Wisconsin looks to get ahold of Big Ten competition

first_imgComing off a signature win over No. 5 Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, the University of Wisconsin wrestling team hits the road this weekend for the last time.First No. 9 Wisconsin will head to West Lafayette, Ind. Friday to face Purdue (10-4, 0-4). For their final road duel, the Badgers will square off against the No. 17 Michigan Wolverines (1-5-1, 0-2) Sunday.While the match-up in Ann Arbor may be enticing, Badgers head coach Barry Davis insists he has his team focused on Friday’s meet with the Boilermakers.”We’ve got to take care of business on Friday first,” Davis said. “After that, we will regroup and worry about Michigan.”It would be hard to blame the Badgers if they were feeling pretty confident this week. Despite a 19-18 loss at No. 8 Northwestern, the team has rolled to a 16-1 start (2-1 Big Ten), including a 21-14 win over the 5th-ranked Hawkeyes on Saturday.”Beating Iowa was huge; it was a real big rebound match for us as a team,” senior Tyler Turner said.In the match, Turner, the Badgers’ team captain, defeated senior Alex Grunder in an 8-2 decision.According to Davis, one of the most important matches for the team was actually a loss by junior Collin Cudd (125 lbs.) in the first bout.”Even though he didn’t win, Collin was able to quiet the crowd and set the tone for the rest of the match,” Davis said. “Last week was great, but it’s gone. Now we have to take care of business.”With Iowa behind them, the Badgers now must focus on taking care of Purdue. The Boilermakers have yet to win in the Big Ten this season and were nearly shut out by Iowa at home in a 36-3 loss.Following the loss, the Boilermakers traveled to Minnesota and suffered a 36-9 loss against the top-ranked Golden Gophers.Key matchups Friday include Turner against star sophomore Jake Patascil and Badgers sophomore Dallas Herbst against Nathan Moore of the Boilermakers.With another important Big Ten road duel Sunday, Wisconsin will not have much time to rest or think about what happens tonight. The key to a good weekend will be Wisconsin’s ability to focus on Purdue first and then switch focus completely to Michigan.While much of America will sit on the couch this Sunday watching Super Bowl XLI, the ninth-ranked Badgers will be in Ann Arbor to grapple with No. 17 Michigan. Despite a sub par 1-5-1 record, the Wolverines remain ranked in the top 25 and they certainly pose a threat to the Badgers. Turner (149 lbs.) will face a tough test Sunday in his first career match against No. 3 Josh Churella of Michigan. Churella boasts a 15-1 record on the season with his only loss coming last weekend against No. 1 Dustin Schlatter of Minnesota.After this weekend, the Badgers have three home meets remaining before the postseason. “Everything from now until March sets up March for us, so until then it’s in the back of my mind,” Davis said.As Turner sees it, “It should be interesting, and if we stay healthy we will surprise a lot of people.”last_img

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