Nov. 20, 2008
EVANSTON, Ill. -- With winter settling in on Evanston and the wrestling season heating up, Northwestern heads west to the Golden State where it will compete in a pair of dual matches Sunday, getting things started at Stanford at 2 p.m. CT before making the two-hour trip north to UC Davis for a 9 p.m. CT match. NU, ranked No. 10 in the latest Intermat/NWCA team poll, aims to improve its dual meet record to 5-0 in advance of its home opener against Northern Illinois on Thursday, Dec. 4.
The road swing to northern California marks a bit of a homecoming in the young career of NU freshman Jason Welch, whose hometown of Walnut Creek, Calif., is about at the halfway point between Northwestern's two destinations on Sunday, Palo Alto and Davis.
ON THE WEB
Fans looking to stay locked in on Northwestern wrestling action this weekend can do so for the Stanford match by tuning in to the free live Web cast available at GoStanford.com.
LAST TIME OUT
SCOUTING THE CARDINAL
Last weekend, Northwestern traveled to the Purdue Duals where it scored three dual meet victories against Eastern Michigan, Kent State and Tennessee-Chattanooga. NU's four ranked wrestlers--No. 4 Brandon Precin (Orland Park, Ill./Carl Sandburg), No. 10 Keith Sulzer (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Edward), No. 16 Welch and No. 2 Jake Herbert (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny)--all notched a trio of wins on the day for Northwestern. Precin sandwiched two falls around a 5-0 win against No. 13 Nic Bedelyon of Kent State while Herbert stayed perfect on the year (7-0) at 184 lbs. with a 6-3 victory against Kent State's talented freshman, No. 10 Dustin Kilgore. Senior Marty Gould (Lincolnwood, Ill./Niles West) also posted wins for Northwestern at 149 lbs., earning a 5-2 decision against Jeremy Depoy of Kent State and the Mocs' Kelly Felix.
Stanford (0-3, 0-1) is off to a slow start in dual match competition under new head coach Jason Borrelli, a 2006 Central Michigan graduate and former Cardinal assistant who helped Stanford enjoy one of its best seasons in program history last year. The Cardinal won 13 duals, sent a program-best five competitors to NCAA Championships and posted its highest national finish in school history a year ago. Last weekend, Stanford traveled to Laramie, Wyo., where it dropped a 34-10 dual meet against Wyoming before competing in the Cowboy Open. Redshirt freshman Nick Amuchastegui won the tournament's 165-pound division, topping three-time NCAA qualifier Tyler Sherfey of Boise State in the finals to up his season mark to 6-1. Stanford also features a ranked wrestler at 184 in junior Zack Geisen (No. 12).
SCOUTING THE AGGIES
UC Davis is 1-1 on the young season and has not wrestled since a 26-12 dual meet loss to Arizona State on Nov. 8. The Aggies recorded a trio of wins by sophomores in that match; Brandon Low (133), Ricky Alcala (285) and Barrett Abel (149) all earned decisions but it was not enough to overcome the Sun Devils. No. 9 Marcos Orozco of UC Davis presents a challenge for Northwestern's Brandon Precin at 125. Head coach Lennie Zalesky (Iowa, 1983), now in his seventh year at Davis, helped the Aggies to their best-ever finish at the NCAAs in 2007, placing in a tie for 22nd.
NEWCOMERS TO THE 'CATS
Northwestern boasts five new members on its roster this year--four freshmen and one sophomore transfer--, all of whom have began their careers in Evanston with promising starts. Welch has thus far lived up to his billing as one of the nation's top high school recruits a year ago, going 7-1 overall with his only loss coming against No. 9 Kurt Kinser of Indiana. Brian Roddy, Jr. (Highland Heights, Ohio/St. Edward) went 5-3 in his debut at the Michigan State Open, tearing through the wrestle-backs to finish sixth overall at 174 lbs. Eric Galka (Hobart, Ind./Hobart) also got off to a fast start in East Lansing, placing third in the freshman/sophomore 133-pound division while Paul Rands (Cary, Ill./Cary-Grove) won the first two matches of his collegiate career at the MSU Open. Finally, Aaron Jones (Macomb, Ill./Macomb) went 3-2 in his debut with the 'Cats after transferring from Rend Lake Community College at the end of last year.