Nov. 16, 2011
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue wrestling team is set to kick off its 2011-12 home dual schedule this Friday, hosting intrastate rival Indianapolis at 7 p.m. in Holloway Gymnasium. The Boilermakers are 0-1 in dual action after a season-opening loss at No. 9 Missouri last Sunday, while Friday marks the Greyhounds' first dual of the year.
Purdue has dominated the all-time series with Indianapolis, winning all six previous meetings heading into Friday's dual. The series started in 1976, as the Boilermakers posted a 22-12 victory in Indianapolis, the closest contest between the two squads. All five matchups since have been held in West Lafayette, including four straight from 2003 to 2006, and the most recent bout in 2009, a 32-10 win for the Boilermakers.
Indianapolis is an NCAA Division II team led by head coach Jason Warthan, a 2001 Indianapolis alumnus in his third year at the program's helm. He's mentored five national qualifiers, including Indianapolis' first NCAA Champion in program history last season. The Greyhounds were ranked 25th in the preseason Division II poll, with a pair of wrestlers earning honorable mention recognition, and they opened their season last weekend at the Michigan State Open.
"Indianapolis is a solid opponent and we're looking forward to competing in front of our fans at home this Friday," said Boilermaker head coach Scott Hinkel. "We let one slip away at Missouri last weekend and Friday is the first chance to get things back on track."
While the Boilermakers did see the return of three-time NCAA Championship qualifier A.J. Kissel last weekend, the Old Gold and Black will be without his services and those of 2010 All-American Cashé Quiroga on Friday. Kissel, ranked 11th in the country at 197 pounds, was impressive in his senior debut, knocking off highly-touted Brent Haynes , but will continue to take things slowly in the early going. Quiroga was injured in the season-opening Eastern Michigan Open and hasn't been cleared for action, but is hoping to return at next weekend's Northeast Duals.
The Boilermakers could shake up the rest of the lineup this weekend with multiple possibilities at 141, 149, 157 and 197 pounds. Freshman Brandon Nelsen looks to challenge junior starter Jake Fleckenstein at 141 as Nelsen took fifth at the Michigan State open last weekend and has a team-best seven wins on the year, while Hinkel may spell eighth-ranked junior Ivan Lopouchanski at 149 with freshman Frankie Porras. Fans may see junior Tommy Churchard or freshman Pat Robinson at 157 pounds, and it'll come down to sophomore Justin Dinius or freshman Preston Quam at 197 pounds.
"We're going to keep things competitive in our room," said Hinkel. "We want everyone battling for that starting spot and we want our starters to protect their jobs. We're going to have the best possible person at each weight class every week."
Friday's match will be the debut of the Boilermakers' new student section, Hinkel's Hooligans. For more information on the group visit their Facebook page or contact them via Twitter (@HinkelsHooligan). Tickets for Friday's match are $5 for adults and $2 for students, and can be purchased at the Purdue Athletics Ticket Office.