The Northern Iowa wrestling team is ranked #21 in the country after wins last weekend over Oklahoma and Northwestern. The Panthers face another big test this Sunday when they host #7 Missouri.
UNI Coach Doug Schwab says his team definitely has an advantage when they wrestle at home in the West Gymnasium. That was evident last Friday in the 18-15 victory over the Sooners, who entered Cedar Falls ranked 13th. “It makes a difference having the gym like that, having it packed. I think it was 100-degrees in there or pretty close,” Schwab joked with reporters this week. “I know a couple of victories — our guys fought — but a couple of them are attributed to just how hostile of an environment that is. We want to keep making it like that and make it like that on Sunday for Missouri.”
All 10 wrestlers on Missouri’s starting roster qualified for last year’s NCAA tournament. “Missouri is a very solid team from top to bottom,” Schwab said. “Our guys are going to have to be ready to compete against these guys. They kind of wrestle a certain style and we have to break them out of that style,score points and beat another top ranked team.”
Missouri enters West Gym with an 8-1 dual record, with their lone loss coming last week against #11 Central Michigan. The Panthers enter Sunday’s 2 p.m. dual with a record of 6-2.