The Terps open up B1G conference play this weekend with two matches in the Hoosier State. First, Maryland will take on Purdue on Friday night at 7:00 p.m., followed by a 2:00 p.m. start in Bloomington against Indiana on Sunday.
It has been a while since the Terps competed in a dual setting, with their last match dating back to December 9, when they fell 9-26 to Central Michigan.
The start of the season has been anything but ideal for Maryland as they have yet to earn a victory, sitting at a record of 0-3. They hope the weekend trip to Indiana will be a turning point in the season heading into conference play.
A headline for the team this season has been focused around injuries. With two of the three captains failing to compete in any of the three dual matches this season, the Terps have looked to their younger guys to step up in big spots.
Senior captain Alfred Bannister has put the team on his back as he looks to turn the tide of the early season and pick up some victories against conference rivals. Bannister, wrestling in the 149 weight class, sits at an overall record of 9-3, 1-1 in dual matchups.
With all the time off between their matches, the Terps last competed in 2018 with the Midlands Championships before the new year. Two of Maryland’s wrestlers, Brandon Cray and Josh Ugalde, earned three victories each and advanced to the Blood Round, where it is determined whether the wrestler places in the event. Both fell in this round by decision.
The Terps first matchup on Friday night will be a tough one. Purdue, the #13 ranked team in the nation, is off to a hot start this season. Five Boilermakers have earned their way into the top-20 in their respective weight classes, a feat that only some teams have accomplished this year. They sit at record of 3-4, only losing to other nationally ranked opponents, including three in the top 10.
The match on Sunday will be a more evenly matched one for the Terps. Indiana, with a record of 3-6, has dropped their first two conference matches of the season. The Hoosiers look to bounce back against this young Maryland squad on Sunday.
This weekend is one that the Terps have been looking forward to for a while. A fresh start to the new year brings Maryland two fierce B1G opponents on a road trip that can shape the rest of the season. Both matches can be viewed on BTN Plus.