The University of Indianapolis wrestling team competed on the road this past weekend on Sunday, Feb. 15 at the Dr. Lombardi/Maryville Duals, losing against two of three teams at the event.
The Greyhounds suffered losses that day to two nationally ranked opponents, including the then No. 2 Maryville University Saints and the No. 3 Notre Dame College Falcons. UIndy was victorious over the King University Tornados, however, 38-6.
During the weekend before, the Greyhounds competed on Friday, Feb. 6, against the McKendree University Bearcats in the Athletics and Recreation Center, taking wins in three matches, but ultimately falling 32-10.
The trio who took wins for UIndy that day included redshirt junior Josh Kieffer, who took a 17-5 major decision at 125 lbs. Following the win by Kieffer, redshirt freshman Nick Crume at 133 lbs. pushed UIndy’s lead to 7-0, after claiming a 5-1 decision in his weight class.
The third victory for the Greyhounds that night, which gave UIndy a 10-6 lead, was provided by 149 lb. redshirt junior Dylan Kavanaugh with a 7-4 win.
The Bearcats would ultimately run away with the dual win, however, as McKendree put together six victories to close out the event.
During the week following the meet, Crume, who was named the Great Lakes Valley Conference wrestler of the week for the second time this season on Monday, Feb. 2, said that although he was successful individually against the Bearcats, he feels there is still room for him to improve.
“I just have to keep working hard and try to focus on different aspects of my game. It’s the end of the season, [and] I just have to stay focused,” Crume said.
Crume said that he is proud of his accomplishments thus far, but hopes he can keep that success going beyond the regular season.
“It’s a good feeling [being named GLVC wrestler of the week], but for now there are other goals out there like the All American [award] and possibly winning the whole national tournament,” he said.
Head Wrestling Coach Jason Warthan said that he believes Crume’s hard work will pay off.
“He has beaten some good guys, and he will be in the rankings when the newest ones come out. He just beat the No. 4 [ranked wrestler for his weight class] in the nation. He has had some real quality wins, [and] I would say he has had a really good year,” Warthan said.
After the loss to McKendree, Crume said the following week that losses such as that serve him personally as both a positive and a negative.
“I try to leave the losses in the past, but the good thing about losses is [that] they help motivate me more to work on the different aspects of my game plan for the next match,” he said. “Even for a win, I put it in the past and think about the next match. I try not to think about a win or a loss too much, because it is just one match, and you just have to keep moving forward. I don’t want to worry about the past or what happened in the past. I just want to move forward. I just want to win the last couple of matches as the season comes to a close.”
Warthan said that from the beginning of the season, the team’s goals have always been to get as many wrestlers to nationals as possible and then get as many All American awards for the men as they can.
“We have so many new starters on the team [this season] that had to see how competition goes,” he said. “It is hard to say a set number. Is it realistic for four guys to make it to nationals or to come back with three All Americans? The goal [right now] still is to advance as many guys to nationals as possible.”
As the Greyhounds prepare to compete in the postseason, Warthan said he has a plan in place to have the team prepared.
“I think just drawing off the experience we have had in the past [is what we can use] to improve on the future matches,” he said. “We have wrestled a lot of the regional teams, so it is one of those things where you go to the regionals and you’ve seen some of those guys before. So you know what positions or situations give you the best chances of winning.
“With any young team, you want them to soak up as much experience as they can. With the season ending, a lot of guys have gotten some experience in, and we are a much better team now than we were at the beginning of the year,” he said. “Gaining experience and applying it to the future [is what each individual must do]—and to take the opportunity—because you never know when it will be their chance to make it to nationals or be an All American.”
UIndy will now prepare to compete in the postseason at the NCAA Super Regional No. 2 in Pembroke, N.C. The event is set to take place Feb. 27-28, and will begin at 10 a.m. next Friday.