The Maroons look to finish their regular season strongly with a win against No. 29 Augustana College this weekend.
The South Siders know they have a tough opponent in the nationally ranked Vikings. At the Pete Wilson Invitational at Wheaton College, Augustana placed seventh overall, while Chicago placed 21st. Despite the tough competition ahead, Chicago remains confident that it can come out with a win if each Maroon shows up and performs.
“Everyone on the team knows that Augustana is going to be a tough duel for us. We are going in with the mindset that as long as all of us give it our all and wrestle our best, we should be able to come out on top in the end,” said first-year Devan Richter.
Chicago needs all of its wrestlers to show up for a huge win against Augustana, but it also looks to a few wrestlers who stepped up under pressure in the past. The Maroons face a lot of pressure going into this dual, but it is nothing they have not dealt with before.
“Some guys on our team know that they are really going to have to pull through for us.” Richter said. “If one person makes a mistake and loses a match that wasn’t supposed to, it could mean the difference between winning and losing the dual. It is a lot of pressure for everyone, but at the same time I think the team can handle it.”
To get the team prepared for this weekend, coach Leo Kocher has had the Maroons working hard all week practicing their core techniques.
“We have been focusing a lot on our core techniques that apply to every match. Our coach’s methodology here is that if we can really get down these core moves, we should be adequately prepared no matter what Augustana throws at us,” Richter said.
A huge win against Augustana can give the Maroons the confidence they need to prove they can have a successful showing at the UAA Championships and the NCAA tournament. This win can show that all of Chicago’s hard work in practice is finally coming together.
“This weekend is really just a stepping stone for us as the UAA conference and postseason approaches,” Richter said. “We are always trying to improve in the practice room, but the only way to know what the team truly needs to work on is during real competition like our dual with Augustana. After that, we can get a better idea of what our strengths and weaknesses are and adjust accordingly to be better prepared for what is to come.”
The Maroons’ first match will start at 1 p.m. in Ratner Athletic Center.