Feb. 15, 2012
No. 18 Northwestern (10-4, 3-4 Big Ten)
vs. Indiana (11-7, 0-7 Big Ten)
Fri., Feb. 17, 2012 • 7 p.m.
Site: Welsh-Ryan Arena (Evanston, Ill.)
Webstream: Big Ten Digital Network on Wildcats All-Access
Twitter Updates: @NU_SportsLive
Live Scoring: TrackWrestling.com
Northwestern Match Notes
North By Northwestern "Day in the Life" Feature on Jason Welch
EVANSTON, Ill. - Northwestern closes out the 2011-12 dual campaign Friday, hosting Big Ten foe Indiana at 7 p.m. inside Welsh-Ryan Arena. NU and Indiana are wrestling the final Big Ten dual of the season as the rest of the conference teams wrapped up their Big Ten schedules Feb. 3-5.
Friday's dual is Senior Night for Northwestern and the 'Cats will honor Robert Kellogg (Sioux City, Iowa/Sioux City North), Ben Kuhar (Concord Township, Ohio/St. Edward), Brian Roddy Jr. (Highland Heights, Ohio/St. Edward) and John Schoen (Homer Glen, Ill./Marist) before the match for their contributions to the program over the years. Here are head coach Drew Pariano's comments on the group of four that will be at Welsh-Ryan Arena one last time:
"Ben has been a fixture in our starting lineup since his arrival on campus and has excelled in his academic endeavors during his years at NU. He has the rare distinction of being an All-Academic Big Ten wrestler while attaining a graduate degree in his time at NU."
"Robert is an individual that will do absolutely anything for the team. He has routinely wrestled up a weight class during his career. Robert's dedication to this program is outstanding and his younger teammates certainly look up to his leadership and perseverance."
Brian Roddy Jr
"Brian has won numerous high-pressured matches for our program. During our opening meet this season, his win over his Stanford opponent was electric. The sport of wrestling is brutal on one's body and Brian has experienced several significant injuries during his time at NU. His effort and contribution to the program will be remembered."
"John has put his mark on this program in many ways. His never-quit attitude is contagious and that is one of the main reasons that his team elected him as their captain at the beginning of the season. John's technique has improved dramatically throughout the course of his career. We are truly excited about his postseason potential."
There are a number of different promotions for fans at the final regular season dual. Friday is Fan Appreciation Day where the first 75 fans through the door will get a FREE Northwestern t-shirt. It is also the Chipotle Big Match and the first 50 students will receive Chipotle gift cards.
Members of Northwestern Dance Marathon will be at Friday's match, raising money for the foundation. Students have the opportunity to participate in a sumo-style wrestling tournament at halftime in order to raise up to $1,500 for Dance Marathon.
Last Time Out
Northwestern had a successful day in Buies Creek, N.C., last Saturday, defeating two teams from the state of North Carolina to finish the nonconference dual season a perfect 7-0. The 'Cats started the day with a 20-15 win over North Carolina and then dominated the host team, Campbell, 32-5 at the John W. Pope Convocation Center. Northwestern now has won four-straight duals and improved to 10-4 on the season.
In total, Northwestern won 13 of 20 bouts on the afternoon. Levi Mele (125), Jason Welch (157), Pierce Harger (165), Lee Munster (174) and Mike McMullan (Hwt) all went 2-0 on the day. Both Mele and Jameson Oster recorded pins, while Welch notched tech falls against each of his opponents.
Scouting the Hoosiers
Indiana is 11-7 on the season, however the Hoosiers are still looking for their first Big Ten dual win, with an 0-7 record in conference action. IU is coming off a sweep of three nonconference foes last Sunday, taking down North Carolina State (31-19), Virginia Military Institute (39-6) and Gardner-Webb (36-6). The Hoosiers are led by senior, No. 3 Matt Powless, at 197, an All-American last season with a 29-3 record so far this year, including an unblemished 6-0 mark in the Big Ten. Powless posted a win in last season's meeting between the two teams, a 29-8 Northwestern victory in Bloomington. Matt Ortega (141) and Ryan LeBlanc (174) have both moved up a weight class since wrestling the Wildcats last year.
Dual-ing It Out
With their 32-5 win at Campbell Saturday, the 'Cats have at least 10 dual wins for the second-consecutive season. NU has an impressive dual record during Drew Pariano's two-year coaching tenure and is 28-6 overall (.824). More impressive than the overall dual record is Northwestern's perfect 19-0 record in nonconference duals during the Pariano era. Last year, NU went 12-0 in nonconference action and wrapped up the 2011-12 nonconference schedule last weekend with a 7-0 record.
All Fall Down
Saturday in North Carolina, Northwestern surpassed last year's pin total of 45 and now has 46 falls on the year. It was fitting that junior Levi Mele (125) tied last year's pin total and then freshman Jameson Oster (133) put the 'Cats over the top as the two have 10 and eight falls, respectively this year. Mele and Oster have the top two pin totals on the team while Kaleb Friedley (149) is close behind with seven falls. A majority of NU's pins have come quickly as 24 of the 46, or 52.2 percent, are first-period falls. With one dual to go and postseason action in March, Northwestern looks to keep the falls coming.
Moving On Up
Jason Welch now has a 75-17 career record, or .815 winning percentage, which moved him past Steve DePetro (146-30-4; 1983-86) for sole posession of eighth place on NU's career winning percentage list. A win Friday would tie Welch with current volunteer assistant coach and former three-time NU All-American Brandon Precin for seventh place at .817 (Precin-138-31).
It is officially the postseason following Friday's dual as Northwestern now turns its attention to the 2012 Big Ten Championships. This year's tournament runs from March 3-4 at Mackey Arena on Purdue's campus in West Lafayette, Ind.
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