By NIU Athletics

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Northern Illinois University wrestling team earned its first Mid-American Conference victory of the season, defeating Buffalo, 19-16, at Buffalo, N.Y., Sunday afternoon.

“We came out aggressive, confident, and determined,” said NIU head wrestling coach Ryan Ludwig.

Caden McWhirter (Prattville, Ala./ Prattville) set the tone in the first match of the day. The Huskie redshirt-sophomore pinned Eric Fasnacht of Buffalo at the 1:38 minute mark of the first period at 157 to give the Huskies an early 6-0 lead.

The very next match at 165, Andrew Scott (Holly Mich./ Holly) defeated Noah Grover of Buffalo via a major decision, 9-1. The Huskie redshirt junior earned his first dual win of the season and his sixth overall on the year to give NIU a 10-0 advantage.

At 174, redshirt-junior Quinton Rosser (Cincinnati, Ohio/ Archbishop Moeller) kept it going for NIU, defeating Christian Dietrich of Buffalo, 3-0. The Rosser win gave the Huskies a commanding 13-0 lead.

“Caden, Andrew and Q[uinton] came out and set the tone and especially with two of the three matches with bonus points,” said Ludwig.

At 184, Bryce Gorman (Manhattan, Ill./ Lincoln-Way Central) defeated Brett Perry, 4-1, to make the score, 16-0.

Buffalo started to rally and scored 16 consecutive points to tie the score at 16. It all came down to 149, where freshman Nolan Baker (Byron, Ill. / Byron) went head-to-head with Nicholas Palumbo.

Baker led after round one, 8-1, but Palumbo came roaring back in the second round. In the end, Baker defeated Palumbo, 12-9, in a thrilling ending for the Huskies. It was Baker’s first collegiate victory.

“Obviously, Nolan was the one in position to seal the deal. He showed great poise and fight. Couldn’t be more proud of him,” said Ludwig.
“The coaching staff is really proud of the guys right now. We spoke about resilience and the character it takes to respond from a recent hit. They did it the right way today.”

NIU concludes its regular season at home on Friday, Feb. 16, against the Kent State Golden Flashes. Action starts at 7 p.m. from Victor E. Court.

NIU (3-9 1-5 MAC) 19, Buffalo (5-10 2-5 MAC) 16 
157 – Caden McWhirter (NIU) won by fall over Eric Fasnacht (UB), 1:38
165 – Andrew Scott (NIU) won by major decision over Noah Grover (UB), 9-1
174 – Quinton Rosser (NIU) won by decision over Christian Dietrich (UB), 3-0
184 – Bryce Gorman (NIU) won by decision over Brett Perry (UB), 4-1
197 – Joe Ariola (UB) won by major decision over Max Ihry (NIU), 11-3
285 – Jake Gunning (UB) won by decision over Caleb Gossett (NIU), 4-2
125 – Kyle Akins (UB) won by decision over Brock Hudkins (NIU), 3-2
133 – Bryan Lantry (UB) won by decision over Alijah Jeffrey (NIU), 2-0
141 – Jason Estevez (UB) won by decision over Anthony Rubino (NIU), 11-4
149 – Nolan Baker (NIU) won by decision over Nick Palumbo (UB), 12-9