Welcome to GLVC wrestling. As announced in August 2016, the Great Lakes Valley Conference will sponsor its first championship season for student-athletes on the mat.
This weekend marks a significant step for Truman wrestling and the GLVC as Truman hosts the University of Indianapolis and Bellarmine University on Saturday for the opening event of conference action.
In the inaugural year as a GLVC-sponsored sport, the league decided that a postseason conference tournament would not be scheduled for this season. Instead, team and individual conference champions would be determined by their winning percentage of head-to-head duals. The seven GLVC schools will open the championship season this weekend, with regular competition through the end of February.
This year, Truman is picked to finish sixth out of seven, according to the GLVC wrestling preseason coaches poll. This weekend’s competition features the fourth-ranked team in University of Indiana and the eighth ranked team in Bellarmine. J.J. Dorrell says this weekend will be a good first test to settle into what will be top-notch competition in the conference.
“Even though this is the first year that the GLVC sponsors wrestling, that doesn’t mean that the teams are soft,” Dorrell says. “The GLVC currently houses the No.3, No.5 and No.8 teams in the nation, along with two others who are receiving votes. This conference is tough as nails. This Saturday is going to be a test for us, and this conference is going to be tough. But that will only make us better come time for regionals, and that’s what matters.”
Truman’s first test will be the University of Indianapolis Greyhounds, who will enter Pershing Arena Saturday on a hot streak at 8-5 in duals after recently knocking off both the No.1 and No.5 teams in Div. II last week.
Bellarmine University, in its first year of supporting a wrestling program, will face the Bulldogs later in the day, looking for its first win at dual meet with an 0-6 record.
The Truman wrestlers will hit the mats fresh off a come-from-behind victory at Benedictine College. The ‘Dogs fell behind 21-9 early in the meet, but clawed their way back to an even score with wins by Dorrell, redshirt sophomore Caleb Osborn, freshman Jules Joseph and sophomore Sam Reeves.
Freshman Ashton Mutuwa completed the rally and gave Truman the 25-21 victory with his four-point major decision shutout.
As a team, the ‘Dogs improved to 5-7 on the season as they head into conference play. They will take the mats at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21 in Pershing Arena.