Wrestling: Northwestern hopes to take down SIU-Edwardsville in final dual


Daily file photo by Katie Pach

Colin Valdiviez goes for a takedown. The freshman picked up his 15th victory of the season last weekend.

Alison Albelda, Reporter


Following a successful weekend against No. 22 Purdue and Indiana, Northwestern will try to win its final dual on Sunday against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and carry momentum into the postseason.

With last week’s win, the Wildcats (10-4, 5-4 Big Ten) sit at No. 17 in the rankings, a two-spot increase from last week’s No.19 spot and a return to their position from two weeks prior.

Colin Valdiviez, a freshman wrestling in the 133-pound weight class, picked up his 15th win of the season Sunday. He said that, in order to continue winning matches, he has to be aggressive and have the right mentality.

“From a mindset standpoint … I just need to go out there and be confident in my abilities,” Valdiviez said. “(I) know that when I pick up my pace, I can hang with anybody in the country.”

The Cats are led by redshirt freshman Ryan Deakin, NU’s highest-ranked wrestler who sits at No. 5 in the 149-pound weight class. Deakin ended the Big Ten season with a notable seventh pin, a team high, versus the Hoosiers.

Junior Johnny Sebastian is also ranked in the No. 20 slot at 174 pounds, and he wrestled against the Boilermakers last Friday but took Sunday off against Indiana as sophomore Braxton Cody took his place.

SIUE (6-13, 4-3 Southern Conference) lost last weekend against No. 3 Missouri, with two Cougars winning their matchups. One came from Zac Gentzler, who will face Sebastian Rivera, a redshirt freshman ranked 9th in the 125-pound division.

Rivera said his mindset this week does not differ from past weeks despite the unranked competition.

“(I’ll) just take it like every other match,” Rivera said. “Taking that first shot, getting that first takedown, once you do that then the whole match opens up. Just keep on attacking, just take a guy down, turn him and that match is wide open and (the) points just keep on pouring on.”

The Cats have notched their most Big Ten wins since the 2010-11 season. During that campaign, NU shut out SIUE 51-0 for its biggest victory since the turn of the century.

Coach Matt Storniolo said consistency is the key for NU as it enters its final meet prior to championship season.

“Just keep doing what they are doing,” Storniolo said. “Go out there and try and get the most out of the seven minutes, work on your offense and work on putting points on the board, the rest will take care of itself.”

Email: [email protected]