EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE wrestling is embarking on a tour of North Carolina with six matches in five days beginning with a pair of Southern Conference matches Wednesday.
SIUE Head Coach Jeremy Spates and his team begin the road trip with Gardner-Webb at 5 p.m. CT and Campbell at 6:45 p.m. CT Wednesday. The Cougars will compete in SoCon matches at Buies Creek, N.C., which will be the site of the SoCon Tournament Mar. 8th.
"I think we're excited because we want to see where we are at within the conference," said Spates. "We're going to see a lot of guys we have been seeing on paper but now we get to see them in action. This will give us an idea of where we stand going into the conference tournament."
SIUE has two matches each Saturday and Sunday. The Cougars travel to Chapel Hill, N.C., to take on SoCon rival The Citadel at 11 a.m. CT Saturday followed by a nonconference event against host North Carolina.
On Sunday, the Cougars move on to Boone, N.C., for the final two SoCon matches of the season against Davidson and Appalachian State. The Cougars face Davidson at noon CT followed by Appalachian State at 1:30 p.m. CT.
"Every match is going to be tough for us even though they are winnable," said Spates. "It's a tough road trip, but it will be fun. Our guys will get to see some different universities they may never have seen."
It has been an up and down season for the Cougars, 4-14 overall and 1-1 in the SoCon. Spates said the Cougars have had to make numerous lineup changes during the season due to wrestlers being injured or coming back from injuries.
"We are hoping our lineup is set, and we can figure out where we are at in the conference," Spates said.
The five SoCon dual meets also will help SoCon Tournament officials set up seeds for the postseason tournament.
"If you are only going to qualify one or two per weight class, you want to put yourself into a good position heading into the tournament," Spates said.
SIUE's Expected Lineup
125 - Dakota Leach
133 - Patrick Myers
141 - John Petrov
149 - Karsten Van Velsor
157 - Logun Taylor
165 - Matt Lester
174 - Jake Residori
184 - Deshoun White
197 - Josh Wood, Chris Johnson
285 - David Devine