Raider Preview (Dec. 4): Rookies Shining Early for Wrestling

Raider Preview (Dec. 4): Rookies Shining Early for Wrestling

MILWAUKEE - The MSOE wrestling team features one of its deepest rosters in recent memory and, with it, comes a young roster that includes nine freshmen that are acclimating to collegiate wrestling.

A pair of rookies has hit the ground running through the early season in Drew Matticks and Helton Vandenbush. The duo has combined to place four out of a possible five times and post a 17-6 record through three meets.

A 165-competitor, Matticks is coming off a third-place showing at the MSOE Invitational this past weekend. After opening with a tough loss in his first bout, he responded with four-straight hard-fought decision wins to run through the consolation bracket.

In nine matches, he has had a fall go both ways and outscored his opponents 51-25 in his remaining seven bouts. He opened his collegiate career with three-straight wins at the Dan Gable Open, advancing to the first-place match before settling for runner-up honors. He did not wrestle at the CUW Open.

Meanwhile, Vandenbush has competed in all three tournaments and leads the team with a 10-4 record. He's been hard at work, going the distance for decisions in nine of those victories.

Vandebush could not have had a better beginning to his career as a Raider, winning all three matches at the Gable Open to win the 174-pound bracket. After a 3-2 record at the CUW Open, which included a pair of shutouts, he took fourth at the MSOE Invite. Like Matticks, he bounced back from an opening defeat to go on a four-match win streak, though he did come up short in the third-place bout.

Eight of the nine first-year wrestlers have seen the mat this season, with another three collecting their first collegiate wins already.

The team has already seen the luxury of such a deep freshmen class, filling out the smaller weight classes in competition with the introduction of Mark Niewierowski at 125 pounds and Preston Makoutz at 133.

Makoutz secured a pair of victories at the MSOE Invite and Duncan Heath has won twice at 197 pounds.

There is plenty of time remaining in the wrestling season and it is far too early to draw conclusions. But, hitting the ground running will certainly help this young group as it looks to make some noise competing in its second season in the CCIW and as it transitions to a new NCAA region this season.

Elsewhere Around MSOE Athletics…

  • Men's Basketball split a pair of league road games last week, falling to Marian Tuesday and completing an early regular-season sweep of Lakeland Saturday—their second meeting in 11 days.
  • Women's Basketball fell in its lone contest last week, a road showdown at Lakeland.
  • Hockey split a pair of league games last weekend, falling to Lake Forest Friday before taking down Aurora on the road Saturday.
  • Wrestling took ninth out of 12 teams at the 13th Annual MSOE Invitational last Saturday. Drew Matticks took third at 165 pounds and Helton Vandenbush was fourth at 174 pounds to lead the way.

National Rankings...

  • Hockey is ranked #15 in both the USCHO and D3hockey national polls.

Coming Up This Week...

  • Women's Basketball (2-2, 1-1 / L1) looks to rebound from its first league loss with games at Edgewood Tuesday and at home vs. Rockford Saturday.
  • Men's Basketball (3-2, 3-1 NACC / W1) plays a third-straight league road game Wednesday at Edgewood before returning home to host Rockford Saturday.
  • Wrestling heads to the North Central Invitational this weekend.
Tuesday Women's Basketball @ Edgewood* 7:00 PM Video  |  Live stats
Wednesday Men's Basketball @ Edgewood* 7:00 PM Video  |  Live stats
Saturday Wrestling @ North Central Invitational 9:00 AM  
Saturday Men's Basketball Rockford* 2:00 PM Video  |  Live stats
Saturday Women's Basketball Rockford* 4:15 PM Video  |  Live stats
* Conference Contest | Home Contests in BOLD