CEDAR FALLS — Coming off a strong, second-place finish at the Southern Scuffle in Chattanooga, Tenn., the University of Northern Iowa wrestling team is preparing for another challenging weekend at the Virginia Duals Friday and Saturday.
The 13th-ranked Panthers will wrestle two duals on Friday and then will be matched against teams that had similar results for Saturday’s action. There will be 13 teams at the tournament, including No. 10 Arizona State and No. 11 Virginia Tech.
“I don’t think we have wrestled anywhere near what we are capable of doing and we have finished second and fourth at two of the best tournaments in the country,” head coach Doug Schwab said Monday. “Maybe that tells you a little bit about we have a pretty good darn team.
“But with that, our guys ... I don’t think we have clicked on all cylinders yet. I think we have some guys competing very well, and certainly progress is being made, but 10 weeks from now I’ll be excited to see where we are at.”
UNI hasn’t put it all together in dual meets. The Panthers opened with a loss to No. 14 Cornell, but squeaked out wins over North Dakota State (21-19) and North Carolina (17-16).
“Duals, we have been a little bit hit and miss for some reason,” Schwab said. “We have done a good job in (individual) tournaments. As for duals, for some reason or another it hasn’t been the same.
“So I want to see that transfer over and be consistent at a high level.”
Schwab is also trying to sort out his lineup, saying 133, 157 and 165 are still unsettled.
“I think some guys thrust themselves forward a little bit with the Southern Scuffle, but I’d like to see it be a lot quicker,” he said. “I imagine we are going to split some matches this weekend, but it is time for a guy to step forward and be the guy.”
The rest of the field at the Virginia Duals includes Bucknell, Campbell, Chattanooga, Fresno State, Iowa State, Lock Haven, Oklahoma, Old Dominion and Virginia.
“It’s going to be a good event. Another opportunity for us to get some big time matches,” Schwab said.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: The Panthers dropped a pair of Missouri Valley Conference road games this past weekend at Southern Illinois and Missouri State, and head coach Tanya Warren said similar things haunted UNI in both losses.
“Our offensive productivity has not been good and that is the problem,” Warren said. “It is something we have to continue to work at and hopefully we will get some shots to fall, and get four to six people who are in good offensive rhythm, because that is what we have been lacking, as well.”
The Panthers (6-9 overall, 2-2 MVC) return home Friday to host Evansville (3-11, 0-3).