DEREK MONTGOMERY/Herald photoRiding two-straight dual-meet losses heading into Sunday’s matchup against the Purdue Boilermakers, the Badgers wrestling team hopes to rebound and get back to finishing on top.For the season, head coach Barry Davis and the Badgers are 1-2-0 in conference play and 6-4-0 overall, while the Boilermakers, victims of two consecutive dual defeats of their own, are 0-2-0 in the Big Ten and 8-5-0 on the season.In last Sunday’s loss against Northwestern, Wisconsin had an early lead and was in control of its own destiny, but several losses by five points or less cost them the dual.”We had an opportunity to win it at the end, but the guy didn’t score,” Davis said. “We’re in those matches, we just have to convert and we haven’t done that yet, so that’s what we’re working on right now to get ready for this weekend, putting guys in situations where they’re in pressure situations on the clock and they have to score in practice, or they’ll get extra laps, and extra sprints.”In an effort to solve the scoring woes, some of Davis’ wrestlers have taken dumbbells home with them to work on their stances and positioning — anything that will get them over the hump.”We have to find a way to pick up the pace, keep the opponent more off balance and keep the match on feet,” coach Davis said.This weekend’s meet should prove to be a stepping-stone toward moving in the right direction and an indicator of how well this team will wrestle for the remainder of the season.After facing two very good teams in Iowa and Northwestern, Wisconsin catches a team that has had some problems of its own and isn’t considered a powerhouse in the very competitive Big Ten. “It will be up to the players to make the adjustments from last week’s duals to this one and to score those seemingly elusive points,” Davis said.For the Badgers, another wrestler hit the mat Sunday, when freshman heavyweight Kyle Massey was lost for the season, marking the second big player to go down in recent weeks. With the sudden onslaught of injuries, Davis doesn’t know whom to start in their place.”Between injuries and close matches, we got some patchwork to do and I’m not exactly sure who’s going to wrestle yet,” Davis said. “We’ve lost two guys for the year already. … Massey’s one of them, and, I mean, we lost one All-American and one potential All-American already, so I’m not sure what’s going to happen.” While it’s unknown who will be starting in place of the injured Badgers, Davis knows that the match-up between No. 2-ranked Tom Clum of the Badgers and sixth-ranked Chris Fleeger of the Boilermakers will be a good one.”Fleeger and Clum should be a great matchup,” Davis said. “Fleeger’s been to the NCAA finals and Clum’s ranked second right now. They’re both good on their feet and really good on top as well, so it should go down to the last few points.”Other notable wrestlers from the Badgers side include fifth-ranked, 149-pound Tyler Turner, who is 15-2 overall, and 10th-ranked 157-pound sophomore Craig Henning who, with two wins last weekend, now posts a 9-1 dual record and a 19-4 record overall.For the Boilermakers, Ben Wissel should give whomever the Badgers throw at him in the 184-pound weight division headaches. The senior from Richmond, Ind., now posts a 26-2 record on the season after simply manhandling his opponent Sunday, winning a major decision 18-4. Davis, however, says there is a way to beat this goliath.”We wrestled him earlier in the year out in Vegas,” Davis said. “We’ve just got to close the gap and slow the match down — he’s very athletic and let him dictate the pace to the outside, and you’re going to be in trouble, so you really have to try to close the gap on him and spend more time on top, playing a little slower pace.” Whatever the result this weekend, Davis and his boys will keep their heads up and their opponents down, maintaining a positive attitude and always pushing forward.
Even though Syracuse has won its last four games each by at least 11 points, SU dropped one spot to No. 21 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll, its lowest ranking of the season.Three weeks ago, the Orange climbed to No. 11, the highest-ever ranking in program history. Over the next two weeks, SU dropped and remained at No. 20.Four-time defending national champion Connecticut stayed at the top spot after beating No. 2 Notre Dame, 72-61. Five other Atlantic Coast Conference teams were ranked in the Week 6 poll: No. 7 Florida State, No. 8 Louisville, No. 13 Miami, No. 18 Duke and No. 24 Virginia Tech.After blowing out Niagara by 49 points on Saturday, behind Brittney Sykes’ dominant performance, SU gets the week off from games. The Orange plays next in the Florida Sunshine Classic Dec. 20-21. Conference play begins at No. 8 Louisville on Dec. 29. Comments AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 12, 2016 at 3:30 pm Contact Matthew: email@example.com | @MatthewGut21