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MSU wrestling prepares to even conference record with road trip weekend

January 31, 2024
<p>MSU freshman Braden Stauffenberg goes against Penn State freshman Tyler Kasak at Jenison Field House on Jan. 21, 2024.</p>

MSU freshman Braden Stauffenberg goes against Penn State freshman Tyler Kasak at Jenison Field House on Jan. 21, 2024.

Coming off its first Big Ten Conference win against the Wisconsin Badgers on Jan. 26, the newly No. 25 ranked Michigan State wrestling team has begun preparations ahead of a weekend road trip. The team will begin by traveling to Illinois on Friday, Feb. 2, for a meet against the Fighting Illini and then heading to Indiana to face the Hoosiers on Sunday, Jan. 4. 

In their last meet, the Spartans upset the University of Wisconsin by a score of 22-15, and Michigan State secured its first victory over a top-20 ranked opponent since the 2020-2021 season, as well as its first Big Ten victory this season.

Key performances of the night included a third-period pin for No. 21 senior Chase Saldate, who now has eight pins to his name on the season and five in his last seven meets. No. 15 graduate student Layne Malczewski secured a decision win over No. 16 graduate student Shane Liegel, and redshirt freshman Josh Terrill secured a pin in the final two seconds of the second period to add to his nation-leading 24 wins on the season.

Weights to watch for the Spartan's dual against the University of Illinois will include the 125-pound weigh-in and the heavyweight weigh-in. In the 125-pound weigh-in, senior Tristan Lujan will look to get his first career win over the Fighting Illini's redshirt senior Justin Cardani, who has won both of the pairs' first two meetings.

In the heavyweight weigh-in, Terrill is set to face No. 14 redshirt junior Luke Luffman. Terrill has already had multiple impressive performances against ranked heavyweights this year, including dropping a razor-sharp 4-2 decision against No. 7 senior Yaraslau Slavikouski. This matchup against Luffman will be a huge chance for Terrill to break into the Intermat rankings.

In Michigan State's dual against Indiana University, weights to watch will be the 141-pound weigh-in and the 157-pound weigh-in. In the 141-pound weigh-in, redshirt senior Jordan Hamdan is set to face graduate student Danny Fongaro. The bout is predicted to be a razor-sharp decision, with the Wrestlestat Prediction saying Hamdan should edge out a one-point decision victory.

In the 157-pound weigh-in, Saldate will face off against No. 19 redshirt senior Brayton Lee. The pair have faced each other three times in their collegiate careers, with Lee leading the series 2-1. In their most recent bout, Saldate secured a 3-1 decision victory and will look to even up the series heading into Sunday.

The starting time for the University of Illinois meet on Friday, Feb. 2 will be at 8 p.m. and the starting time for the meet against Indiana University will be at 1 p.m. Streaming for both duals will be available on Big Ten Plus.

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