to a minor injury but showed no sign of pain once he stepped on the mat.“The main thing that cost us was giving them some bonus points,” Goldman said. “We probably still would have lost on bonus points (had we won at 133 pound or 165 pounds). They had some returning All-Americans against some of our freshmen. (They) were a little outmatched. It was hard for us to overcome.”IU closed the score to the final margin with a major decision by junior Matt Powless, his nation-leading 12th of the season, and a 3-1 upset win in overtime by senior heavyweight Ricky Alcala, ranked 19th nationally, over No. 7 Tony Nelson.“I don’t think anything happened that cost us the duel,” Goldman said. “They’re ranked (fifth) in the country and have a great tradition. We wrestled a good duel, not well enough to win and that’s our goal.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>After a trio of decisive meet victories last weekend, the IU wrestlers resume their Big Ten season Friday at Minnesota.Ranked fifth nationally in the latest Intermat rankings, the Golden Gophers will be heavily favored against the visiting No. 24-ranked Hoosiers. However, IU coach Duane Goldman said that means it is very clear what his team will need to do to win.“We’re going to have to win the three matches or so that we’re probably favored (in) and then pull off some upsets,” Goldman said. “All the matches are going to be tough, regardless.”IU senior Paul Young, coming off a knee injury suffered against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, and senior Kurt Kinser will be favored at 157 and 149 pounds, respectively.A key match for both teams could be at 197 pounds where IU’s highest-ranked wrestler, junior Matt Powless — 27-2 for the year and currently ranked sixth nationally — could face the Gophers’ fifth-ranked junior Sonny Yohn. However, Yohn was injured recently and his status for the match is uncertain.Provided Yohn is healthy for the match, Goldman said he believes that the match alone will not determine the team’s overall outcome. Each team also has a ranked heavyweight, who will face off, as well.“One upset isn’t necessarily going to do it,” Goldman said. “There’s 10 individual matches. It’s not just having one extra win here or there. If their regular starter is in at 197, they’re going to be favored in eight matches. One upset (is not) going to do it. We’re going to have to pull several.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____> Despite being in the midst of the Big Ten season, the Hoosiers wrestling team ventured outside its conference’s Midwestern confines to compete in the Southern Scuffle tournament in Greensboro, N.C., on Dec. 29 and 30.The team took 13th place overall, a result that fell short of IU coach Duane Goldman’s expectations.“It was a very competitive tournament, but as a whole for the team, it was a disappointing performance, I felt,” Goldman said. “We had some good individual showings, but as a team, across the board, we had some things we needed to improve upon.”Several wrestlers managed strong showings at the event, most notably senior Paul Young in the 157-pound weight class. Young reeled off five straight victories, including a major decision in the opening round, en route to reaching the 157-pound championship match. He ultimately fell to Penn State freshman David Taylor in the finals.Young’s semifinal match paired him against Navy’s Bryce Saddoris for the second time this season. After dropping the initial meeting, Young rebounded to take a 5-2 decision.“I wanted to wrestle my kind of style and my match,” Young said. “In the finals, it slipped away, and that’s why I lost and took second, but up until that point, I was pretty confident and doing my style of wrestling, which worked for me.”Young credited several adjustments that allowed him to turn the tables on Saddoris in their second matchup.“On bottom I didn’t stop moving. I was constantly trying to escape,” Young said. “My riding on top was a lot better. I think that those two things carried me and especially helped me mentally. I finished my shots, which is another thing I didn’t do the first time that we wrestled.”With his performance in Greensboro, Young rose several spots in the most recent Intermat rankings and now resides at No. 7.Junior Matt Powless, wrestling at 197 pounds, also rose as a result of his showing at the tournament. Powless’ third place finish propelled him up to No. 6 in the rankings. His only loss of the tournament came against top-ranked Cam Simaz of Cornell, the only wrestler Powless has lost to this year.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The long room in the Assembly Hall basement is silent, save for the sound of the two drained wrestlers still lunging at each other in pursuit of the takedown and the instructions barked by coach Duane Goldman as he circles the pair. The other wrestlers sit slumped against the wall on the perimeter. Every shirt is drenched in sweat.The IU wrestling team is 6-0 this season in duals, but with the Big Ten opener against Northwestern on Wednesday fast approaching, the team is practicing harder than ever to keep up with its conference rivals.We’ve got a lot of growing up to do,” junior Matt Powless said. “We’re really young. We lost a lot of seniors last year. We’re starting to grow up wrestling-wise. We’re making a lot of mistakes that come with being a young team, and once we eliminate those, I think we’ll be ready for the Big Ten season.”Seven Big Ten teams are currently ranked in the top 25 nationally according to Intermat.com. IU is not among them, but Goldman remains confident that his squad can compete with any other on any given day.“It’s all about matchups,” Goldman said. “I don’t know where we lie in a lot of those, but I feel like we can be competitive with these teams, and obviously should be, and always have been.”The first challenge is the No. 9-ranked Wildcats.“With the Big Ten season, every match is a big match,” Goldman said. “Northwestern always has a tough squad of guys. We’re getting better. It’ll be a tough dual. There are a couple of big matchups at (149 pounds), (157 pounds). Both of their wrestlers are ranked ahead of ours, but then again they’re two of our better guys, so we need to have a good showing there.”The Hoosiers’ conference schedule will resume with a matchup against Minnesota on Jan. 14. Until then, the team will stay active with nonconference matches, including a contest against No. 23 Missouri on Sunday, and will compete in the Southern Scuffle tournament in Greensboro, N.C., on Dec. 29. “We’re going to have to take it to a whole new level,” Goldman said.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The IU wrestling team currently stands at 6-0 in duals but faces a major step up in competition this weekend.The Hoosiers travel to Las Vegas for the annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational in their final tune-up before Big Ten matches begin.Touted as perhaps the most difficult tournament in college wrestling outside of the national championships, this year’s Las Vegas Invitational features 12 teams currently ranked in the top 25, including top-ranked Cornell. Every weight class features numerous wrestlers ranked in the Intermat top 20 rankings.The weight class of 157 pounds looks to be an especially difficult weight with three of the top four wrestlers in the country competing. Senior Paul Young is currently ranked sixth in the weight and sports a 9-1 record on the year.Teams are allowed to enter one wrestler per weight class. The Hoosiers are expected to enter the same group of 10 wrestlers that have composed their primary dual lineup this year.Sophomore Ryan Konz will continue to fill in for injured redshirt freshman Ryan LeBlanc at 165 pounds. All but senior Eric Cameron, at 174 pounds, currently have winning records. Cameron is 5-6. Junior Matt Powless remains undefeated on the season and leads the team with his 10-0 record.Last year at the Las Vegas Open, the Hoosiers finished in sixth place, largely on the strength of individual championships by then-seniors Angel Escobedo and Nate Everhart. Young finished fifth at 165 pounds, and Powless placed eighth at 197 pounds.The Hoosiers return to the mat when they open their conference season at home against Northwestern on Dec. 15.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>After the 44-0 downing of Wabash to start the dual season, the IU wrestling team faced more challenging competition on Saturday but still emerged victorious against The Citadel and Columbia at the Disney Duals in Orlando, Fla.The Hoosiers opened by winning their first eight matches against The Citadel, including pins by true freshman Mitchell Richey at 141 pounds near the end of the second round and senior Kurt Kinser at 149 pounds in 37 seconds, the first of two pins on the day by Kinser.Backup wrestlers Ross Powell and Anthony Fretwell would drop matches at 165 pounds and 174 pounds, respectively, to close out the dual, but the Hoosiers still triumphed by a score of 34-7.The second meet of the day was more competitive, with IU and Columbia each winning five matches against the other. However, all five of the Lions’ wins were by decision, whereas the Hoosiers received bonus points for three of their wins, resulting in a 22-15 victory for IU.Kinser again led the team, pinning Columbia’s Steve Santos in 2:02 with a headlock. Kinser is now 7-1 on the year, with his only defeat coming to the nation’s fifth-ranked wrestler.Richey, senior Paul Young at 157 pounds and senior Ricky Alcala at heavyweight also went 2-0 on the day. Junior Matt Powless did as well, though his win against Columbia came via forfeit.Next Saturday, the team will host the Hoosier Duals in Assembly Hall, where it will wrestle four times on the day. North Carolina-Greensboro, Old Dominion, Northern Illinois and the University of the Cumberlands will be in town for the event.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The streak continues.For the fourth consecutive year, the IU wrestling team opened its dual season with a shutout of Wabash, winning Thursday’s meet, 44-0.“They wrestled well,” IU coach Duane Goldman said. “Obviously, it was a team that we should beat. We had some starters out. We had some younger guys who wrestled really well.”Junior Matt Ortega, true freshman Mitchell Richey and senior Ricky Alcala recorded pins at 133 pounds, 141 pounds and heavyweight respectively, with the latter two making their dual debuts for IU.Junior Matt Powless recorded a tech fall for IU, winning 27-10 with 12 takedowns. Powless is now 5-0 on the season.“We push him to stay aggressive,” Goldman said. “When he slows down, he’s not as good, so we push him to keep the pace up. He’s in really good condition. He needs to force it.”The team now turns its attention to Saturday when it will head to Orlando, Fla., for the D1 Disney Duals. The Hoosiers will face The Citadel and Columbia.Seniors Kurt Kinser at 149 pounds and Paul Young at 157 sat out tonight but will return Saturday. Team members said they expect to field the normal lineup except for freshman Ryan LeBlanc, who is out for a month with a knee injury. Sophomore Ryan Konz will fill in at 165 pounds.“We’ll need to be better on Saturday than we were today,” Goldman said. “We need to build on this and get better. The season is young.”IU is favored in both matches Saturday, but Goldman said he will stress aggression on the mat so the team can avoid the upset.“I just want them to wrestle aggressively,” Goldman said. “The winning and losing will take care of themselves. I hope we can wrestle up to our potential.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The IU wrestling team opens its dual season today at Wabash College, and IU coach Duane Goldman is feeling confident.“We should dominate that match,” Goldman said. “It will also give us an opportunity to wrestle some of our backups, so we’ll see how some of them react. We’re probably not going to wrestle all our starters.”The Hoosiers have opened their dual season against Wabash for the past three years, shutting out the Little Giants each time. In many ways, the match will serve as primarily a warm-up for matches against Columbia and The Citadel in Orlando, Fla. this weekend as part of the Disney Duals.“They run a good program up there, but we should be up for that challenge,” Goldman said. “We’ll face some stiff competition (at Disney Duals) with Citadel and Columbia. I think we’ll fare well.”Even with favorable matchups today, there are challenges that come with the first dual meet of the year — namely making weight.“It’ll be the first time they make weight for a dual meet with the one-hour weigh-in,” Goldman said. “We have to get used to wrestling as a team, knowing who’s out there and what the lineup will be.”With many hours of practice, a scrimmage and a tournament under their belts, Goldman said he believes the team is on its way to establishing an identity.“We’re looking forward to the dual meet season,” Goldman said. “We’re trying to start to establish our lineup and see how they meld.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Matt Ortega wasted no time in starting his season.The junior, wrestling at 133 pounds, needed all of six seconds to pin his first opponent, Ethan Harris of the University of Indianapolis, on his way to a birth in the finals in his weight class at the season-opening Michigan State Open on Saturday.“To pin someone in six seconds, you have to stick your nose in there pretty quickly,” IU coach Duane Goldman said. “He’s obviously being aggressive.”Ortega was joined in the finals of the Open division of the tournament by four of his teammates; senior Kurt Kinser at 149 pounds, senior Paul Young at 157 pounds, junior Matt Powless at 197 pounds and senior Ricky Alcala at heavyweight. Of the finalists, Powless was the only one to win his championship match, defeating Pittsburgh’s Matt Wilps 8-5.“I thought we wrestled pretty well,” Goldman said. “We had a number of guys make the finals. They lost close matches but gave good efforts. Powless won and wrestled really well all weekend.”Alcala was wrestling in his first official event for the Hoosiers after transferring from the University of California-Davis, which discontinued its wrestling program after last season. Alcala won four matches, including a semifinal triumph by major decision, before losing 5-3 to Northwestern’s Mike McMullan in the finals.Redshirt freshman Justin Brooks, at 125 pounds, responded to a second-round loss by reeling off four straight wins in the consolation bracket, including a tech fall and a major decision, to take third.Fellow redshirt freshman Ryan LeBlanc also debuted Saturday but was forced to withdraw after injuring his knee in the quarterfinals. He will have the knee evaluated by doctors this week, but Goldman said it may be serious enough to end his season.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The IU wrestling team opens its season Saturday at the Michigan State Open, and IU coach Duane Goldman said he believes his squad is ready.“It’s time to wrestle,” Goldman said. “We’ve practiced long enough. At this point, it doesn’t matter if we’re good or bad (in practice). I’m sure some of them are just sick of practicing.”Unlike in dual meets, every wrestler can compete Saturday, and no team scores are kept. No wrestler is out with an injury as of now, Goldman said, but several may miss the event as a precautionary measure to prevent minor injuries from worsening.“There’s no irreparable injuries,” Goldman said. “A few guys are beat up. They’re up in the air. (With) nagging injuries, we don’t want to send them out there if they’re going to get worse.”By having multiple wrestlers competing at each weight, head-to-head matches between teammates are possible. Such situations, as well as wrestlers’ overall performances Saturday, will help determine the lineup for upcoming matches against Wabash, Columbia and The Citadel.“It’s a kickoff tournament to see where we’re at,” Goldman said. “We’re probably anticipating a few head-to-head matchups as well. It gives us a chance to see the dynamic within our team.”Despite having yet to see the wrestlers in real competition, Goldman is confident about his team entering the year.“They’re a good group,” Goldman said. “They work hard. They’ve done everything we’ve asked of them so far.”Still, Goldman added, some things cannot be known until the season kicks off this weekend.“We really just need to see where we’re at and how these guys react to real competition and try to make out what our team might look like this year,” Goldman said. “That will create and answer a lot of questions for us.”