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Preview: MSU wrestling prepares to welcome Rutgers and Penn State this weekend

January 18, 2024
The Michigan State Spartans took on the Northwestern Wildcats at Jenison Field House on Friday, Feb. 11, 2021.
The Michigan State Spartans took on the Northwestern Wildcats at Jenison Field House on Friday, Feb. 11, 2021.

The MSU wrestling team is set to host both No. 12 Rutgers University and No. 1 Penn State this weekend. The Spartans will face Rutgers first on Friday, Jan. 19 at 6:30 p.m. and then have one day of rest before hosting Penn State on Sunday, Jan. 21 at 1 p.m. 

Michigan State will hope to get its first conference win after falling to the University of Michigan this past Sunday in Ann Arbor by a score of 29-12. In the meet, the Spartans were able to secure victories in the 157-pound weigh-in, 165-pound weigh-in and 197-pound weigh-in. The most impressive win of the three victories came in the 165-pound weigh-in division when No. 10 senior Caleb Fish (17-4) took home a 6-4 decision win over Michigan’s now No. 8 Cameron Amine.

Key weights for the Rutgers meet will include the 184-pound, 197-pound and heavyweight weigh-ins. The 184-pound weigh-in consists of No. 28 graduate student Layne Malczewski (5-4) for the Spartans and No. 20 sophomore Biran Soldano (10-4) for Rutgers, a top-30 matchup.

In the 197-pound weigh-in, No. 43 redshirt freshman Kael Wisler (20-8) will represent the Spartans and look to continue building on his strong form. Standing across from him will be No. 13 redshirt junior John Poznanski for Rutgers (10-0), who looks to continue his undefeated start to the season.

The heavyweight weigh-in will present Michigan State’s No. 40 redshirt freshman Josh Terrill (23-7) against Rutgers’ No. 10 graduate student Yaraslau Slavikouski (12-0). Terrill is facing his second top-ten opponent in less than a week

Key weights for the Michigan State-Penn State meet will be the 157-pound, 165-pound and 184-pound weigh-ins. The Spartans will need big performances in these weigh-ins as the visitors will be able to feature eight top-ten ranked wrestlers across the ten weigh-ins if they choose to do so.

In the 157-pound weigh-in, No. 23 senior Chase Saldate (15-3) will represent Michigan State and face Penn State’s No. 3 sophomore Levi Haines (7-0). Haines is one of the brightest prospects in wrestling having climbed up to the second-ranking spot in the 157-pound division by the end of his freshman campaign

The 165-pound weigh-in will be a monumental matchup between No. 10 senior Caleb Fish for Michigan State (16-4) and Penn State’s No. 9 redshirt freshman Mitchell Mesenbrink (11-0): two athletes that are top-ten ranked. Mesenbrink has shot up in the 165-pound rankings, starting the season as No. 157 and recently jumping to No. 13 and now is No. 9.  

The final key matchup between Michigan State and Penn State comes in the 184-pound weigh-in where Malczewski will face off against Penn State’s No. 6 graduate student Bernie Truax (5-1). These two have met once before in 2021, where Truax secured a 6-4 decision win.

Streaming for both match days will be available on Big Ten Plus.

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