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    Northwestern Hosts North Central College Friday at Welsh-Ryan Arena

    Mike McMullan is out to an 8-3 start at heavyweight so far this season.

    Mike McMullan is out to an 8-3 start at heavyweight so far this season.

    Dec. 14, 2011

    #18 Northwestern (3-0-0)
    vs. North Central College (4-3-0)

    Fri., Dec. 16, 2011 • 7 p.m.
    Welsh-Ryan Arena
    Evanston, Ill.
    Live Scoring:
    Twitter Updates:

    Northwestern Match Notes Get Acrobat Reader

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- No. 18 Northwestern gets its final tune-up before the 49th annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships when North Central College visits Welsh-Ryan Arena for a nonconference match at 7 p.m. Friday. Tickets are available for purchase at the door, beginning at 6 p.m.

    Last Time Out
    The Wildcats hosted their first true home duals of the 2011-12 season last Sunday at Welsh-Ryan Arena with the NU Duals. Northwestern swept the competition, defeating SIU-Edwardsville 43-3 and Indianapolis 44-3, winning 18 of 20 bouts. The 'Cats relied heavily on bonus points with five pins, four tech falls and a major decision at the duals.

    Scouting North Central College
    North Central College is a Division III school out of Naperville, Ill. The Cardinals were picked 11th in NCAA Division III preseason rankings and currently rank 17th. North Central is out to a 4-3 start in dual action with wins over Wheaton College (35-15), Trine University (28-16), Manchester College (38-16) and Heidelberg University (22-20). The three losses came against two NU opponents, Northern Illinois (30-15) and Stanford (35-9), and Olivet College (33-11). Last weekend, the Cardinals hosted the North Central Invitational and placed fifth out of 12 teams. North Central's starter at 133 lbs., Nathan Fitzenreider, registered his 100th career victory en route to his first place finish and was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler. Fitzenreider is the top-ranked wrestler at 133 lbs. in Division III while Andrew Zobac (third at 141) and Eric Oyster (sixth at 157) are also ranked in the latest NWCA Division III poll.

    Probable Starters
    #8 Levi Mele (NU) vs. Nathan Fitzenreider (North Central)

    133: Jameson Oster (NU) vs. Sean Tomac (North Central)

    141: Colin Shober or Pat Greco (NU) vs. Andrew Zobac (North Central)

    149: Kaleb Friedley (NU) vs. Eric Oyster (North Central)

    157: #3 Jason Welch (NU) vs. Joby Bodi (North Central)

    165: Pierce Harger or Kevin Bialka (NU) vs. Jason Bonham (North Central)

    174: #13 Lee Munster (NU) vs. Kyle Geary (North Central)

    184: Robert Kellogg or Marcus Shrewsbury (NU) vs. Andrew Hiller (North Central)

    197: John Schoen (NU) vs. Dylan Mahler (North Central)

    Hwt.: Mike McMullan (NU) vs. Chris James (North Central)

    New Faces
    Northwestern has a large class of eight redshirt freshmen this year and six of those wrestlers were in the starting lineup last weekend at the NU Duals. Jameson Oster (133), Pat Greco (141), Colin Shober (141), Pierce Harger (165), Lee Munster (174) and Mike McMullan (Hwt) all started at least one match last weekend and all six have wrestled in at least 10 bouts so far this year. Harger is second on the team in wins with a 9-3 record, while Munster, Shober and McMullan each have eight wins and Greco and Oster have six wins apiece. Alex Polizzi (197) and John Coukos (125/133) round out the group of redshirt freshmen.

    Still Perfect
    Junior Levi Mele is out to a 12-0 start, winning most of those matches with bonus points. Mele registered three pins en route to his title at the Michigan State Open and added two more at the Keystone Classic and he also has two major decisions. Last weekend, he added another fall for his team-leading sixth pin of the season. Mele currently ranks in the top 10 at 125 lbs., coming in at eighth in the latest and InterMat polls. Third-ranked Jason Welch (3-0 at 157) and Brian Roddy (1-0 at 184) are also unbeaten this season.

    Home Sweet Home
    Northwestern wrestling fans have plenty of opportunities to see the Wildcats in action during the month of December and early January. After Friday's bout, Northwestern hosts the 49th annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships, Dec. 29-30. Following Midlands, Northwestern opens the always-competitive Big Ten schedule Jan. 6 vs. #8 Michigan and hosts #5 Penn State the following weekend (Jan. 13) and Michigan State (Jan. 20) the weekend after that for Alumni Night.

    Tough Competition Awaits at Midlands
    The 49th edition of the Midlands Championships brings tough competition once again as more than 40 Division I, II and III teams will send wrestlers to Evanston. This year's tournament includes a number of teams that are ranked or receiving votes. Additionally, seven teams that placed in the top 10 at the 2010 Midlands Championships return this year. Fans planning to attend Midlands should call 1-888-GO-PURPLE to secure their tickets.

    Here is a list of Division I teams scheduled to compete at Midlands: No. 1 Iowa, No. 7 Illinois, No. 10 Oklahoma, No. 11 Lehigh, No. 13 Maryland, No. 14 Virginia Tech, No. 17 Rutgers, No. 18 Northwestern, No. 19 Central Michigan, No. 24 Edinboro, Penn (RV), American (RV), Cal Poly (RV), Purdue (RV), Iowa State, Stanford, Wisconsin, Bucknell, Cal State Bakersfield, Clarion, Eastern Michigan, Harvard, North Dakota State, Northern Illinois, Northern Iowa, Princeton, Rider, South Dakota State, Utah Valley.

    Watch the Wildcats
    Northwestern makes a number of appearances on the Big Ten Network and the Big Ten Digital Network throughout the 2011-12 season. A partnership between the Big Ten Network and CBS Interactive, the BTDN will merge online video content previously available through either or the All-Access packages into one convenient subscription. Below is a list of upcoming matches with video coverage (all times Central and schedule is subject to change):

    Dec. 30 Midlands All Day Big Ten Network to air finals (tape-delayed at 9 p.m.)
    Jan. 6 vs. Michigan 7 p.m. BTDN on Wildcats All-Access
    Jan. 8 at Wisconsin 2 p.m. Big Ten Network (tape-delayed at 8 p.m.)
    Jan. 15 at Iowa 1 p.m. BTDN on Wildcats All-Access
    Jan. 20 vs. Michigan State 7 p.m. BTDN on Wildcats All-Access
    Jan. 27 at Illinois 5 p.m. Big Ten Network (Live)
    Feb. 3 vs. Northern Illinois 7 p.m. BTDN on Wildcats All-Access
    Feb. 17 vs. Indiana 7 p.m. BTDN on Wildcats All-Access


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