ADRIAN, Mich. — Adrian College men's wrestling coach Bill Schindel said it is pretty simple what his team has to do in order to find success on Thursday against nationally-ranked Lourdes University, starting at 7 p.m. inside the Merillat Sport and Fitness Center.
"We have to wrestle to our game plan and be physically and mentally tough," Schindel said.
Lourdes, ranked No. 12 in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, is 5-1 on the season and the Gray Wolves' only dual loss was to NCAA Division II No. 9 Ashland. The Bulldogs, who have been idle since the Nov. 23 Olivet College Duals, are in the midst of a five-match winning streak for a 7-2 record in duals this season. Adrian's current win streak is the longest in the modern era (since 2015-16) and believed to be the longest in program history since the 1969-70 squad won six in a row. Adrian can tie its win total for all of 2018-19 (8-3) against the Wolves.
"This was exactly what they needed after four straight weeks of competition," Schindel said, referring to the team's Thanksgiving break.
Lourdes is led by top-ranked Nick Henneman at 141 pounds, No. 8 Ray Porter at 125 pounds, eighth-ranked Noah Clary at 174 pounds and No. 7 Deaken McCoy at 285 pounds.
Sophomore Isaiah Espinoza (285 pounds) leads Adrian with a 14-0 record with six pins. Junior Devon Pingel (197) is right behind him with a 13-0 mark and also six pins. According to the end-of-the month November rankings, Pingel is listed seventh in his weight class by Intermat and eighth by D3wrestle.com, while Espinoza is a "contender" (No. 17) in the D3wrestle rankings.
"We are still just looking to get better," Schindel said. "One day at a time. One practice at a time. Lourdes is a very good team. Can we wrestle our game plan and can we be physical?"
--Dominic Adams, Special to AdrianBulldogs.com